The nightlife of a city is something that almost all British tourists enjoy, but if you want something a little different than popular French restaurants or drunken Spanish resorts, then Istanbul comes as highly recommended for its night haunts. If you’re thinking of heading to Istanbul, or you want to find out more about the nightlife of the world’s third largest city, then this article should give you the seeds for a great night out.
Where to Eat
Arriving in Istanbul on a Saturday night with the agenda of meeting plenty of English people and getting drunk will more than likely leave you culture shocked. The summer periods are touristier than other times of year, but it’s not particularly easy to find many English speakers in the popular area of Taksin. That said, it’s still worth going to one of the plush Turkish nightclubs, but to begin with it’s recommended to visit an area of bustling cafes located about halfway down the Istiklal Caddesi, which is the main commercial road linking Karakoy to Taksin Square. Just head to Halkbank (a Turkish bank on the street) and you’ll be in the right place.
Once there you’ll be spoilt for choice with packed cafes and outdoor seating filling up much of the roads. You’ll also be confronted by numerous street food sellers, market stalls and bartering waiters attempting to usher you into their restaurant. Most of the restaurants are very similar, with a fish and kebab menu (around 10 YTL – £4) as the main feature, but it’s worth finding one that sells beer for less than 4 YTL (£1.75), as this is a night out, after all. Once your stomach is filled, and a few tasty Efe’s lagers consumed, it’s time to get the bill and head across the street.
Where to Drink
For those who want a seriously sophisticated night out, then you may want to sample dinner at the 360 Istanbul, which is located close to the noticeable House Café on Istiklal Caddesi. But seeing as you’ve already eaten for a bargain, the 360 Istanbul is still recommended for at least one drink. They don’t come cheap at 20 YTL (£8) per cocktail, but seeing as the plush bar is located at the top of a commercial block, the 360-degree view of the city skyline is spectacular.
Where to Club
Keeping in the local area is the cool night club called Roxy on the nearby Siraselviler Caddesi . It’s closed during the week, but on the weekends it’s a bustling hotspot for students and rich kids, while not being too offensive for British tastes. For one thing, all of the music is straight from dance floors back home! Drinks don’t come cheap – at about 20 YTL a pop and entry is a whopping 40 YTL – but it’s worth going here just once to get a feel for a true Turkish after hours club. You won’t be disappointed by its cool demeanour.