Information about gay life in Izmir

Izmir Gay Guide

Gay Bars and Clubs in Izmir

Izmir - the birthplace of Homer - is the third biggest city of Turkey in terms of population. Izmir is less cosmopolite compared to Istanbul and Izmir because it takes less domestic migration from other small cities and the countryside. The natives of Izmir are generally known to be more liberal and western-minded in Turkey. The gay life in Izmir is getting more and more visible each passing year. The LGBT exclusive bars and clubs have been opened within the last 15 years in Izmir.

Ehli Keyf Cafe & Car (20:00-24:00 or 02:00)
Address : 850 Sokaka. No:43 Kemeralti, Konak / Izmir
Web: Ehli-Keyif
Ehli Keyf was opened in early April 2011 as a gay-exclusive cafe & bar and its has been one of the major meeting point for local gay men living in Izmir since then. It is located in traditional shopping district Kemeraltı, not far from Konak square and famous Izmir Clock tower. During the weekin days and on Fridays it is open from 20:00 until midnight. On Saturday nights they can stay open as late as 04:00 a.m depending on how busy it gets and when the clients starts leaving.  Prices are reasonable; around 4-5 $ for local drinks. The venue is more popular among straight-acting gay men and the prices are very reasonable compared to other LGBT clubs in Izmir..  You can miss the entrance, as it is located in a very small, blind street the end of which connect to the car park across from Salepcioglu Mosque. If you enter into the street from the car park, you can see the sign-board on the left. It is also very close to cruisy Turkish bath called Istankoy Hamam (Tarihi Kemeralti Hamam), so you can consider them as a package. Although the area it is located; Kemeralti is very busy shopping district in day time, it suddenly gets isolated after around 7 pm. when all the shops are closed. You can feel a little in secure if you go alone trying to find it for first time, so try to locate the place at an earlier time.

Cix Club
Address: 1448 Cumbali Sok, No:5/B  Alsancak, Izmir
Web: & &
In the year 2004 the venue was introduced by the owners as a bar & dance club welcoming a mixture of gays, straight acting bisexual boys/men, transvestites and transsexuals. It is located on a narrow street somewhere behind Ege Palace, close to the sea front of Alsancak, known as Kordon Boyu. It is on the same street with Gullum Cafe (see below).

"The manager is a transsexual and consequently there are more transvestites and transsexuals besides many rent-boys and some gay men who are interested in them. They play underground and techno music. Usually more busy than KA bar" (19/07/2008)
"I went to this club last night and I only found transvestites and rent boys. They were all looking for money. Not real gay club. (28/04/2009)

Trip  Bar (21:00-02:00)
Address:   1448 Cumbali Sokak, No:10,  Kıbrıs Sehitleri Street, Alsancak, Izmir.
It was first called Gullum, later Rainbow and lastly Trip Bar since 2017, although nothing else has changed including its address and the owners. Initially opened as a gay bar in early 2014 on a by-street (1448) linking to pedestrianized Kibris Sehitleri Caddesi; the popular night life and shopping boulevard in Alsancak district, Izmir. The bar is usually open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.. Wednesday and Friday nights are still not busy so try Saturday night if you can. Opening days and hours can be changed so it is advised to re-visit it on a Saturday night if you find it closed during the week. The venue is fairly small and the staff is not very friendly. The prices are also over average; costing around 7-10 $ for local drinks and twice as much as many other bars on the same street. They also charge admission fee on Saturday nights, costing around 10-15 $, including a local drink..

Club KA (100.100)
Address: 1471 Sokak No:45/A, Alsancak - Izmir.
KA is a one of the oldest night clubs in Izmir catering to LGBT people. The clientele is regular transvestites, their admirers, unreliable rent-boys and very few gay men. The owner and the staff can be is very rude and you can be scammed or overcharged here especially if you are a tourist. Briefly, this should be the last place to go in Izmir if you have no other choice. If you still want to go, it is comparatively close to Izmir cruise port in Alsancak. If you come from popular Kibris Sehitleri street, it is located at the end of the second street (1471 Sokak) after passing the military building. When you walk in from Kibris Sehitleri it is on your left towards the end of the 1471 sokak. It is also a short walking diastance from IZBAN Alsancak metro station. The club is open from 11:30 pm until 05:00 am in the morning, but not busy before midnight most of the times. The peak time is between 01:00-04:00 in these kind of night clubs. The music is loud and they play mostly European techno and DJ club hits.

