Istanbul Nightlife: Best Clubs, Bars & Shows
Check out Istanbul's trendiest nightlife activities: Bars, clubs, shows and general tips for a vibrant night in Istanbul's scene.
Istanbul is a true cosmopolitan city and can easily match - perhaps even surpass - metropolises such as New York City, London or Paris. This is probably best seen in the excessive nightlife.
There are wide-ranging and attractive options for every budget: from cozy and affordable pubs, to sophisticated scene bars, to expensive nightclubs. Most locations are open every day of the year.
Live music plays an important role for the locals, no matter if it's modern, western music or traditional oriental... The many live clubs, stages and taverns (Meyhane) are particularly suitable for this purpose.
The oriental dance (belly dance) has a long tradition in Turkey and is definitely part of the program. Experience the energetic hip swings on a Bosphorus dinner cruise with a Turkish night show.
On this page, find our recommandations of the trendiest nightlife activities to do and get a true Istanbul nightlife experience.
Alcohol: Due to many inquiries, we would like to mention that there is of course beer, wine and "Raki", the national alcoholic drink of Turkey, in the nightlife of Istanbul.
For alcohol, the prices are at European level. When it comes to food, it depends on the location.
Nightlife Tickets in Istanbul
Before going into details about our recommandations for Istanbul nightlife activities to do, let us make an overview of the tickets we provide for your entertainment at reduced coast.
1. First of all, a pub crawl gives you an initial overview of the hottest pubs, bars and clubs at the moment. You can book one and enjoy a 5-hour crawl of the best nightlife areas of Istanbul.
2. Another classic that you can book at night in Istanbul is the Bosphorus dinner cruises and "Turkish Nights" with food, music and belly dancing. Description and tickets available with a -5% discount through the links below.
3. The Whirling Dervish Ceremony is a must-do all travelers want to experiment. That is the reason why it can be difficult to find last minute tickets. Please make sure to check our discounted offer below.
4. To finish a tiring day of visits and shopping in Istanbul, consider embarking in a 90 mins boat tour with sunset view on the Bosphorus. Find out more.
More tickets for amazing attractions in Istanbul on our Istanbul Welcome Card Shop.
Now is time to learn about the best bar streets and clubs of Istanbul and enjoy long night in the city that literally never sleeps.
Top 5 best bar locations in Istanbul
The city is packed with rooftops and terraces that offer magical panoramic views of Istanbul's unique skyline. Most of them can be enjoyed no matter the season. While you can soak up the sunshine in open-air spaces in summer, in winter take in the sunset views over the glittering Bosphorus in a cozy, glass-encased lounge or terraces.
One of the must-visit rooftops is Leb-i Derya in Beyoğlu. The restaurant/bar has several venues on the 6th and 7th floors with great views and a romantic ambiance. When you are in Istanbul in summer, make sure to head up to the Captain's Quarter on the top floor.
For a more luxurious experience, Vogue Restaurant & Bar on the 13-story BJK Plaza is for you. Surrounded by a beautiful backdrop, you can sip on one of their expertly crafted molecular cocktails. If you are lucky, you might even run into some local celebrities...
Looking for a more relaxed, Bohemian atmosphere with a lively night vibe? Then Balkon Restaurant & Bar in Pera district is the place for you. Raise a glass (of the reasonable priced drinks) to a 360-degree view of Istanbul's illuminated skyline, including the Historical Peninsula.
Other must-visit rooftops to check out are the fine dining restaurant Mikla with a rooftop pool and the Instagram hotspot Seven Hills Restaurant, featuring amazing photo opportunities of Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque.
2. Taksim - Nevizade Street
Taksim is undoubtedly one of the most famous nightlife hotspots of Istanbul. You can find here a wide range of restaurants and bars, including exclusive scene bars, cozy and affordable pubs and authentic meyhanes, Turkish taverns.
A great area for sampling authentic Turkish nightlife is Nevizade Street, located in a side street of Istiklal Avenue close to Çiçek Pasaji. The lively street hits all the right notes for a great night out: bars and meyhanes, delicious Turkish food and drinks, an intimate and casual atmosphere, reasonable prices, and most importantly, an authentic cultural experience. No wonder, it’s popular with locals and tourists alike.
Wander through the vibrant Nevizade Street and soak up its vibe. To really get a sense of the city, we recommend you to choose one of the numerous meyhanes where you can enjoy rakı with your friends or better yet, with the locals.
Rakı, the anise-flavored Turkish national drink, is a must when visiting Nevizade Street – or Turkey for that matter. For the most authentic tavern experience, we recommend setting up a rakı table with a variety of meze (Turkish starters) or seafood. Alternatively, you can enjoy Turkish beer.
