Scroll on down to find out about the top things to do in Istanbul at night. Once you’re done, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and get ready to experience Istanbul’s exciting nightlife!
Get the party started in Istanbul when the sun sets. Istanbul has a rocking nightlife that spans both continents through all hours of the evening. The nighttime warmth of Istanbul allows visitors to enjoy a night full of Eastern pleasures on the Bosphorus Cruise, enjoy a drink at some trendy rooftop bars or restaurants, indulge in some shopping and admire breathtaking views of illuminated palaces, bridges, mosques and historical sites. Seeing and experiencing Istanbul’s vibrant and dazzling night activities will definitely be an unforgettable experience.
While in Istanbul, why not make the most of the evening with a lively 4 hour dinner cruise experience on the Bosporus Strait. Have fun and admire magnificent views of Istanbul’s beautifully illuminated bridges, palaces and mosques. Besides that, tourists will get to enjoy a 3 course dinner set with various drinks. Apart from that, glittering entertainment from local artists, belly dancers and a whirling dervish show is included.
Depending on which tour you choose, hotel pick up and drop off services are also available. During the 4 hour cruise between Europe and Asia you will get to see and take pictures of waterside villas and mansions, Ottoman palaces, summer houses and historical places located on both sides of the Bosporus. You will definitely have magical moments with dinner and panoramic views of Bosphorus at night together with your loved one.
Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise with Dinner and Belly-Dancing Show
Price: From 88.56 USD (Booking required)
Duration: About 3.5 hours
Immerse in an evening of traditional music and dancing over dinner. During a typical night in Istanbul, you will see brightly lit mosques but this experience is so much different, as you can watch and take pictures of a rhythmic lively dance while savoring Turkish fare. And there’s more; as you get to drink great wine and enjoy a four course dinner.
Relax on your chair for an alluring and exciting show. Get ready to watch a traditional Anatolian folk group play festive music and glimmering belly dancers perform. Do not forget to record a video or snap pictures of the performances as they are uniquely Turkish and fond memories to look back on.
Istanbul by Night: Turkish Dinner and Show
Price: From 88 USD
Duration: Around 4 hours
3. Shopping at Grand Bazaar
Istanbul is home to one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets, the Grand Bazaar, locally known as Kapali Carsi. This attraction is popular among visitors and locals as there are over 4,000 shops and nearly 11 gates, with 60 streets within the markets. Grand Bazaar stretches between the mosques of Nurosmaniye and Beyazi in the district and is located inside the old walled city. While you are here, always take note of your surroundings and if you go with a group, it’s better to stay together while shopping around the bazaar. It is a very crowded place and it is easy to get lost in its streets.
Plan your time wisely if you plan to shop. Enjoy the lively bazaar as you stroll through the overwhelming impressions of smells and colors, take eye catching photographs, as well as buy all the souvenirs for which Istanbul is famous for. The Grand Bazaar is home to a wide range of items produced by skilled artists. The Grand Bazaar displays authentic Turkish goods like pottery, spices, brassware, colored glass lamps and lights, textiles, jewelry and carpet. Apart from that, the labyrinth complex is a pleasure to explore, because there is so much to see even if one is just window shopping. After shopping you can get a bite or a drink at Sark Café, which is located within the bazaar.
Address: Beyazıt Mh., 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday (9am-7pm), Closed on Sunday and public holidays
Contact: +90 2125191248
Website: Grand Bazaar
4. Watch the Dancing Fountain at Sultanahmet
When the sun finally dips behind the minaret skyline and the moon starts to rise, Sultanahmet Park, located between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, brightens up with a colorful lightning display. When you come during the summer season, you can enjoy the shows by savoring a creamy ice cream (dondurma) by the illuminated fountain in the park. The mix of modern and ancient east and west, the friendliness of the people, and the history add to the vibrant atmosphere of the night scene at this place.
