Nightlife in Istanbul

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Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  glasshalffull on Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:26 pm

I love Istanbul so it's great to see a dedicated forum on which I can rant! So thanks guys.

I wanted to start a new thread, as this is a vast subject.
The new york times recently voted Istanbul as THE top destination for eating and drinking.

Istanbul has a hot night culture, with many bars and clubs staying open untill the very early *or should that be late?* hours.

Also, the type of evening entertainment varies. In fact there's such a huge choice of venues and music that you can definitely find what you're looking for (as long as you know where to look!)

Most Istanbul guides focus on the tremendous amount of interesting and cultural day time sightseeing tours, but one guide is available which focues on nighlife and cuisine too. This is called the Istanbul guide and can be purchased at airports and sea ports coming into the city. The guide offers a brief over view of any particular place, including things such as meal description, ambience and price...and of course, the all important Location!
I reccommend this guide to anyone looking to seek night time entertainment in Istanbul.


For my own personal choice of bars and clubs I'll make my own short guide here. This is a selection of places I've visited and are not the only places available! so feel free to add others to this thread , so that we can all revert back when planning a future trip.

Bars:

Lucca - bistro style pretentious bar located on a corner of bebek. Always full of ferrari drivers, models and business men. Although it's a bit of a style dive, it can be a cool place to go during the week nights. No real parking although the clientel like to park their flassy cars up the curb outside. Very, very expensive, but definitely worth an hours visit . They also have their own c.d. , musics relaxed and eclectic.

Lulu's - Cute bar with a very eclectic interior style /modern meets classical. a friend of ours owns this bar in bebek so I have to say very nice things about it!! It's quite pricey, but they do fabulous unusual coctails and complimentary bar/table snacks with dips. Again, no parking , but a short walk from Luccas so if you hit one, should visit the other. Not as pretenscious as Lucca.


Clubs:

crystal - club near kurucesme. Loud , almost to the point of head banging. DJ plays a mixture of international house. Very heavy going and dark inside. Meduim priced with several different bars and rooms in which to mill around. Open until early hours.

Black - Very cool club with upstairs vip section over looking the bosporous. Defintely a club, but not as noisy or brash. Expensive but worth it for a great night out. located opposite Reina in Kurucesme. Open until 4am.

Reina - Situated on the bosphorous it's a huge club which houses 4 restaurants including chinese and sushi cusine. There are several levels and platforms with cool illuminated marble tables. Plays a mixture of turkish and international pop and house. Very strict dress code on the door. You must dress to impress. Expensive too, but this is one of the ultimate clubs..all top international celebs visit Reina, but it's also accessable to us mere mortals . Open until early.


Other:


cahide - caberet show/club . It's a bit like Madam Jo Jo's in London. Fancy and funky, you do need to book. Classical style decor and very theratrical inside. Great food a service by men dressed in drag (most ARE gay I think) . Cahide's theme is a show performed by 'drag queens' but they also hold some special event caberets with turkish guest singers. The food here is traditional Turkish cuisine, but it's fabulous. Great mezes. Prince edward and Enrique Englasias have both visited Cahide. It's top notch stuff.




I guess these are my favourite 'hotspots' but I have other places that I like to visit too. Rain forest cafe in Istinye park, especially if accompanied by children. Cicek passage on Istiklal caddesi, where you can eat fine turkish fish and kebab and listen to gypsies playing live at your table (for a tip of course!) and anywhere along the bosphourus you can pick up a hamsi sandwich, traditional turkish fast food at it's best ! Half a loaf of bread stuffed full of salad, tomatoes, onion and tiny fried fish which are edible whole.

Also, this FYI to ally and Michelle Wink The babylon club in Istanbul :http://www.babylon.com.tr/BasindaBabylon.aspx
Holds monthly Golden oldies parties through the winter..so take a look and make sure you coincide your next trip with one of their evenings!

Have fun in Istanbul everyone!

Charlotte

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Re: Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  Alison on Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:07 pm

Great post Charlotte!! cheers

You know that I share your love of Istanbul; I'm totally in love with the place. Regarding nightlife I have visited a few nightclubs on Taxim Square but they were nothing to write home about, but I definitely want to visit Cahide.....that's definitely one for Michelle, Chris and I to go to! us Also, Babylon looks fab so we'd give that a wee turn as well.

