Welcome to Istanbul’s premier nightlife guide.
On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Istanbul. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.
Today, Istanbul is the cultural center of Turkey and the surrounding region. Arts, music, film, and cultural festivals take place in the city frequently round the year and consider major tourists attraction of the city. Istanbul attracts a large number of tourists every year, in the year 2015 alone 12 million foreign tourists came to this city. Due to a high number of foreign visitors, Istanbul ranked 5th most popular tourist destination. This historic city has numerous historic and entertainment attractions. The top four being Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar.
The topmost tourist attraction in the city is the historic landmark of Aya Sofya, formally known as the Hagia Sophia. It was constructed in 536 AD in the era of Byzantine Emperor Justinian. During the Ottoman Empire, it was converted to a mosque and later on it was changed into a museum in the 20th century. For more historical stuff, the Blue Mosque (Built-in 1616), Hippodrome (constructed in 203 AD), and Hippodrome are worth visiting.
Istanbul has numerous museum to visit. Whenever you visit this great city, visit one of the great museums of the city including the Istanbul Archaeology Museum and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. These museums display a unique array of stylish Turkish carpets, exquisite ceramics, calligraphy, and wood carving that you will find nowhere else in the World. Most of these artifacts date from the 9th century AD to the 19th century AD.
Those want to see a modern Istanbul, Turkish modern art with a long line of the exhibition throughout the year is waiting for them. For shopping lovers, Grand Bazaar (Kapali Çarsi) is the best place in the whole of Istanbul. For architecture lovers, 19th-century Dolmabahçe Palace is the best bet. For ending the visit on a high, a tram visit to city famous landmarks should be your top priority.
Talk of Istanbul is incomplete without mentioning its nightlife. In the coming sections, we’ll discuss the details of different opportunities available in the city to make your night a remarkable event.
The Nightlife of Istanbul
Istanbul has a few impressive nightlife attractions. These attractions range from shopping, visiting some historic places, spending quality time in lavish bars, and dancing to sweat in a cozy nightclub. Let’s have a look at some of the places to spend a quality night in Istanbul.
Have some fun time at Taksim Square
This is the center of nightlife in Istanbul. Taksim square and adjoining Istiklal Caddesi is where most of the people spend their night out in Istanbul. Here you can try the best Istanbul cuisine in one of the hotel nearby or can spend hours shopping at one of the best shopping malls located here. Further, this place is dotted with hosts of clubs, bars, and lavish hotels for drinking dancing and other fun activities. This place is just perfect to experience the famous Istanbul nightlife.
Chill out in Bosphorus area
Bosphorus area of the city is where most of the students and young population visit during night time. This area is not only budget-friendly but offers some of the best dining and entertainment opportunities in the city. The first brewery of the city “Taps Bebek” located in the same area which offers one of the best-crafted beer in the city. Besides this brewery, other equally best breweries are also located in the same area.
Go to Galata Bridge
A walk on Gotala Bridge is highly recommended for those tourists looking for some kinds of romantic strides while enjoying the nightlife in Istanbul. The main attraction in the area is the famous Golden horn waters, to take your breath away when you see it for the first time. Further, this place is just perfect to taste some of the best Turkey’s cuisine at the lowest rates in the city, all thanks to kind streets vendors selling stuff here.
The streets of Meyhane are just the perfect place to spend some refreshing time with your friends. Beer, or Rakı, group of friends, folk music and light conversations with strangers is what you can expect in the streets of Meyhane in Istanbul. When it comes to eateries, this place is best for seafood and vegetable lovers. Whenever you visit Istanbul, try not to skip this place especially during the night.
Want to satisfy your appetite? Don’t forget Local Delicious
Almost every one of us is aware of the Doner, the ultimate Turkish dish, but there is more than this to satisfy your appetite when you visit Istanbul during the night. The nightlife of Istanbul is just incomplete without trying the traditional foods of this historic city. Now, you must be thinking about where you can enjoy some of these foods. You can try one of the following outlets for this purpose.