Comments about this venue:

Saturday 19/4/2014. Entrance fee was 25TL including a drink (beer or alcohol, no matter). Do not accept the peanuts from the bartender, peanuts costs 10TL. And they took it back to the trash bin before we were even finished eating them. KA bar is a bar of 80-100 people capacity. People are aged from 18-25 mostly. There were 3 transsexual this night, passed in front of us all of the time. Very very annoying. We stayed only an hour at this bar and then left. Sorry guys, this is 2014, not the 80s. (Posted by Christos from Greece on April 20 2014)

"Our only bad experience in Turkey. Unfriendly staff tried to overcharge us for drinks" (Posted by William from UK on June 20th, 2011)

"Full of hustlers who ask money. Almost nobody speaks English so the communication is quite impossible..." (Posted by Dario from Italy on 11 May 2010)

Gay Venuews Which Closed Down
Following venues closed down completely, which hade been listed on this website before
Papirus & Disco Bar - Kibris Sehitleri Caddesi. Alsancak, Izmir.
Mix Bar - Cumhuriyet Bulvari No:347/A. Alsancak - Izmir
Zilli Bar - Cumhuriyet Bulvari Alsancak/Izmir.
Angle Bar - Kibris Sehitleri Caddesi.

Gay Friendly / Other Recommended Cafe, Bars and Clubs in Izmir

Following venues are recommended by our website's visitors and they are not publicly gay / gay-friendly places. Your additional comments will be appreciated if you happen to visit any of them.

Telvin Cafe Bar (12:00-24:00)
Address: Kıbrıs Şehitleri Cad, 1462 Sokak No: 6/B, Alsancak, Izmir
This venue is recommended by a website visitor as a gay-friendly place in July 2014. Located on 1462 Sokak (street) crossing main Kıbris Sehitleri Street somewhere close to Garanti Bank on it. Open between 12:00- 24:00.

Defne Cafe
Address: Kibris Şehitleri Cad. 1452 (Can Yücel) Sokak No 15/B, Alsancak,  Izmir, Turkey.
It is located on a small street next to Simit Sarayi (a popular Turkish coffee/tea-house franchiser) on Kibris Sehitleri street in Alsancak district. This cafe shop has been recommended by a website visitor as as a lesbian owned & gay-friendly cafe shop. Whereas we would like to remind people that there are controversial comments about the gay-friendliness of this venue on other internet resources and gay forums. (03/02/2009)

Starbucks Alsancak
Address: Dr. Mustafa Bey Caddesi No: 5/A Alsancak, Izmir
Starbucks in Alsancak seems to be the day time meeting place for some gay men living in Izmir.

"In Izmir, Alsancak Starbucks and also possibly Gloria Jeans cafe shops are the places you are most like to see the most gay men around in early hours, mostly straight acting and not very visible types though" (10/30/2007)

Lesbian Friendly Cafe Shops in Izmir

Defne Cafe
Address: Kibris Şehitleri Cad. 1452 (Can Yücel) Sokak No 15/B, Alsancak,  Izmir, Turkey.
It is located on a small street next to Simit Sarayi (a popular Turkish coffee/tea-house franchiser) on Kibris Sehitleri street in Alsancak district. This cafe shop has been recommended by a website visitor as as a lesbian owned & gay-friendly cafe shop. Whereas we would like to remind people that there are controversial comments about the gay-friendliness of this venue on other internet resources and gay forums. (03/02/2009)

Gay Friendly Cinemas in Izmir

There is not any gay exclusive or explicitly gay-friendly cinema in Izmir, but most heterosexual erotic/porno cinemas are frequented by some gay men. Because of Turkey's bisexual culture it's very possible to meet interested-people in suchlike places. In a few of them gays are really welcomed, but still better be a little discrete, because they are open to straight men as well, some of whom can be homophobic.

