ISTANBUL GAY GUIDE
A Complete Guide of Gay and Lesbian Venues in Istanbul
Up-to-date listing of gay bars, clubs, restaurants, bath
houses, saunas, gay cruising parks and beaches as well
as gay friendly tours, hotels and other accommodation
Majority of gay clubs will get busy after midnight. The
venues listed under cafe & bar section are open in the
evening, but still they are more busy in the evenings and
around the midnight..
The busiest night is Saturday in all bars and clubs. The second busiest night is Friday. Wednesdays are usually more vibrant compared to other week-in days.
Most gay night clubs would ask for entrance fee on Saturday nights and sometimes on Friday nights, charging approximately an equvalent of 10 to 15 $ at the door. Entrance fees are usually a little more expensive than the regular drink price inside the clubs and you can have one "local drink" with your ticket.
The price for one drink approximately varies from 4-7 $ for local drinks (beer, gin, vodka etc); and from 10-15 $ for "export" drinks (such as whiskey, safari, Malibu etc) These are just estimated rates otherwise the prices are actually in Turkish Liras.
In winter, you have to leave your coats, jackets and bags at the cloakrooms in most of the gay night clubs and pay for it when you leave.
Credit cards are accepted by most clubs, if not all. So it is recommended to have some cash on you. Turkish Lira is better. They accept US Dollars or Euros as well but the exchange rate will be very disadvantagous at the clubs.
The bath houses are not explicitly acknowledged as gay venues by their owners and the staff, even though they know very well what is going on inside. So, you are advised to be discrete in a reasonable way.
GAY CAFE & BARS IN ISTANBUL
The venues listed under this
category is recommended to people who don't like
loud night clubs or do not want to stay up too late
after mid-night. The prices of these venues are also
more reasonable with respect to after-midnight gay
Mor Kedi Cafe (18:00- 02:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Ipek Sokak No: 16, Kat 3, Daire 5 - Beyoglu/Istanbul
A modest gay cafe on the 3rd floor, Mostly patronized by younger gay men and the prices are fairly reasonable for now. Probably the only place in the city where the music is not very loud and you can chat with people around you.
Rocinante Bar (20:00- 02:00)
Address: Ogut Sokak, No:6, Kat 2 (2nd floor), Beyoglu, Istanbul.
After staying closed over a year Rocinante was re-opened in early 2017. It is a modest place on the 2nd floor. You can find live Turkish music and drag show performances on different days of the week.
Pinokyo Bar Terrace (20:00- 02:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Buyukparmakkapi Sk, No:17, Beyoglu, Istanbul.
Located off the Istiklal avenue with live music shows almost everyday of the week. Busy on Saturday nights and during show nights. It is located at the terrace floor on top of the building..
Chianti Bar (20:00- 02:00)
Address: Kameriye Sokak, No:10 / A, Nevizade, Beyoglu, Istanbul.
A homely gay cafe & bar which opens in early hours of the day but it is more busy in the evenings and around midnight. It's like a quiet chill-out cafe in late afternoon until it gets more busy and louder after around 9-10 p.m. It moved to popular "the bar street" Nevizade in 2022.
Bigudi Club (22:00 - 02:00)
Address: Mis Sokak No: 5, Teras Kat, Taksim, Beyoglu Istanbul
After serving as an exclusively lesbian bar for more than a decade, Bigudi has starting serving to the gay men and the whole LGBT community since 2020’s. Even though there are still more lesbian women in the venue compared to any other LGBT bars in Istanbul, it attracts a total mixture of crowd nowadays. Anyone is welcome.
GAY NIGHT CLUBS
Stay Club (23:00-05:00)
Address: Imam Adnan Sok, No 8, Kat 3 Beyoglu, Istanbul
Stay Club is located on a by-street along the Istiklal Avenue, near Taksim Square. Also popular among Turkish bears. Please make sure to go to the right place because other clubs in the same building can be really expensive. After entering the building, climb to the upper floor by stairs and then take the elevator to the 2nd floor, where the name of the venue is written next to the elevator button.
Tekyon Club (23:00-05:00)
Address: Siraselviler Caddesi, No 63/1 Taksim/Beyoglu. Istanbul.
The most popular gay night club of the recent years, packed up on Friday and Saturday nights.populated by a mixture of various styles/ages of local gay and bisexual men as well as many European and Middle Eastern gay tourists.
Love Club (23:00 - 05:00 (Open on Friday and Saturday nights)
Address: Cumhuriyet Caddesi no: 349 Harbiye Istanbul.
This one is located out of the major night life area, in Harbiye district, accross military museum (Askeri Muze). You you need to take a short taxi or wlak about 20 minutes from taksim Square. It was also frequested my many women and straight couples who like the club's liberal athmosphere.
Cheeky Club (02:00-06:00)
Address: Tarlabasi Bulvari, No 32 Beyoglu, Istanbul.
It is near Taksim square on Tarlabasi avenue, between to Prive Club (a gay & transgender mix club, former Prive Bar ) and Carlton Hotel. Cheeky is a morning club, where people comes after the other bars closes.
