Istanbul Nightlife, Turkey
Istanbul is probably the most lively city in Turkey for going out, nightlife and variety. There are many city centers within this huge city, each one having their own range of fashionable or late-night bars, clubs and pubs.
Where to go out in Istanbul by night?
Some of the best places to enjoy the city’s night life are in the main centers on the European side such as Taksim/Beyoglu, Cihangir, Galata, Karaköy, Levent, Etiler, Nisantasi and Beşiktaş or the waterfront along the Bosphorus. (For late-night we don’t include Sultanahmet as it is mostly a touristic area and not so lively at night, or late-night).
There are also lots of great options on the Asian Side in neighborhoods such as Kadikoy, Moda and Bagdat Street which are lively and have many busy bar streets and local nightlife of their own.
When is best time to go out in Istanbul?
The best time to go out in Istanbul may depend on the venue and the season so check first!
For bars, bear in mind that some only only get going very late-night after midnight to 1am – Imagine turning up at 11pm to find a place totally empty, but if you could come back at 1am you’d find it jam-packed! Others are casual and busy early evening, ideals for cocktails or beers and a chat.
Other bars, discos and clubs are seasonal and open only in the summer, or may change venues in the summer time to a more desirable outdoor location – such as outdoor terraces and rooftops in Istanbul or even beaches in South Turkey. Locals know where will be good at what time – read up beforehand or ask a local if you’re not sure.
There’s something for everyone in Istanbul, so why not party the night away at some of the below great spaces to dance, drink and have fun!
RECOMMENDED ISTANBUL BARS & NIGHTCLUBS
Open everyday 22.00 – 04.00
Going strong for decades and now at a newer venue at Bomontiada, Babylon Club is one of the best places to go for dancing and live performances of different ethnic, rock, soul, jazz bands or the latest DJs. It has an excellent sound system and is very popular locally – it’s usually best to buy your tickets in advance or try going early. The entrance is from inside of an old beer factory, now a giant entertainment complex which also includes other trendy bars and restaurants set around a huge outdoor courtyard. So why not have a night out at bomontiada and enjoy this lovely oasis in the summer!
One of Istanbul’s favorite rooftop bars and restaurants frequented by expats, business visitors and tourists. It’s likely called 360 for the stunning view – a great big panoramic one of the Bosphorus and Old City lit up by night. Offers high end dining, cocktails and live performances at the weekends. Reservation required.
İstiklal Caddesi Mısır Apt. Kat 8 No:311 Beyoğlu
+90 212 251 1042-43
Open only in the summer. Popular among high society. Stylish nightclub complex with high-end restaurants located right by the Bosphorus with seaside views. If you want to late-night party in Istanbul, this is one of the top late-night clubs available. Consider going out here earlier with a restaurant reservation to guarantee entry. Dress well – a dress code may apply at the door.
Muallim Naci cad 141-142, Kurucesme
+90 212 287 82 82
Prefer a private party? Why not enjoy your evening on board a boat with a bar for a night cruise! This can be a fun, romantic or special alternative to a Bosphorus restaurant or bar. Choose cocktails, champagne or other beverages from the on-board bar, or bring your own booze. You can listen and dance to tunes from your own music playlist. Pick up from various locations in Istanbul. Ideal for couples, families or small groups of friends.
Open everyday 08:30-23:00 or custom hours.
Nardis Jazz Club
Live Jazz and Funk music. This is an intimate venue with late-night live bands and performances for serious music lovers. Enjoy a drink at the bar and grab a seat if you can upstairs. Cash may be required for entrance fee.
Galata Kulesi Sokak No. 8 Galata
+90 212 244 63 27
Open everyday 22.00 – 04.00
The Roxy Bar and Club (or sometimes known as RX Istanbul) plays a mix of Underground, Pop and Rock. It has a bar and a good place for dancing or for an audience for a live group or DJ (gets both local and international performers). It’s located between Taksim Square and Cihangir so it’s right in the heart of the downtown city center. Expect a cover charge. There are different music themes on different nights so be sure to check the program in advance.
Siraselviler Cad. Aslanyatagi Sok Taksim
245 65 39
A rooftop terrace bar in downtown Istanbul in the Sishane neighborhood. Close to the Sishane Metro station. Enjoy a nice cocktail over a view of the Golden Horn. Frequented by a mostly young and upscale local crowd in their 20s.
No.5 Nejat Eczacıbaşı Binası, Şişhane
Hayal Kahvesi Bar
Live performances of local bands. Rock, Pop, Jazz is played and delicious food is served.
Buyukparmakkapi Sok no:19
244 25 58
This is a popular late night spot for the LGBTQ and gay community in Istanbul located in central Taksim. Meaning ‘Hidden Garden’, there is a large terrace area and different lounges for clubbing and dancing. The DJs usually play ambient trance music.
Nevizade Sokak No. 27 near Taksim.
Book daily Istanbul sightseeing tours at www.toursistanbul.com from a range of guided tours.