Ipek Cinema
Address: Gaziler Caddesi, No: 113,  Basmane, Konak, Izmir / Turkey.
Ipek Sinemasi is open as of November 2016 at this new address, in place of former Safak Sinemasi. It is a fairly small cinema and not as liberal as the previous blue movie theaters in Izmir.  It is less than half a km away from Basmane train station / metro station, on the left had side of the Gaziler street, under the small Kent Hotel building. The movies are bad and entrance fee is fairly cheap. Remember that you need to pay 1-2 lira more tip in addition to the entrance fee in these kind of blue movie cinemas. It is a strict custom which applies to all clients and nothing done to tourists, if you happen to think so.

Closed Down
Safak Sinemasi - Basmane
Ferah Sinemasi - Esrefpasa, Izmir.
Saray Sinemasi - Kapilar, Izmir
Saray 2 Sinemasi-Ikicesmelik street, Cankaya, Izmir

Gay Friendly Sauna or Bath Houses in Izmir

The places listed under this category are not publicly gay / gay-friend venues. In general, the owners of action places such as cinemas, bath houses and saunas do not like to be mentioned on gay websites or guide books for fear of being raided by local authorities. To avoid any misunderstanding, homosexuality is not and has never been illegal in Turkey, but any sexual action (gay or straight) in public venues is a reason to close the venue for a period of time.

Istankoy Hamami
Address: 917 Sokak No:6, Kemeralti, Konak, Izmir - Turkey
Web: Istankoy
The sign-board reads Kemeralti Tarihi Hamami (Historical bath of Kemeralti). The hamam is located somewhere behind the Salepcioglu Mosque. Kemeralti is historical part of Izmir's central district of Konak, a traditional shopping quarter with narrow streets housing cinemas, cafes, spice shops, souvenir shops and many others. Click here for more information and reviews about this hammam.

Other Sauna or Bath Houses in Izmir:
Not necessarily in order to find a partner, a visit to a historical Turkish bath is at the top of the must-do list for gay tourists visiting Turkey. The following ones are recommended bath houses in Izmir listed for people who would not want to miss this exotic experience.

Attention: None of these venues are not publicly gay / gay-friendly

Cukur Hamami
Cankaya Mah.841 Sokak, No 3, Izmir, Turkey
Web: Trip Advisor & Google Map
A small, budget hamam located on a back-alley in Konak.

Civici Hamami
Kestelli Cad. No: 93, Konak, Izmir - Google Map
This Turkish bath built in 16th century has very peculiar characteristics of Ottoman hamam architecture. It is said to have the highest dome among all other Turkish baths in Izmir.

Tevfikpasa Hamami:
Address: Anafartalar Caddesi, No:501, Konak, Izmir - Turkey
Located not far from "Agora open air museum" This old Turkish bath is also not a gay venue intentionally, but it is very likely to meet bi-curious men occasionally.

Basmane Hamami
Address: Anafartalar Cad. 890 Basmane, Izmir - Turkey
Telephone: (0 90 232) 483 02 74
A good sample of historical Turkish baths in Izmir, a 17th century Ottoman structure. Open between 06:00 - 23:00 catering to men only.

Luks Hamam
Address: Anafartalar Cad. (street) No:660 Kececiler (quarter) Izmir - Turkey
Telephone: (0 90 232) 483 02 74
Also called Kadi Hamami, this hamam is estimated to be built in the 16th century. It is a twin hamam structure with separate men-women sections. Men section is open everyday until 22:00. It is a well-groomed hamam with an impressive octagonal dome in the main area.

Alibey Hamami
Adres: 1671 Sokak, No:88, Karsiyaka, Izmir - Google Map
A historical tourist hamam located in Karsiyaka, not far from the ferry terminal, Karsiyaka Vapur Iskelesi

Gay Cruising Areas in Izmir

In general, the cruising areas - especially parks and secluded beaches are where gay men should be more selective with the people they encounter. Especially, be careful at night time and do not carry very valuable things and a lot of money on you, just in case.

Izmir Fuari Park
Fairground area; officially named Kultur Park (Culture Park), also called shortly "fuar", is a huge city park in downtown Izmir where the annual International Izmir Fair Izmir International Fair is being organized. The vicinity of Parachute Tower, not far on your left when you enter from Basmane gate is also well-known cruising section in the evenings. In this section of the park you can see mostly mature men and men with mustache sitting on the benches alone, who are most likely interested in meeting other men.

