This guide to the best things to do after dinner in Istanbul gives you a varied taste of Turkish nightlife. This bustling city is full of activities, performances, bars and more. From relaxing cocktails and shisha on the water to rollicking nightclubs and markets, your nights are bound to result in great memories.

    You’ll also get to see some of Istanbul’s most beautiful neighbourhoods come alive with locals and visitors. Don’t miss the flavours, lights and fun you can experience when the sun goes down in this famous Turkish city.

    What are the best things to do at night in Istanbul?


    Bosphorus dinner cruise

    Luxury on the river with traditional Turkish food and drinks

    A dinner cruise on the Bosphorus River gives you a front-row seat to the magical sunset over the city. After the sun goes down, the views get even better as the city illuminates with millions of lights. As your cruise makes its leisurely journey, you can enjoy traditional dishes with views of the city’s popular sights, including the Büyük Mecidiye Mosque and the 15 July Martyrs Bridge that separates Asia and Europe.

    Many dinner cruises feature music by DJs and even shows by whirling dervishes and belly dancers. Istanbul’s official Şehir Hatları Bosphorus Cruises is highly recommended, but many other providers are also available.


    Istanbul Sapphire

    Evening cityscapes from Europe’s 2nd-tallest building

    The Istanbul Sapphire observation deck provides an unrivalled view of the city. It's on top of Europe’s 2nd-tallest building, which stands at a whopping 238 metres. The observation deck is open until 10 pm, making it a wonderful spot for a sunset or night view of the city's iconic sites, rivers and bridges. 

    You don't need a reservation to visit the Istanbul Sapphire observation deck. Other attractions at the deck include a cafe and restaurant, as well as a 4D SkyRide adventure that simulates flying above the city. The Istanbul Sapphire is an unmissable photo-op and a popular attraction for families.

    Konum: Emniyetevleri, Eski Büyükdere Cd. No:1, 34415 Kâğıthane/Istanbul, Türkiye

    Açık olduğu saatler: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm (final admission at 9.30 pm)

    Telefon: +90 (0)212 268 80 80


    Galata Bridge

    A cultural staple full of bars, restaurants and shops

    The Galata Bridge on Istanbul’s Golden Horn is not only for traffic – it’s also one of the city's liveliest destinations for food, drinks, shopping and mingling. In the evening, it becomes a colourful meeting point for circles of friends and families. Couples can enjoy a romantic stroll on the water. Come early to secure a seat at one of the area's popular eateries. Local fishermen come to catch their own dinner by casting a line over the railing.

    Seafood restaurants are the most popular on the Galata Bridge. Try Fish Point or Cansin Fish Restaurant for authentic dishes. For international fare and local shisha, try ​​Galata Sarnıç Cafe & Nargile.

    Konum: Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Galata Köprüsü, 34425 Beyoğlu/Istanbul, Türkiye


    Grand Bazaar

    Get lost in a labyrinth of colour and flavour

    The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the most famous markets in the world. It's a massive complex of stalls selling everything from spices to clothing to hardware. At night, it’s a popular spot for souvenir shopping and sightseeing in one go. You’ll also have the chance to negotiate your price from vendors looking to make a sale before closing up shop.  

    The Grand Bazaar closes at 6 pm, so don’t arrive too late. In fact, you may be better off eating dinner here to make your wander more convenient. The bazaar is home to dozens of tiny eateries serving fresh local cuisine at affordable prices.

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    Konum: Beyazıt, Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/Istanbul, Türkiye

    Açık olduğu saatler: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm


    Istanbul Dervish Ceremony

    A mesmerising dance with traditional music

    The Istanbul Dervish Ceremony is a civic centre that hosts whirling dervish shows. Located in Fatih, the venue offers a great chance to experience traditional clothing, history, music, and dance all at once. The movements are not intended to be a dance but a form of meditation or devotion by a religious group, the Sufi Dervishes. 

    Enjoying a show provides the unique opportunity to share the Dervishes' culture and get lost in their fascinating ritual. You can catch whirling dervish shows all over the city, but the best performances are rooted in tradition. Other great spots include the Hodjapasha theatre and the Galata Mevlevihanesi Museum.

