All About Emirgan tulip gardens (Emirgan Park) in Istanbul

All About Emirgan tulip gardens (Emirgan Park) in Istanbul

Speaking of Istanbul, we shall never ignore the tulip festivals, especially those held in the Emirgan tulip gardens. You can see pure beauty during Emirgan park tulip festivals and many other places that we will explore together in this article. 

It is worth mentioning that the tulips were very important to the Ottoman kingdom and Turkish culture, so the tulip festivals were to celebrate both the spring and this value. 

The Tulip in Turkish Culture

The tulip is an ancient symbol of Istanbul and is Turkey’s national flower. It represents a Shangri-la, heaven on earth, effeminate grace, and excellence.

The tulip in Turkish culture

But first, let’s take a look at the tulip’s origin to understand its value better and go through the history to realize how the Turkish ancestors tried to expand the growth of this flower so that nowadays we have the chance to enjoy its glory.

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The Tulip Origin

Not many people know that the tulip is originally from Turkey and not Netherland. The actual origin goes back to Iran in the 10th century when this beautiful flower was growing wildly in Asian campo. Still, the Ottoman Empire started cultivating it vastly for commercial purposes in the 16th century, and then it was brought to Netherland.

A fun fact to know is that the first economic crisis of history was caused by the tulip’s elegant beauty in Netherland during this tulip lunacy in 1637 when a rare tulip bulb cost more than a house!

Aside from the madness, the Ottomans looked at the tulip in adoration that this empire’s most tranquil and affluent period is called “Lale Devri” or “Tulip Era.”

The Tulip Element And Concept

The use of this flower’s motif goes back to the Ottoman culture. You can see these artworks and ornaments in tiles in mosques, palaces such as Topkapi palace, fabrics, paintings, carpet designs, and ceramics. The tulip is also mentioned in many verses in Mevlana’s Diwan written in the 13th century. 

The tulip origin

Now that we are on the same page about how valuable even a single tulip is, let’s find out what Istanbul offers in its tulip festivals. 

The Tulip Festivals In Istanbul

If you visit the tulip festivals in Istanbul, especially the Emirgan park tulip festival, you will see how these festivals in Turkey have been overlooked over the years under the shadow of the most famous tulip festival in the world, Amsterdam. 

Since 2006, this spring occasion has been officially held from April 1st to 30th, depending on the weather. During the festival, the tulips are blooming to their fullest, and they will be collected for the next year when it is done.

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Although the best display of the tulips is in the parks all over Istanbul, the whole city looks like a huge garden in April, and millions of tulips are present in public places, streets, roads, and frankly anywhere you can find a place to plant a tulip, there is one planted!

The tulip festivals in Istanbul

Other Things To Enjoy Besides The Tulips

Millions of eye-catching tulip displays are not the only thing worth experiencing at this festival. Other flowers like hyacinths and daffodils make beautiful floral patterns together with tulips. The festival also includes performances of all kinds and exhibitions, and the good news is that it is free of charge event in any park you choose.

So, if you ever decide to visit Istanbul in April, or attend the Istanbul international film festival, keep in mind that the one thing you cannot lose seeing is the tulip festivals and the Emirgan garden in Istanbul.

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Best Parks To Visit During The Tulip Festival In Istanbul

Now, let’s see where you can enjoy the most tulip festivals in Istanbul.

Below, we will mention the five best parks to visit during the tulip festival. Keep reading as I saved the best for the last.

Best parks to visit during the tulip festival in Istanbul

Sultanahmet Square

Imagine a place where you can enjoy attending a tulip festival while you see the world’s largest tulip carpet! 

Over the last few years, almost half a million tulips were planted in the shape of a traditional carpet on a 1400 square meter scale to break the world’s record for a tulip rug. 

If you choose to see the festival here, consider looking at Topkapi palace, the blue mosques, and Hagia Sophia, which are fairly close.

The square is on the European side, and you can use the metro, tram, bus, and ferry to get there.

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Gulhane Park (Rose Garden)

This park is located on the European side of Istanbul and is also in the heart of history. Bewildering tulip patterns in the shape of an array, magnificent view of the Bosphorous, cafes, and tranquilizing promenades are the gifts that planting two and a half million tulips brings to us. 

