Organized for the second time by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Beyoğlu Culture Route Festival opens the doors of İstanbul to its guests with beautiful events in a historical setting. Bringing nearly 5000 artists together with art lovers in 40 different venues, 15 street stages, 62 halls, three outdoor stages, and four street events, the festival has a full calendar of over 1500 activities. In the historical atmosphere of Beyoğlu, one of the oldest districts where one can still breathe in the cultured essence of İstanbul, the reflections of the country’s cultural heritage and different cultures coalesce in multiple genres such as theatre, music, opera, gastronomy, literature, education, painting and cinema.
The festival, which first saw the light of day as part of a branding effort by the city of İstanbul, is held simultaneously in Beyoğlu and Ankara this year, and, in its growth, continues to reflect the cultural richness of the country in the best way possible.
The Culture Route Passes Through the Heart of Beyoğlu
İstanbul’s Atatürk Cultural Centre, which in its modern design still echoes the most beautiful traces of Beyoğlu and Türkiye’s artistic memory, will host different events within the scope of the festival. The AKM will provide the setting for a variety of events, including concerts, exhibitions, talks, film screenings, outdoor concerts, and children’s workshops.
The Don Quixote Ballet, taking inspiration from elements of Miguel de Cervantes’ famous novel Don Quixote, will also be presented in a new interpretation at AKM. The work by Marius Petipa, which is one of the important examples of classical ballet, will be staged by the İstanbul State Opera and Ballet.
Hungary’s award-winning pianist János Balázs will give a concert honoring the 175th anniversary of the visit of the world-famous Hungarian composer Ferenc Liszt to İstanbul. The artist, who is making his public debut in Türkiye on June 8, is proud to have his first visit come within the scope of the festival and his concert is expected to be especially meaningful in that regard.
The opera Sinan, which had its world premiere in the inaugural year of the Beyoğlu Culture Festival, makes its triumphal return to the AKM opera house. The composition of the two-act opera, which celebrates the life of Mimar Sinan (a.k.a. “Sinan the Architect”) and his oversight and construction of significant architectural works during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, belongs to Hasan Uçarsu, one of Türkiye’s leading composers.
Another work to be staged at AKM is Amadeus. The play, which has attracted great attention since the first day it was staged in 1979, will be presented on June 5. Amadeus, written by Peter Shaffer, is a modern masterpiece that recounts the fascinating rivalry of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, focusing on the relationship between the two artists’ personalities and their mutual artistry.
The Youth are on the Road exhibition, which focuses on budding artists, will also be open to visitors at AKM Culture Street throughout the festival. Some of the works in the highly attended exhibition will be showcased for the first time.
Welcome Summer with Outdoor Concerts
The outdoor stages, situated at various points of the district covered in the scope of Beyoğlu Culture Route Festival, will host 26 famous artists. The multitude of concerts, where popular artists and bands will take the stage, promise fun-filled moments to their guests in the first days of summer.
Among the outdoor concert venues, concertgoers are invited to discover such beautiful venues as Kuledibi Open Stage, Galataport İstanbul, Şişhane Meydan Open Stage. There are so many free concerts during the Beyoğlu Culture Route Festival that music lovers are sure to find one that fits!
Culture, Art and Gastronomy Together
Accompanied by the historical atmosphere and stunning view of the enormous Package Post Office, the multicultural gastronomy festival known as “United Cuisines” will take place. The delicacies of ancient Anatolia will be introduced to the guests of the festival at the quay overlooking the Historical Peninsula. Both traditional Turkish cuisine and deep-rooted culinary traditions belonging to different ethnic origins will be reflected, ensuring that the interaction of eating and drinking cultures of the land will be highlighted within the scope of the festival. At the United Cuisines Festival, presentations by expert chefs, along with music and entertainment, will treat the guests at the various cooking points and stands along the post office quay. By participating in this opulent event, which is a festival within a festival, you will have the chance to experience many different flavours — from tastings to main courses, from appetizers to desserts — and your understanding will be enhanced by listening to the stories behind the foodstuffs. United Cuisines Festival will continue throughout the Beyoğlu Culture Route Festival.
The Shore’s Memory
One of the most beautiful events to be held at the Package Post Office, the oldest building in Galataport, is the Ara Güler exhibition called The Shore’s Memory. The exhibition consists of a selection of 28 colour photographs from the noted photographer’s archive, shown together here for the first time The most meaningful frames of multiple and different experiences along the Bosporus coast are exhibited throughout the duration of the festival. The photography exhibition, tonally arranged to start with the pinkish tones of dawn and flows through a scheme continuing into the blues and purples of the hours after a setting sun, is exhibited across two floors of the Package Post Office and awaits those who are interested in a colourful experience.
Fotomaraton is one of the most beautiful events of Beyoğlu Culture Route Festival. It offers a different challenge for both amateur and professional photographers. The event, which will start from AKM, stops at Şişhane Square, and ends in Galataport.
Fotomaraton, which offers the opportunity to enjoy both strolling and photographing beautiful historical places on the ‘Culture Route’, is one of the activities that best reflects the theme of the festival. At the end of the activity, which offers a pleasant competitive environment, different prizes await the winners of the winning photos.
By following the festival’s web page and social media accounts, you can stay up to date on 16 days of amazing events. If you have travelled to İstanbul from another city, İstanbul hotels that will allow you to combine festival enthusiasm with the comfort you desire await you at Odamax.