How is it to travel during Ramadan in Turkey?
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Turkey is a marvel to visit. Geographically speaking, it is within Euroasia and shares heritage with nearby Asian and European countries. In terms of religion, Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, and Islam plays a huge part in its culture and way of life.
Ramadan is the Islam fasting month, where abstinence to food and drinks is practiced. Ramadan in Turkey can certainly be daunting and overwhelming to first-time travelers, especially if they are not Muslims themselves.
This article is a discussion for those worried if Turkey Ramadan will affect their traveling plans.
Is there any noticeable difference with Ramadan in Turkey?
According to locals, there is no significant difference between Ramadan Turkey and A non-Ramadan month in Turkey. Restaurants continue with operations, as usual. And bars still do serve beer. This seems to be the case with both cities and towns. It is said that there is no noticeable difference with Ramadan in Istanbul (the capital city) and Ramadan in Altinkum (a small town off the Aegean coast).
Interestingly, when you ask around Turkey locals if they are fasting during Ramadan, you will find that most of them will tell you that they do not.
Will my travel plans be affected by Ramadan in Turkey?
If you are visiting tourist attractions, the locals there are probably involved with the tourism industry. These people will do their best to still accommodate their customers, who are most likely foreigners and non-Muslims.
If you are a tourist, and you are not Muslim, you will most probably not notice that Ramadan has even started. The only event that will remind you of Ramadan is the drumming of the drummer boys early in the morning, before sunrise. This is a reminder to fasting Muslims that they only have until sunrise to eat and fill themselves up for the day.
Tourism workers endure long work shifts, under the sun, and extreme conditions. While there are a lot of reasons why someone would choose not to fast during Ramadan, the extreme working conditions of tourist workers is likely to be one of them.
Visiting other rural areas during Ramadan
If your Turkey trip includes a visit to the more rural areas that are quite far from the city, you are likely to meet more Turkey locals who are fasting.
People of the rural areas are more inclined to follow their beliefs because of an undisrupted way of life. Some business owners may even choose to close their establishments if there are not enough people who are not fasting during that period. They may also close for the day to pray in the Mosques or pray in their praying rooms.
The three last days of Ramadan
The three last days of Ramadan is a Turkey national holiday, known locally as the Seker Bayram. Do expect government offices, and small businesses to close for these three days. However, big restaurants and bars are likely to stay open.
So to answer the question, visiting Turkey during Ramadan will not affect your travel plans at all. If anything, you will barely notice it, especially if you are staying in more modern cities.
Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in Turkey.