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Alcohol on the street

London
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Alcohol on the street

I'm visiting Istanbul next week and I'm wondering if it's legal to drink alcohol on the street. I've heard variously that

- it's illegal everwhere

- it's illegal in some quarters which are overseen by the government, but not in others

- you get big hassle from the police (but does this apply to everywhere)

- nobody drinks on the streets anyway, it's a no-no

I'm interested in if there are some places you can drink, because I may be organizing a bash over there and it would be useful for part of it to be outside for an hour or so before retiring to the bars. If anyone's interested I can let you know more.

Thanks so much for your help!

Gloucestershire...
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1. Re: Alcohol on the street

No one drinks on the streets in Istanbul (except in outside areas of restaurants and bars). It is a no-no and certainly in Taksim area (where the bars are) the police take a rather dim view of it!

London
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2. Re: Alcohol on the street

Thanks for your reply.

What about Sultanahmet, backpacker district? Would it be allowed to drink on the street outside the hostels? What about outside a hostel bar, with cans bought from a supermarket?

I spoke to a guy on the phone in a hostel reception and he said it's ok to drink on the street in Istanbul?!

London, United...
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3. Re: Alcohol on the street

I personally would not recommend a few people getting together in the streets and drinking alcohol. As students (some years ago, before the current more pro-Islamic government came to power) we would sometimes do so in some parks, or waterside, school campus etc but we would know where to do this. In view of public, in Sultanahmet or in Taksim is not advisable. Sultanahmet, apart from the tourists is a conservative area in terms of the locals living there. You may get yourselves into unnecessary trouble. Maybe you can find some backpacker pubs or student beer house type places where you can drink cheaply (sorry can't help specifically) Maybe you can drink a few drinks in the hostel.

Kozano.

Brighton and Hove...
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4. Re: Alcohol on the street

Maybe you could get together for a drink on the hotel's roof terrace. And quite frankly, "drinking on the street" really is considered a no-no by most civilised societies - look at the lengths our government has had to go to in Camden, London for example to make street drinking punishable by fines.

London
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5. Re: Alcohol on the street

Ok.... well how about everyone quickly downing a shot before entering the bar... it'll take less than 3 mins to pour and drink?

Gloucestershire...
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6. Re: Alcohol on the street

As has been said before, Sultanahmet is a conservative area apart from the tourists. It isn't an area you go to drink. Yes you can drink with food, but it isn't a 'party area' by any stretch of the imagination. Everything closes by midnight - maybe 1pm.

If you are in Taksim, where the bars are and where you are going to want to be if you are partying, I am sure you can drink shots if you are very discreet - but if you are spotted, you could get in trouble.

Having said that, people do not drink in Istanbul like they do in London and you rarely see people looking the worse for wear! It's not that people don't drink - it is just that they tend to drink with food....

London
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7. Re: Alcohol on the street

Appreciate your response a lot! I'll tell you how it would look, there'll be about 30 people who before entering a bar would be poured a shot and would drink it straight away and go in. I guess because there's such a large number of people that in Taksim that would bring too much attention?

I hear ya about the differences between Istanbul and London. Rome's not a big drinking culture either but you still see the tourists going round in big groups the worse for ware.

Gloucestershire...
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8. Re: Alcohol on the street

If there is 30 of you, you will certainly get attention and you will be watched!

You may not even be allowed in bars in such a large group - ditto clubs (especially if it is single sex group).

London
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9. Re: Alcohol on the street

What do you mean by we will be watched?

Is it so unusual for big groups to go around in Istanbul. It's normal in Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, everywhere in Europe.

Or do you mean it'll attract the attention of the police.

I'm not worried about getting into the bars because I would call ahead.

Villa Kirmizi Lale...
Destination Expert
for Kalkan
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10. Re: Alcohol on the street

sorry - but it sounds to me like you are visiting Istanbul for totally the WRONG reasons...!!

If I were you - i would stay at home...!!

30 of you drinking shots in the street realy is a BIG no-no - forget it and save your exploits for the UK where we tend to turn more of a blind eye to these excesses..!!!