Istanbul Lesbian Guide



General Info


Turkish lesbian life has become very visible since early 2000's especially in Istanbul and several lesbian venues were opened in recent years. Until recently lesbians used to be minority in gay life of Istanbul, and they had to go to some of the gay bars because there were indeed few lesbian people that could go out comfortably. The main reason for this might be the women in general are not approved to go out on their own and stay late after midnights even if they are from modern families, partly also because of security reasons. This was just the opposite for gay men, because they would go out and stay late, using the male-oriented culture.

In fact culturally being lesbian can be more tolerated than being a gay men in Turkey. For instance, in the macho culture of the country "a girl like a boy" is a praising phrase while to be a boy like a girl can be considered fairly humiliating (!)

The society is also changing fast in recent years and as a result of the changing mentality, women in general including lesbians have more freedom than they used to have until several years ago. Internet has also helped a lot for these positive changes and Turkish lesbians are now more visible on the internet. There are numerous local lesbian chat channels, dating and personals websites and groups uniting Turkish lesbians.

Lesbian Venues in Istanbul:


Bigudi Club (22:00 - 05:00)
Lesbian exclusive only on Saturday nights.
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Mis Sokak No. 5 (terrace floor) Taksim/Beyoglu, Istanbul (
See Google Map)

Bigudi is the first ever exclusively lesbian venue opened in Turkey.  The venues has been closed down, re-opened and changed location several times since it was first opened in December 2006. It is open only for lesbian women on Saturday nights from 10:00 pm until 05 am, and men are not allowed inside under any circumstances. Although they open doors by 10 pm, the place usually becomes busy after / around midnight. Bigudi Club is located on Mis Sokak, a small street off Istiklal avenue, not far from Taksim square. The venue is on the terrace floor of the building with street #5. There is a regular cafe called 'Altin Plak' at the entrance floor of the same building, knowing which may help you to find the right building where it is located.

PS:  During the weekdays the venue is also serving as Bigudi Cafe welcoming a mixture of gay men and lesbian women and few transgender.  Because they keep changing the opening hours, days and season it is advised to follow their Facebook page for updates if you intend to visit during weekdays.

Visitor feedbacks:
"Club is free to enter on Friday nights. There is entrance fees on Saturday nights. Only women are allowed to enter to the club. The music is mixture of Turkish and European pop and the DJ is fairly good." 07/04/2009


Sign In to your Facebook account to follow activities at Bigudi Club





Catwalk Women Club  Closed in a very short time in 2013

SSS WomenClub Opened and closed down in 2012

Karantina Closed down in 2010, short time after it was opened.

Backbahce It was part of a gay club (Barbahce), which closed down completely in February 2010.



Lesbian Friendly Venues


Gizli Bahce - 23:30 - 05:00 (Friday-Saturday)

Address: Nevizade Sokak No:15, Galatasarayi Beyoğlu, Istanbul. Google Map 

Gizli Bahce is not a gay / lesbian place officially and it is not a place where you would see lesbians all the time. But it is still considered as a gay / lesbian friendly venue unofficially and it is quite likely to meet other lesbians there. It is also used as a meeting point by lesbians on special occasions.  The street it is located on (Nevizade) is one of the most popular cafe, bar & restaurant street in Beyoglu with tables on the street usually filled with people drinking, eating and chatting. Gizli Bahce also has few tables on the street but its main venue is upstairs and it also has a terrace facing the other side of the building, which is probably inspiration of the venues name (means Secret garden).


Sahne Kahve  (11:00-23:00)
Address: Kurtuluş Caddesi No: 150  (Upper Floor), Kurtulus, Şişli - Istanbul  (Google Map)

Even if it is does not have a visible lesbian scene Sahne Kahve is comfortably recommended to lesbian women as an ideal meeting with its tranquil atmosphere. According to the manager of this coffee house  Sahne Kahve is a straight-friendly gay & lesbian venue. In other words the clients are a mixture of gay, lesbian and straight people. It functions as a culture & art center besides offering typical cafe activities. Unlike most gay venues it is located in Kurtulus district, but still not very far from Taksim.  It is some 10-15 minute walking distance to popular gay clubs Neo and Love and can be a good choice as a pre-club venue especially on Friday and Saturday nights. This is how they describe themselves:


