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Christmas In Istanbul

6th December 2018

Christmas in Istanbul

Santa claus roots are in Patara Turkey, near Myra.  The stories tell of him dropping bags of money down people’s chimneys.  What better place to celebrate Christmas than in Santa’s country!

Even though Turkey is predominantly a Muslim country, there are Christian churches in Izmir, Istanbul and other major cities.

If you wish to attend a special Christmas mass, that’s no problem. Just go to Anthony of Padua, the largest Catholic church in Istanbul. It’s located on Istiklal Caddesi, on your left as you walk from Taksim towards Tünel. On foot it will take about 20-25 minutes. To be on the safe side, please check out mass hours at least a day beforehand.

See website below for further information on churches in Istanbul.

Istanbul makes a great Christmas destination for various reasons.  Starting in December the streets and shops are decorated like those around the Western world.  There are plenty of Christmas trees, street lights and Santa Claus ‘Noel Baba’ can be seen frequently.  These decorations are set up for the New Year celebrations in Turkey.

Plenty of restaurants are organising set Christmas lunches and brunches. With traditional Turkey and all the trimmings being served.

The atmosphere leading up to the New Year in Turkey is very much like the lead up to Christmas in Western countries.  There is the added bonus of not having the build up to Christmas hype and television commercials.

The historical sites are open on December 25th so if you’d like to enjoy them, you can.

Istanbul New Year celebrations are famous.  On New Year’s Eve Istanbul is in full swing.  Huge events, restaurants and bars are normally fully booked. There are street parties and fantastic firework shows.

Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts do tend to be a bit cheaper out of season, and if you don’t like the summer heat, winter can be good for sightseeing.  Shopping is great in Istanbul with a mass of variety.


All good reasons to enjoy Christmas in Istanbul! 

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