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 short breaks, 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.
If you’re in the mood for something local then head for Hamdi. Located just steps away from the Egyptian Spice Market, this popular place serves typical Turkish fare; hot grilled kebabs, small bowls of colorful mezes, crisp green salads and last, but certainly not least, Baklava! (Dubbed Turkish Viagra buy the locals!) But the real star of Hamdi is the view. Sit on the top terrace and take in views of Galata, the Bosphorus and the magnificent mosques of Eminonu.
If you’re a fan of music or dance, then a check out an evening “Turkish Night” dinner show, featuring traditional song, dance and costumes from the four corners of Turkey. Favorites include the fast spinning and stomping of the energetic Black Sea Dancers and the mesmerizing whirling of of the famed whirling dervishes. The evening belongs, however, by the lovely belly-dancing ladies who can show you a move or two! Book early at a local agency for good seats.
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.
Corlulu Ali Pasa Narghile Cafe was built in 1709, and is a well-known atmospheric water-pipe (nargile) place near Beyazit, (just 2 tramway stops from Sultanahmet stop, or a short stroll along the tramline.) This lovely hidden spot is where you can try a waterpipe or just relax and enjoy the exotic aroma of an apricot Narghile while sipping Turkish tea or coffee. Kittens will play at your feet. Old men will play backgammon. A great place to unwind after a trip to the nearby Grand Bazaar. The cafe serves a variety of tea, soft drinks and Turkish coffee.