Along with good food and good company, music is an important part of the experience. Don’t be surprised if you hear live musicians playing Fasıl music with darbuka (drums), clarinet and violin.
Most of the meyhanes on Nevizade Street offer a great cultural experience, but we recommend Nevizade, Ney’le Mey’le Meyhane, Keyif Nevizade Restaurant and Lambo.
3. Kadiköy - Barlar Sokak
One of the most popular addresses in Istanbul's bar scene is hidden in Kadiköy. This area on the Asian side of Istanbul is the trendiest neighborhood in the city and has countless great bars and pubs to offer. You will find the very best of them in the main bar street of Kadıköy, which is called Barlar Sokaği in Turkish or by its real name Kadife Street. As the name suggests, Kadiköy’s beloved bar street is lined with numerous bars, pubs and clubs.
While it’s rather quiet during the day, the street turns into one of the most popular nightlife areas in the evening. Particularly on weekends, you should expect crowds of people. With its relaxed atmosphere, the place is a great spot to wind down with friends over a few beers. In the evening, you can expect live music or DJ performances until past midnight.
Most of the bars boost a rock vibe with alternative music, rock & roll atmosphere and craft beer. But you will find here a bar for every taste. Two legendary addresses, for example, are the iconic Arka Oda or Bina. The gloomy Karga Bar and Buddha Sahne are also very popular.
You can expect reasonable prices. While the hip neighborhood attracts a young, mixed crowd, especially students, it’s not yet on the radar of many tourists. It definitely should be, though!
Our tip: Hop on a trans-continental ferry ride to Kadiköy, get a feel of the hip neighborhood while enjoying a cold beer or cocktails and immersing yourself in the Asian side of Istanbul.
4. Besiktas Carsi
Another fantastic spot for a great night out and a must-visit for all football lovers is Beşiktaş Çarşı!
Carşi (Turkish for: marketplace), filled with bars, cafés, shops, book stores and taverns, is the beating heart of Istanbul’s middle-class Beşiktaş neighborhood, north of Dolmabahce Palace.
The focal point of this vibrant area is the fish market, flanked at the back by numerous meyhanes, perfect for a night out. Another hub is the small square with a black eagle statue, the symbol of Istanbul’s beloved Beşiktaş football club.
You can find plenty of bars and pubs where you can relax with friends, drink beer and have a good time. The prices are very reasonable. Since Çarşı is especially popular with young people – and of course Beşiktaş fans, there is always a youthful and energetic vibe. On weekends, the streets are so packed with people that it seems to be chaotic at times.
If you happen to be visiting on a match night, be prepared for Beşiktaş Çarşı to fill up with large groups of fans. Beşiktaş fans flood into Carşi’s pubs and bars to watch the match or for a pre-match beer on their way to the nearby Vodafone Park stadium. You should expect it to get pretty loud, fans will go wild - and sometimes even rowdy. However, the experience and atmosphere are truly exceptional. If you're curious, come early for a pre-match beer and soak up the unique energy. A local all-time favorite is Kazan bar. Other popular bars we can recommend are Craft Beer Lab, Joker No.19 and No 24 Pub Cafe Beşiktaş.
Beşiktaş Çarşı can be easily reached. It is just a few steps away from Beşiktaş Pier and Dolmabahce Palace. There are many bus lines that will take you to Carşi within 25 minutes from Taksim Square. Kabataş tram station is also within walking distance.
The up and coming district of Karaköy is one of the hippest areas of Istanbul and the place to be at night! With its proximity to Taksim and Istanbul’s Old City, as well as great access to public transport, you can easily get there by tram or ferry.
The waterfront neighborhood, known for its Bohemian charm, is home to trendy fashion boutiques, hip cafés and bars, restaurants and art galleries. Hardly a day goes by without another trendy bar, café or club opening in the rapidly changing neighborhood.
Karaköy is very popular with the young people and hipsters who fill up the bars and cafés at the evenings and weekends. Establishments are typically a bit more expensive compared to other parts of the city, but still within acceptable limits.
Especially trendy is the area between the French Gateway (Fransız Geçidi) and Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque. You will find here bars and cafes that cater for all tastes and moods. Some places are very chic, some very relaxed. While they are typically laid-back during the day, after 10 p.m. many of them transform into dance floors with good music, DJ performances - and quite often people dancing in the street.
As night falls, go dancing at Mitte Karaköy. If you want to enjoy fresh cocktails blended with Karaköy vibes in a sophisticated, retro-industrial surrounding, Unter is the place to be. Our favorites also include Finn Karaköy, Berlin Line Karaköy and Chez Moi.
Top 5 best nightclubs in Istanbul
If you are after a memorable night out, then you have come to the right place! The City on Two Continents is a buzzing cosmopolitan city that offers exhilarating and wide-ranging clubbing experiences for all tastes.
