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Top 10 Bars and Clubs in Turkey

Destination(s): Istanbul

Turkish nightlife is a crazy mix between old and traditional tavernas with Turkish music and other such local goodies like the nargiles and the late night kebaps, and posh hangouts for the young international crowds, with an eclectic feel and a high end vibe. However, we can state without a doubt that the best venue for live music in Turkey is Istanbul's Babylon, that has been voted among the best 100 jazz clubs in the world and hosted some of the best performances Turkey has ever seen. If you want to hang out with the coolest crowds in the city and rub shoulders with the local celebrities, the ultimate venue for you is the huge Reina, that has a capacity of over 2500 people and is one of the bet entertainment venues in Turkey. Hipsters like to hang out at Cezayir, while the summer time favorite still remains Anjelique. read more about Top 10 Bars and Clubs in Turkey

Babylon

Babylon

  • Seyhbender Sokak 3 Tunel-Asmalimescit
  • Tünel, Asmalimescit
  • tel:90 212 292 7368
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 80040

Babylon, designed as a multipurpose performance space, is the premier award-winning live music venue in Turkey, that is offering both some of Turkey's most popular artists and some very special international bands and musicians at fairly reasonable rates. Top international names from jazz, latin, reggae, world music, and electronica spectrum are staged on weekends; while local bands take the stage on weekdays. There are also special DJ sessions, which are held once a month. This place has a capacity of 450 standing or 300 with tables & standing. Since 2007, Babylon has opened the Babylon Lounge, which also hosts live music performances. The difference of Babylon Lounge is that it is also possible to have dinner or lunch here, or just come for drinks and enjoy finger food and snacks.
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Reina

Reina

  • Muallim Naci Caddesi 44
  • Ortaköy
  • tel:90 30 212 259 5919 / 90 30 212 259 5921
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul

One of the hottest clubs in Turkey, Reina is actually a vast playground filled with bars, restaurants and dance floors that can welcome up to 2500 people. Supposedly, the name 'Reina' was inspired by a 'very cute' 3-year-old girl (wCities). In the past few years, Reina has been becoming more and more "less local." Yet, high-fliers, millionaires, celebrities and media moguls continue to mix and mingle under one roof. This has to do with its vast popularity and scenery, which have made it very famous worldwide and thus very crowded. It is located at the foot of the European side with a magnificent view of the Bosphorus Bridge. It is open every season, yet moves out to its vast open space in the summers. The place gets renovated right down to its toilets almost every season and opens both its winter and summer seasons with huge parties. The restaurants inside this complex run the gamut from Italian to Sushi to more traditional local fare. Many well-known restaurants including Kosebasi Kebab, Samdan Restaurant and Dragon Chinese Restaurant move into Reina for the summer season. Nevertheless, you may not be able to find the same restaurant here season after season: Who pays the piper calls the tune...


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Al Jamal Badawi

Al Jamal Badawi

  • Suleyman Seba Cad No:42-46 Akaretler
  • tel:+90 212 236 5017
  • Istanbul, 34357

Jamal A. Badawi is in real life "an Egyptian born Muslim Canadian professor in Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is a well-known author, activist, preacher and speaker on Islam and Muslims (Wikipedia)." Yet, the disco-club Al Jamal Badawi has little to do with his teachings... Al Jamal Badawi is the second branch -the week day alternative- of the dance club & cabaret show center Al Jamal in Harbiye, Nisantasi. It is one of the most entertaining places in Istanbul, because of its atmosphere, music and persistent cabaret show makers and dancers. Al Jamal Badawi has been designed and contemplated differently from the original and large bedouin tent version in Harbiye. Rather than a large, single dancing spot in the middle, Al Jamal Badawi has been composed of smaller, separate rooms of two or three tables. The interior architecture has been influenced by the traditional interior construction of Turkish baths -the hammams. Just as ladies withdraw into the seclusion of these separate rooms for bathing in privacy in the hammams; clients are seated within the privacy of these rooms with their "gang" or "group". Dinner starts at 8 PM with raki (Turkish ouzo), wine and meze (Turkish tapas). There is a fixed menu that includes the starters, hot entries and hot dishes and unlimited alcohol for a fixed price. What sets Al Jamal (Badawi) apart from the mainstream Turkish taverns (meyhanes) is that the food served is extremely delicious and of very high quality, as well as its presentations and service. It should still be noted however that the serving staff may get rather too busy even with three tables to serve only; and thus it may become necessary to repeat wishes and to demand better service at peak hours. At around 9.30 PM "male" bellydancers, called zennes, arrive with their female companions. After a brief bellydancing demonstration and show, they will make the clients go up on all feet. You will be surprised to see business suited business diners swinging real-time with the music!
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Nu Club

Nu Club

  • Tepebaşı Mesrutiyet Caddesi 147-149
  • Petit-Champs Passage
  • tel:90 212 245 6070
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul

This two-level nightclub, formerly known as NuPera, now also called Nu Club, happens to be the Nu Terrace in summers. It is located within the NuPera complex in the Beyoglu neighborhood, enclosing three restaurants inside during the winter and the regular Nu Restaurant on the terrace in the summer. In terms of its clientele, there are no vast seasonal differences in winter and summer. On the other hand, the concept of the place tends to change a bit. During winters, the three rooms, in which the three restaurants are, rock to different types of music, making an enchanting club environment that allows you to bar-hop without putting on your jacket at all. The restaurants inside are Moreish, Nu Restaurant and Lilbitz, offering a range of fusion, world and tapas food. During the summer, the inner places close down and only the terrace area is open for both dinner and entertainment. The place does tend to be crowded, making getting in a tough work at times; but this does not deter the regulars, who jostle for elbow-space on the dance floor. An eclectic range of music is played by the DJs here, and that includes hip hop, house and pop. The clientele is elitist and the dress code is strictly smart and chic.
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Meyhane

Meyhane

  • Koza Sok. 157A
  • Gaziosmanpasa
  • tel:0312/446-5454
  • Ankara
The Lord Kinross

The Lord Kinross

  • Cemâl Nadir Sok. 18
  • Çankaya
  • tel:0312/439-5252
  • Ankara
The North Shield Pub

The North Shield Pub

  • Güvenlik Cad. 111
  • Asagi Ayranci
  • tel:0312/466-1266
  • Ankara
Anjelique

Anjelique

  • Muallim Naci Caddesi Salhane sokak no. 5
  • Ortaköy
  • tel:90 212 327 2844
  • Istanbul
Cezayir

Cezayir

  • Hariyre Caddesi 12
  • Galatasaray
  • tel:90 212 245 9980
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34425