What are the best bars in Istanbul right now? If you’re looking for cool places to drink, then this post is for you. We’ve compiled a list of 15 of the most popular and coolest bars in Istanbul. From rooftop bars overlooking the Bosphorus Strait to speakeasy-style cocktail bars to sky lounges, these venues will make your night out on the town one to remember. Check them out below.
List of best bars in Istanbul:
1. Mikla Rooftop Bar
A wine connoisseur’s fantasy, Mikla Rooftop Bar is one of the best bars in Istanbul. It has a list of excellent reds and whites from around the world and it is the perfect place to find your next favorite bottle! Don’t forget to try their naturally fermented wines and fruit wines. The choices are overwhelmingly wide. We would be surprised if you couldn’t find something that hits the right spot.
If wine isn’t your thing, the list of cocktails adheres firmly to the elegant theme of the bar. You don’t have to be too concerned with the endless menu because the dreamy panoramic views of Istanbul will make you lose any of ‘I really can’t choose’ anxiety.
With a picturesque pool, a DJ playing relaxing music, and 360° spectacular views of Istanbul, Sultanahmet Mosque, Golden Horn, and the Bosphorus, Mikla Rooftop is the kind of bar that’ll have you whispering conspiringly about your dreams to your companion. If you’re looking for a world-class dinner before hitting this bar, make your booking at Mikla restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Istanbul and located in the same building.
Address: Asmalı Mescit, The Marmara Pera Hotel, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:15, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
2. 16 Roof
Located on the top floor of the Hotel Swissôtel The Bosphorus, 16 Roof is one of the best rooftop bars in Istanbul with a dress code: smart casual. If Mikla wasn’t impressive enough, we would be shocked if you didn’t find this one to be the best rooftop bar in Istanbul.
The drinks menu at this place has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax with an ice-cold beer or have some fun and dance the evening away, they’ve got what’s best. The view is incredible, but it’s not just that. The wine section is slightly smaller yet still refined. The king of the menu has got to be the wide-ranging cocktails.
Please make no mistake: it’ll be hard to leave without being a little tipsy. However, there is also a wide selection of alcohol-free ‘virgin’ options for the designated driver who’s making sure everyone is getting home safe.
If wine or cocktails aren’t your things, this terrace bar still has you covered with their expansive selection of other types of drinks: from the classics (whiskey, gin, vodka, and aperitifs) to the Turkish rakı to the cognacs, liqueurs, sherry – the list is endless! Slightly on the pricey side, this is the once-in-a-lifetime level of luxury that you need to enjoy with friends. Even that one who only drinks beer will find a small but interesting collection of beers, hot drinks, and soft drinks to their liking. Don’t forget to make reservations before you go!
Address: Vişnezade, Acısu Sokaği No:19, 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
3. Monkey Istanbul
If you leave Istanbul without watching the sunset at MonkeyIstanbul, you’re missing out. A hip, creative bar with picturesque views, this is the place to try something new. From the Monkey Business to the English Breakfast cocktail – which is far more tempting than what you might think – to the Say Cheese cocktail, you’ll be spirited away to a surreal tastebud experience.
Probably not suited for the wine-lovers, this place emanates that young, hip, urban crowd. It gets busy very quickly from opening so go early to grab a table. Be aware that the staff is a little impatient with those that hog tables and don’t order!
Address: Nejat Eczacıbaşı Binası Şişhane, 34433 Beyoğlu
This restaurant-bar is a dream for working professionals. Blend a sense of history, minimalism, and comfort, and you have that bohemian vibe that Bina can boast about. Moreover, the great vegan food options will make you want to kiss the owner. This hidden gem is known for being a favorite of art aficionados for the events they host as well as the paintings on the wall.
Whilst the patrons seem to be the amiable type, the service can be a bit of a weak point. If you have that one loud, brash friend that’ll throw themselves onto a table or the charismatic Casanova type that’ll charm a group to let you join them, it’s worth dropping by to soak in that artsy ambiance.
