Easter (Paskalya) In Istanbul – Treat Yourself While You’re In Istanbul

Mar 8, 2022 | Turkey

People often forget that Istanbul is a diverse and sprawling metropolis. That diversity is evident in the more Christian areas of the city, but not exclusively confined entirely to them. It’s not uncommon to see shops decorated with eggs and the pagan Easter Bunny. If you look you’ll find ancient churches and often the congregations that visit them. But it’s not about ancient stone churches though, there are areas where events of the Christian calendar are celebrated and not just Christmas. Kadikoy is one such place. Oh and we call it Paskalya!

Turkey Tour Easter

No visit to this city is complete without visiting Kadikoy. It is filled with lively and vibrant people. The market area, the restaurants, the cafes, and bars. But it is also the home of Istanbul’s also diverse Christian community. It was after all the home of the Chaldeans. It boasts several denominations, Armenian, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant to name a few. Now, this isn’t an article on Christian worship, but more on the Easter treats that await you.


In your own country you might also celebrate with an Easter feast. In Istanbul those feasts may take on something different.

Easter Bread

Paskalya Ekmek

This is a sweet and yeasty creation. It is a Turkish version of Easter Bread. The dough is twisted and knotted into a plait. It contains fruit and a delicious sweet glaze sprinkled with ‘mahlep’ the almond shaped pips of cherries.. Traditionally and dating back to the Ottomans, Paskalya Ekmek was baked by the Christian minorities and served during Easter to their Muslim neighbours. Easter Bread in the West is usually baked and served during the period, well much the same here. Two places famous for their Paskalya Bread in Kadikoy are Beylan Firin and Beyaz Firin (Firin is the Turkish word for Bakery)

easter Turkey Tour

Chocolate Eggs and Bunnies

​Kadikoy is absolutely synonymous with its bakeries and chocolate shops and the vendors who are quick to offer you a taste for free. After all, that’s Turkish hospitality and that’s how we roll. In most of the chocolatiers, you will find chocolate eggs and bunnies presented in gift wrapping so you can share them with your fellow travelers and friends. You’ll also find painted eggs, sometimes from barrows in the street or in the shops, there is nothing like staging your own Easter Egg Hunt.

Turkey Easter Tour

Easter Brunch

I’m sure if you search hard enough you can find a restaurant serving traditional smoked fish on Good Friday and even a gut-busting roast on Easter Sunday. But here in the greatest city in the world, we celebrate with an Easter Sunday brunch. Usually a buffet and always in Istanbul’s iconic hotels. Prices vary and one thing is for sure, you won’t go hungry!

easater Turkey Tour

Hot Cross Buns

Sorry but unless you have the time and a kitchen you won’t readily come across them.

Come to Istanbul and experience Easter in our own way. If you want to combine it with a traditional Midnight Mass in any of the churches, we can help you with times and locations.

We’re waiting with open arms all year round but if you find yourself in Istanbul at Easter, this year starting with Good Friday on 15th April then let us make it seamless and memorable.

Blog by #GallipoliRoachie

We’ll be delighted to design and deliver a fantastic time for your Easter Holiday. Please send an inquiry to us.

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