• Midye Dolma for Mussels with rice filling
• Kokorec for lamb sandwiches
• Lahmacun for Minced meat
• Baklava for sweet amazing pastry
How about cruise guys?
Getting bored in one continent? Well, you have an option to switch the continents in this historic city. Just take a cruise, cross the 1.5 KMs bridge of Bosporus strait and yes you are in another continent, where you can enjoy Asian cuisine enjoy the scenery of Europe. The experience of cruise has more worth than any cuisine in the world, so why not enjoy the colorful water in the night while enjoying the cruise.
Taste a drink at Beyoglu
This is without any doubt the main party and drinking hub of the city. The nearby area of Asmali Mescit is full of luxurious bars, where you can try a favorite drink with your closed ones. The Asmali Mescit area always remains hustling and bustling and finding your way to target destination is sometimes cumbersome. But the overall environment of the place is just amazing and make it a must-visit place during the night time.
Located at the bank of Bosphorus Bridge, this place is perfect for night parties and dancing at electric music. But wait, it has something special to offer. Like to swim in between Europe and Asia? A small swimming pool between these two continents is the main attraction point during the night here. Here you can enjoy the beautiful night views of Bosphorus Bridge besides swimming from one continent to another.
Have fun at Summer Specials
Summer is the perfect time for partying and enjoying late-night gatherings with your loved ones. During this time Istanbul is transformed into a seaside city, the neighborhoods on the Bosphorus are full of the big clubs open their doors for common people, offering some exceptional views of the Bosphorus and the Asian shore. While rooftops of the city center are converted to fulltime clubbing. To make you night unforgettable experience, visit this place at least once in your lifetime.
The best Bars in Istanbul
When you visit the city of Istanbul, keep in mind you don’t have to search for the right place to drink (the bar) too much. There is no shortage of quality drinking places in Istanbul and everyone can have a drink of his own choice. We have selected only the top bars located in the heart of Istanbul and their details are as follows.
This place is more than just a bar, a hotel and a portion of it used as a drinking place. This bar is without any doubt a stunning place to drink and eat. The meaning of Büyük Londra when it translated into English is the big London, probably the hotel was built inspired by the hotels in London. The inside décor of the bar is just amazing because most of the design includes wood as an important constituent. Crystal lighting and beautifully polished mirrors provide the icing on the cake. Coming towards the variety of drinks available in Büyük Londra, you can choose from a variety of beers and wines. They serve well-mixed drinks and rates are very affordable. You can find the bar at 53 Meşrutiyet Caddesi, İstanbul, 34430, Turkey.
Located at Alemdar Mh., Divan Yolu Cd. No:14, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, this rooftop bar is just what you need to make your night special. As the bar is located at the rooftop, it is just perfect to enjoy the night view of the city. This place is a perfect choice to hang out and to do a party with your friends and close ones. The bar is slightly tucked away and hard to find, but as described earlier, it has all the reasons to visit it once during your stay in Istanbul. The drinks are of great taste and drinks manual is quite long, so be ready for some unique products. The best and most recommended drink at Sah Bar is red wine. The staff here is super friendly and drinks come to you in ASAP way.
One of the best bar located in the heart of the city. Its interior of the bar is well decorated with paintings on the walls and unique matching of colors. The walls are lined with books, pictures, and posters which adds up to its novel look. Coming towards the main attraction, their drinks are unmatchable when it comes to taste. They are well mixed by the experienced mixer of this field. So be ready to taste one of the best drinks of your life. This is the best place to have some casual drinks with your friends, all thanks to its relaxed and social environment. You don’t have to struggle to find out this famous bar which is located at 29 Akarsu Yokuşu, İstanbul.
The extremely friendly and helping staff of the bar is the first thing that will impress you at this bar. Just bar is all about partying, doing fun in a very friendly environment. The next thing that will impress you for sure is the audience of this bar, they too are very friendly and fun-loving people. Therefore, you will feel no boring here and have a great chance to make new friends in the city. Like the atmosphere of the bar, their drinks are also great. These drinks are very cold, well mixed, and lined in great numbers on the tap. For shisha lovers, there is no better place than just a bar. You can find the bar at No:28 Akbıyık Caddesi, İstanbul.
