The district of Beyoglu and its neighbourhoods have been and remain the center of Istanbul’s nightlife. The neighborhoods around Istiklal were dethroned by the district of Karakoy, but there’s still a lot of nice places to have fun. Here’s a guide of the nightlife in Beyoglu.
- Around Istiklal
At the end of the large pedestrian Istiklal Street just before the Tünel’s square you will find the Asmalimescit district. There you will find taverns, bars and small clubs. It use to be bustling every night of the week, but now it is really crowded from Thursday to Sunday and sometime on Tuesdays. In this area we recommend to go from bar to bar, and not to hesitate talking to locals and make nice encounters. Near the Taksim Square, the surroundings of the Istiklal Street are frequented more by the “working class” than the other districts of Beyoglu, you will find plenty of bars and nightclubs, but we seriously suggest you avoid bars with touts at the risk of being scammed. However some bars are very nice, especially around the Galatasaray High School. Here’s a little recap:
– Kloster: located in the neighborhood of Nevizade, in what was formerly a chapel, Kloster is the meeting place for electronic music lovers. This is a beautiful club on 4 floors with different atmospheres on the top two floors. From Thursday evenings to Saturday nights, DJs make hundreds of people dance. There is an entrance fee: klosteristanbul.
– Indigo: open only on weekends, this legendary club located in a small street just outside the Galatasaray High School offers good electronic music and programming internationally renowned DJs. It is better to get there later, after midnight …
– Gizli Bahçe: on top of a small building in the taverns street of Nevizade, it’s a small electro bar/club with a weird atmosphere, but very friendly, and often full even on weekdays: gizlibahceistanbul.
– Sensus: located in the Galata district, it’s a small wine tavern offering a great selection of Turkish wine and cheese at reasonable prices. It is a perfect place to have an aperitif and discover the Turkish wine culture. Next to it you have the Nardis Jazz Club, which, as its name suggests, is a jazz club where some major international jazz artists come to play.
This is the new trendy neighborhood in in Istanbul. Formerly the small artisans and the docklands, Karakoy now offers a whole range of hype cafes, bars and restaurants. During the week you will find a more office output atmosphere until midnight. Based on Thursdays, the party is in full swing, here are the best places:
– Mitte: opened this year by the former manager of the trendy Lucca (see: where to go out in Istanbul), Mitte is named after a district of Berlin where his boss spent part of his life. It’s restaurant during the week and one weekends it’s a nice place to drink cocktails and start your evening. Mitte also propose molecular cocktails and vodkas infused with herbs and seasonal fruits: mitte karaköy
– Goya: opened by the former DJ resident of Lucca and Radio FG Istanbul, Murat Tokuz, Goya is a good restaurant which also becomes a bar on weekends. This is probably the most exclusive and select place in Karakoy right now: goyakarakoy.
– Colonie: this is also a good restaurant/club in the district, it gets crowded every weekend, you dance there to the latest hits. This is one of the best club in the area, plan to go accompanied and a little dressed. Again this is a place you will not find in most of the conventional guides although it’s very popular: coloniekarakoy.
– Unter: a small bar located in a very pleasant street, people are in & out in the street to have a drink and talk. The music is a bit more commercial than Gaspar, another place not very far, but as friendly: unter.com.tr
Cihangir is one of the most hipsterish district of Istanbul. The local fauna is composed of bearded vegetarians listening to some Hamburg’s electro.
– Akarsu’s street: it’s a Cihangir street with a couple of cool little bars filled every day, it’s not a place to party hardcore , but it’s often nice to have a drink. The addresses to remember: Geyik, Mona and Smyrna.
– Mini Muzikhol: a classic of the electro clubs of Istanbul. It is open from Thursday to Saturday, the bouncer can be a little strict if you aren’t in good company. It starts from 2am, the entrance fee is 20TL: www.minimuzikhol.com
Click on the map to see all the addresses