Gay bars and clubs in Istanbul

Turkish Lesbians Istanbul Lesbian Guide



General Information:


Istanbul's gay night life is more visible around and after-midnight. Majority of the gay night clubs are not busy enough until 01:00 am, but there are a considerable number of gay bars open and vivid before midnight as well.  In Istanbul, gay bars and clubs are busiest on Saturdays nights as everywhere else. Friday nights are also busy enough if not as much. Tuesday and Wednesday nights would be vivid in comparison to the other mid-week nights, but this also depends on special events organized in each venue. Mondays would be the least popular night of the week when most trendy gay night clubs would be closed. The gay bars and clubs would also be busier in winter compared to summer season., when many local people leaves the city for summer holidays. Hence, Istanbul's gay night life becomes more quiet especially in July and August when some venues may close their doors for a few weeks for renovation and restoration. There are no dark rooms in most gay bars and clubs and sexual intimacy is not allowed principally, but usually kissing, hugging etc is well received.

Prices:
Unlike most Western tourist expect, the gay bars are not very cheap in Istanbul. So, do not think that they are overcharging you because you are a tourist. The price of one drink ranges approximately between 5-8 Euros for local drinks, 10-15 Euros for "imported drinks" (such as Whiskey, Malibu, Safari, cocktails etc.) The bars would accept Euros or Dollars for payment but they apply lower currency rates. Some venues would accept payments with credit cards, but not all. So, have some cash Turkish liras on you when you go out, to make it easier.

Orientation:
You will notice that almost all gay bars and clubs are located in Taksim & Beyoglu. Do not get confused with Taksim and Beyoglu districts, when you see the venue addresses. The official municipality is called Beyoglu (historical Pera district) Taksim is just the central neighborhood of Beyoglu, at the northern end of the town and Istiklal Caddesi (very famous pedestrian avenue). The area starting from Taksim Square all the way down to the Golden Horn on the southern-end are all within Beyoglu municipality borders. That is, if the address contains Taksim, the place should be closer to the north of Beyoglu.

Useful tips for finding the venue addresses:
Cad. = Caddesi (read: Jad-de-see) = Main street/avenue
Sok. = Sokak= Side street or small lane/alley.
Ilkyaz Apt. = Ilkyaz Apartment, name of the building, if there is one.
Kat: 3 = On the 3rd Floor
No:23/4 = Here 23 Refers to the number of the building on that street. It follows as 2,4,6... , on one side, 1,3,5... on the other side of the street. 4 refers to the number of the flat / apartment / floor
Click here for up-to-date Gay Map of Istanbul



Gay Café & Bars in Istanbul


These are the venues open and vivid before midnight as well.  Most of these gay bars are open everyday and they are more crowded between 21:00-02:00 a.m, though this may differ for each venue and from day to day. The prices in these bars are slightly cheaper than gay night clubs (listed below), and they do not need entrance or cloakroom fees. Most of them organizes activities, shows, karaoke nights and live music performances on several nights off the week. It is advised to check their Facebook pages to find out when / what kind of shows they are offering

Mor Kedi Cafe & Bar (20:00- 02:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Imam Adnan Sk. No: 7/3 Beyoglu, Istanbul
Web: Facebook.com / Mor-Kedi
More Kedi is one of the most senior gay cafe bars in Istanbul. It is a place that may get busy before all others gay bars. Usually there will be some people from 6 p.m  until around midnight. Clients are mostly younger gays, but any ages are welcomed.

Haspa Bar (20:00- 02:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Ipek Sokak 16/2 Beyoglu, Istanbul
Web: Facebook.com / groups
Haspa is among the popular evening gay bars since it was opened in April 2011. There is a live Turkish pop music performance in most of the days in Haspa Bar. Find the Mc Donald's on Istiklal avenue at the corner combining to Kucuk Parmakkapi street. Walk into Kucuk Parmakkapı and turn left to Ipek Sokak street. You will see  the entrance on your left.

Chaplin Cafe & Bar (20:00- 02:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Ipek Sokak 16, Kat 3, Daire 5 - Beyoglu/Istanbul
Web: Facebook.com/chaplincafe.taksim
Another gay cafe bar on the 3rd floor of the same building with Haspa Bar, Mostly patronized by younger gay men and the prices are fairly reasonable. Compared to Haspa, This one has a more cafe-like atmosphere. You can take a quick look both venue and decide to stay whichever one you like better.

