Istanbul Nightlife

Istanbul’s nightlife scene is vibrant and immensely varied taking in everything from glam-quad rooftop bars and dimly-lit, always packed student haunts. Beyoğlu is the top nightlife hub on the European side of the Bosphorus, but across the strait on the Asian shore Kadıköy is also bar-central. To find out where’s hot and what’s on check out The Istanbul Guide (www.theguideistanbul.com) and Time Out Istanbul (www.timeoutistanbul.com).

Bars in Istanbul

360 Istanbul

If you want a drink with a view, 360 is hands-down the best venue in town. In the evening, come early to score prime terrace seats with sunset panoramas of Istanbul spread out below. Due to those same vistas, this is also a cracking spot for lazy afternoon drinking sessions.

Address:
Istiklal Caddesi Mısır Apartment. No. 163, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
5 Kat

It’s an oldie, but a goodie. 5 Kat (in English ‘Floor 5’) is fun, friendly and devoid of style pretentions. The lively young crowd who flock to this bar on (unsurprisingly) the 5th floor, are here for good times with friends and good music rather than to be see-and-be-seen.

Address:
Soğancı Sokak 3 Kat 5 Cihangir Beyoğlu, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
Karga

Karga is a much-loved stalwart of the nightlife scene with well-priced drinks and local DJs turning up the volume to play house and techno until the wee hours. For a more chilled-out drinking vibe, come early and slouch out in their petite outdoor courtyard on a sunny Istanbul afternoon.

Address:
Kadife Sokak 16, Kadiköy, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 216 449 1725

Clubs in Istanbul

Klein

Klein is a kooky and dark subterranean wonderland of wackily over-the-top decoration (cue the gold-painted statues) with its tongue firmly in cheek. The crowd is mostly young, the DJs here dish up some of the best electronica sets in the city and the bar service is on-the-ball.

Address:
Cebel Topu Sokak 4, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
MiniMüsikhol

By far the most hipster clubbing experience you could have in Istanbul; this is where the city’s cool kids head for a late night complete with Pop-Art interiors, and DJs who spin everything from disco funk to deep house. It’s small, so expect a squeeze on the dance floor.

Address:
Sıraselviler Caddesi, Cihangir, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 245 1996
Reina

This waterfront club-restaurant is Istanbul’s glitziest after-dark address. Come here to rub shoulders with minor celebrities, quaff exorbitantly priced cocktails served by cooler-than-thou bar staff, and most importantly see-and-be-seen by everyone else. The music is excellent; just make sure you’re dressed to kill and have deep pockets.

Address:
Mualim Naci Caddesi 44, Ortakoy, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 259 5919

Live Music in Istanbul

Babylon

One of Istanbul’s most popular nightspots, and for good reason; Babylon’s live music program hosts everything from Latin and international rock, to world music and experimental jazz. On the rare occasions when there is no live music, DJs play decent house, and electronica.

Address:
Şehbender Sokak 3, Asmalimescit, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 292 7368
Munzur Cafe

For a long time, Turkish folk music was hard to see performed live unless you could handle the atmosphere of slightly seedy, all-male clientele dive-bars. Munzur may be simple but it’s a clean, convivial and unthreatening venue which always has a great line-up of local folk musicians.

Address:
Katip M. Çelebi Mah. Hasnun Galip Sk. No:26, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 123 456 78 90
Nardis Jazz Club

Nardis may be small but this is one of the most venerable jazz venues in town. Major jazz artists from across the world all play sets here when they’re in town while the venue also shines a spotlight on local and up-and-coming jazz musicians.

Address:
Galata Kulesi Sokak No.8, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 244 6327
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