Kordon Promenade
The famous promenade area, waterfront by the boulevard in Alsancak. Random cruising can happen in the summer evenings, mostly at the less busy sections on both side of Alsancak ferry quay.  Izmir's Kordon is well know all over Turkey, and has become inspiration to many classic and popular Turkish songs.

Konak Square
The park near the clock tower (Saat Kulesi) and the neighborhood of the clock tower in Konak, which is the district regarded as the down town of Izmir. Cruisy mainly after dark. The clock tower in Konak is the symbol of Izmir city.

Karsiyaka Alaybey Park
The park in Alaybey quarter of Karsiyaka district of Izmir (official name is Muammer Aksoy Park) is recommended by a local person as a cruising place in April 2011, especially between 22:00-02:00.

Guest Comments
"I went to the promenade on a a Sunday morning , 1:30am and I don't see the cruising potential at all at this place. It's extremely well lit and all sorts of people are here. Guys with girls, or guys with their male friends watching videos, not porn, eating sunflower seeds! There are no dark corners or big bushes to do anything...I didn't stick around to wait and see...I can't imagine there is much cruising here unless we're talking about 4am etc." -  (Posted on December 31 2017 by Ricardo T)

Gay Friendly Beaches in Izmir

There are no beaches in Izmir with visible gay scene except a far and secluded part of Altinkum beach in Cesme, which is about 1 hour drive away from Izmir city center. In recent years In fact there are no clean beaches left at Izmir city center, just like in similar metropolitan cities. The following beaches can be recommended to gay men visiting Izmir mainly for swimming and water sports. It is more likely to see gay men in Pamucak beach and some beaches in Cesme, which are all in considerable distance.

Beaches in Cesme
Cesme is a prominent center of international tourism in Turkey and is famous for its night life, fish restaurants and many beaches. It is one of Turkey's well-known touristy areas with landscapes of cultivated fields of aniseed, sesame and artichokes dotted with fig and gum trees. Cesme is a more popular summer destination among Turkish tourists in comparison to similar summer resorts such as Fethiye, Bodrum and Marmaris. You can reach to Cesme from Izmir's main Bus Terminal (Otogar) or from the secondary bus terminal in Uckuyular district. The buses are more frequent from Uckuyular terminal and they are available until very late hours in summer season. It is also easy to reach to Uckuyular terminal by Izmir metro. If you get on to train from metro stations in central Izmir such as Basmane or Konak, you can easily reach to the bus terminal is very close to terminal station, named Fahrettin Altay.

There are many Blue-flag bays around Cesme peninsula. Although there is only a small public beach nearby, it is wise to stay in hotels at the center of Cesme from where there are frequent transportation to all public beaches and other places all around the peninsula, such as Altinkum (see below), public and private beaches in Ciftlik (on the way to Altinkum) and beaches in Ilica (near Alacati). Alacati is a windy area in all seasons and so it is a famous windsurf palace. Alacati is also famous for its architecture, vineyards and windmills built over 150 years ago.

In recent years secluded beach in Delikli Koy has also become popular which is at roughly 10 km South of upscale summer destination Alacati. After the night clubs of Alacati close many people drives here to see sunrise and more. Delikli Koy is difficult to reach with public transportation. You need to rent a car or you can come as far as Alacati Port from where you can try hitchhiking.

