In a city with a nightlife as vibrant and exotic as in Istanbul, you can be sure to find an array of chic, rustic and inviting bars to enjoy a drink in. Whether you want an intimate space for a casual drink or the perfect place to start a wild night, Istanbul will have the bar for you. Here are 10 of the best in the city.
Smyrna is a bar with the gorgeous, non-sequitur novelty of a vintage store. The walls are painted in vibrant colors and the walls are lined with books, pictures, posters, and random curiosities. This is a prime location for casual drinks with friends as it offers a warm and social environment as well as an array of delicious drinks.
The bar inside the Büyük Londra Hotel is without question, stunning. This hotel, whose name literally translates to ‘Big London’ clearly derives its inspiration from the famous hotels in England’s capital. The interior of the restaurant and bar area contains wooden wainscoting, crystal lighting and polished mirrors and other antiques that wouldn’t be out of place in the Savoy or Dorchester. Enjoy a wide variety of beers and wines in this sophisticated and luxurious hotel.
As the name suggests, 360 Istanbul offers a jaw dropping, 360-degree view of the city. It has a chic and modern interior with many chrome fixtures and modern, abstract furniture. One of its most notable features is the glass floor that looks down a stomach-flipping depth into an elevator shaft. The restaurant serves food but also an array of alcoholic beverages – from world-class wines to exotic cocktails. No matter what your personal tastes are, 360 Istanbul is sure to impress.
Enjoy excellent drinks, live music and a view of this city in this high-end, rooftop bar. Whether you’re seeking an elegant location for social drinks with friends, a serene place to take the edge off your busy day, or an intimate bar for a romantic drink, Sah Bar is an ideal location. The bar is slightly tucked away and could be easily missed so keep an eye out as it’s definitely worth seeking out. The staff are known for being incredibly friendly and the red wines come especially recommended.
The two words that come most readily to mind when thinking of Just Bar are ‘fun’ and ‘friendly’. You can be sure of a welcoming and lively environment in this social hub full of fun-loving people looking to meet others. This is a great place for a fun evening or to have the first couple of drinks to get an unforgettable night started. The beer is cold, crisp and there are many on tap, the cocktails are tangy and flavorful and there’s the opportunity to do shisha too.
One of the crowning jewels of Istanbul, the Galata Restaurant & Bar towers over the city at the top of a majestic stone tower. The views over the city must be seen to be believed. This is a bar that truly is world-class. Choose from international and local wines, beers, cocktails, and other familiar drinks to enjoy in this chic establishment. In Galata Restaurant & Bar, you truly learn what it means to eat and drink in luxury.
What could be more typical of Turkish social culture than being out with a group of fun-loving friends, welcomed warmly by the staff of Nargilem Café, enjoying some traditional Turkish snacks and drinks, and then settling down to enjoy shisha and live music? This is an experience that is offered in abundance in Istanbul, and especially in the Tophane region.
For many, the main appeal of this bar is the fact that not only does its name literally translate to ‘Sesame Café’ but it is situated on, you guessed it, Sesame Street! Whilst Elmo and Big Bird do not feature among the establishment’s patrons, the bright and welcoming interior is friendly and irresistible. The cafe-cum-bar predominantly attracts a more alternative crowd and is an essential stop.
View the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque from your incredible vantage point in Litera Bar. It is located on the top floor of the Goethe Institute and, like most bars in Istanbul, takes great pride in offering guests a view of the city from above. As the Bosphorus extends in its azure splendor below and the city comes to life, you can enjoy exquisite drinks, excellent company and all the luxury you could ask for.
In this restaurant, you can enjoy your drinks in a sophisticated rooftop lounge. Music plays throughout the day keeping the mood social and comfortable. Later into the evening this changes to smoother lounge music that invites an elegant air of relaxation. The outdoor deck is especially popular due to its view of the Bosphorus so we recommend booking a table ahead of time to avoid disappointment. There is a stunning array of cocktails for you to enjoy, as well as wines and other beverages too.