Best Things To Do In Istanbul At Night

Exploring Istanbul at night is a must to really discover this fascinating city. From hammams to whirling dervishes, here are some best things to do in Istanbul at night.

A sunset cruise on the Bosphorus

Best Things To Do In Istanbul At Night

One of my favorite evening outings in Istanbul was my sunset cruise on the Bosphorus. You can do the cruises at any time of the day, but I think twilight is ideal when the sky turns to color and you can quietly see the lights of the city twinkling.

There are several options for cruises. The cheapest is to go to the dock and buy a ticket for 60 TRY. On the boat, there is a recording in English and Turkish explaining what is going on, but there are no meals or festivities. If you want a little more luxury and entertainment, there are a lot of dinner cruise excursions on the Bosphorus .

An evening show to see the whirling dervishes

The Whirling Dervishes Show In Istanbul

If there’s one activity you shouldn’t miss in the evening in Istanbul, it’s a whirling dervish performance. The Hodjapasha Cultural Center offers performances every night, and while it may not be the most authentic option, it’s certainly the easiest to get to. In peak season, it’s best to book in advance.

If you have the chance, check out the Galata Mevlevihanesi which seems to offer a much more traditional, but less frequent, experience.

A stroll and a meal on the Galata Bridge

 Galata Bridge

The Galata Bridge is the most interesting alternative to reach the other side of the Bosphorus. During the day, you can see many fishermen and at night, the bridge lights up and there are several restaurants. It is an excellent option if you want to try seafood, among other things.

It is also a perfect place to have an aperitif in Istanbul while enjoying the salty scents of the Bosphorus.

Watch the sunset from a terrace

Seven Hills Restaurant In Istanbul
Seven Hills Restaurant

I think the most beautiful sunsets in Istanbul can be seen from the terraces of the many cafes and restaurants. The Seven Hills Restaurant , among others, offers an unbeatable view of the Bosphorus, the Blue Mosque, and Ayasofia. When the sky turns color and you hear the call to prayer, it is simply magnificent.

Visiting a hammam in Istanbul

Hammam In Istanbul

There are several hammams in Istanbul, you might want to visit a few before making your choice. For my part, I opted for Cemberli Tas because of the welcome and its very central location. It is possible to book if you want to ensure a place on the desired day.

Stop at a cafe to smoke shisha and have a drink

 Mesale Restaurant &Amp; Cafe In Istanbul
Mesale Restaurant & Cafe

There are several cafes to visit in Istanbul at night. My favorite is Mesale Restaurant & Cafe in Sultahnamet. It is very central and you can eat, drink, smoke shisha and watch shows in the evening. If you are wondering what to do in Istanbul, stopping at a cafe is always a good option!

A meal at a restaurant in Istanbul 

Yerebatan Caddesi Istanbul
Yerebatan Caddesi

There are so many that I would have a hard time recommending just one place to eat in Istanbul. One thing I certainly enjoyed the most was the Fener, Fatih, and Sultahnamet neighborhoods.

I really liked Yerebatan Caddesi with its street terraces and its variety of menus. Hoca Pasa Sokagi, and the area around the Hodjapasha cultural center are also very lively and full of beautiful culinary discoveries. The only problem is deciding where to stop because there are so many options.

See a traditional show in Istanbul in the evening

The Rythm Of The Dance Show In Istanbul

In addition to the performance of the whirling dervishes, the Rythm of the Dance Show can be seen at the Hodjapasha Cultural Center. This is a show of traditional dances (belly dance and Ottoman harem dance) in which visual and special effects are notable.

There is also an exhibition on site that tells, among other things, the history of the cultural center, which was once the Sinan Pasha hammam.

Partying in Karaköy district

View On Karaköy

If you are looking for a place to go out in Istanbul, you will most likely find it in the Karaköy district, just a few steps from the Galata Bridge. This part of the city has a well-established reputation and there are plenty of great places to eat and drink.

Strolling around the Sultanahmet district


I enjoyed walking around the Sultanahmet area at any time of the day, but I have to say that there is something special about enjoying dusk there. The area becomes less crowded and it is much easier to get around. There is something special about the atmosphere, especially during the call to prayer. Not to be missed.

Also read: 14 Best Places To Enjoy Nightlife In Istanbul

Is it safe to walk around Istanbul at night?

I always felt safe going out in Istanbul at night. That said, I don’t consider myself to have been particularly reckless, as I always got home early, was always within a reasonable distance of my hotel, and always followed a few principles for solo female travelers.

The only times I was less comfortable was when I accidentally walked down a street where everything was closed and I couldn’t see anyone (near the bazaars, among other places). If you’re ever in doubt, take a taxi. Most hotels will be able to help you with transportation.