So that's our friday and saturday night's sorted for a trip up there!! whip
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Re: Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  glasshalffull on Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:01 pm

Hi Alison,
yup I know you're having a secret love affair with Istanbul too. There's no place like it really, it's one of a kind.

We plan to move to Istanbul when Jasmines old enough to go to University, it's a definite thing for us at some point.

This forum is exactly what we need to be able to influence others into taking a trip to see the amazing city for themselves.

It is so diverse that you can lose all sense of time there.

The only negative thing about it is the bloody smog! But hey, I can we can live with that? Wink

Hope to here about your next trip...don't forget to take your camera, as I'm imagining one of you will have to be carried home!

Charlotte

p.s. No money on which one though Razz

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Re: Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  Mavi on Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:10 pm

FANTASTIC REVIEW and exactly what I would want to read if I was going there and doing some research first... thanks for that Charlotte.. couple

Sounds like Alison has this all planned, roping me into whip weekends away whip , and Chris, well he is just a bad influence anyway...

So it will be sure to be me dragged home worse for wear no doubt... raki cherry pics and all on show...
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Re: Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  mistyeyed on Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:03 am

Looking forward to seeing the photos of the night out!. And Charlotte I agree. The forums a perfect place to extole the good things about Istanbul. - and there are many
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Re: Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  Alison on Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:45 pm

Nothing planned as yet but it's something we should definitely do; I would even persever with my fear of flying just to be there in 50 minutes Embarassed

Istanbul is a city that must be visited at least once in a lifetime, and if you live in Turkey then there's really no excuse. My hubby hates the place (he also hates London); it's the crowds and traffic he can't stand. Me, on the other hand, I love it. When I win the lotto, an small apartment in Istanbul will be the first thing I buy (with a view of course), forget about the 40` yacht king
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Re: Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  Mavi on Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:58 pm

unless something magical happens, fairydust , I hated London too, we lived there nearly 5 years... traffic, hussle bussle and jams galore is what I couldnt stand either... pull hair
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Re: Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  Hephaestion on Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:43 pm

What a great review Char!!! Why am I stuck here is what I ask myself.


I love hamsi sandwiches! Like a Star @ heaven They are absolutely delicious - got them everytime we headed for the Bospherous. Dirt cheap too!
Why can´t they serve this stuff in Kusadasi for crying out loud!

Alison wrote:Me, on the other hand, I love it. When I win the lotto, an small apartment in Istanbul will be the first thing I buy (with a view of course), forget about the 40` yacht king

Me too Ally! My girlfriend is going in August with her Turkish boyfriend who own´s a big villa in Istanbul. He bought it when it was dirt cheap. I am slightely jealous! Laughing
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Re: Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  glasshalffull on Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:02 am

We already own an apartment in Istanbul, so why don't we live there??
Well, if you knew how expensive it is for schooling etc you'd understand..also I'm the one who doesn't want to live there now, but thats a long story..when the kids are older I'll happily move, can't wait in fact, but it has to be the right time.

Charlotte

Chris,

You can still find cheap property in Istanbul, it's not as expensive as you think..try looking at this site :

www.emlak.net

It's in Turkish but relative easy to understand as long as you know, daire, villa , satilik and kiralik!

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Re: Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  Hephaestion on Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:51 pm

Thanx Charlotte

I´ve been browsing but I need to sink my teeth into it properly. Kiralik is for rent and satalik is for sale am I right?

You seem to get an awful square metre´s for your money. I much more a city dweller and Istanbul is only a 2hr 40 min flight from Copenhagen so I could definately take some "Sex and The City short breaks" without any problems. Surprised Furthermore package deals from Denmark to Istanbul are rather exspensive so it could definately pay to have your own apartment.
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Re: Nightlife in Istanbul

Post  glasshalffull on Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:42 am

Hi Chris,

It really does depend on which area you're looking at. I wrote about this on kus forum do you remember? Balat isn't far from the centre of the european side but is really cheap and up and coming due to the redevelopment programme being conducted by unesco. Worth looking at the traditional wooden houses for sale there.
A freind of ours owns an apartment in metro city, so I know just how expensive it can get, but don't be put off if it's something you'd like to do..think about the rental potential too...lot's of people would like to stay in an apartment instead of hotel, and with holiday city lets it gives you a chance to only book those weeks you know you won't be needing it...also Istanbul is a year round attraction, not just for the summer season.

look at me going on! Laughing


Charlotte

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