Where To Go and What To Do

You could spend weeks exploring Istanbul’s nightlife and neighbourhoods. Even if you only have one night though, you can still get a taste of the city’s mix of old and new, east and west.

The heart of the city’s the Bosphorus, and a boat trip gives you some of Istanbul’s best views. There’s lots of different trips available, but if you’re feeling romantic you can take an hour long private cruise at sunset. From the water you get the perfect vantage point of Sultanahmet’s mosques and minarets against the glowing sky.

Back on dry land, take a walk across the Galata Bridge past its fishermen and floating food stalls, and on to 5 Kat Cafe Bar Restaurant. This rooftop terrace bar has beautiful views back down to the Bosphorus and is perfect if you want to have a cocktail or two before dinner.

When you start getting hungry, head to Meze by Lemon Tree for some traditional Turkish food with a twist. You can choose from a range of mezze dishes like sea bass with apricots and almonds, or pastries stuffed with cheese, mushroom and aubergine. They’re all served with Turkish wines or a shot of raki.

Go for a stroll after dinner in Beyoğlu and head to Urban Cafe, which is a relaxed Paris-style café bar that’s tucked away down an alley. Its tables spill out onto the street and on summer nights you can join the locals catching up over a cold Efes beer.

End the night at Beyoğlu’s 360 Istanbul, a penthouse bar and restaurant that sits on top of a historic 19th century apartment building. It has a glass walled dining room with amazing views, but you’ll find things really get going after dark with DJs, live music and dancing until the early hours.