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After Dark: Ankara's Best Nightlife Venues

Beer | © Patrik Kristian/Flickr
Beer | © Patrik Kristian/Flickr
The nightlife scene in Ankara revolves around pubs and bars that often have a stage where local bands can show off their talents on a nightly basis. Ankara locals love to sit over a beer and have long conversations into the wee hours, so rampant clubbing isn’t a realistic expectation. We’ve rounded up some of the best nightlife venues where you can drink, talk, listen to some good music, and have a dance.

Manhattan

Music Venue
Open since 1993, Manhattan’s stage has played host to local and international bands from the jazz, rock, and blues worlds. If you’re a local, you’ll always run into someone you know, and if you’re visiting, you’ll get a real sense of Ankara nightlife, when you hang out here on the weekends.
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Nefes

With famous names from the Turkish music scene such as BaBa ZuLa, Pinhani, and Ezgi’nin Günlüğü having already graced the stage at Nefes, you can be sure that the lineup will always be excellent. Grab a beer and get to know some real national talent.

Mithatpaşa Cad. 25/A, Çankaya

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Voodoo Blues

Bar, Pub Grub, Turkish, $$$
Another great venue for live rock, jazz, and blues music, Voodoo Blues has an excellent lineup of local bands that you can thoroughly enjoy with a few beers. We’re also very fond of their tribute nights, which have included homages to such greats as Queen and Pink Floyd.
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Corvus Pub

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub, Turkish, $$$
Located in a building with a bar on every floor, you’ll have to follow the signs by the stairs to find Corvus Pub. Preferred by the locals in the warmer months because of its large balcony, the main attractions here are lots of good beer and conversation, and meeting the people at the table next to you.
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Zula Bar

Bar, Turkish, $$$
With its mismatched colorful wooden chairs and eccentric décor, Zula Bar is a welcome alternative in Ankara in terms of aesthetics. Laid back and always crowded, Zula not only has enough beer to go around but also a menu so that you can go from dinner straight into nightlife mode.
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Altı Üstü Bar

Bar, Turkish, $$$
Probably the only bar in Ankara to also host writing, acting, breathing, and music workshops, Altı Üstü Bar is one of the newest bars in Ankara having opened in 2014. In the evenings there is, of course, plenty of drinking, eating, and live music from traditional folk songs to funk and jazz.
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Kafka Bar & Bistro

Bar, Bistro, Turkish
If you thought that an author who dealt with elements of surrealism in his novels couldn’t inspire a bar, you’re quite wrong. Kafka features mellow acoustic sessions on its stage on a regular basis, which attracts an older crowd who arrive for dinner and stay for drinks.
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