Pinokyo Cafe & Bar (20:00- 02:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Buyukparmakkapi Sk No: 26/1 No: 26/1, Beyoglu, Istanbul
Web: Facebook.com / Pinokyo
Pinokyo was opened in March 2011 and has become one of the most popular gay bars.They offer Turkish music performances and drag show on various days. It is located on the first floor of a building Buyukparmakkapi street, which is opposite from Benetton dress shop on Istiklal Avenue. 

Chianti Bar (20:00-02:00)
Address: Balo Sokak,  No: 31/2  Beyoglu, Istanbul.
A friendly gay cafe bar open earlier in days time but  it is more busy in the evenings and around midnight. It starts as a cafe-shop more quietly then the music gets louder after around 9 p.m. It is located towards the end of Balo street if you walk in from Istiklal avenue. Balo Sokak is not far from well-known Galatasaray High School.

Durak Pub (19:00 - 02:00)
Address: Murat Pasa Sokak, No: 9, Yusufpasa, Aksaray, Istanbul
Durak is farly different from the rest of gay bars & clubs in Istanbul. First of all it is located in a different district, Aksaray, unlike most other gay bars are located in Taksim / Beyoglu. Aksaray is a distinct known for its sleazy night life about 5 km away from Taksim. It also has a very traditional atmosphere intentionally. There is a live Turkish classical music performance everyday. The clients are also fairly different. Majority of the clients are middle aged, mature and straight acting, and many with mustache and beards.  It can rather classified as a bear venue in that sense.  If you have intention to visit this venue, it would be wise to locate it in day time. Murat Pasa street is near Yusufpasa trams station, on the right had side when you come from Sultanahmet direction. From Taksim there are many public buses passing by Yusufpasa, but not very frequent after 10 p.m. Taking yellow shared cabs (called dolmush) departing from side streets near Taksim square (across Cartoon Hotel) are more comfortable and cheap. Most of them pass by Yusufpasa.  
PS: Durak bar is closed during Ramadan month for about 30 days every year.  Click here for Ramadan calendar
 



Gay Night Clubs in Istanbul.


Majority of the gay clubs listed under this cathegory are busy after midnight. Although they open their doors by 22:00-23:00 o'clock, the action does not start before midnight. Without exception, the music is loud in all of these after-midnight clubs; playing a mixture of Turkish pop, western pop, techno and underground music in turns. Most these night clubs in Istanbul require entrance fee on Saturday nights and sometimes on Friday nights, but you can get one "local drink" with your ticket. Typically, there are several security guys waiting at the door of each gay bar/club.  They are there to stop some unsolicited visitors and take care of the cloak-rooms. In winter season, the clients are expected to leave their large bags, jackets and coats at the cloak rooms and pay for it some kind of compulsory tip when they leave.

Tekyon Club (23:00-05:00)
Address: Siraselviler Caddesi, No: 63/1   Taksim, Beyoglu. Istanbul.
Web: Facebook.com / Club Tekyon
Already very popular gay club of Istanbul has moved for a third time to a new and much bigger place on Siraselviler on May 26th 2009 and it is still the most popular gay club until then. The prices are average The venue is very big for the capacity of gay nightlife in Istanbul and consequently it is getting less crowded especially during the week-in days but it is almost always very very busy on Friday and Saturday nights, including its big back-garden which give an opportunity to smokers. Tekyon was originally a popular venue especially for local bears, but now it attracts a completely mixed crowd now. The waiters are very feminine and friendly in this bar, probably to entertain their loyal clients. Male belly dancer and simple drag shows performed by the bar staff can be fun to see, usually on Tuesday nights after 01:00 am, and there are various show on weekend nights including a go-go show (sometimes even a bear version of it). Tekyon is very flexible with cover charges and cloakroom rituals compared to other gay clubs in Taksim.

