Istanbul’s nightlife has taken a hit over the past few years as a result of the political instability and terrorist attacks, some of which have targeted tourist spots and a nightclub. The danger of being caught up in anything like this can be overstated, and Istanbul has some amazing places to drink, dance and see live music.
The weather is great, the food is great, and it’s quite cheap if you’re coming from Europe, with 4.67 lira to the Euro currently. In the Beyoğlu district of central Istanbul, where Taksim square connects via Istiklal street to the famous Galata tower, you can find an area with lots of bars and restaurants called Nevizade. Behind an unassuming entrance in one of its streets, Peyote nightclub and bar seems to be an always teeming spot for Istanbul’s progressive music afficionados, where you can drink on the atmospheric covered rooftop, whatever the weather, or dance in one of the rooms below when DJs are playing.
There are lots of live sets from the club you can find if you want to see what the music is like there.
If you need a little late night snack after drinking there, Nizam Pide on the same street does an amazing Kelle paça çorbası (head and leg soup) which I first discovered back in 2013 after being trapped in a nearby bar for a number of hours while police and protesters clashed during the Gezi Park protests and tear gas filled the streets.