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What to do at night in Istanbul

Level Contributor
90 posts
4 reviews
What to do at night in Istanbul

Our flight into Istanbul is 5:45pm. We are thinking we would like to go to the Grand Bazaar that night before we crash from our very long flight. How late is the Bazaar opened? Is it safe to wonder around Istanbul at night?

Thanks, mary

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
2,173 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: What to do at night in Istanbul


the bazaar is closed on Sundays.

you will be safe in Istanbul,just stay around areas where there are people and use your street smarts. Beyoglu is the place to go at night for clubs and music.

just don't wander down deserted streets etc.

where are you staying in Istanbul and what day are you arriving?

Sultanahmet empties out after the tourists have gone back to their hotels,but many restaurants and

shops are open at night. Kucuk aya sofya caddesi has lots of places to eat and shop.

Mount Dora, Florida
Level Contributor
14,158 posts
242 reviews
2. Re: What to do at night in Istanbul

While many shops in the tourist areas stay open late, The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar pretty much close down around 7:00pm. I doubt you will even be settled into your room before the bazaars are closed.

We normally arrive a bit earlier in the afternoon. We always stay in the Sultanahmet neighborhood. On our first evening we walk to the Blue Mosque and just wander in for a few minutes. We enjoy an early dinner, and if we have the energy we sit and watch the sunset and the lights illuminate the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya. Then we go to bed early so we have energy for our first full day in Istanbul the following day.

If you are not suffering from jet lag and want some evening excitement there are lively restaurants in Sultanahmet or you could take the tram and funicular and go to Taksim. Here you can walk down Istiklal street where you will find hundreds of restaurants and bars and lots of nightlife.

Sultanahmet and Istiklal street are both safe at night. As the previous poster stated, it is not wise to wander down dark alleys or deserted streets. If you stay where there are people and businesses are open you will be fine. Just practice the same city street smarts that you do when you visit San Francisco or any other metropolitan area in the US.

Perrysburg, Ohio
Level Contributor
3,165 posts
21 reviews
3. Re: What to do at night in Istanbul

Since you probably won't get to your hotel until 7:00 p.m., I recommend that you have dinner at a rooftop terrace restaurant or street-level cafe close to your hotel. Rooftop terrace restaurants usually have spectacular views, and street-level cafes are a great way to feel the vibe of Istanbul.

I'd also like to reiterate what Califpoppy and BusyRetired said above, which is that Istanbul is safe to wander around in at night. Just take the same precautions you'd take in any major city and you'll be just fine.

Level Contributor
5,955 posts
50 reviews
4. Re: What to do at night in Istanbul

The thing about the Grand Bazaar is that it's huge and easy to get turned around once inside. I mention this in case you arrive jetlagged. Easy remedy is to make a note of which entrance you used, which vendors are located there, etc.

At night, you can take the tram to Taksim and stroll along Istiklal Caddesi. It's a 2 kilometer pedestrian walkway filled with stores, shops, and cafes. For a good Turkish dinner, eat at one the restaurants on the many side streets. Check Alper's blog for shopping, restaurants, etc.

12 posts
5. Re: What to do at night in Istanbul

Many places are safe at night around Istanbul. It is better to stay around Taksim Square and Istiklal Caddesi (Street)where you can find many shops, restaurants and bars. If you want to go famous clubs, you have to be at Ortakoy near Bosphorus. But of course they are more expensive.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
4,035 posts
93 reviews
6. Re: What to do at night in Istanbul

Istaklal Caddesi certainly seems to be the happening place to visit at night.

Level Contributor
256 posts
1 review
7. Re: What to do at night in Istanbul


It's not very safe at those places with no people. The bazaar is open until 6 pm.

8. Re: What to do at night in Istanbul

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