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Istanbul Nightlife Guide

by Drew on March 25, 2014 5 comments

Istanbul has a fun, yet interesting nightlife.

The center of activity, on any night of the week, happens in the Beyoğlu District- Istanbul’s most active art, entertainment and night life center.  Nevizade Street, located in the center of Beyoğlu, is THE place to go if you’re looking for a lively night on the town!  The plentiful food, lively music and excitable crowd all fused together gives this street energy like you’ve never seen before.  No matter which night of the week it is, everything will be open until sunrise and the street will be packed with young and outgoing people.  Walk up and down Nevizade with an Efes in hand (Turkish beer) and you will meet awesome people and find the best Turkish places to party!  Trust me that this is where you want to be if you are looking to have a good night in Istanbul!

Essentially, your Turkish nightlife experience isn’t complete until you’ve partied on Beyoğlu!

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 3.35.23 PMMy favorite place to pregame (start drinking) was at the Galata Tower.  On every night when the sun goes down, many young locals head to this area to drink beer and socialize with their friends.  It was so much fun and a great cultural experience.  My friends and I met a group of German girls and we headed to the bars with them.  Changes are that you will meet a group of people and do the same!

There are some exclusive clubs around town (near the river) but they are very strict with letting people in.  More strict than any other city I went to in Europe.  If you are a foreign guy, then you probably won’t be let in unless you are rolling deep with girls.  Either that, or make friends with local Turkish guys and follow them inside.  I had really bad luck getting into the clubs.

Don’t forget to learn the Top 10 Turkish Words so you can hit on those attractive Turks ;)

Here is my list of the best places to party in Istanbul!

Disclaimer: The following list of bars and clubs was put together mostly from my own personal experiences, but also with the addition of my friends recommendations.  Things may have changed over the years, so I am trying my best to keep this list updated.  If I missed something, please comment so I can add it to the list!  Enjoy :D

#1. Peyote Bar

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 3.44.08 PM

Photo by ‘rummenigge’ on Flickr

Overview:
Peyote is a very cool and interesting bar located in the heart of the vibrant Nevizade Street.  This bar is separated into two different floors.  The top floor hosts a range of live Turkish rock and alternative music, while the ground floor hosts live electronic and trance DJ’s.

It is pretty awesome because you get a nice mixture of Turkish rock and Turkish electronic music.  There is a sweet rooftop terrace on the second floor- a great place to chill and meet some locals.  This place gets crowded on weekends, so go early to grab a table and drink beers at the terrace before the night gets rowdy on the dance floor!

Address:
İstiklal cad. Kameriye sok. No:4, Balıkpazarı,Beyoglu

Check their WEBSITE for special events and promotions!

#2. Mojo Bar

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 3.49.20 PMOverview:
Mojo is a live music bar that has been popular in Istanbul since 1997.  If you like your music loud, live and varied, then Mojo is the place for you!

They host a wide range of jazz, blues, rock, funk and more- something for everyone’s taste.  The best part is that the live music is derived from the most outstanding local bands, so you can get a taste of some quality Turkish music.  Covers of well-known English songs are played in the early evening before switching to famous Turkish tunes.  The bands usually play to around 3:00 in the morning.  Make some new local friends and join them in some singing and dancing and you will have a blast!

Address:
Büyükparmakkapı Sok. No: 26, Beyoglu

It is very close to Taksim Square and even closer to Istiklal Street.

Check their FACEBOOK PAGE for special events and promotions!

#3. Nevi Bar

DSC03088Overview:
Nevi Bar is a 6 level bar, located near the famous fish market on Nevizade Street in Beyoğlu.  My favorite part about this bar is the terrace on the rooftop, which offers amazing views of Istanbul at night.  It is definitely a perfect spot to hang out, meet some people and take sweet pictures.

Nevi is a very relaxed atmosphere by day and can get crazy by night with the young and varied crowd.  The music is alternative and electronic, but can be hit or miss depending on which night you are there.  Nevi bar is sells some of the cheapest beers in town, so you can get drunk without spending a lot of money!  Grab yourself an Efes beer (local Turkish beer), hang out on the rooftop, make some new friends and you are in for a great night in Istanbul!

Address:
Hüseyin ağa mah. Balıkpazarı Kameriye sok., Beyoglu

#4. Machine Club

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 3.54.49 PM

Photo by Rene Passet on Flickr

Overview:
Machine Club is one of Istanbul’s most popular electronic dance music nightclubs, located just off Istiklal Street in Taksim.  The best part about this place is they will not turn you down for being American or a tourist, but rather accept you to come party with them (unlike most other clubs in Istanbul).

Their slogan is “music for pleasure,” which signifies that they are welcoming to outsiders and just want to have some fun! Machine Club is a great place to meet other travelers and a great place to end the night after bar hopping around Beyoğlu.  The entrance is free, and the drinks are cheap!

Address:
Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, Balo Sokak 31,Beyoglu

Take metro or bus to Taksim and walk down Istiklal Street towards Galatasaray.

Check their FACEBOOK PAGE for special events and promotions.  Watch this awesome VIDEO to see how much fun Club Machine is!

Have you partied in Istanbul before? Comment and let me know your experiences!

Enjoy Istanbul and have an Efes for me :D

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Drew

Hello! Since 2012, I've been traveling and partying my way around 74+ Countries. Shortly after I graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, I took a job as an English Teacher in South Korea for 18 months. Now, I'm traveling and blogging full-time on a never-ending voyage around the world. Please comment with any questions you have, and feel free to join me on Snapchat & Instagram @drewbinsky :)

DrewIstanbul Nightlife Guide

5 comments

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  • metin cumhur - October 7, 2016 reply

    hi there,
    how could those bars understand you were american so that they found an excuse to turn you down? did they ask for your passport to see your nationality? otherwise, it would not be possible to sort out the nationality of a person just by the look.

  • semih kalvo - April 2, 2016 reply

    Dude istanbul has a lot more to offer than these average bars

    Drew - April 15, 2016 reply

    Thanks

  • Istanbul - The Hungry Partier - June 26, 2015 reply

    […] The nightlife in Istanbul a pretty good time. […]

  • Michael - TTC - April 8, 2014 reply

    Crab bar on Istiklal avenue is a great place for live music, although sometimes the lead singer of one of the groups gets a little drunk!

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