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Istanbul Nightlife

Istanbul's nightlife scene is vibrant and immensely varied, offering 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.

Bars in Istanbul

360 Istanbul

If you want a drink with a view, 360 Istanbul is hands-down one of the best venues 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: Beyoğlu, Istiklal Caddesi Mısır Apartment. No. 163, Istanbul, 34433
Telephone: + 90 212 251 1043

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 see-and-be-seen.

Address: Beyoğlu, Soğancı Sokak No.3 Kat 5 Cihangir, Istanbul, 34427
Telephone: +90 212 293 3774


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

Address: Kadiköy, Kadife Sokak 16, Istanbul, 34710
Telephone: +90 216 449 1725

Clubs in Istanbul


Klein is a kooky and dark subterranean wonderland of decadent decor with its tongue firmly in cheek. The crowd is mostly young, with DJs dishing up some of the best electronica and techno sets in the city; and the bar service is on-the-ball.

Address: Beyoğlu, Harbiye Mahallesi, Cebel Topu Sokak 4, Istanbul,


For those in search of a truly hipster clubbing experience, head to this club decked out with Pop art in the centre of cool Beyoğlu. Late nights here see DJs spin everything from disco funk to deep house. It's always busy so expect a squeeze on the dance floor.

Address: Beyoğlu, Cihangir Mahallesi, Istanbul, 34433
Telephone: +90 212 245 1996

Ulus 29

This hill-top club-restaurant is Istanbul's glitziest after-dark address. Come here to rub shoulders with minor celebrities, quaff exorbitantly priced cocktails and most importantly see-and-be-seen by everyone else. With breathtaking views over the Bosphoros and a world-class wine menu, this venue is excellent; just make sure you're dressed to kill and have deep pockets.

Address: Ulus, Adnan Saygun Caddesi, 71, Istanbul,
Telephone: +90 212 358 2929

Live music in Istanbul


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: Sisli , Birahane Sokak 1, Bomonti, Istanbul,
Telephone: +90 212 334 0190

Munzur Cafe

If you're after Turkish folk music live, Munzur Café is a clean, convivial and unthreatening venue which always has a great line-up of local folk musicians.

Address: Beyoğlu, Katip M. Çelebi Mah. Hasnun Galip Sk. 17/A, Istanbul, 34433
Telephone: +90 212 245 4669

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 have featured on their set list, while local and up-and-coming jazz musicians vie for the spotlight on its intimate stage. Expect anything from cool and modern beats to funk units.

Address: Beyoğlu, Galata Kulesi Sokak No.8, Istanbul, 34421
Telephone: +90 212 244 6327

Classical music in Istanbul

Dance in Istanbul

Theatres in Istanbul

Music and Dance in Istanbul

Culture in Istanbul

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Featured Hotels


Grand Hotel de Londres (Buyuk Londra Hotel)

With a history dating back to the heydays of the Orient Express, this establishment has seen many writers (Hemingway being one of them), artists and actors step through its doors. Though the hotel has had many rounds of renovations over the years, the 1900s atmosphere is still very much palpable and underlined by the dark wooden interior and velvet drapes. It's also within walking distance to Taksim square, and near to many theatres and restaurants.

Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

Right on the Bosphorus Strait's shoreline and partly housed in a former Ottoman palace, the Kempinski boasts some of the most opulent rooms in Istanbul. The waterfront pool terrace offers unparalleled Bosphorus views while the bar, restaurants and spa offer plenty of opportunity to swaddle yourself in luxury.

Side Hotel and Pension

In prime position, slap in the middle of Sultanahmet's historical quarter, this family-run hotel has long been a budget traveller institution. The simple rooms are spick-and-span and decently sized and the roof top terrace (where breakfast is served) has excellent views over the old city’s domes and minaret punctured skyline.

Sarı Konak

This family-run boutique hotel offers an old-world atmosphere trussed up with modern conveniences in an Ottoman-era mansion. The smallish rooms have polished wood floors and are classically styled while the rooftop cafe has views of both the Blue Mosque and the Sea of Marmara.

Ibrahim Pasha Hotel

Sleek design and ultra-friendly service make the Ibrahim Pasha stand out in the crowded Istanbul accommodation market. Little extras such as complimentary fruit in rooms and Molton Brown toiletries in bathrooms add a luxurious feel while staff go out of their way to help guests, creating a home-from-home vibe.

Hotel Empress Zoe

Quirky folk art touches, Central Asian textiles as bedspreads and the odd antique give the Empress Zoe’s rooms plenty of quirky appeal. Set within a row of Ottoman era mansions, with a lush garden and a rooftop terrace with views over Sultanahmet’s Byzantine period walls, this hotel brims with character.