Celebrate the 2016 New Year in Istanbul
Where to spend the New Year eve in Istanbul?
Like all the big megacities of the world, New Year’s night is very popular in Istanbul and your choices to celebrate the transition to 2016 are almost endless. Between the neighborhoods festivals organized by the municipalities, parties in restaurants, nightclubs, concerts or a cruising on the Bosphorus, there is something to do for everyone !!
You’ll quickly see the enthusiasm of locals for this celebration during your walks in the city where Christmas decorations richly adorn the streets and buildings; Christmas trees are everywhere. Like the Christmas celebrations in the West, the Istanbulites celebrate New Year, the christmas tree, indispensable part of the festivities, is called the New Year tree. We exchange gifts during that evening, and another tradition is that women wear red underwear for a lucky new year.
Many prefer to spend this special night at home or at private parties, but Istanbul is so populous that all establishments are always full. Our number 1 tip is to book as soon as possible, and especially not to go randomly in an area or a restaurant at the risk of spending your evening in a tourist trap.
If you want to party until the early morning we advise you to opt for a establishment proposing the dinner & the party, or to choose a restaurant near the party spot you want to attend. Otherwise, you may spend the transition to the new year in the traffic or on the sidewalk looking for a cab! Partying in the street can be a good option, some festivals are organised throughout the city. However, avoid the area of Taksim’s square, it is too crowded and popular and there may be some alcohol-related outbursts.
If you do not feel like doing something special for the end of year, a good option is to go to Turkish cuisine restaurants, particularly those offering kebab or fish. Find our addresses here and here. These restaurants won’t offer no “new year” menu and are characterised by their fresh products and impeccable service. Think to call for reservations.
The common feature of all these parties is that you will have to spend. It is impossible to find a beautiful place with a view or in a beautiful setting at the low price. The enthusiasm of Istanbulites and tourists for the New Year has contributed to a real inflation: practically all the major hotels, restaurants and nightclubs are offering new year packages that include the dinner and the evening. In general everything is included (alcohol and dinner), but think about asking if you find a place that is not in our list.
Now that you read our tips, here are our addresses; we tried to put something for everyone, if there are some places you found and you want our opinion do not hesitate to share them comment.
On the Bosphorus
Even though this year there is still no fireworks on the Bosphorus organized by the city, the Bosphorus remains a magical place and it will be enlightened at midnight by the fireworks of nightclubs and boats.
Su Ada :
It is a magical location, you are literally on an island in the Bosporus. For dinner you can go in one of the three restaurants on the island, each offering a special evening: Suda kebap (kebab restaurant) offers a program with dinner and live music for Turkish 210TL. G. Balik (seafood) offers dinner with a DJ for 330 TL. Aslan Restaurant (Mediterranean cuisine) offers a menu for 250 TL with a DJ as well. For the rest of the night there is a concert starting at 11pm, the price is 60TL: www.suadaclub.com
House Cafe Ortakoy :
On the Bosphorus, this restaurant located in a beautiful building offers a 450TL menu including unlimited alcohol. After dinner a DJ will make his appearance and the evening will continue until 2am: www.thehousecafe.com
Also located on the Bosphorus, this trendy club offers a menu of 600TL with dinner and alcohol. Alcohol is also unlimited for the evening. If it’s just the club that interests you, the price of the party without dinner is 450TL with unlimited alcohol. You can also reserve tables but it is immediately much more expensive. www.anjelique.com.tr
Babylon Bomonti :
The legendary concert venue of Istanbul that has moved in the Bomonti district in an old beer factory offers an evening “Oldies but Goldies”, you can dance to classical artists hits as The Cure, Duran Duran, James Brown or even Madonna. The party begins at 10pm, is the entry price is 78,5TL. To buy the tickets : www.biletix.com
Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah :
A dinner followed by a party takes place in the ballroom of the famous Pera Palace and promises to be spectacular. This is an opportunity to live a good evening that will remind you the times of the Orient Express. During dinner a band will interpret a varied repertoire from Turkish and foreign pop songs, but also classical and salsa music. A DJ will then take over to party through the night.
The menu price is 545TL per person with unlimited alcohol. For reservations and have a look to the menu send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Café Saigon :
You will begin the night by being blown away by the stunning views offered by the establishment over the Golden Horn. This Asian-fusion restaurant will offer a menu of 550TL you can find here. Following dinner you can party to the sound of the DJ Peter Thomas.
Nardis Jazz Club :
The Galata Jazz club offers as every year a jazz concert. You will witness the performance of Cansu Tanrikul a young Turkish talent born in 1991. The concert starts at 9:30pm and the price of the entry is 80 TL. You can buy tickets at the counter, but do not stay late. Before the concert you can go for a tour to the wine cellar just next door, the Sensus Sarap Evi. www.nardisjazz.com
X Large Crazy Vegas Party :
In this club where second degree humour is required, you will celebrate your New Years on a Las Vegas air amid delirious decorations and all kinds of shows. The atmosphere promises to be original! The evening starts at 11pm, the price is 110TL, you can buy tickets here: www.biletix.com/crazyvegas. If you want to make a booking you can also directly contact the club.
The trendy club of Karakoy (the fashionable district right now) offers a menu with dinner and unlimited alcohol at 450 tl. For those who just want to party, there is a DJ from 11pm, the price is 250 TL for unlimited alcohol: coloniekarakoy
Etiler Street Party : this year, the great “street party” of the New Year in Istanbul is organized in the Etiler district in front of the Akmerkez shopping center. On the program and the Turkish pop star Hande Yener, the DJ David Vendetta & Micah The Violinist. For the occasion the famous Nispetiye Avenue will be pedestrian, the town is expecting over 500,000 people! The festivities begin at 7:30pm in front of the Akmerkez shopping center, and shopkeepers and restaurants will lend themselves to games remaining open all night and unrolling red carpet for customers in front of their shops.
Nişantaşı street party : this year the city hall of Nişantaşı, the centrally located district near Taksim, will organize like every New Years eve a “street party”. At the time we are writing this article the program has not been disclosed yet, we will know more about it in the coming days, stay tuned!
Cruising on the Bosphorus
New Years may be the only time we can recommend the very touristic cruise on the Bosphorus with shows and dinner included. Prices are between € 100 and € 150.
During this evening then you will cruise the Bosphorus between Asia and Europe passing along the Ottoman Palace, luxury villas and you will admire the panorama of Istanbul at night. The most is that you will be at midnight in the middle of the Bosphorus to start 2016 under the lights fireworks and the Bosphorus Bridge.
We wish you in advance an happy new year from all the team of tooistanbul.com, and we thank all our customers and readers of 2015.
Happy New Year!