Ramadan In Turkey – Traveling In Türkiye During Ramadan

Post author Nicky

Written by our local expert Nicky

Nicky, originally from the UK, is now a local in Turkey. She moved there for love 12 years ago and is now a specialist Turkey travel planner.

Here is your guide to traveling in Turkey during Ramadan. There are just a few things we’d like you to know when it is Ramadan in Turkey. 

Turkey Travel Blog_Guide To Traveling In Turkey During Ramadan

Türkiye is a Muslim country, meaning that during the holy month of Ramadan, you might notice a few differences if you happen to be traveling around the country.

The good news is that no matter whether it’s Ramadan or not, all visitors to Türkiye are welcomed with open arms. All you need to do is remember to respect the culture and be as knowledgeable as possible about what is happening at that time.

What Happens During Ramadan In Türkiye

Most beautiful mosques in Turkey - Suleymaniye Mosque - Fatih, Istanbul

First things first, let’s cover the fundamental question: what is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the holy month for Muslims worldwide, not just in Türkiye. It is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, but the actual calendar date changes slightly every year by around ten days.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast (no food or water) from dawn until sunset and use this time for introspection and prayer. The call to prayer from the mosque indicates when it is time to fast and when it is time to break a fast.

Ramadan is a commemoration of the month when The Prophet Muhammad first received revelations of the Quran (Islam’s holy book) from God. During this month, Muslims fast, avoid impure thoughts, pray, and focus on doing good deeds and spending time with the family and the local community.

Once fasting is broken (at sunset), Muslims come together with friends and family and share a meal. Once Ramadan is over, Eid al-Fitr takes place – a three-day holiday when extended families come together to celebrate. This is one of the largest holidays in the Islamic faith.


Does Ramadan Affect Tourists In Turkey

Most beautiful mosques in Türkiye - Fatih Mosque - Fatih, Istanbul

In most tourist resorts around Turkey, you won’t really notice a difference during Ramadan; however, if you travel to Istanbul, Ankara, or another city/town that is more traditional, you may see a few differences.

Traveling in Türkiye is no issue during the religious month of Ramadan.

When Is Ramadan

When Is Ramadan In 2023

Ramadan 2023 will begin in the evening of Wednesday, March 22, and ends on the evening of Thursday, April 20; which means that the Eid ul Fitr would most likely fall on Friday, April 21, 2023

Are Things Closed In Turkey During Ramadan

Most Beautiful Mosques In Turkey - Blue mosque in Istanbul at sunset

Nope. Restaurants and bars will still be open, and you will still be served precisely the same way. However, do remember that some of the waiting staff may be fasting, so try to be as respectful and understanding of this.

What Is That Loud Banging During Ramadan

Most Beautiful Mosques In Turkey - Kocatepe Mosque
Kocatepe Mosque, Türkiye

In some places around Türkiye, you may hear the banging of a drum just before dawn. The drum is designed to wake people up from their sleep, so they don’t miss their chance to fuel up. This traditional practice tells people that it’s time to eat and drink something before fasting is about to start.

It can come as a shock the first time you hear it, especially if it wakes you up abruptly from your sleep, but now you know what to expect!

When the mosques send the prayer call at sunset, people start to break their fast. Before this, they will pray, thank God for the meal they’re about to eat, and then tuck in. This often occurs in large groups, as families and groups break their fasts together. Most people break their fast in their homes, but you’ll also see people do this in restaurants.

What You Need To Do For Ramadan In Turkey

What To Wear In Turkey - Mosque Etiquette

For the most part, you don’t need to do anything specific other than being respectful of the culture and the fact that people are fasting. It goes without saying that you should dress modestly and cover your head if you’re a female visiting a religious site – this is the same both in and out of Ramadan.

Fasting during the daytime is challenging and when Ramadan falls during the hottest months of the year, remember to be a little understanding if a waiter or shop owner doesn’t seem as chatty as usual. They’re doing something complicated but something which is extremely important to them and their religion. A little understanding goes a long way here.

The same goes for if you’re dining in a restaurant in a holiday resort. Your waiter will be serving you as usual but may be fasting. Simply be understanding and a little compassionate.

Can You Drink Alcohol In Türkiye During Ramadan

Yes. Though during Ramadan in Turkey, you will notice that even Muslim drinkers stop consuming drinking Beer, wine, Raki, or any alcoholic spirit during the holy month. But this only applies to Muslims; for you as a tourist to Turkey, no one would expect you to change your drinking habits. You will certainly still be able to buy and consume alcohol all across the country.

Is Turkey Busy During Ramadan

Hisar Mosque Izmir, Turkey
Hisar Mosque in Kemeraltı, Izmir, Turkey

No more than usual. You will notice that the opposite is true for restaurants during the day – they will have fewer people. That is until it is time to eat, at sunset (iftar), cafes and restaurants will become more lively!

Can People Wear Bikinis On The Beach During Ramadan

Yes. There will be no issue if you are out in public wearing your swimwear. All beaches and hotel pools will be operated as per usual. 

Final Word On Türkiye During Ramadan

Most beautiful mosques in Turkey - Grand Mosque Of Bursa
Grand Mosque O Bursa, Turkey

Overall, you won’t notice a massive difference if you’re traveling in Turkey during Ramadan unless you visit a traditional part of the country. Ramadan is a very special month for Muslims, and every visitor to the country should respect it.

While you don’t need to do anything particularly different, a little understanding and empathy will go a long way in this type of situation. You should also do your best to learn a little about what is going on to help enrich your visit and understand the locals and their traditional customs.

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