What To Do In Istanbul At Night
Istanbul at night can be as exciting as in the day! Today, the cosmopolitan city proudly displays its hodgepodge of emotions and styles. In its old part are preserved memories of the past: mosques, churches, bazaars, palaces, and the scenic Bosphorus strait that separates it into two continents. In the newer and more modern part, we find hipster neighborhoods with a cool atmosphere. They are full of art galleries, modern and vintage shops, bars, cafes, hotels, and cool restaurants that make up a lively nightlife along with the nightclubs.
Things To Do & Places to Visit In Istanbul At Night
With more or less 20 million inhabitants Istanbul is one of the most vibrant cities in the world where life continues all day long till the morning lights. There is an attraction for every single taste and budget, as well as for the visitors.
These are the hours that you mostly stay on your own, not needing a private guide to tell you every single detail as you will have to experience yourselves by becoming locals. Some seek a relaxing night as a preparation for another hard day, some want to breathe the local life in corner pubs or markets and some may look for an event that sounds appealing regarding their interest. Istanbul is a city that you won’t be disappointed in if you are looking for a fun night. Here are some suggestions to enjoy your night out.
Watch The Sunset From Golden Horn
There is a rumor that the horn-shaped natural harbor is named ‘Golden‘ because of the reflection of the sunset on the water and probably is the best place to see the sun going down in Istanbul. After a tiring day, you may enjoy your drinks on the rooftop of any bar in the Karakoy neighborhood to start the evening. This may either be a pause to turn back to your hotel or an appetizer to start exploring the neighborhood as there are some decent restaurants around.
A Night Cruise on the Bosphorus
Most people prefer taking the sightseeing cruises in the daytime to perceive the beauties of the Bosphorus but it is maybe more gripping to witness it at night time as you see all the mansions, mosques, palaces, and the bridges elegantly illuminated.
There are some travel agencies which operate dinner cruises that you may check, also they perform spectacles on the cruise ship which may sound interesting and budget-friendly. Or you may rent a private boat to sail up to the Black Sea while having dinner, which will undoubtedly be a costly experience.
Mezze & Raki
This could be the ideal way to spend your evening if you are into the local tastes as well as drinking. The concept is for the long dinners outside, people gather around a table and pick small bites from the small dishes while pursuing the conversation and occasionally live music is a company to the night.
Turkish alcoholic drink ‘raki‘ is the main motive. The restaurants are called ‘methane and usually, they are located by the fish markets as well as the Bosphorus Line. Beyoglu, Besiktas, Kumkapi, Kadikoy are the places where you may find the meyhanes. If you are looking for a nice view while enjoying your dinner, you should check the ones on the Bosphorus.
Turkish Bath Experience
It is totally understandable to chill a little bit after spending the whole day walking on the streets in the old city. Before crashing to bed a massage in an authentic Turkish bath will make you sleep better and give you the freshness for another day to wander around. Most of the Turkish Baths are open till late around midnight and a booking is recommended.
Attending a Food Tour
There are lots of different experiences, either private guided tours or with groups, that take you to a circuit of a feast. These tours give you a chance to try many different dishes in a short time which is a little bit hard to do as a tourist as most of the spots you visit are hidden, known only by locals. The only recommendation is to stay hungry during the day as you will definitely be full at the end.
Museum of Illusions
Located by the Tunnel exit on the most famous street in Istanbul which is a must-see place in town, this museum offers you another world that is different than the one you see and sense. You will be surprised how your senses could be manipulated and will learn a lot about the human brain. Definitely take your cameras or make sure that your mobile phones are fully charged, you will crave to record this educational adventure of illusions. After visiting the museum you may take a walk on Istiklal Street or stop at one of the cafes or bars to have a drink.
Go Out Drinking
Considering that Turkey is a Muslim country it is quite surprising that Istanbul offers a variety of nightlife attractions. From student bars to high-end clubs you may find any type of place in this huge city to go on the booze.
Simple pubs are mostly located in the center of the liveliest neighborhoods where you may enjoy a beer while touring the city but if you are looking for someplace to enjoy a gig most probably Kadikoy, Karakoy or Taksim would be the addresses you are looking for. The clubs are generally located along the Bosphorus Strait which is quite expensive also hard to get in, you have to dress a little bit more than casual.