The first week of May concludes with multiple festivals in Istanbul. There is one festival for those who like to indulge in chocolate or tea or those determined to keep calories at a minimum and spend two days working out and shedding weight.
The International Istanbul Tea Festival opens Saturday at SantralIstanbul and aims to attract fans of this national Turkish drink as well as offering locals a window into the diverse world of drinks and teas popular in other countries. The two-day festival will host the country's official tea brewing champion, Aytül Turan, who will show the audience how to brew the best tea, as well as writers and singers with concerts and panels on cultural aspects of tea drinking. Chefs will be on hand to provide recipes for cookies, a favorite companion to tea, while snacks and tea will be served at stalls set up at the event venue.
For a sports-filled weekend, head to SweatFest on Saturday and Sunday. The second edition of the event, which is being held at Tersane Istanbul by the Golden Horn, will host various types of sports, including sailing, canoeing, basketball, Pilates, beach volleyball, CrossFit, nature sports, cycling, fitness, running, dancing, yoga and many more. Apart from sports, it will also focus on healthy living and wellness via workshops and stalls. Sports junkies attending the festival will be able to relax with a massage at the Post-SWEAT Happiness area of the festival and enjoy the beach, the sand and the view of old Istanbul along the Golden Horn. When the sun goes down, festivalgoers will enjoy a great night with open-air concerts.
Another festival focusing on healthy living is Diyet (Diet) Fest. Amid concerts by popular Turkish singers, the festival at Forestanbul will host seminars by dietitians, workshops and a chance to try the adventure courses at Forestanbul as well as free samples of diet products for visitors.
Elsewhere, The International Chocolate Festival at the historic Sirkeci Train Station seeks to attract chocolate lovers who will have a chance to meet professional chocolatiers and indulge in a wide variety of chocolates in the event that started on Friday and ends on Sunday.
The Istanbul Youth Festival, the largest event of its kind in Turkey, continues throughout the weekend. The festival at the Eurasia (Avrasya) Show and Art Center, which opened May 2, is aimed at young people with a series of events ranging from concerts to sports competitions, panels and discussions as well as art exhibitions.