Nightlife

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Towns large and small across Turkey have a vibrant nightlife. Bodrum is infamous for its nightclubs, and revelers clog the streets at night hopping from cafes to bars. Izmir has seen a number of cafes, pubs, and restaurants pop up along its redeveloped waterfront.

Most have terraced outdoor seating facing the water. Beachside Kalkan also has lots of harbor-side nightlife, complete with pubs, restaurants and cafes. Nightlife in Antalya is not as booming as Bodrum or Izmir, but there are plenty of clubs in the city (as well as in Side and Kemer) and lots of vibrant pub or cafés too.

Istanbul, as you’d expect, is the focus of Turkey’s night time scene. From its rooftop party spots atop buildings near the Bosphorus to cozy taverns to waterpipe lounges to small live music venues featuring traditional music throughout the city, there’s something for every type of party person here. In fact the city is quickly gaining a reputation around Europe for its nightlife.

Music in clubs often combines techno with traditional Anatolian folk music. Most Turks begin their evenings with sips of raki, a traditional drink made with anise, in lively meyhanes, taverns once open only to men. Then there are the saraphanes (wine bars) and birhanes (beer halls). Some of the best dance clubs, though, are the swanky establishments along the Bosphorus, rooftop or indoors.

For after dinner entertainment in Ankara, you’re more likely to find a play or a seat at the opera than you will a techno club. There is a lot of live jazz here, an occasional English-style pub, and beer gardens that come into their own during summer.