Gay Beach in Altinkum Cesme, Turkey
Altinkum is probably the best beach location within the province of Izmir, located a few kilometers from the center of Ceshme. To go to Altinkum beach from downtown Cesme you first need to take the public minibuses departing from a point near the Police station by the coast, near the old castle. You will be in Altinkum in less than half an hour. You need to get off at the final stop which is right next to the beginning of public beach area. Walking to your left when you face the sea, you will see many privately-run beaches side by side which are providing sun beds, umbrellas, variety of food and drinks. You can also use the beach activities here for free in empty parts without necessarily renting sun-beds or umbrellas. The gay beach, also known as Ciplaklar kampi (Nudist beach) by some local people starts roughly 1 mile after these public beaches come to an end. You will first reach to a short rocky area, after which there is one more private beach. After passing by this last private beach a few hundred meters, you will see a secluded sandy beach far from the eyes of curious people. (Click here for Google map) Not surprisingly, most of people hanging around this farthest and desolate part of the beach are gay men. There are usually no hustlers around, but it is still wise to make some observation first. Especially if you go alone, do not to carry very valuable things on you, because it is very far from security forces if needed. It is sometimes heard that some guys are hiding behind the bushes to steal the belongings of the people when they swim. You can come from Izmir to to Cesme in one hour by buses departing frequently from the bus terminal in Uckuyular district. It is easy to reach to Uckuyular terminal by Izmir metro. If you get on from metro stations in central Izmir such as Basmane or Konak, you need to get off at Fahrettin Altay metro station.

Other Comments:
"Gay beach at Altinkum /Cesme. Very quiet beach, go past all the huts and beach chairs. Frequented by some Turks who like to nude sunbathe and by some gay Turks. Some religious people my ask you to leave at a certain time because the women want to swim- I was told by locals to refuse and point out that it is a public beach, and that they should buy a private beach!! Be careful of your belongings- some bad people will hide in the dunes and wait for you to swim or walk away. I did have such a problem, but some local men and soldiers caught the man and the police were very helpful." (Posted by Rich from UK on January 3rd 2012).

"Actually the "ciplaklar plaji" is not 200 meters after the "Fun Club". If you come by dolmus, get out at the last stop, go on the beach and with the sea in front of you walk on your left side passing all the beach clubs. After you pass Ramo café, there is another small beach clubs and a place where cars and some campers are parked. You still need to walk ahead till you will reach a low promontory Pass across the top following the easy path and you will find in a hidden beach where people use sunbathe naked. I was there in weekdays and started to get busier after 5:00pm. Very cute locals and some tourist. I have been told that this place gets crowded on weekends" (Posted by Alberto from Italy on September 01 2011).

"When you get out of Cesme drive into the earth road which goes to Fun Club on Altinkum beach (7 km from Cesme). You will need to park your car when you reach to Fun Club, and walk about 200 meters to the left hand side of the beach. You can meet nice guys on Sundays especially. Some people swims naked in this part of the beach which is referred as "nude beach" (ciplaklar plaji) by some local people."

Foca Beaches:
Foca (Focha) is a lovely small town some 70 kilometers north of Izmir located on the Aegean Sea, It's local populations is around 40 thousand people but in the summer time it goes up to 70 thousand with mostly Turkish and some foreign holiday makers who prefer this area for its natural beauties, crystal clear waters.. Some of Foca's bays are rewarded with the Blue Flag, securing the clean waters of an area in the Mediterranean. Most of these coves are along Mersinaki region and run by hotels in the vicinity. The beaches are named after these hotels. The most popular ones Phokaia Hotel & Beach, Hanedan Hotel & Beach, Pollen Hotel & Beach, Leon Hotel, Voodoo Melis Cafe Beach, Karakum Public Beach

Pamucak beach is in Selcuk town, just at the border of Izmir province and Kusadasi, 5 km from world-wide famous ruins of Ephesus ancient city, and also called as "Ephesus beach" by some people. Pamucak Beach, is about 11 kms in length. The beach, is sandy and has a clear water. It is very suitable place for water-sports and camping. Ephesus Princess, Aqua Fantasia, Surmeli Ephesus, Richmond Ephesus, are de luxe, club and resort hotels, which lie on the beach. The Pamucak region has also a camping area, aqua park, forest rest area covered with red pine woods 10 km from Selcuk – Kusadasi highway. Horse or Jeep safaris are the exotic activities that can be participated.

Another seaside town out of Izmir city. Karaburun region is comparatively much less visited than Cesme although it provides an anticlimax to its southern neighbor and the associated attractions especially for those who want to escape the trails of mass tourism. The district's administrative zone is bordered by the districts of Cesme and Urla in its south and faces the Greek island of Chios.