Gulhane Park (Rose Garden)

To get to this park, you can use a tram, funicular, bus, or ferry based on where you are. 

Yildiz Park

It is located on the European side, somewhere between Yildiz and Ciragan palaces in Besiktas. It is one of the yards of Yildiz palace and was used for hunting purposes of the Sultan. 

It hosts almost 500,000 tulips annually and has two artificial lakes, a waterfall, rivers, and four Ottoman pavilions that serve coffee and snacks.

You can use a bus, metro, or a ferry to get there. 

Camlica hill

It is located on the Asian side of Istanbul, providing one of the best vantage points to see Istanbul. If you are not afraid of a twenty-minute walk up to the hill, you can find a mixture of glorious tulip watching and a famous hiking site in this park’s tulip festival.

The tulips are planted at the top of Camlica Hill, where you can also have a great view of Camlica mosques, one of the largest mosques in Turkey. You can visit there using a bus, metro, or ferry.

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Emirgan tulip gardens

As mentioned earlier, I saved the best one for last!

You can’t talk about tulip festivals and forget to mention Emirgan garden in Istanbul, especially after the successful displays in Emirgan park tulip festival 2021. 

Emirgan Park is the primary tulip festival location in Istanbul, Sariyer, on the European side. It takes around 50 minutes to get to Emirgan park from Taksim square based on your transportation options: tram, bus, metro, taxi, ferry, and sea bus. The entrance is free, and it’s open every day.  

As Emirgan tulip gardens are the most important places where the tulip festival takes place, let’s explore them.

Read More: All you need to know about Gulhane Park in Istanbul

All about Emirgan tulip garden

Emirgan Park is around 470,000 square meters and is surrounded by long walls. It is the main location of the tulip festival and provides a breath-taking view of the Bosphorous, too. It used to be a private property of Khedive Ismail Pasa, but now it contains many hiking and stroller-friendly paths and picnic and recreational places. 

It is obvious why while speaking of the tulip festivals in Istanbul, the first name that pops into mind is Emirgan garden. In the 1960s, a unique garden was founded to save the cultivation of tulips, and that was the beginning of building the tulip gardens in this park. 

All about Emirgan tulip garden

Inside the park, you will be amazed by different plant species such as Cypress trees, Babylon willow, Stone pine, Oak, and various Cedar. Also, there are two artificial ponds, a lake, and kids’ playgrounds. 

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Emirgan park pavilions

There are three ancient pavilions built by Khedive Ismail Pasa that are named after their colors and now perform as cafes and restaurants to help the visitors enjoy the pure taste of Turkish coffee and cuisine accompanied by the view of three and a half million tulips that are planted in this park every year.

  • Yellow pavilion: It is a vast mansion made of wood with a touch of a cottage. Today, it serves the tulip enthusiasts as a café. 
  • Pink pavilion: It is another place to enjoy coffee while visiting Emirgan tulip gardens. It is also used for wedding ceremonies and can host 500 people. That’s the wedding that I want to be invited to!
  • White pavilion: In the daytime, this place is considered to be a café, but at night you can enjoy the taste of a Turkish meal as it turns into a restaurant. 

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Concomitant with balconies with a view of the Bosphorous, these 19 century Ottoman pavilions also have some classic art shops that can provide the visitors with calligraphy, painting, marbling, etc. You can also appreciate the musical acts performed live in this park.

A friendly advice 

I know that the swirling displays of the tulips and seeing more than 120 tulip varieties in mind-blowing patterns such as the flag of Turkey can be mesmerizing and encourages us to seek the best possible place to take beautiful photos. Still, please keep in mind not to trample the flowers and let other people find the same peace and glory tomorrow that you found there earlier.

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Many of us dream of seeing a paradise full of flowers and shimmering lights while the soft breeze of the sea holds us tightly in the arms of mother nature. Now, we have this chance to make this dream come true. The Emirgan tulip gardens are all we wished for! Let’s plan a dreamy April next year.

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