Super Fabric (23:00 - 05:00)
Address: Cumhuriyet Caddesi No: 42  Elmadag / Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey
Web: Facebook.com / Super Fabric
Although it was opened recently in late October 2014, Super Fabric is not new to gay night clubbers living in Istanbul. The manager of Super Fabric is the same person who was in charge of X-Large, the club which brought the professional shows to Istanbul's gay nightlife. Likewise, Super Fabric is taking its place with very professional concept shows in European standards. They usually charge entrance fee on Friday and Saturday nights, and although it is a little over average it might be worth when you consider the quality of the shows. It is located at some 10 minutes walking distance to the north of Taksim Square somewhere on Cumhuriyet Caddesi avenue that goes towards Harbiye / Sisli districts, roughly across from Konak Hotel. Please note that the entrance gate is not facing the main avenue. It is on a very small blind-street off the Cumhuriyet Caddesi. Super Fabric is not open on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Love Club - 23:00 - 05:00 (Friday-Saturday)
Address: Cumhuriyet Caddesi, No: 349 Harbiye, Sisli, Istanbul
Web: Facebook.com / Love Dance Point
This night club is located in Harbiye district, on the main avenue about 15-20 minutes walking distance to Taksim Square. It is better to take a texi after midnight. An honest taxi ride should cost round 2-3 Euros. It is open on Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday is the most busy night and there are some good shows usually. They are rigid about the admission fee on Saturday nights. The tickets are around 10-15 Euro but you will get 1 drink with it, which is a typical price and practice in similar clubs. If it is the first time you are going there it is hard to notice the venue at first sight. The entrance is on a very narrow street, down the steps from the main avenue. It is just round the corner of a linens shop called English Home, which is easier to notice with a big obtrusive sign-board. If you take taxi from Taksim tell the driver that you will get off at "Askeri Muze" /Military museum in Harbiye. The club is across the main street with respect to Askeri Muze building.

Kappak Club (23:00 - 05:00)
Address: Buyukparmakkapi Sokak No: 26 Taksim, Beyoglu, Istanbul
Web: Facebook.com / KappaK Club
A comparatively new gay night club opened in late July, 2014 by the owners & managers of Pinokyo Cafe Bar (see above) at the entrance floor of the same building. Similar to other gay clubs, they are busy after midnight, and especially on Saturday nights. They organize a variety of shows including Go Go Boys and Go Go Girls.

Club 17 - 23:00-05:00
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Zambak Sokak No: 17, Taksim, Istanbul
Web: Facebook.com / Club17 Taksim
Meeting point of mainly cheap young hustlers & amateur escort boys and some gay men who would be interested in them. There are also several drag queens and transvestites in the place most of the time. They play loud techno & underground music from their lousy music system but it is a busy place usually full of these hustlers. Beware of the boys you pick up from here. As long as you are aware of these facts, it may be fun to go there to observe the underground gay-culture of the city for some people.

Club Cheeky - 01:00-07:00
Address: Tarlabasi Bulvari No: 32 Taksim, Istanbul.
Web: Facebook.com / Cheeky Club 
The venue was already popular when it changed its address and moved to the place of another popular gay club (Ekoo Club) in mid 2014. This is a morning-club open on Fridays and Saturdays and not busy before 03:00 am, intending to catering LGBT people after all other clubs closes down. They are very strict about entrance charge which is a over average (apprx 15 Euro), but still it is usually very busy on weekend days. You can see a mixture of gays, bears, few rent-boys and even transvestites. It is located very close to Taksim Square, next to Cartoon Hotel. It had a small darkroom in the previous venue which was is the main reason of its popularity. The terrace floor of the new venue is expected to function like that.


The venues which no longer exist
Following venues has been closed-down completely for various reasons. We are listing them just to let people know because some of them are still being listed on many other internet websites and gay guide books, including Spartacus and Google maps. Please note that Istanbulgay.Com is published by local gay people living in Istanbul and updated instantly with the latest information about the gay venues in Istanbul which you can not find anywhere else.

Rocinante Bar - Close in early 2016.
Neo Club - Closed down since 01 Jan 2015
Sugar Cafe - Closed down since 24 Jan 2015
Elysion - Opened and closed in a short time in early 2015.
Ekoo Club - Closed down in late 2014
Frappe Bar (Taksim) - Closed down in early 2014
Club Prive- Changed name as No-name. Same owners but now a trans club
Other Side- Changed name as Penthouse Club, then closed for good
Deja Vu - Closed down in mid 2010
Barbahce - Closed down in early 2010
Queen Bar - Closed down in late 2009

Following gay venues has been closed-down (or they have totally changed their gay concepts) at least 5 years ago some of which may still be listed on several international gay website:

Yesil Bizans, Kutu Bar, Club 14 (Ceylan's), Machine, Club 12, Shake-in Bar, Degirmen Pub, Ajda Club, Secret Club, Exit Club, Purple Club, Gabile Club, Hot Point (TT'S) Cafe, B Club, Bubble, Pincur's Cafe, Tantana Bar, Altenatif Club, Oz Club, Club 99, Hans Bar, Telve, Club Barisik. Rouge Bar, Inside Cafe

 

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