Cesmealti, a part of Urla district of Izmir is about 36 km. away from Konak; which is a lively and natural tourism center. The long beaches which stretches from Cesmealti to Içmeler cause the regions population to expand by two or three times during the summer months. The Urla Camp Municipality Beach, the natural beaches and swimming pools of some holiday villages located in Cesmealti serve tourists all season long.

Gay Groups and Organizations in Izmir

Siyah Pembe Ucken
Web: & Facebook: Siyah Pembe Üçgen
Literally meaning Black & Pink Triangle Siyah Pembe Ucgen is Gay and Lesbian Solidarity NGO Organization based in Izmir, Turkey.

Genc LGBTI Dernegi
Web:  & / Genclgbti/
A new LGBTI solidarity organization founded in late 2016. Genc (Young) LGBTI is aiming to help the younger people as their name suggests.

Gays and Lesbians in Izmir who had been pioneers of Turkish gay movement with disorganized small groups such as Biz GL, Otekizmir (the other Izmir), Pembe Uçgen (Pink Triangle) united their powers to continue together with the experiences which they inherited from these groups, in September 2006. The group gathering as an initiative previously, enunciated that they denominated themselves as Siyah Pembe Izmir in January, and rented their own office in June of 2007. Thus, meetings which were being organized in some cafes with many difficulties and limited opportunities, are now being organized in their own offices.

Siyah Pembe Izmir aims to support firstly gays and lesbians living in Izmir and the existence of all lesbians, gays bisexuals and transgendered people in society with their own sexual identities; works for their cultural, social, legal benefits; tries to prevent discrimination and struggles against homophobia everywhere.

History of gay movement in Izmir.
The first gay group that we know in Izmir, was a group called “Biz GL” who made meetings in Iskenderiye Library at the end of the 90’s. Although Biz GL which was pioneered by a group of gay and lesbian who organized around Arkadas Café, managed to make meetings with around 60 people, unfortunately it disbanded because of deficiency of awareness about being organized and lack of gay-lesbian movement experience.

In October, 2001, Oteki Izmir, was established by lesbians and gays regularly made meetings till September 2001, especially took a part in some activities like International Antimilitarism Meeting with antimilitarist movement in İzmir. But, being organized which based on antimilitarism that was not enough to produce solutions for primary problems for gay society, caused disbandment in short time.

Up until now, most longevous group was PUI (Pembe Ucgen Izmir- Pink Triangle Izmir) which was established by gays and lesbians who first gathered on internet platform formed in June 2002 . In regular meetings every week, lots of cases which concern gay and lesbian society like family, coming out, sexual health, militarism, gender politics etc.., was discussed. Although conflicts and problems with the cafés which meetings were made in, caused to make changes with the place of meeting every time, PUI managed to continue for two years. In time, disagreements and serious conflicts that came up in group caused disbandment and after two years, members annihilated PUI by themselves.

Click here for more information about Turkish gay life and LGBT solidarity movement in Turkey

VIDEO - Izmir LGBT Pride March 2013


Gay & Lesbian Internet Sources for Izmir


LGBT Turkey
The meeting point of Turkish & none- Turkish gay men living / visiting Turkey. You can follow activities all over Turkey, including Izmir.

Yahoo Group for Turkish Gays
A Yahoo Group to meet Turkish gay men from all over Turkey. You can leave a message to meet Turkish gays and gay tourists living in or visiting Izmir in this group.

Yahoo Group For Turkish Lesbians
A Yahoo Group to meet Turkish Lesbians from all over Turkey. You can leave a message to meet Turkish lesbians and lesbian tourists living in or visiting Izmir in this group.

Gay Friendly Hotels in Izmir

Unfortunately there is not any officially gay or lesbian hotels in Izmir, but some of them can still be recommended to gay people for various reasons such as their location, quality, price and liberal atmosphere. You can contact gay-owned Turkish Travel Agency which has more than 10 year experience in gay tourism in Turkey.  Click here for Turkey hotel inquiry form .

You can also make Instant reservation to all Izmir hotels via online secure system of Agoda, an affiliate of Trip Advisor. Best prices and very flexible reservation options are available
Click here for all hotels in Izmir
Turkey Gay Hotels

General Information About Izmir

Please click here for a brief information about Izmir including historical places, major districts, museums and other places of historical and touristic importance.