Susam café or Susam Sokak is one of the prestigious drinking places in the whole of Istanbul. Charming, cozy, and extremely beautifully decorated from inside and outside. Its neighborhood, the Cihangi is considered as the literary hub of the city. The interior design of the bar is similar to a sitting room with mismatched but graceful furniture. Though café works throughout the week, the weekends are especially devoted to super tasty drinks from locally crafted selection to well mixed international drinks. There is a wide variety of cocktails available in the café but the best of all is famous Egeli Mojito. The atmosphere on the café’s street-side is jaw-dropping and the central attraction of the bar. You can find the bar at Susam Sokak 11, Cihangir.
One of the lavish and tucked away bar in the city, located between the high school and Galatasaray Hamam. This place is used for multipurpose, it is more of a café than a bar during the day. In winter, all activities take place inside the main building, but as summer sets in, the tables spill out into the adjacent street. A locally manufactured carsaf provides the much-needed shade during day time. Located at Istiklal Caddesi, Kartal Sokak 6, this bar is very famous for a well-mixed and wide variety of drinks throughout the city. You can enjoy your favorite food as well.
Galata Resturant and Bar
Galata Resturant and Bar is truly a magnificent bar and restaurant in Istanbul. It is considered as a crowning jewel of the city. The top of the beautiful and historic stone tower of the city is the home of this great bar. The scene from the top of this tower can only be felt and can’t be described in a few words. Just imagine sipping a classic drink with amazing views of the city during evening time. Probably the longest and most versatile menu of the drinks is available at this bar. You can order best locally produced as well as topmost international drinks including wines, beers, cocktails, and other favorite drinks. You can order some of the most luxurious drinks and foods in the world here. You can find the restaurant here: No:5/A Orhan Adlı Apaydın Sokak, İstanbul, 34430, Turkey
The Tophane region, where this café is located is well known for the quintessential Istanbul experience. This is a whole street of cafés and bars all around. Sometimes it is hard even to separate on bar or café from the next one. The only difference between two bars here are the different sets of waiters welcoming you to enter their bar. This is a whole new experience, you’ll hardly find anywhere in the world. The area is quite is famous among the local Istanbul population especially the youth and they come here in large numbers to enjoy shisha, cocktails, and beers of different quality and price. Nargilem Café is the best place to enjoy some traditional Turkish snacks, drinks, and then settling down to enjoy live music. You can find the bar at Tophane Nargile Alani, Tophane Sali Pazari Sira Mağazalar 101, Beyoğlu.
Located at Divanyolu Caddesi 2, Sultanahmet, the bar is just perfect to have a quality drink in the old city area of Sultanahmet. Sultan bar is inspired by the American counterparts and provides similar décor and experience to all the visitors. The variety of drinks is also great ranging from tasty cocktails to imported beers and wines. From food lovers’ prospects, they are serving the hamburgers and alcoholic drinks not far from the historic landmark of Aya Sophia. For the best experience, the roof terrace is the preferred location to eat and drink according to your taste.
The best bar restaurants in Istanbul
The culinary culture of Istanbul is as diverse as anything else in the city. The best restaurant scene of Istanbul emerges during the summer season when many rooftops and terrace restaurants open up near Bosphorus strait. This restaurant offers not only the delicious seasonal foods but the best views of the city and the famous Bosphorus Strait. We bring together the list of best bar restaurants in Istanbul in the below section.
This restaurant is located at the top of the Marmara Pera Hotel. This height offers the best city views of the city and some of the most historic landmarks of the city are visible clearly from this restaurant. Some of these visible places include Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace. Design of the restaurant is quite marvelous with Turkish-Scandinavian background décor. Coming towards the foods available here, the menu of foods is very long and offers a variety of foods. The best foods available here include grilled prawns with vegetable firik, chickpea flour, and zucchini blossoms. While the Anatolian kitchen offers some of the best traditional Turkish foods.