From exclusive and glamorous nightclubs to electro and rock parties, Istanbul is one of the top nightlife hotspots. To help you choose your venue, we reveal here the best clubs in Istanbul!
Get ready for a night to remember…
With its stunning location on the Bosphorus in Kuruçeşme, Sortie is one of Istanbul's trendiest clubs and also one of the most expensive. Covering 3500 square meters of event space, you can enjoy DJ performance, exciting live entertainment and breathtaking views of the Bosphorus.
Since it offers a combination of 7 restaurants and 3 bars, you can also dive into a variety of delicious and unique-tasting dishes. Dining options in the summer season include Sushi, Italian, French and Brazilian cuisine. A favorite is the fish restaurant Fishmekan.
After dinner, head to the dance floor and dance the night away. In summer, we highly recommend a table outside. There is nothing better than a breathtaking view of the illuminated skyline of Istanbul and the glittering Bosphorus while sipping a cocktail in good company and listening to great music…
Being one of Istanbul’s elite night clubs, the nightclub attracts a crowd of fancy dressed locals and tourists from all age groups. If you come late at night, you should expect a long queue and it might be difficult to get in. Be sure to dress up nicely to get past the doorman.
Sortie is open from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. From Taksim Square, you can reach it by bus line 40 T, 42 T, 22, 25 E (Şifa Yurdu Station) within 22 minutes.
- Address: Muallim Naci Cad. No: 54, Kuruçeşme, Istanbul
2. 360 Istanbul
Want to enjoy 360-degree views of the Marmara Sea, Golden Horn and the Bosphorus while clubbing? Then 360 Istanbul is for you!
A chic restaurant by day, 360 Istanbul transforms into a dazzling nightclub by night. Located in a futuristic glass penthouse perched on a 19th century building, right on the famous Istiklal Street, this award-winning establishment thrills with spectacular panoramic views of Istanbul.
If you come for lunch or dinner, prepare to pamper your palate with an exciting fusion of Turkish meze and international dishes as well as an outstanding wine selection. We recommend booking in advance to get a table with the best view.
On weekends, as day turns to night, 360 Istanbul transforms into 360 Club. Expect a memorable night with an innovative entertainment program that includes thrilling performances, artists, dancers and a DJ.
You can soak up the energetic atmosphere of the nightclub with its stylish interior and lounge vibe until the first lights of the day. On Fridays and Saturdays, the club closes at 4 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays, it's open from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. The bar opens at 2 p.m. every day. Prices are a bit higher, but reasonable.
Since it is conveniently located in the heart of Taksim, you can easily reach it. Taksim-Tünel Nostalgia Tramway and the Taksim and Şişhane metro stations are each within walking distance of 360 Istanbul.
Looking to rave through the night to electro sounds? Klein is your one-stop-club when it comes to electronic music!
The famous nightclub has several venues but Klein Phönix is the main club of the Klein entertainment group. In 2019, it moved from its location in Harbiye to Maslak, near Istinye Park shopping mall. From Taksim Square, you can reach it within 22 minutes by taking metro line M2 (until “Atatürk Oto Sanayi Vodafone Station”).
Not only does Klein host both local and international DJs, it also boasts exceptional shows and a unique interior design with big statues and a glass wall. The nights generally swerve from electro to techno music. The space accommodates up to 2,500 ravers and features a great sound system and high-quality lighting. You can enjoy the pounding beats from 11 p.m. until the break of dawn.
Klein mostly attracts a crowd from 28 to 30 years old. Prices for drinks are quite reasonable.
For outdoor clubbing, visit the state-of-the-art Klein Phönix Park, where revelers can enjoy the tunes without missing out on the glorious Istanbul weather. It is located in the backyard of Klein Phönix and has a capacity of 3000 people.
Alternatively, you can visit the Klein Garten venue in Beyoğlu, featuring important names of ethno house music.
4. BABYLON BOMONTI
Now let us introduce you to a real favorite in the Istanbul nightlife scene! Since 2015, Babylon has been welcoming music fans to its new location in the hip Bomontiada entertainment complex. With its high ceilings and exposed brick, the iconic music venue, located on the site of the historic Bomonti Brewery, exudes an industrial chic atmosphere and a relaxed, casual vibe.
The state-of-the-art main hall, accommodating up to 500 people, hosts live performances of various musical genres many nights of the week. From pop, rock, and jazz to electronic or local music - there’s always something to hear that will get your groove on. It’s no surprise that Babylon attracts a mixed audience from all age groups.
You can reach Babylon from Taksim Square in 13 minutes by M2 metro line (until “Osmanbey Metro Station”). Concerts mostly start after 9 p.m. but make sure you check out the concerts beforehand and buy tickets in advance. If you're in Istanbul during the warmer months, don't miss the free outdoor concerts and film screenings that take place in the courtyard.
