Istanbul Nightlife

Istanbul's nightlife still revolves, in many ways, around its meyhanes, the tavern-like restaurants where long nights are spent nibbling on meze and sipping the anise-flavored spirit rakı. The atmosphere at these places—mostly found in the lively Beyoğlu area—is jovial, friendly, and worth experiencing. But there are lots of other options, too, again mostly in Beyoğlu, which

has everything from grungy American-style dive bars to sophisticated lounges, performance spaces that host world-class live acts, and dance clubs. In recent years, the trend in the neighborhood has been literally upward, with the opening of rooftop bars that offer stunning views and fresh breezes.

As Istanbul's reputation as a hip city continues to grow, the quality of the live acts that come to town has risen, too. Established and up-and-coming performers now frequently include Istanbul on their European tours, and the city has become a good place to catch a show for far less than what you might pay in Paris, London, or New York. Note that many live-performance venues close for part or all of the summer, when school is out and the city’s elite departs for vacation.

To experience Istanbul’s most high-end nightlife, head to the neighborhoods along the Bosphorus, where chic (and pricey) nightclubs play host to Istanbul's rich and famous and those who want to rub shoulders with them. The vibrant dance club scene here, as well as at a few places in Beyoğlu, is not for the faint of heart. Things typically get rolling at around midnight and go until 4 or 5 in the morning. The city’s most upscale clubs tend to be expensive—admission fees can be steep on summer weekends—and there are no guarantees you'll get past the doorman, whose job it is to make sure only Istanbul's best dressed get in.

Sultanahmet isn’t known for its nightlife, but in summer, the strip of tourist-oriented restaurants and dive bars at the end of Akbıyık Sokak close to the Aya Sofya can be quite lively, with a young crowd that fills the sidewalk tables.

Read More

Browse Nightlife

View All 22

(22 out of 22 results)

Fodor's Choice

Area

View All 22

Beyoglu 11

The Bosphorus 4

Galata and Karakoy 2

Besiktas and Nisantasi 2

Asian Shore 2

Sultanahmet 1

Show More +
Category

View All 22

Bars/ Pubs 13

Dance Clubs 5

Music Clubs 4

Best For

View All 8

Trendy 3

Views 1

Istanbul Nightlife

Showing 22 out of 22 Results

Filter Results
Clear All Filters

Sort By:

  • Alphabetical
  • Fodor's Choice

Kiki Ortaköy

  • Dance Clubs

The crowd is always lively and ready to dance at this multilevel Ortaköy bar/nightclub, where popular DJs take the booth regularly.

Leb-i Derya

  • Bars/Pubs

The reward for finding this sixth-floor rooftop restaurant and bar—in an apartment building with only a small sign out front—is a...

Lâl

  • Bars/Pubs

The best thing about this low-key café/bar on Kadıköy's main nightlife street is the large courtyard in the back, where patrons can...

Mama Shelter

  • Bars/Pubs

The enormous rooftop terrace on the top of Mama Shelter Hotel houses a trendy restaurant/bar offering 360-degree views of the city, specialty...

Nardis Jazz Club

  • Music Clubs

One of Istanbul's few dedicated jazz venues, the well-regarded Nardis Jazz Club hosts mainly Turkish musicians and the occasional big...

NuTeras

  • Dance Clubs

The rooftop of a historic building (known as NuPera) with wonderful views of the Golden Horn is home to one of Istanbul's trendiest nightclubs...

Salon İKSV

  • Music Clubs

This top-notch performance space is housed in the headquarters and cultural center of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV),...

Sortie

  • Dance Clubs

If you want to mingle with Istanbul's rich and famous (and the paparazzi that await them), swanky Sortie has a slightly less pretentious...

The W Lounge

  • Bars/Pubs

The stylish yet comfortable lounge/bar in the W Hotel has plush divans, low tables, and signature cocktails, drawing a sophisticated,...

Şahika

  • Bars/Pubs

On a narrow street lined with basic beer joints and meyhanes serving mostly identical food menus, Şahika offers something more unusual.

Advertisement