Best Venues For Live Music In Istanbul

Babylon | Wikimedia Commons
Babylon | Wikimedia Commons
It doesn’t matter if it’s one of Turkey’s beloved popular rock groups or an international artist with a loyal following, Istanbul always has something in store when it comes to live music. We picked out our favorite places for live music – whether it’s a big performance with sold out tickets or a cozy venue with live music on a small stage.

Nardis Jazz Club

Bar, Nightclub, Turkish, Pub Grub, $$$
Nardis Jazz Club
Nardis Jazz Club | © Kim Ahlström / Flickr
The city’s best jazz club has a very down-to-earth and intimate vibe, with dim lighting and a small stage, that is quite close to the tables so you can feel part of the action. Usually featuring local talent, Nardis also works together with the city’s jazz festivals in hosting international artists in a more intimate venue. Grab a drink at the bar in the back and choose a table (the ones upstairs are also great for a bird’s eye view) and be aware that you’ll have to pay a small fee at the door.
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Salon IKSV

An extension of IKSV (Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts), which is responsible for the city’s most important art and culture events, Salon is a concert venue that features music as well as theater and literary events. You’ll usually find classical, jazz, rock, alternative and world music concerts on the stage rather than more mainstream artists. With a season that runs from October until the end of May, this year the lineup includes bands such as Efterklang, Mammal Hands, Anna RF, and Local Natives.

Salon IKSV, Sadi Konuralp Caddesi No.5, Şişhane, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 334 07 00

Kallavi Meyhanesi

If you’re looking for an authentic experience in Turkish fasıl music, then Kallavi Meyhanesi is one of the best places to visit. After you’ve feasted on a meal of southeastern meze and kebab, the musicians emerge with their violin, kanun (string instrument) and darbuka (drum) to play all the classics. Don’t be surprised when everyone around you gets up to dance, for this is the desired effect of fasıl.

Kallavi Meyhanesi, İstiklal Caddesi, Kurabiye Sokak No:16, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 245 12 13

Kanun | © Thorsten Krienke/Flickr

Kanun | © Thorsten Krienke/Flickr

Babylon Bomonti

Babylon’s old venue in Asmalımescit was one of the legends in terms of live music, and almost everyone has a memory associated with its many shows that ran late into the night. Many bands made their debut at Babylon and its new venue in Bomontiada has been able to rack up some new memories in a much larger space. Housed in what used to be a beer factory, Babylon features a very eclectic range of music including jazz, rock, world music, funk, electronica, indie, and pop. This month a lot of the local and international artists from the Akbank Jazz Festival will be taking on the Babylon stage, as well as the famous Oldies but Goldies party, and artists such as Michael Franti and Deniz Tekin.

Babylon Bomonti, , Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 334 01 90

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