Istanbul is quickly becoming a hot spot for travelers looking to have a fun-filled holiday and immerse themselves in a vibrant culture filled with good food and beautiful history.
The country is often noted for straddling the line between western ideals and eastern traditions. This is due in part to its location. Nestled between eastern Europe and the Middle East, it literally bridges the gap between the European and Asian continents.
The city is fast becoming more and more popular with tourists who want to experience stunning architecture, delicious food, and vibrant local culture. Unlike some other countries in the surrounding area that are predominately Muslim, Istanbul has a flourishing nightlife that draws in tourists from all over the world.
In this article, we’ve taken the time to compile a list of ten of the best bars in Istanbul that are sure to provide you with memories to last a lifetime.
Check out our post on 10 Best Bars in Cairo.
The Seven Hills Hotel Rooftop
Hotels all over the world are tapping into their customer’s love of great views and great drinks. The Seven Hills Hotel is no different. This hotel features a rooftop bar and restaurant with some of the most stunning views in the entire city.
There are two locations throughout Istanbul, though, so you’ll want to be sure you’re heading to the correct one. This location sits just south of the Hagia Sophia. You don’t need to be a guest at the hotel to head to the top for some great food and drinks with a view.
This bar is a great time any time of the day; however, watching a sunset while you take in the stunning views of the Hagia Sophia can’t be beaten.
Mikla Rooftop Bar
If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale and are a lover of wine, look no further than the Mikla rooftop bar. This bar features an extensive list of wines, both red and white, from all over the world.
You will also have an extensive list of craft cocktails to choose from if you’re not the biggest fan of wine. The bar is perfectly situated, so you can enjoy an unobstructed view of Istanbul while you sip your wine or cocktails. You’ll be able to see everything from the Sultanahmet Mosque to the Bosphorus Strait and so much more.
This location also features its very own restaurant in the same building, so you can have pre-dinner drinks or partake in a nightcap after you have your meal.
This nightlife hotspot sits on one of the most famous streets in Istanbul. Independence Avenue is a pedestrian street that is bustling throughout the day and night. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops to be found here.
Monkey Istanbul is another bar that sits on a rooftop and offers stunning views of the vibrant city. The best time to go is at sunset so you can sip on your drinks and watch the city come to life under the moonlight.
The people that often frequent this spot are a younger crowd, so this bar is always lively. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a more upbeat night out on the town.
Like Mikla, 16 Roof is where you should go if you want a bit more of an upscale vibe. Situated on the top of the Swissotel, The Bosphorus, the bar comes with a smart casual dress code.
They feature a long list of signature cocktails, wine, beer, and more, so everyone in your group will be sure to find something they like while there. Like many of the bars on this list, it offers patrons some beautiful views of Istanbul to enjoy while indulging in some drinks.
It is known by many to be one of the best bars in the entire city, and it’s easy to see why. It may come with a higher price tag than some other bars, but the experience makes it all worth it.
If you’re looking for a bar that is in an area that is a little more alternative and bohemian, Ziba is the right place. Locals and tourists alike often describe this bar as a hidden gem, and we can see why.
The neighborhood that plays host to Ziba is a bit less polished than some of the others on this list, but it makes for a great, “off the beaten path” location for people wanting great cocktails, good food, and a more laid-back vibe.
The bar has plenty of tables and is quiet enough during the day that it is a great place to work remotely if you have the stuff to accomplish while on holiday.
For the days when you want a little something extra in your bar experience, Finn Karakoy is a great choice. Millennials and Gen Z patrons will especially appreciate their inventive cocktails at this chic, urban bar.
Each drink comes with its own special description in the form of a hashtag that accurately describes the mood the drink embodies. If you’re feeling particularly joyful, there’s likely a drink for that. If you’re feeling a bit feisty, there may be the perfect cocktail for that too.
You can just read the menu and pick your tailored drink. This bar is the perfect spot for people who love urban, chic spaces with knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Craft Beer Lab
If fancy cocktails and wine are not your things and you are seeking a place to satisfy the craving for craft beers, Craft Beer Lab might just be your spot while in Istanbul. Unlike the other bars we’ve mentioned so far, this place has a more sports bar or brewery feel to it with a long and varied beer list.
This is the perfect spot to expand your beer-drinking horizons and maybe catch a game or two on one of their TVs. They serve beer from all over the world, and each one listed on the menu has where it originates from, the notes in it, and the alcohol content.
Craft Beer Lab also serves some great food options, so you can fill up more than just alcohol. If you go to Istanbul hoping to find a bar that is great for watching a soccer match, look no further.
Alexandra Cocktail Bar
Located in a more upscale neighborhood, this is another rooftop bar that is sure to wow you with stunning views of the city. It is a place that is more popular with locals in the area, so if you want to meet some native Turkish people, you should head here.
They have a great menu filled with cocktails and other drinks, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. The views here are unmatched, and the bar itself is a multi-level bar, so you’ll likely have no trouble finding a place to post up for a while and hang out with friends.
Chicki Boom is a small, dimly lit, and intimate bar that is becoming more popular in the Istanbul nightlife scene. Frequented by visiting celebrities, Chicki Boom serves up wonderful cocktails, nice music, and a smaller crowd than most Istanbul bars.
It has become so popular that it may require you to make a reservation before visiting, so be sure to check if you can get a seat before heading there for a night of fun and relaxation. You won’t be disappointed if you do get a spot!
Moretenders’ Cocktail Crib
This bar was formerly known as five cocktails and More and, since changing its name, has made a strong comeback in the bar scene. It’s a funky spot that travelers who love a trendy bar with interesting drinks will be sure to love.
Perfectly placed in the popular neighborhood of Beyoğlu, this bar is a must-visit. Each cocktail is served with a small animal crafted from various different foods, and each one is different than the last.
Have a look at our post on Top 10 Best Bars in Tel Aviv.
Istanbul is chock full of amazing bars that wow travelers in different ways. Since climbing its way to one of the more popular tourist destinations in the world, this city leaves you wanting nothing when it comes to nightlife.
There truly is something for everyone in this city, and there are plenty of planning resources available to find the right experiences for you and your group. With a little planning and the help of this list, we hope you will be able to find bars that are exciting and help to create lasting memories!
1.What area is best for nightlife in Istanbul?
Beyoğlu is one of the most popular areas in the city for people looking for vibrant nightlife culture. It offers numerous fun and trendy bars in a hip area.
2.How expensive are drinks in Istanbul?
Drinks are fairly inexpensive in Istanbul when compared to other large cities around the world. A beer, for example, may cost you around 8 TL.
3.What is the drinking age in Istanbul?
The legal drinking age in Turkey is 18 years old.