Super Fabric (23:00 - 05:00)
Address: Cumhuriyet Caddesi No:42 Elmadag / Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey
It is located at some 10 minutes walking distance away from Taksim Square somewhere on Cumhuriyet Caddesi avenue that goes towards Harbiye / Sisli districts, roughly across from Konak Hotel. The entrance gate is not facing the main avenue. It is on a very small blind-street off the Cumhuriyet Caddesi. It might be closed during some week-in days.
X-Large Club - 23:00-05:00
Address: Ataturk Oto Sanayi Sit. 52.Sok. No:12/1, Maslak,Istanbul
This gay and straight mixed, upscale night club is located around 12 km far from Taksim. It is not a place to enjoy alone as a tourist. Go if you are a group of at least 3 people and be prepared to spend some money for entrance fee, cloakrooms, drinks, tips etc. It is famous with very professional dance, drag and go-go shows. Usually busy on Friday and Saturday nights from midnight until 4-5 a.m in the morning.
The places listed here are not gay venues
gay-friendly venues. They are centrally located
straight venues where gay men would also visit
frequently, usually before going out to bars and
Address: Istiklal Avenue No: 15 Taksim, Istanbul.
They have a lovely terrace floor at this coffee shop where it is very likely to see many gay men in the evenings. It is not intentionally a gay-friendly venue, but its has been popular meeting spot for many years because of its liberal atmosphere and its location very close to Taksim square.
Simit Sarayi Taksim
Address: Tarlabasi Avenue No: 6 Taksim, Istanbul.
Although it is not explicitly a gay / gay-friendly venue you can see many gay men hanging around at the upper floor of this Turkish style coffee & tea-house chain's Taksim square branch. There may also be hustlers and rent-boys around here.
Babel Park Pub
Address: Sht. Pilot Mahmut Nedim Sokagi, No:3,Fatih, Istanbul
This cafe & restaurant located at the entrance floor of the Babil Park Hotel is a gathering point for mostly Turkish and foreign bear gay men living in Istanbul since 2018. It is a place where local bears, straight acting and mature gay men visit very often in early evening. Although it rather looks like a restaurant you can also go just to drink beer. The prices are average..
SAUNA AND BATH HOUSES
Please note that the bath houses
listed on this page are not necessarily explicitly
gay / gay-friendly venues. Please visit the
following website for more information including
location maps, visitor reviews etc:
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Sadri Alisik Sokak, No: 29/1 Taksim-Beyoglu, Istanbul.
Friendly sauna & bath house located in Beyoglu district very close to Taksim square famous with young masseurs. It is open round the clock (24 hours) and everyday of the week.
Altipatlar Sokak, No: 14. Cukurcuma / Beyoglu / Istanbul
This most senior gay friendly sauna was bought by new people in late 2010 and has become one of the most popular one among its rivals since then. Open in the day time, until around 22 pm.
Address: Cukurcuma Cd. No: 6, Cukurcuma, Beyoglu/Istanbul
A small historical bath house in Beyoglu can be the one most recommended if you want to see the local ambiance. Cukurcuma street, where it is located is well known neighborhood for antique lovers in Turkey.
Address: Tershane Cad. Yolcuzade Sok. N:74
Very close to entrance of Ataturk bridge over Golden Horn (Halic), the second one after Galata Bridge. It is on the Taksim/Beyoglu side of the bridge and you can walk from Karakoy along the Golden Horn.
Balat Cavus Hamam
Address: Ayvansaray Mah. Çavuş Hamamı Sk. No:1/1, Balat, Fatih/, Istanbul.
This small hamam is located some 6 km far from Taksim in Balat district along the Golden Horn. Balat itself is a popular neighborhood with its colorful historical houses and lovely cafe shops, worth visiting at least once.
Click here to see
other historical (non-gay) Turkish baths
CRUISING SPOTS & BEACHES
Just as in other big cities, open
areas are where gay
people should be more careful with the
people they meet. There may always be hustlers and
rent-boys around. We'd recommend you not to carry very
valuable things a a lot of money on you when you
go cruising in such places, just in case.
Istiklal Caddesi and Taksim Square - Two-kilometer long pedestrian street/avenue starting from Taksim square and ending in Tunel is very busy day and night mostly with people strolling or shopping. The street also connects Taksim square to the gay venues mostly located on the smaller back-streets crossing it, and you can see many gay men and related people along the way.
Taksim Park - The park at the above Taksim Mc Donald's, near Taksim Square. The part of the park closer to the sea-side is more cruisy especially in the summer evenings. It is busier on Sundays and Saturday evenings. It is not actually very much recommended to foreigners and new-comers for safety reasons. There are always hustlersi rent-boys and vagabonds hanging around Taksim Park.
Muratpasa Park in Aksaray district is a cruising and gathering spot for bears and other gay men. Unlike other cruising parks this is a busy park with straight people normally with many cafe houses in the vicinity.
Prince Islands - The isolated beaches on the back sides of Kinaliada (walk right hand side when you get off the boat) and some less busy beaches in other 3 islands can also be kind of cruisy in summer season. Do not expect a visible gay-scene and stay away from groups of young boys.
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