Guide to Entertainment & Nightlife in İstanbul
İstanbul nightlife is as famous as the city's long history, breathtaking panoramas, and rich cultural heritage! This amazing city, rich in bars, clubs, concert venues, and high-end restaurants, has a well-deserved reputation for its entertainment diversity. It will truly be hard to choose from among the many options!
İstanbul entertainment options are nearly limitless: whether a chilled-out evening accompanied by jazz music, an exciting dancing night at an İstanbul nightclub, or a romantic dinner at one of the city’s best rooftop restaurants – the choice is yours! Below you will find a list of recommendations for the districts that offer the best nightlife and the best bars in İstanbul. We are happy to present you with the essential guide for every nightlife enthusiast!
Party by the Sea until the Early Hours of the Morning
Say goodbye to sleep and hello to sophisticated nightclubs with magnificent views of the Bosphorus, believed by many to be İstanbul's very best! Located in the areas of Kuruçeşme, Ortaköy, and Bebek, these exclusive venues host world-known DJs and offer an impeccable party scene from sunset to the early hours of the morning! You will find matchless views, delicious food, a glamorous atmosphere, non-stop dancing, and amazing cocktails!
Get Lost in the Vibrant Streets of Beyoğlu
If you’re in search of spontaneous entertainment, Beyoğlu is the place for you! Beyoğlu and its districts, with countless little side streets full of bars and restaurants, are at the heart of İstanbul nightlife! Every corner here hides another surprise and unmissable experience! İstiklal Street from Taksim Square to Tünel Square is the place to be – all along the street and the back alleys, you’ll find fashionable shops, lovely cafés, authentic cinema and theater halls, bars with live music, nightclubs, and Turkish taverns, locally known as meyhanes. Don’t leave without visiting the Asmalimescit area, full of great bars, and Nevizade Street, famous for its meyhanes.
Chill out on a Terrace Overlooking the Bosphorus
What about enjoying a gourmet dinner with a breathtaking Bosphorus view? This is the quintessential venue for a romantic evening! In the areas of Beşiktaş, Galata, Pera, Harbiye, and Bebek, all located by the Bosphorus, there are dozens of terraces and rooftop restaurant and bars offering magnificent views of İstanbul. Enjoy the privilege of sipping a cocktail and listening to smooth, relaxing music - perhaps your favorite jazz classics? - in one of these many venues…We should also mention that nearly all venues offer an extensive food menu ranging from traditional flavors to international cuisines. It is without doubt that you will be very impressed!
Enjoy İstanbul’s World-Famous Street Foods
It is a known fact that İstanbul’s nightlife is out of this world! In addition, if you get hungry in the late night hours, there is no need to worry about satisfying those hunger pangs! With its many buffets and restaurants that stay open until morning, this city is at your service hours 24/7! The most vibrant regions of İstanbul like Eminönü, Galata, Karaköy, and Taksim are full of street food delicacies to explore! One of the most popular late-night snacks is kokoreç - chargrilled offal wrapped in sheep intestines, served in fresh bread with plenty of spices and salt. Other favorites are midye dolma (stuffed mussels), a variety of soups, and tavuklu pilav (chicken and rice pilaf).
Experience the Nostalgic Atmosphere of a Meyhane
It is highly recommended that before you leave İstanbul you experience the authentic Turkish nightlife at a meyhane! A Turkish tavern, known in Turkish as a meyhane, is the perfect place to gather with friends around a table adorned by a wide array of meze. A perfect place to experience this is Çiçek Pasajı, a historical arcade that brings together the best meyhanes of İstanbul. Its modern architecture and lively atmosphere will take your breath away. You’ll find yourself in the middle of an enthusiastic crowd, immersed in background fasıl (folk) music and raising their glasses of rakı, Türkiye’s traditional anise-flavored alcoholic drink. Cheers! Or, as we say in Türkiye, Şerefe!
Join a Party on a Yacht Cruise
One of the best places to dance until the first light of the morning is on a boat cruising along the sparkling waters of the Bosphorus! You can rent a private boat or yacht for any celebration, or you can join organized events. In addition to non-stop dancing to contemporary music, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious treats and savor exotic cocktails in the middle of the Bosphorus or the Sea of Marmara. The experience promises to be unforgettable!
Enjoy Fresh Seafood on the Galata Bridge
The best choice for delicious seafood in İstanbul is to spend an evening at one of the top-quality restaurants on Galata Bridge. After a nostalgic walk along the bridge, enter a lively restaurant that catches your eye, and prepare for an unforgettable dinner! With the glittering Golden Horn waters just outside, enjoy a plate of fresh fish accompanied by live fasıl (folk) music. If you feel like drinking rakı, make sure to pace yourself as Türkiye’s traditional alcoholic drink is quite strong!
To learn more about other places to visit in İstanbul, click here!
Enjoy a Day at a Beach Party!
Did you know that İstanbul is the perfect destination even for summer holidays? The seaside at Şile and Kilyos on the Black Sea coast is home to numerous clubs famous for their beach parties. With plentiful sunbathing areas, an immaculate sea, and private sandy beaches, these hot spots are the destinations of choice for younger crowds! In addition to non-stop parties, the clubs here host world-famous DJs and festivals.
Witness Unforgettable Live Performances
When it comes to concerts, İstanbul is a world-class destination! The city hosts a never-ending list of venues of all sizes. Nearly all have high-quality sound systems and fantastic acoustic features. İstanbul offers residents and visitors alike spectacular concerts by world-famous musicians throughout the year! Whether jazz, pop, or Turkish tunes, if you are a fan of live music, İstanbul is the place to be!
Savor the Moment in Kadıköy
Kadıköy is the fascinating heart of İstanbul’s Anatolian (Asian) side! The district offers many different styles and entertainment options along its winding, picturesque streets. Underground clubs, trendy pubs, restaurants with live music, authentic wine bars, vintage shops, cafés famous for their aromatic coffee, theater halls, and exhibition venues… Kadıköy is especially popular among artistic circles and young people. Life here is exciting and colorful, and continues daily into the early morning!
To learn more about İstanbul, click here!