The views of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the well-kept garden (floral beds and palm trees), the magical ambience and the dancing fountains with the change of colors at night look particularly fantastic in the evening when all are lit up. The architecture is so impressive and can really captivate your soul. This attraction is modern yet it looks ancient. This rich contrast is just one of the many things that make Istanbul such a fascinating place to visit.
Dancing Fountain at Sultanahmet
Address: Binbirdirek Mh., Sultan Ahmet Parkı No:2, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Website: Dancing Fountain at Sultanahmet
A visit to Turkey will never be complete without experiencing the Turkish bath known as hamam. The Turkish bath offers visitors a revelatory experience. The process includes a period of preparing the skin for bathing in a sauna like room, followed by a full body wash. Head straight to the beautiful Cagaloglu Hamami with its steam rooms and lavishly arched and domed with a decoration of tulip tiles, which date back to the Ottoman times. Besides, you can learn about the ancient tradition of hamam while in here.
During the 2 to 4 hours you will deep cleanse your mind and body. Once you are there, leave your coyness at the door and follow the locals into the bath house. You can either change into your swimming shorts or bikinis. Alternatively you can strip off completely just like the locals. Once you are ready, relax on a marble slab in a steamy bath chamber. One of the attendants will then exfoliate your body by scrubbing with hot soapy water and mitten after around 45 minutes of sweating and relaxing in the steam bath chamber. Then you will head to one of the cooler rooms to relax after you have rinsed the soapy suds off your body with hot water. After the refreshing Turkish bath, you will be transported back to your hotel.
Cagaloglu Hamami (Turkish bath)
Address: Alemdar Mahallesi, Cağaloğlu Hamamı Sk. No:34, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Price: Starting from 115 USD
6. Meze by Lemon Tree (Open till 11.30pm)
Meze by Lemon Tree is not just a restaurant, but a unique place for you to savor the local delicacies. Be prepared to fill up your hungry stomach with a wide array of delicious meze (a collection of small platters, which are served both cold and hot). Here tradition takes on a new lease of life as Turkish favorites are prepared with specifically chosen ingredients, real flair and clever combinations. The good thing about this place is you can choose what you want to eat; head over to the display and select from the various delicious meze.
The meze will always change according to seasonal ingredients. Among the favorites are the mashed broad beans and fried sweet green pepper, filled with cheese from the Ezine region. Chef Gencay Ucok has also managed to go beyond meze with some of the most mouthwatering meat dishes found in the city that include grilled marinated beef slices on a skewer, as well as grilled lamb sirloin. If you plan to eat at Meze by Lemon Tree you need to book in advance, as the restaurant is rather small yet very popular among locals and tourists.
Meze by Lemon Tree
Address: Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Cd. 83/B, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday (6pm-11.30pm)
Contact: +90 2122528302
Website: Meze by Lemon Tree
7. Sortie Club (Open till 4am)
Istanbul enchants its visitor with its nightlife activities. If you feel like going out at night, here is a suggestion; have some fun at Sortie Club. This restaurant offers diners quality entertainment, good food, good music as well as an amazing view. Apart from that, there are a total of seven different restaurants in Sortie for you to choose from. This is definitely a unique experience for locals and tourists likewise.
Local wines and International cuisines are served in an airy, stylish room overlooking the water. This is indeed a great place with a great view providing many choices from international cuisine during the summer. Besides that, Sortie restaurant is open during the winter season. While you are here you can enjoy the popular dancing tunes too.
Address: Kuruçeşme Mahallesi, Muallim Naci Cd. Sortie No:54, 34345 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
Opening Hours: Sunday-Saturday (6pm to 4am)
Contact: +90 2123278585
Website: Sortie Club
A mix of ancient and modern
Istanbul is a fascinating city built on two continents divided by the Bosporus Strait. This is one of the greatest cities in the world, where you can see modern combined with traditional eastern city. It’s a melting pot of many civilizations and different people. The mix of east and west, history, and the friendliness of the people make this place a must-visit destination for tourists.
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