Socialising in Istanbul is quite varied and should have something to suit everyones desires. Akin to the restaurant scene, you should ensure that you check out the local entertainment on offer. Belly dancing has been part of Istanbuls nightlife for centuries and was traditionally reserved for the female locals. Now, however, and ladies this is for you, male belly dancing is all the rage and apparently well worth a look.
While Turkish pop might not have an MTV award ring to it, it would be a shame to visit the country and not listen to some of the local racket. Several pubs and clubs will treat you to traditional Turkish singers as well as those of the pop variety. You should also check out some of the folklore shows on offer around the city.
With regards to the type of music you are more accustomed to, there are numerous jazz and blues clubs scattered throughout the city as well as clubs playing music from the past four decades. And, the good news is that most of the clubs stay open to between 4.00 and 6.00am leaving you plenty of time to find somewhere that you are going to enjoy.
10 Iman Adnan, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey
With live music from Tuesday to Saturday and no entrance fee, this is a popular venue for all you backpackers out there. Music to cater for all tastes is provided and light meals including appetizers, salads and hot snacks are also served.
474 Bagdat Avenue, Suadiye, Istanbul, Turkey
A cute little pub with live local music every day. Let Mertol entertain you on Sundays and Mondays, while for the rest of the week you can listen to Zeliha and her band perform. Entrance fee is included in the price of your first drink and its open between 4.00pm and 2.00am.
3 Seyhbender Street, Asmalimescit Tunnel, Istanbul, Turkey
This is a more of a complex than a pub where you will find a concert hall, a disco, cinema, gallery and a jazz club. Extremely popular as you can find so much entertainment in one area. Live music is performed in the form of up and coming new talent who offer fans the chance to listen to sounds from all over the world. It does close at 12.30am, however, and concerts are notorious for being delayed
69 Siraselviler St, Istanbul, Turkey
If you fancy listening to some live Turkish music, then let Mehtap and Yilmaz treat you to the sounds of Istanbul. The fact that it is open until 4.00am and no entrance fee is paid mean that even if you are not a fan of the likes of the aforementioned bands, it is a good place to check out.
27 Kucukparmakkapy Ypek Beyoglu, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey
This place is exceptionally popular with visitors to the city as well as young people from the area. An excellent collection of jazz, blues and ethnic music make it a relaxing location, just perfect to unwind after a day trekking around the city. Open from noon until 2.00am.
Hyatt Regency, Elmadag, Istanbul, Turkey
Another popular venue with younger socialites mainly due to its original décor and music. Open until 4.00am every day except Monday, with live music on Tuedsay, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and no cover charge on Tuesday and Wednesday, Harrys is certainly worth adding to your itinerary for Istanbul.
Ydealtepe Sahil, Istanbul, Turkey
This is one for the classier backpackers out there. If you want to start off the night with dinner, check out the restaurant where piano is played every evening except Monday. On Friday and Saturday you are also treated to traditional Turkish performances. Following dinner, make your way to the roof bar to check out some live Turkish pop. That should be interesting.
Talimhane, Takism, Istanbul, Turkey
One of the most popular clubs in Istanbul, partly because it is open nightly until 6.00am and also because of the variety of music. Because techno and house is hard come by in Istanbul, it is also worth mentioning that Wednesday nights are for reserved for those of you who are partial to this particular type of music. Cover charge is included in the first drink.
30 Cumhuriyet, Harbive, Istanbul, Turkey
Resembling an Ottoman palace and treating the audience to folk dances and the native art of belly dancing, this is where you come to truly immerse yourself in the culture. Unfortunately, this is the opinion of a great deal of tourists which does takeaway some of the authentic feel of the place. Nevertheless, it is worth a visit.