This award-winning restaurant not only offers goods variety of foods, but the beautiful city views are waiting for you at this place. This restaurant is located at the top of the 19th-century historic building. This place offers a combination of taste and beauty. The interior design of the restaurant is highly attractive while the overall atmosphere is perfect for fun activities. The menu of the restaurant is diverse with Turkish meze cuisine takes the central stages along with other international cuisines. Few of the famous dishes available here include four-piece unagi sushi juxtaposed, wilted rokka, slow-cooked grilled octopus shish with sumac molasses, cherry tomato rice, and porcini. Some pizza varieties such as 360 decadence are also worth eating. You can find the restaurant at 360 Istanbul, Istiklal Street, Mısır Apartment, 8th Floor No: 163 Beyoglu.
This restaurant is struggling to offers something royal to its visitors. They are almost successfully offering the forgotten cuisine of the Ottoman Palace. They are using the same methods to cook these royal recipes and this is simply awesome. Some of these techniques to prepare these foods dated back to the 16th century. The restaurant is located near the historic Chora Church and easily assessable from all parts of the city. They are offering a variety of historic foods including avory meat patties, chicken stewed with apricots rezaki raisins and almonds, and saffron pilaf. This bar-restaurant is located at No:6 Kariye Cami Sokak, İstanbul.
Opened in 1993, this restaurant is highly recommended to enjoy the jaw-dropping scenery of Bosphorus strait and bridges. Ulus 29 relies on older methods to cook the traditional dishes, this way they are trying to preserve the originality of the Turkish cuisine. The best of Ulus 29 includes dry-aged meats as well as ice cream, classic Turkish fare or sushi, and pasta. This place is amazing to enjoy some cool drink sitting on the terrace of the hotel with beautiful views in front of you. Their drink variety includes some 4500 bottles of different cuisine from all over the world.
Sunset Grill and Bar
This restaurant is famous for two reasons, first is the famous Bosphorus scenery that it offers. Second, the diverse foods cuisine it offers all year round. It’s not only offering the best of turkey, but the favorite Japanese dishes like sushi are well served here. Other dishes include California-style grilled meats, Turkish classics, and from risotto to sushi. The main attraction here is the Japanese dishes, all thanks to Master Chef of the Nobu Restaurant in London – working in the kitchen of Sunset Grill & Bar. Besides these foods, you can enjoy drinks and special cigars here. You can find the restaurant here No:2 Ulus Parkı, İstanbul, 34345, Turkey.
As we are aware, Istanbul is famous for rooftop dining trend, where every second restaurant trying to immolate this trend. The Leb-i derya is the leader and pioneer of this trend to start in this city and still maintains the upper hand over other restaurants in this regard. This place is still the best for visitors to experience the city’s inspiring views and a healthy climate. The restaurant offers a variety of cuisine to satisfy the appetite of visitors and locals alike. Some of the best-served dishes include lamb shish with plums, fresh thyme, spiced rice, pomegranate molasses, and pine nuts. Besides these foods, special pasta with tomato cream sauce and fresh mint have all the worth to try. If you are fond of healthy salads including Thai-marinated grilled chicken salad, this place is highly recommended for you. Find the restaurant at 57 Kumbaracı Yokuşu, İstanbul, 34425, Turkey.
The best Nightclubs in Istanbul
The real entertainment in Istanbul starts when the sun goes down and a large number of people flock towards the nightclubs. The nightclubs of Istanbul is similar to other big cities, decent, crowded and boast a welcoming web. Istanbul’s club scene is at the top of its game, expanding and ever-vibrant. People go to nightclubs to enjoy the local and international music, drinking, dancing until sweating heavily and getting closer to strangers. We have selected a list of best nightclubs in Istanbul for you to enjoy some quality nightlife.
