Istanbul after Dark

istanbulIstanbul is one of those cities that never sleeps. Spanning two continents (Europe and Asia) and home to a population of over 14 million there’s a wealth of things to see and do. The historical sights alone are enough to keep you amused for the length of your stay.

During the day you can busy yourself with the beaches, bazaars, hammams and historic attractions but when night falls the fun certainly doesn’t stop there.

Istanbul’s nightlife is as varied as it is exciting with a wide range of venues opening their doors to those wanting to enjoy the local hospitality. When it comes to bars there’s something to suit most tastes with jazz clubs, sports bars, live music venues and those with regular DJ sets. One not to miss is Araf Café Bar (named after the land between heaven and hell) which is a lively venue covering two penthouse floors on Istiklal Street in Beyoglu. A popular haven for ex-pats this bar is loved both for its great views over the city and the excellent live music from the bands that play most nights. As well as a Turkish gypsy musician who plays on Tuesdays there’s also ‘World Music Nights’ at the weekend where the bar’s resident DJ’s take over the decks until 4am.

Quieter options are of course available including a number of jazz bars and wine bars – perfect if you want a cosy drink and a chat. You can of course also make a night of dining in Istanbul thanks to the number of top restaurants in the area – food is varied from international options to traditional Turkish dishes.

If however, you’re up for a party then Istanbul has a top range of clubs to get you tapping your feet until the early hours.  Opened in 1999, Babylon is one of the city’s top music venues and its split level space makes a great place to bop away to the jazz, rock, hip hop, reggae, Latin & electronic music that is played here. The high tech sound system means as well as DJ sets there are also live performances – which include both local and international acts. The party continues until 2am Wednesday & Thursday and 3am on Friday and Saturday.

If techno, house and indie music is your thing Indigo Nightclub is worth trying out. Again, you’ll find a mixture of both DJ sets and live music.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Istanbul anytime soon, don’t forget to pack those dancing shoes as you might just need them

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