Zarifi: Winter 2002-2003
In just one visit, I realized why 'Zarifi' has made such a big name in Istanbul this fall. It has everything a Turkish guy/girl needs in a winter location. Its conveniently located in Beyoglu (Taxim area) and has a very selected crowd.(Ages ranging between 25-35) The music is a unique mixture of 70s, 80s, 90s and todays hit songs of Turkey. The DJ also played some Greek songs and world hits as well. In the first couple of hours Zarifi makes you feel like its just a nice, typical restaurant. People show up around 8:00-8:30pm (Yes, its typical that dinner start that late and end really late in Turkey!) and eating goes on until midnight. Past midnight, the DJ takes over and the place goes wild. One more time, like every other elite club/restaurant in Istanbul, Zarifi has a very selective crowd. Its almost impossible to get in -even just for drinks- if you don't have a reservation or if you can't make a great impression on the bodyguards at the door!. You definetely need to make reservations days in advance for dinner, and will need to dress up to avoid other people staring at you and making you feel like you don't belong there..:)) After eating and dancing for hours we left around 3:15am, and the dancing was still going on..
5 Kat Cafe Bar Restaurant: Lounge life in Istanbul
5 Kat ("Fifth Floor") is a very congenial lounge and restaurant located, amazingly enough, on the 5th floor of building on a Taksim side street. Go up one more flight to the lovely rooftop lounge, or stay on the first level for a nice meal and drinks. The ambience is a sort of comfy-cushion, velvet-drapes, hanging beads look. Some English is spoken.
Dress Code: Casual
On a Saturday night in Istanbul, Taksim is the place to be. Start in Taksim Square, which is packed with people, and walk down Istiklal Caddesi. There are restaurants, bars, and clubs everywhere, and more people than you can imagine.
Taksim Square: the centre of things
Taksim Square is the hub of nightlife in Istanbul: bars, cafes, clubs. It has a slightly threatening, dynamic edge to it (some of the side streets in particular) but as long as you are sensible, you can have a great time and experience Istanbul in the same way asa lot of young Turks do.
A little outdoor cafe on the...
A little outdoor cafe on the right side of the Blue Mosque *(in the town square).
Even though it's a bit 'touristy', it's a pleasant area (outside) to sit in,
and they have interesting middle eastern type musicians playing autoharp and a flute.
Quite pretty to listen to, and does not rack your brain or strain your ears to try to listen to your friends.
Dress Code: Tourist casual. None really.
I have been far from...
I have been far from Istanbul for 3 years. Unfortunately last time I was there it was 10 days after the major earthqauke August 17th 1999.
City was so sad at that time. Well but I am sure “Hayal Kahvesi” and “Kemanci” have a nice nightlife still and you will find the info in the city easily.
Some people might think that...
Some people might think that because of the religion they will not find certain kind of amusement on the city. That is not truth. Those people are right when they think about religious matter, but anyway those very religious people are not part of the night life in Istanbul and they have their own kind of amusement.
I remind you Turkey is a laic country were religion and government do not walk together like some other Arabic countries. Turkish people enjoy eating, drinking and dancing.Over the weekend you will see full bars and tea gardens with young and mature, women and man enjoying their tea, coffee or also beer and Raki.
Ortakoy is a district where young and open minded people go. There you will find tea gardens, restaurants and of course a disco. Pasa Disco is one of the best discos of Istanbul.There you will find young people enjoying night life. Music is high, full of energy, color and passion. Alcohol is available. For directions just say to the taxi driver Pasa Disco and Ortakoy (district).You should have a look at Ortakoy district before going to the disco.
Beyoglu is certainly the best district to find bars. You should go to 'Cicek Pasaji' (Flower Passage) where there are some restaurants near each other, if you want to have dinner you can always ask for a drink and some appetizers.
The range of night...
The range of night entertainment is huge, from traditional male-dominated birahanes to techno and rave nightclubs, with new venues opening by the week. As a result, Turkey's nightlife is quickly gaining recognition as one of the liveliest in Europe.
For those who want to see something more exotic, many nightclubs offer 'Oriental shows' with sequined bellydancers, troupes of Russian or Romanian dancers, and flashy caberet singers. Most of these shows are quite tame and sanitized, although the visitor should beware of the seedier style pavyon, where the unsuspecting can be ripped off for an inordinate amount of money, in return for some watered-down drinks and the dubious company of one of the girls who work there. Fortunately, these joints are fairly obvious, advertising their services with neon lights and photographs of
scantily-clad girls, and its not difficult to avoid them.
Turkey has thriving red light districts, where genelev (brothels) operate legally under the control of the municipality. Certain hotels in the sleazier areas of towns also act as unofficial pickup joints. In the past few years Western-style bars and cafes have become the place to see and be seen. Opening hours are long; most bars stay open until 2:00 am and some keep going until 4:00am or later. The most downmarket of these are sawdust-on-the-floor style rock bars, where the beer is incredibly cheap, decoration is minimal, and heavy metal and 70s rock is the order of the day. These are popular among students, and the atmosphere is extremely lively, with lots of political discussion taking place amidst the headbanging. The dress code for these bars is strictly grunge, with body piercing, heavy metal t-shirts, and lots of hair. The oldest and most enduring of these is Koprualti Kemanci, also known as Eski Kemanci, which began life as one of the hangouts under the old wooden Galata bridge, but is now located in Taksim.