Alexandra is located next to Arnavutköy area, which is full of nightlife activities and popular among the locals. After having a meal at one of the popular restaurants near the Bosphorus strait, go to Alexandra for a perfect party night. The area of the club can be divide into dance floors, bars, and eatery. It is one of the best cocktail bars you’ll experience in Istanbul where locally crafted drinks are served with passion. DJ performances on the weekends and huge gathering of friendly locals make it a perfect place to hang out. Alexandra nightclub plays the best electronic music that enthralls everyone present there. You can enjoy live concerts on the stage that get you in the mood for more. The electronic music of different kinds from one of the best sound system makes you dance more. This nightclub is famous for hosting concerts from hip hop, rock type to rap ones. The bar can be located at No:50 Bebek Arnavutköy Caddesi, İstanbul.
Named after the popular Berlin district, Mitte is a bar, a restaurant, and a club during night time. Located near the Karaköy, a famous place for partying, this club is the hotspot for dancing and hangouts. Among the drinks, their professionally mixed drinks have no answer. There is no shortage of quality music at Mitte with daily DJ line and occasional live concerts. The main focus of the music is obviously on the electronic type such as Techno, House and Hip Hop. The DJs music starts to warm audience blood from 11 pm till morning hours. The club is also famous for classical, jazz, and experimental music mostly on weekends. Find out the bar at 66/A Necatibey Caddesi, İstanbul, 34425, Turkey.
Nublu is a fine place to have dinner first and then heading to the adjacent club which is among the best in the city center. Established by the well-known saxophonist İlhan Erşahin, Nublu is all about the live music in Istanbul’s trendy party district. The inside space of the club is moderately wide and adjacent balconies are the perfect place to watch the stage and enjoy live music. Different DJs and bands perform here on a routine basis, but try to visit this club when the famous Erşahin’s band is playing. Coming towards the music, this place is a paradise for music lovers, ranging from fusion and jazz to electronic and indie. You won’t disappoint visiting this place and after one visit, you’ll surely like to visit it again. You can find the club at Bankalar Cad. Voyvoda Sk. No:2/1 Istanbul.
An old but lavish club offering the right facilities to spend a quality night out with your friends. The famous DJs perform regularly here and music played here is just awesome. Concerts take place every night, and the venue becomes the largest nightclub during the late-night hours. The overall atmosphere and view are stunning and worth investing. They offer great well-mixed cocktails and the list of the drink menu is quite pleasing. It is a smokers’ friendly club, you can smoke inside the bar. The very friendly environment of the bar is what you need for partying and enjoying your time dancing and drinking. The bar is located at Kemankeş Caddesi No 31 (Kemankeş), İstanbul, Türkiye Istanbul.
Salon iKSV is all about fun, concerts, and exhibition. The live plays and music here are extremely joyful while there is always something happening new happening in the Salon iKSV. As the venue is run by the Istanbul Culture and Art Foundation, a great number of events take place each month but there is good news, the events are relatively inexpensive. For those interested in Istanbul’s music and arts that are unique in-country, visit it once in your lifetime. This place becomes must-visit when Jazz festivals take place. For more information, check out their website. Located at Nejat Eczacıbaşı Binası, Sadi Konuralp Caddesi, come to explore something refreshing at Salon iKSV.
Nardis Jazz Club
Nardis is a paradise for music lovers and cater to a huge number of gathering each night. The atmosphere of the club is stunning with superb lighting and excellent sound system. Every other day you will experience a new artist playing, in other words, Nardis Jazz Club is striving to introduce fresh Jazz talent to its audience. They focus on the international artists as well and every month an international band performs in the club. In the recent past, the world-renowned artists like Wynton Marsalis and Ibrahim Ferrer performed here. Try to book tickets in advance because only a limited number of seats are available and people throng in great numbers here. Find out the club at Kuledibi Sok. No:14 Galata İstanbul.
