5 December 2023

As we officially step into the winter season and approach the New Year, December welcomes us with a variety of delightful events. Istanbul, as it does every month, greets you with a cultural and artistic celebration, hosting numerous activities throughout December.

In the final month of the year, you can explore a plethora of activities, from exhibitions to museums, musicals to theater, and concerts that pulse with the city's rhythm. We've compiled the Istanbul culture and arts guide for December, filled with concepts that promise unforgettable moments.

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December Theater Events

Murder on the Orient Express

A legendary story born in the historic Pera Palas of Istanbul now comes to life on the theater stage. Agatha Christie's internationally acclaimed "Murder on the Orient Express," translated into dozens of languages and adapted into film, makes its debut on the Turkish theater stage for the first time.

In this performance where Atilla Şendil embodies the character of Hercule Poirot, you'll witness the behind-the-scenes of a mysterious murder on the Orient Express departing from Istanbul. The seemingly ordinary passengers in front of Poirot have deep secrets. Stranded at a mountain top where the train is stuck, Poirot races against time, and the audience eagerly tries to unravel the identity of the killer. This unique theater experience transports the adventure that began in Istanbul in 1933 to theater enthusiasts.

Date: December 2, 20:30

Venue: Fişekhane Main Stage

Ticket: Biletinial

Crocodile Fire

The successful actors Funda Eryiğit, Hazar Ergüçlü, and Hidayet Erdinç share the lead roles in "Crocodile Fire," a play that focuses on the complex relationship of two sisters with their father.

Directed by Mehmet Ergen, this play garnered attention at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Theatre Festival, being among the best plays. Set in Northern Ireland in 1989, the story portrays the surreal and grotesque world of Fianna, a rebellious girl imprisoned in a loveless home with a disabled father, and her devout sister Alannah.

Date: December 15, 20:30

Venue: AKM Theatre Hall

Ticket: Biletix

Clock Adjustment Institute

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar's exceptional work "The Time Regulation Institute" comes to life in a contemporary adaptation, seamlessly blending cinema and theater through Serkan Keskin's outstanding performance.

Under the direction of Serdar Biliş, the play, enriched by Tuluğ Tırpan's original music, vividly portrays the profound conflicts between the East and the West, navigating the realms of tradition and modernity. This performance extravaganza, where the talented actor Serkan Keskin assumes numerous roles, invites the audience to rediscover Tanpınar's timeless work from a modern perspective.

Date: December 17, 8:00 PM

Venue: Zorlu PSM - Turkcell Stage - Istanbul

Ticket: Passo


An unforgettable tale from the pen of Serbian writer Kovačević, "The Professional," takes the stage under the direction of Cem Emüler.

"The Professional," brought to life by the compelling performances of seasoned actors Burak Sergen and Yalçın Hafızoğlu, unfolds a compelling narrative where a retired police officer confronts a young man of letters with the truths of memory. Dushan Kovachevic's globally renowned work, produced by BAM Production, conveys the social and political life before and after the significant transformation in Yugoslavia with an ironic style.

Date: December 26, 8:30 PM

Place: Besa Stage Cevahir Hall A

Ticket: Biletinial

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December Concert Events

Emir Can İğrek

Emir Can İğrek, renowned for his unforgettable songs such as "Nalan," "Dargın," "Beyaz Skandalım," and "Kor," promises his fans an unforgettable night with a spectacular concert.

If you want to join this musical journey and experience Emir Can İğrek's high-energy performance, we look forward to seeing you there!

Date: December 15, 10:00 PM

Location: Hayal Kahvesi Aqua Florya

Ticket: Bubilet

Melike Şahin

On Wednesday, December 13th, Melike Şahin, one of the popular names in Turkish music, will grace the stage at Volkswagen Arena with her emotional songs and energetic performance. This unforgettable night will provide music lovers with the opportunity to enjoy Melike Şahin's most popular songs in a live performance. Don't miss this special concert at Volkswagen Arena!

Date: December 13, 9:00 PM

Venue: Volkswagen Arena

Ticket: Bubilet

Anna Maria Jopek & CRR Jazz Orchestra - New Year Concert

Anna Maria Jopek, the impressive representative of Poland's contemporary music scene, is gearing up for a fantastic collaboration with the CRR Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Nail Yavuzoğlu. Jopek's distinctive voice and music, which has garnered awards throughout her career, will add a special atmosphere to a winter evening in Istanbul. This highly anticipated concert promises music lovers an unforgettable experience.

Date: December 29, 8:00 PM

Place: CRR Concert Hall Istanbul

Ticket: Biletix

Evgeny Grinko

Get ready for a soul-stirring performance by the exceptionally talented musician Evgeny Grinko on December 25th at Zorlu PSM Turkcell Stage. Grinko's poignant melodies and emotive music will connect with the audience, promising an unforgettable experience. This special night beckons art enthusiasts to embark on a remarkable musical journey, and we look forward to welcoming you to the enchanting atmosphere at Zorlu PSM Turkcell Stage.

Date: December 25, 21:00

Venue: Zorlu PSM Turkcell Stage

Ticket: Passo

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December Exhibitions

The Scream of Medusa

Immerse yourself in "The Scream of Medusa," a performance set in the Basilica Cistern that offers art lovers a 45-minute aquatic experience in groups of 65 people. Directed by Başak Cankeş, this event stands out as a remarkable wearable art performance narrating the story of Medusa, with a captivating touch of water.

Date: December 6, 20:15, 21:45

Location: Basilica Cistern

Ticket: Passo

Ara Güler's "Colorful Anatolia" Exhibition 

Explore Ara Güler's "Colorful Anatolia" exhibition at the Ara Güler Museum, where art lovers can delve into the streets, buildings, and people of the past through colorful photographs of Anatolia from 1957-2003. This collection, captured through Ara Güler's lens, meaningfully portrays the rich cultures of the region and Güler's deep connection to his homeland.

Date: Until April 7, 2024

Location: Ara Guler Museum

Ticket Free


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