Offering a mix of classic locations and exciting new additions, Istanbul’s dynamic club scene is as vibrant as the city itself. Dance the night away inside a former ’70s cinema hall or brush shoulders with local celebrities at Istanbul’s best nightclubs.
With a lively club culture fuelled by its young community, Istanbul’s buzzing nightlife ranges from chilled-out venues with in-house DJs to lavish nightclubs with live Turkish music. Dispersed across many of Istanbul’s central neighbourhoods, these venues guarantee a great end to the day.
Nightclub, Turkish, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$
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Previously used as a cinema hall in the ’70s, Klein is an edgy venue for techno and electronic music and lies in the central district of Harbiye, just a short walk away from Taksim Square. Klein quickly gained popularity among Istanbul’s young electronic-music fans by hosting a variety of local and international DJs. Decorated with old-school armchairs, eclectic carpets and spotlights on the dance floor, the venue fills up with eager crowds early.
A tiny venue on the ground floor of an apartment building in the heart of the bohemian Cihangir district, the aptly named MiniMüzikhol (‘mini music hall’) reverberates with the hypnotic sounds of electronic music until the wee hours of the morning. Hosting up-and-coming musicians and international DJs throughout the year, this avant-garde venue offers an exciting experience for electronic music fans looking to hear something new. MiniMüzikhol is almost always packed, so late arrivals might have a hard time getting in. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, this nightclub is on its way to becoming an Istanbul classic.
Bar, Restaurant, Sushi, Turkish, Mediterranean, European
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An elegant hilltop restaurant with an adjacent club area, Ulus 29 provides an all-inclusive going-out experience in Istanbul. Luxuriously decorated with large crystal chandeliers and boasting beautiful views of the Bosporus, this terrace bar and nightclub is the ideal place to splurge on a night out. Ulus 29’s bar boasts expert sommeliers and offers an impressive selection of local and international wines. Due to the venue’s loftier price tag and sense of exclusivity, guests should dress smartly and make a reservation.
A meeting point for Istanbul’s socialites, Lucca is the epitome of the nightlife scene in the affluent neighbourhood of Bebek. The club hosts in-house DJs on Friday and Saturday nights, playing a mixture of nostalgic party hits and groovy house music. The indoor space is jam-packed on the weekends, and the crowd here usually spills out into the outdoor area and onto the street. With its luscious house cocktail options (try its Chili-Loco, a tequila-based drink made with passionfruit and pepper), extensive wine menu and stylish decor, Lucca is a must-visit venue on Istanbul’s nightclub map.
Kiki provides an excellent environment in which to socialise and have fun | Courtesy of Kiki
Right down the street from the hectic Taksim Square, Kiki is a staple of Cihangir nightlife. The nightclub offers a variety of music styles ranging from disco to rock ‘n’ roll; the only thing consistent here is the laid-back vibe. Veteran Cihangir hipsters, college students and local artists come to this club to enjoy beers and socialise. Make sure to check out the garden in the back to sip your drink in the open air. There is no dress code and no need to make reservations, but expect a small line during the weekend.
House of Fuzuli is a cocktail bar and live-music venue in Bebeköy. Visit here on a Friday or Saturday night for fun DJ sets that include songs that can rightly be described as ‘oldies but goodies’ or on a Wednesday for live performances of hit Turkish songs. The club offers comfortable seating around the stage area, suitable for relaxing with a drink and chatting with friends. As the night progresses, however, the music gets louder and the dancing more experimental. With a menu full of carefully prepared cocktails and cosy interior design, House of Fuzuli will make you feel like you’re in the middle of the party, yet right at home.
A major aspect of Turkish nightlife revolves around live performances of classic Turkish pop hits from the ’80s and ’90s. A boutique bar tucked away in an upstairs location in the Bebek district, Angie offers a great venue for tourists to experience a night out with local flavour. Featuring live Turkish music from some of Istanbul’s best-known singers throughout the week, this club tends to host the most chic Istanbul partiers. Make a reservation to guarantee entry.
Housed in a three-storey mansion in Ortaköy, Ruby rises where former legendary nightclub Angelique once stood. Located on the seashore, this exciting venue allows visitors to dance the night away alongside spectacular views of the Bosporus. Playing both R&B and diverse club music on two separate floors, Ruby caters to a variety of tastes. Don’t forget to abide by its smart-casual dress code to avoid any potential problems at the door.