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
of gay bars & clubs get busy after midnight. The venues
listed under Cafe section are also open busy in day time,
but still more busy in the evenings.
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 of the gay clubs requires entrance fee on Saturday nights and some on Friday nights. (10 to 15 Euro, approximately) Entrance fees are usually a little more expensive than the usual price, and you can have one "local drink" with your ticket.
In winter, you have to leave your coats or jackets at the cloakrooms in most of the gay night clubs. and pay for it when you leave.
There is not any place with a dark-room. No bars or clubs provide sex-partner or sex place as a part of the service. You have to find your own partner, place and take your own responsibility.
Credit cards are accepted by some clubs, but 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 low.
The price for one drink approximately varies from 5-7 Euro for local drinks (beer, gin, vodka etc); and from 10-15 Euro for "export" drinks (such as whiskey, safari, Malibu etc) These are just estimated rates otherwise the prices are actually in Turkish Liras.
The Turkish baths (Hamams) and cinemas are not obviously accepted as gay venues by their owners. They rather play the "three monkeys". So, you are advised to be discrete in a reasonable way.
GAY NIGHT CLUBS
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. It is also a favorite place for middle-aged gay men and bears, but it is also populated by a mixture of various styles/ages of local gay and bisexual men as well as many gay tourists.
Love Club (23:00 - 05:00 (Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday)
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. Although it is locates on a central street, walking is not recommended at night. There are many straight people now so it became a gay friendly/mix venue rather.
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 - Google Map
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.
Haspa Club (23:00-04:00)
Address: Tarlabasi Bulvari, No: 28/A , Taksim, Istanbul.
A modest bar & club serving exclusively to gay people since April 2011. It moved to a new address in September of 2018.
Club 17 (23:00-05:00)
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Zambak Sokak No:9, Taksim (Close to French Consulate)
This is a fun place to visit but you need to be very selective with the boys you meet here. Most of them are hustlers or rent boys. Because there are so many of them, the place always looks full. You will also see many transvestites in this "gay club". Do not pay any entrance fee at the door, unless it is Saturday.
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
Chaplin Cafe (18:00- 01:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Ipek Sokak 16, Kat 3, Daire 5 - Beyoglu/Istanbul
A gay cafe shop on the 3rd floor, Mostly patronized by younger gay men and the prices are fairly reasonable for now. You can access Ipek sokak from the other street on the left hand side of McDonald's on Istiklal Avenue.
Mor Kedi Cafe (18:00- 01:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Imam Adnan Sk. No:7 / 3 Beyoglu/Istanbul
One of the oldest of these kind of cafe-shops which you can visit at day time. Usually busy until midnight. Clientele is younger.
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.
Chianti Cafe & Bar (20:00-02:00
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Balo Sokak No: 31. (2nd floor) Beyoglu
An exceptional gay bar in Istanbul where you can go early in the evenings. It is also different than most other gay bars and clubs of Istanbul with reasonable sound level and it's relaxed atmosphere,
Durak Bar (20:00 - 02:00)
Address: Murat Pasa Sokak, No 9, Aksaray, Istanbul
Durak bar (formerly called Pasam) is located in Aksaray district, about 5 kilometer away from Taksim. It is a meeting place for middle class bear and older/mature gay men, completely different from all gay-clubs in Taksim with a very traditional/exotic atmosphere. It is busy in late evenings, until 01:00/02:00 am. It may also busy until 4 am on Saturday nights.
GAY FRIENDLY CAFE & RESTAURANTS
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.
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 evening. It is not intentionally a gay-friendly venue, but its has been popular meeting spot because of its atmosphere and its location very close to Taksim square.
Address: Siraselviler Caddesi, Soganci Sokak, No:7/1, Cihangir-Beyoglu
Located on top of the building (Besinci Kat means 5th floor) housing also Club Barbahce. This is a very gay friendly restaurant, where you can eat your dinner with your friends on special days, or sip you drink at its reasonably priced bar, watching great panorama of Istanbul, including the Bosphorus straight and Asia
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Misir Apartmani K:8 No:311, Beyoglu - Istanbul.
The restaurant is named 360, referring to a view 360 degree. It is a fancy venue located on the terrace floor of historical building (Misir Apartmani) on the right hand side after passing Galatasaray square
Cok Cok Thia Restaurant
Address: Mesrutiyet Cad. No:51, 34344 Beyoglu-Istanbul. Phone: +90 212 292 6496
Added to our list by the managers in July 2010. It is Thai restaurant located on Mesrutiyet street parallel to Istiklal avenue. When you walk from Taksim turn right from Galatasaray square, and take the first turn to left, and pass British Consulate.
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
It is a senior gay friendly sauna but then they maltreated and dismissed gay people until new people bought the administration in late 2010. The new owners are trying hard to revitalize the venue and gain back the gay clients. Open in day time until around 9 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. It is located at the end of the same street where (now-closed) Cukurcuma Hamam was. Cukurcuma street is well known neighborhood for antique lovers
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.
Address: Hamalbasi Cad. No:14, Beyoglu / Istanbul
it is located in Beyoglu, near Galatasaray Square, a few hundreds meter from Istiklal avenue.
CRUISING SPOTS & BEACHES
Like in other big cities cruising
areas and especially parks are places where gay
people should be very careful and selective with the
people they meet. These places are discovered by
some bad guys and pick-pockets who are always around
in such places for robbing gay men rather than
cruising for sex. Especially be careful if the
person you meet proposes you to have sex in isolated
outside places. We recommend you not to carry very
valuable things a a lot of money with you when you
go to such places, just in case.
Istiklal Caddesi and Taksim Square
Two-kilometer long pedestrian street/avenue starting from Taksim square and ending in Tunel (the upper end of historical mini-subway). It 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.
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. Since 2007 there is a very strict police control in the park.
Especially the small park behind the Sultanahmet tramcar station and the corner of the park above Arasta Bazaar in the evenings. Sultanahmet is the famous tourist town of Istanbul and the parks are also comparatively safer, but there is not a very visible gay scene
Prince Islands - Kinaliada Gay Beach
A group of small islands close to the main land on the Asian side in Marmara sea. They consist of 9 islands, 4 of which are considerably popular and inhabited. There are regular ferryboats from Kabatas pier (accessible from Taksim by Funicular) which takes 30-45 minutes by boat stopping on each major Island. The isolated beach on the back sides of Kinaliada (walk right hand side when you get off the boat) and some less busy beaches in Buyukada are cruisy at season. Do not expect a visible gay-scene.
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