    Konum: Alemdar Mh. Incili Cavus Sk. No: 19 Floor 3, 34110 Fatih/Istanbul, Türkiye

    Açık olduğu saatler: Monday–Friday from 10.30 am to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 2 pm to 9 pm

    Telefon: +90 (0)544 220 10 22


    Istanbul Turkish baths

    Relax in thermal pools in an ancient bathhouse

    Turkish baths in Istanbul are famous around the world for their luxurious thermal pools, steam rooms, saunas and massages. After a busy day, taking a relaxing dip is a great way to unwind before bed or to forget about the bustle of the city for a while.

    Istanbul is home to dozens of Turkish baths old and new – many of the world’s most breathtaking baths call it home. For most visitors, the beautiful antique baths are the most enjoyable. One of the most famous is the Catma Mescit Hammam, built in 1533. A popular evening bath is the Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamami, a 16th-century bath that opens until 11.30 pm. Another is the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan bath, which opens until 10 pm. 


    Sultan Ahmet Park

    Stroll among illuminated mosques and flower gardens

    The Sultan Ahmet Park is one of Istanbul's top spots for a romantic walk after dinner. It's located between 2 of Istanbul’s most popular attractions, the Hagia Sophia mosque and the Blue Mosque. Many visitors make their way through the park during the day, but it’s even more magical in the evening when the mosques are lit up among the flower gardens. 

    You can enjoy local snacks and street food from various vendors located in the park. If your feet get tired, take a rest near the massive Sultan Ahmad fountain. It changes its appearance completely in the evening, thanks to an array of colourful lights.  

    Konum: Binbirdirek, Sultan Ahmet Parkı No:2, 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Türkiye


    Harab’be Cafe

    Shisha and cocktails in the heart of the city

    • Gece Yaşamı

    Harab’be Cafe is a bar offering shisha and local booze. It’s just a short walk of Sultan Ahmet Park and some of the city’s most popular attractions, making it a convenient stop on your tour of Istanbul at night. You’ll feel right at home as soon as you enter this iconic cafe, which is full of hanging lanterns and lush carpets.

    Harab’be Cafe offers a large selection of tobacco, making it a good place to try some exotic shisha flavours such as peach, ice cream, and even cheesecake. If you don’t enjoy smoking, it has wine, beer, and signature cocktails, as well as local and international dishes.

    Konum: Alemdar, Ticarethane Çk. No:4B, 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Türkiye

    Açık olduğu saatler: Daily from 11 am to 3 am

    Telefon: +90 534 210 65 32


    Meyhane-hopping in Istanbul

    Traditional Istanbul pubs offering food, drinks, and music

    • Gece Yaşamı

    Meyhane, the traditional name for Turkish pubs and restaurants, is a great way to while away the evening and soak up the local culture. Stop by for a beer, a traditional raki (liquor) or a bottle of wine. These pubs are always lively, with many featuring local bands and tasty dishes.

    Istanbul’s meyhanes are usually close to each other, so it’s easy to explore a few of them in a short time. There are many in the Kabatas and Galata areas of the Beyoglu district. Kapielli5 is one of the most popular. This bar opens until 4 am most nights, featuring folk music and fantastic Turkish tapas.

    fotoğraf: Jwslubbock (CC BY-SA 4.0) değiştirildi


    Beyoglu district

    The home of dance clubs and late nights in Istanbul

    • Gece Yaşamı

    The Beyoglu district is where you will find much of Istanbul’s best nightlife. Other parts of the city are not as keen on clubs and alcohol, but here, you can dance all night. Or, you can hang out by the river with the students and snack on street food until the sun comes up. If you don’t know where to go, try a pub crawl. Most of them start in Beyoglu.

    When you’re ready to dance, visit Escape Club to experience Istanbul’s party scene. Open until 5 am, you’ll need to dress the part here (and come early to avoid a line). Once inside, you’ll understand why Istanbul is known as a top nightlife destination in both Europe and Asia. 

    Benjamin Gorman |Katkı Sunan Yazar

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