How about visiting a club and a bar which is run by award-winning bartenders and owner? Finn Karaköy with all its glamorous look, super friendly and helping staff deserved every award. The interior of the club is extremely eye-catching and well decorated. Coming towards the drinks menu, they are offering some of the finest whiskeys, beers, and cocktails in the city. The menu consists of carefully selected drinks by the team of experts in the field. Very talented local and occasionally international DJs delivers warming music of different genres. You will surprise to note that, this club offers some of the best dishes in all of the city. You can fulfill your appetite with a very delicious range of foods available. The overall atmosphere of the club is perfect to hold parties with your friends. Find out the bar at Finn Karaköy, Süleymaniye Mahallesi, B, Necatibey Cd. No:8, 34425, Karaköy, Istanbul, Turkey.
Contrary to most of the other quality bars and nightclubs, Arkaoda is situated on the Asian side of Istanbul. It can be ranked as the top nightlife destination in this part of the city. The bar is very popular among the locals, all thanks to a very friendly and open environment inside the club. It is particularly suitable for smoking lovers, good for dancers, and perfect for beer lovers. The club attracts a huge gathering of young population that like quality music and want to dance all night. Arkaoda monthly concerts are must-visit events where best local and international DJs perform with full zeal. The bar is located at 1, 18 Kadife Sok., Istanbul – Asia, 34710, Turkey.
Lucca has all the ingredients that you want in an excellent club. Good range of drinks, lively music, great DJ lines, and extraordinary services. This place serves some of the costliest drinks and their quality is equally excellent, therefore, it has become a hotspot of high society. You’ll see a long line of luxurious cars parked outside the club. Cocktails and electric DJ music warm the atmosphere and people can dance to their fullest here. You can try a delicious dinner here before going to a club as well. The service is super-fast and drinks quickly come to you. All these factors coupled with the beautiful interior of the club makes it the first choice of rich people. You can find this excellent club at 51/A Cevdet Paşa Caddesi, İstanbul, 34342, Turkey.
Istanbul is the capital and most populous city in Turkey. Located on the bank of Bosporus strait, Istanbul is considered a transcontinental city. With over 16 million population, it is not only the largest city in the whole of Europe but the 4th largest city proper in the world. The city is divided into two-part, the main city center or economic hub lies on the European side while the Asian part is more inclined towards the residential activities.
Being one of the oldest city, Istanbul first emerged on the map under the name of Byzantion around 660 BCE. In the course of history, it remained the capital of different imperialist rulers. In 1453 CE, Ottomans conquered the city and its Constantinople/Istanbul was their capital until 1923. Afterward, the capital was shifted to Ankara but Istanbul remain the main economic hub of Turkey.
It is not only the economic hub but also the cultural center of Turkey and surrounding regions. Different cultural festivals take place every year that attracts millions of tourists towards the city. With 12 million foreign tourists during the last year, Istanbul ranked 5th most popular tourist destination in the world. The top four tourist attractions being the Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar
The historic places include the Hagia Sophia (constructed in 536 AD), the Blue Mosque (Built-in 1616), Hippodrome (constructed in 203 AD), and Hippodrome are worth visiting. The historic Chora Church is also very popular among the tourists. Istanbul has numerous museum to visit including the Istanbul Archaeology Museum and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. Those want to see a modern Istanbul, Turkish modern art with a long line of the exhibition throughout the year is highly recommended. For shopping lovers, Grand Bazaar (Kapali Çarsi) is the best place in the whole of Istanbul.
Talk of Istanbul is incomplete without mentioning its nightlife attractions. Taksim Square, Bosphorus area, Galata Bridge, and Meyhane are the best places to spend the whole night. The city is dotted with quality bars. To name a few bars, we can mention Büyük Londra, Sah Bar, Smyrna Bar, Just Bar, and Urban Bar. These are just the tip of the iceberg because the city has dozens of other bars to die for. Coming towards the nightclubs, we can mention few of them as Nublu İstanbul, Mentha Karaköy, Salon İKSV, Nardis Jazz Club, Finn Karaköy, and Arkaoda