Homegrown pop and rock is improving, and many Turkish stars also perform at bars and clubs. A great way to spend a summer evening is to attend one of the many outdoor rock and pop concerts featuring the current chart toppers which are regularily held in the main tourist resorts. Admission is usually free.
Alternative music is becoming more widely available and popular in Turkey, and the newest clubs cater for fans of underground, hardcore and drum and bass. For a more relaxed atmosphere, there are many late-opening cafes serving great cappuchinos along with alcohol and playing everything from classical to drum and bass. At the top end of the market are bars and clubs catering to the young and upwardly mobile elite. These are superbly stylish, and concentrated mainly in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. In Istanbul, the top discos have summer locations along the Bosphorus, where you can enjoy the beautiful view while partying until the early hours. Levent and Etiler are also recommended watering spots.
Lots of nice restaurants and kebabshops. I especially liked the ones where you can pick your meal at the counter, or choose a plate of the rotisserie lamb/chicken beef. Lots of nightclubs in the sidestreets. The whole street is pedestrian (except for the lone police car or taxi) which makes it a nice place to walk at night.
Up the hill from the Bosphorous, Etiler is the place to be for nice restaurants, clubs etc.
Dress Code: You'll see a lot of guys wearing suits at nightclubs, this is the standard for the better clubs, be prepared.
In the summer time there are...
In the summer time there are open air clubs by the Bosphorus that boast loud house and techno beats until 8 o'clock in the morning. These are past Ortakoy, in Kurucesme.
are the best and most elite.
Ortakoy itself also is a nice hangout area especially in the summer time where you can find many different kinds of clubs, cafes and eateries. You can simply get a vodka and some mixer and sit by the sea and drink with your friends too.. Depends whether or not you want to experience the 'Boheme' atmosphere of the Ortakoy center or experience the 'Tikky' -elite and show-offist style o the clubs..
Some of the clubs have no cover during the week.
On the weekends it's really hard to get in, but you can call in advance and make a reservation for dinner. Dinner is quite expensive ranging from 35$-150$ per person depending on the restaurant. You can taste the most exquisite fusion dishes here...
Dress Code: If you're going to the Kurucesme clubs,
unless you're dressed to kill, you will not be able to get in. The dress code is more tolerant for foreigners but you need to look hip and cool, and bringing in girls with you is a smart thing, otherwise you might not be able to get in.
Ortakoy downtown... it's very simple.. You can wear anything you want, but if you're a girl, don't wear too flashy clothes otherwise you might get hit on by people.
Turkish people are hospital...
Turkish people are hospital and joyful people.
They will take good care of you whenever you go.
But you must go to an orient show and find out more about their culture.
My suggestion for a very nice show and a pleasant evening is the ORIENT HOUSE .
I like Instabul's Night life because nights there are so alive and have a mystery.
Dress Code: Young people in Instabul are very well dressed and in fashion.In istabul you can fell comfortable with your dress code unless it is not that much extreme and sexy.
Taksim and beyoglu is the best...
Taksim and beyoglu is the best place in istanbul for nigth life.you can find everykind of night life. but laila and chinawhite is a good disco in istanbul.
because you can find everykind of night life
Dress Code: Dress is no problem you can wear everything in our nigt life...
NIGHT LIFE I would go...
I would go check out the 'HAYAL KAHVESI' in Cubuklu [phn: (216) 413-6880]. This is an open air bar and night club right on the Bosphorus (sea). It's located on the Asian side of Istanbul. 'PASHA' [phn: (212) 259-7161] is a night club and it is also on the Bosphorus but on the European side, a $6 to $10 cab ride from many downtown hotels. It's a place where Istanbul's yuppies would go for dancing. The bartender at Pasha is a friend whose name is Ayhan and who lived in Boston until very recently (where I live now). If you are from the area he'd appreciate your greeting him. 'ZIHNI' is also a very good bar with fantastic view of the Asian side. It's located on the European side [phn: (212) 258-1154]. 'GALATA TOWER' is a historic tower constructed by Genoese in 1348, rising 62 meters (about 180 feet) is now a restaurant and a night club where you can see a traditional show with belly dancers, folk dancers, and singers [phn: (212) 245-1160]. 'GRAMAFON' located at the end of the Istiklal Street (a very famous pedastrian street in the heart of the city -Taksim/Beyoglu area) by 'Tunel' is a very nice bar with light food. Local jazz and blues bands play there every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It's very nice place and a great conclusion to may be a dinner in 'Cicek Pasaji' or at 'Haci Abdullah' restaurant (see below).
My favorite nightlife spot...
My favorite nightlife spot is ,ORIENT HOUSE.
Folklor and BELLY-DANCERS in their traditional
costumes.Fun with animation.
In an oriental atmosphere,enjoy the programme.
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