In addition to the live music venue, the complex consists of various galleries, museums and eateries.
Our tip: Come early and check out the American-style microbrewery The Populist, which is known for its craft beer. Or visit one of the exhibitions at Alt, the art space below Babylon.
5. MASQUERADE CLUB
Make sure you are dressed to impress because this is the prime location for VIP partying in Istanbul! Featuring an exceptional entertainment concept, Masquerade Club promises an exhilarating night like no other.
Whether you’re looking for a bit of extravaganza or simply want to spend a great night out, awe-inspiring performances, fancy cocktails and renowned artists await you at this nightclub.
As one of the most exclusive clubs in the city and a hotspot for Istanbul's elite, Masquerade is where the local celebrities turn to when they go clubbing. That is why the nightclub spares no expense or effort when it comes to unique entertainment and extraordinary decor. Look forward to dancers twirling through the air and world-famous DJs and artists being specially flown into the club to perform. However, this also means that you have to expect higher prices here.
On Wednesdays through Mondays, revelers can have a good time from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Masquerade Club is located in Beşiktaş near Zorlu Shopping Center and can be reached by metro line 2 within 17 minutes from Taksim Square.
Best shows to attend in Istanbul
Bosphorus Nightlife Guide
The Bosphorus shore is THE nightlife hotspot of Istanbul during the summer season. Not only do exclusive clubs open their roof terraces with a breathtaking panorama, the long coast is also lined with trendy and luxurious discos, most of which have a view of the shimmering Bosphorus Bridge.
The nightlife is more homogeneous than in the other districts. Istanbul's elite and celebrities also come here.
Along the Bosphorus you have the privilege of enjoying your cocktail with a view of Istanbul’s skyline while dancing under the stars. But be careful: the better the view, the higher the prices.
Whirling Dervish Ceremony
The Mystical show of the dervishes is among the most popular performances to see in Turkey. People who perform this mystical performance are called "Semazen - Whirling Dervish". Those who have adopted the Mevlevi belief can become “Semazen” by taking a tough Sema training.
Sema literally means “sky or universe” , but in Mevlevi belief; it refers the act of hearing. That turning movement symbolizes the formation of man reaching the supreme God, the formation of the universe and the resurrection of the construction in the universe.
It is done by the Mevlevi order in the Historical Hamamizade Ismail Dede Efendi House. The Mevlevi whirling dance performance has been declared as a “UNESCO Heritage of Humanity”. This spiritual show takes about an hour. Get your tickets with a -5% discount through the link below.
Beware of Tourist Traps!
As in any city, there are scams and attempts at fraud in Istanbul, too. Fortunately, in most cases the tricks of the fraudsters are obvious to the traveler.
Our overview is intended to help you avoid tourist traps during a night out in Istanbul.
1. I'll invite you to a beer.
For this tourist trap you will usually be approached by a friendly and good English-speaking, young man in the area around Taksim Square - especially if you are traveling alone.
As usual in small talk, topics such as origin, work, etc. are discussed. After a short time, the tourist is invited to a beer in a popular bar.
There the accomplices, mostly women, join in and have a drink. The nasty surprise is that the bill, which is hundreds of Turkish Lira, is completely passed on to the traveler. A trip to the nearest ATM is guaranteed.
2. Chef's suggestion
Always have a menu shown with prices for drinks and dishes or ask explicitly before ordering.
In some fish restaurants under Galata Bridge, for example, it can happen that free drinks are offered.
Without being asked, two glasses of wine, bread and water are placed on the table. The fish is also served larger than ordered.
All drinks including free drinks and dishes are now shown on the bill. The bill should be checked for accuracy.
3. The taxi drivers
Insist on using the taxameter! The use of the taxameter is now mandatory in Turkey.
Otherwise, the drivers often like to negotiate particularly low prices. The trick some drivers do is speaking supposedly poor English.
At the end of the ride, the agreed amount turns out to be a misunderstanding. Be careful when paying afterwards.
It is best to hold onto the banknote until you have received the change. If you feel cheated, you should definitely write down the number of the taxi and the driver's license number and report it to the tourist police station opposite the Basilica Cistern.
4. From location to location
It is better not to go on spontaneous trips that require a taxi to get to the next club.
If you still decide to do so, contact the nearest taxi office directly.
Under certain circumstances it can happen that you unintentionally end up in a strip club, especially in remote areas like Aksaray.
Remember that in St. Pauli you also have to pay for the bottle of vodka or whiskey that you buy your companion - at an expensive price.
If you prefer to be in the club quickly, you can count on a shockingly expensive bill.
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