"Sahne Kahve is a kind of arts and cultural cafe/pub which is mostly preferred by gay people. Located in Kurtuluş which is called the new gay ghetto of Istanbul, Sahne Kahve is famous for the exhibitions, theatrical performances as well as the boutique parties which lasts until 00:00 on Friday and Saturday nights. The ones who want to warm up for the night on Friday and Saturday nights should certainly drop by Sahne Kahve. During the day, the place offers a peaceful atmosphere for the people who want to read their books or study/work and in the evening hours, it turns more into a pub where people drink and socialize together." (October 22 2014)


Rocinante Cafe & Bar (11:00 am - 02:00 am)
Address: Sakiz Agaci Caddesi, Ogut Sokak No:6/2 (2nd floor) Beyoglu/Istanbul.
See Google Map

Ogut Sokak is a alley/street somewhere behind the small mosque (Aga Camii) on Istiklal Avenue. Rocinante was not an officially declared as a lesbian venue previously but it was a visible gathering spot for especially butch lesbians for many years.  It is been turned into a typical gay venue (cafe & bar) since early 2013, but it can still be considered as a lesbian friendly venue.


Love Club - 23:30 - 05:00 (Friday-Saturday)
Address: Cumhuriyet Caddesi no: 349 Harbiye Istanbul. Google Map 
Web: &

This gay 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 5 lira (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.


Neo Club  (22:00 - 05:00)

Address: Halaskargazi Caddesi No: 113 Osmanbey, Istanbul, Turkey Google Map 

Web:  Facebook:

Neo Club was re-opened in late 2013, which a popular gay club until it was closed some 4-5 years ago. It is especially busy on Friday and Saturday nights like other similar European style clubs such as Love, X Large etc. On various nights, you can see Go Go boy, Drag Queen, and variety of other similar shows. The shows are performed in European standards. The club is located very close to Osmanbey exit of metro station (next station after Taksim), some 300 meters further away from Love club, if you come from Taksim direction.


The price, atmosphere and clientele of Love Club and Neo are very similar, where you can also see some lesbian women frequently. In fact lesbians can be seen in any other gay bars, if not very often.


Please click here for a complete list of gay bars and clubs in Istanbul:



Turkish Lesbians on the Internet

Please note that there are dozens of websites and chat channels for Turkish lesbians but here we are only listing few of them which have English content.

Turkish Lesbians Personals and Dating  
Yahoo group aiming to bring Turkish lesbians with the English speaking lesbians overseas.
Click Here to Join !


Voltrans is a solidarity group trying to bring trans-lesbian group open to "everyone who are biologically women, but do not identify "herself" as women". You can get in touch by their Facebook page. Although most people do not speak English there, you can still take a chance.
Lambda Istanbul
Turkish gay and lesbian liberation organization located in Istanbul

Kaos GL
Turkey's first exclusively gay lesbian magazine which also formed a gay&lesbian rights organization in capital city Ankara recently.

Kaos GL Culture centerl
Open Wednesday, Thursday Friday Saturday between 14:00 - 18:00 hrs
Address: Gazi Mustafa Kemal Bulvari, 29/12 Demirtepe, Kizilay / ANKARA
Phone/ Fax: 0312 230 03 58



Lesbian Travel Guide

Lesbian Friendly Travel Agency

Istanbul gay com is a cooperation of Pride Travel which is owned and managed by a lesbian lady. 
They will be happy to help you organize your holiday plans in Istanbul and Turkey. You can visit their office just to say hello and have a cup of tea.

Recommended Istanbul Hotels for Lesbian
Below listed hotels in Istanbul can especially be recommended to Lesbian tourists. They are located in safe and central neighborhoods and offer good prices comparatively.


Room Rates: Single 60-90 Euro, Double 70-110 Euro
Lesbian friendly Hotel Nomade lies in the heart of Istanbul's old city. It was totally renovated for its 20. anniversary by French designer Dan Beranger, offering deluxe rooms in a boutique establishment.
Direct Reservation >>
Room Rates: Single/Double: Starting from 60 Euro
Gay owned and very gay & lesbian friendly accommodation which will meet almost all expectations of lesbian visitors. Eklektik has only 8 deluxe rooms and it is very popular, so book in advance and as early as possible. 
Direct Reservation >>



Recommended Lesbian Links


International Lesbian Resources 
International Lesbian resources practically listed based on location (country/city) listing lesbian dating, personals, news, publications, lesbian groups and organizations and other lesbian websites.

Lesbian Worlds - Providing resources and information of issues, events, politics, discussions and community.

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Link to:
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Description: Istanbul and Turkish Lesbian Guide. Meeting points, bars, clubs, hotels, personals and dating websites.



Gay Travel

Click here for Istanbul city tours by gay owned local travel agency


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Gay Events in Istanbul

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