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Istanbul Nightlife


Those in the know reckon Istanbul only comes to life once the sun sets. There is certainly an astounding range of nightlife in the city, from cutting edge techno to belly-dancing. The nadir of all this activity is Beyoðlu with plenty of wine bars, jazz joints and hip rooftop bars. In contrast, the tourist area of Sultanahmet has few venues worth mentioning.

Start your evening off at one of the many meyhanes - a type of Turkish tavern famous for raki and mezze platters. Some of the best nightclubs are in Ortaköy, overlooking the Bosphorous. The two most popular are Reina and Sortie, both famous for supermodels, millionaires and the effortlessly hip. For jazz music, head to enduring classics Nardis Jazz Club and Istanbul Jazz Centre.

Clubs and bars stay open very late and drinks prices are good compared to European cities. Be careful of visiting strip joints or belly-dancing clubs - these are notorious for ripping off tourists. Always establish prices before ordering anything. For local listings check out Time Out Istanbul or the Turkish Daily News.

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