Istanbul Nightlife

Beyoğlu is Istanbul's nightlife hub, with an ever-growing portfolio of clubs, café-bars and live music venues which open, close and change name with bewildering speed. Pricey rooftop bars are the latest trend here, in Galatasaray, and in the equally hip Ortaköy area. Across the water on the Asian side of Bosphorus, Kadikoy has also become a happening after-dark district. At the glitzy end of the scale, ostentation, posturing and an exclusive door policy are what it's all about - so, unless you can afford to spend (and tip) like a superstar, avoid.

Time Out Istanbul ( is an English-language monthly magazine with entertainment listings, features and reviews. The Turkish Daily News, the English-language daily newspaper, also has entertainment and listings. Tickets for most cultural events are available at Biletix outlets (

Bars in Istanbul


Dogsztar was a pioneer of Istanbul's new and youthful nightlife scene. Having grown out of its original home, it has moved to a new address off Istiklal Caddesi, where it continues to be one of the best places in town for a fun Friday or Saturday night with a mixed crowd, live music and DJs playing the latest cutting-edge sounds for a young and hip audience.

Kartal Sokak 3, Galatasaray, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 244 9147.

Like Dogsztar, Karga is a much-loved stalwart of the 'new' nightlife scene in Istanbul. However, it is more than a nightspot - during the day, its cool courtyard is a pleasant place for a break from the city heat. After dark, expect local house and techno DJs and visiting bands.

Kadife Sokak 16, Kadiköy, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 449 1725.
Le Fumoir

This is the smartest cigar bar in Istanbul, and you'll need a reservation and a major credit card (or a cash-stuffed wallet) for a night out here. If you have either of these, then this is the place to rub shoulders with Istanbul's rich and famous while sipping a fine cognac, an aged malt whisky or a champagne cocktail and admiring the fabulous view over the Bosphorus.

Çırağan Caddesi 32, Besiktas , Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 236 7333.

Clubs in Istanbul


When it opened, Anjelique helped to pave the way for a new generation of super-trendy bar-restaurant-dance club venues in Istanbul. Facing serious competition from other contenders, it is still a landmark on the city's nightlife map, with the requisite super view of the city skyline and a slightly less aloof crowd than some of its rivals.

 Mualim Naci Caddesi, Salhane Sokak 5, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 327 2844.
Club 29

This gorgeous complex is worth crossing the Bosphorus for, with its pool and sun terrace, canopied restaurant, and adjoining dance stage, all of which share fantastic views of the channel and the Istanbul skyline. Representing modern Istanbul at its best, Club 29 plays a sharp-edged mix of Turkish and international beats after dark and attracts a multi-national, multi-cultural celebrity crowd.

Adnan Saygun Caddesi, Ulus Parki Ici 1, Ulus, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 358 2929.

If you don't fit into any of these categories you may find it, the prices, and the service attitudes less appealing, but for those with plenty to spend this is undeniably the city's glitziest after-dark address.

Mualim Naci Caddesi 44, Ortakoy, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 259 5919.

Live Music in Istanbul

Akbank Culture and Arts Centre

Sponsored by Turkey’s major bank, this modern venue hosts jazz and classical concerts and a changing array of exhibitions and cultural events.

Istiklal Caddesi, Zambak Sokak 1, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 252 3500.

Babylon hosts a wide range of international rock, world and latin artists as well as staging adventurous experimental and jazz concerts. On the rare occasions when there is no live music at this popular Istanbul nightspot, local and international DJs and bands play decent house, techno and international sounds.

Şehbender Sokak 3, off Asmalimescit, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 292 7368.

T"urk"u (sometimes described as 'Turkish blues') was for a long time associated with sleazy, all-male clip-joints. This great urban folk music has made a comeback in recent years, and Livane is a great place in Istanbul to encounter it live in convivial, unthreatening surroundings.

Osmancik Sokak 11, Kadikoy, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0216) 414 4096.
Nardis Jazz Club

Jazz plays a disproportionately large part in Istanbul's nightlife, and this is one of the most venerable jazz venues in town, bringing in artists from all over the world. Nardis Jazz Club features live musicians every night, playing everything from classic to modern, fusion and ethnic jazz, and also serves food. For jazz lovers, there is no better night out in Istanbul.

Kuledibi Sokak 14, Galata, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 244 6327.

Classical Music in Istanbul

Borusan Centre for Culture and Art

This space alternates ‘conceptual' Turkish and international exhibitions, and has an enormous music library and concert space for classical music performances.

Istiklal Caddesi 213, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 336 3280.

Music and Dance in Istanbul

Atatürk Cultural Centre (Atatürk Kultur Merkezi)

The 900-seat Atatürk Cultural Centre is shared by the State Opera and Ballet, the State Theatre and the State Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Istanbul Festivals.

 Taksim Meydani, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: (0212) 251 5600.