Address: Caferağa, Kadife Sk. No:26, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul
Diamond in the rough is a fitting description for this alluring bar. The area may remind you of London’s Bohemian Soho or the nonconformist Camden Town. Surrounded by amusing graffiti of aliens, zombies, and bugs by gifted artists, this hidden treasure has all the classics for cocktails, non-alcoholic options, beers, and whiskeys. The food menu is minimalistic and satisfying.
What this place should be renowned for are the coffees, milkshakes, teas, and frappes. It hosts free wifi and desks that are big enough to fit a laptop, making this place the best bar to catch up on some work. After you’re done with work, relax with a well-earned martini. If you’re too adult for the Unicorn cocktail, then you must still celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day (19/Sept) with good-old, traditional grog!
Just get a table downstairs close to the genderless bathrooms. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself constantly walking up and down the stairs as there are no toilets up there.
Address: Tomtom, Akansu Sk No:10, 34433 Galata Beyoğlu/Istanbul
6. Finn Karaköy
Finn Karaköy is one of those modern, chic places that you might want to visit after a long, hard day to meditate. Either that or to try the Meditation cocktail. Creative cocktails are not as terrifying here as the menu has hashtags with the mood of each cocktail. For example, if you’re “#feelingdangerous,” you can go for the “Witches Brew.”
Finn Karaköy is one with the best of both worlds: the vibe and drinks are for the stylish urbanite, and the bar snacks are evocative of those delicious treats served at sports bars. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful if you get lost in the menu. If you’re looking to try your flirtatious Turkish on a native, you really can’t go wrong here.
Address: Süleymaniye, Necatibey Cd. No:8, 34425 Beyoğlu/Istanbul
7. Craft Beer Lab
It’s all in the name. Soak in the warm sunshine in the beer garden, take in the trendy décor or watch the game on one of the TVs; this is the kind of place that alludes to that elusive man-cave you wish you had. Don’t let our description fool you; however, a young crowd of women and men gather here to relax with their friends. Who can blame them? The menu can only be described as ‘gigantic’, and it kindly informs you where each beer originates and the ABV.
It’s not just the beer but the teas, the non-alcoholic options, and the great cocktails that will tempt you like nothing else. The foods are no joke either. Focusing on beer, without a doubt, Craft Beer Lab is one of the best bars in Istanbul.
Address: Sinanpaşa, Şair Nedim Cd. No:4, 34353 Beşiktaş/Istanbul
If you’re not standing outside, you might be inside the dim, atmospheric bar struggling to pick between the cocktails. The beer variety isn’t the best, but the funky music, trendy ambiance, lively neighborhood, and free snacks (popcorn and peanuts!) bring out the best in the patrons.
This cocktail bar has a bit of a western feeling, and LGBT is welcome at this trendy bar. If you’re super curious about any of the drinks, ask the helpful bartenders. Whether or not it is the finest bar in Istanbul is to be debated, but it certainly is a symbol of the city’s nightlife.
Address: Cihangir, Akarsu Ykş. Sok. No:22, 34425 Beyoğlu/Istanbul
9. Chicki Boom
Chicki Boom is a place where you can escape from your everyday life and have fun with friends. It’s a small bar where you are surrounded by beautiful music, delicious cocktails, and even the company of an intimate crowd! Make sure you make your reservations early as they can get quite full quickly.
Address: Nispetiye Mahallesi, Nispetiye Caddesi, No: 13, Beşiktaş/Istanbul
If your environmentalist friend isn’t happy in this ‘zero waste’ location, we’re unsure what could please them. More of a restaurant than a bar, Alancha takes pride in its Anatolian roots with food that must be tasted to be believed.
At this restaurant-bar, the cocktails are for those with a sophisticated palate but the wines and champagnes are the stars of the show. Hosting a variety between regional and international, you may need some assistance to pick the perfect one to match the mouth-watering dishes. Make a booking here.
Address: Vişnezade, Şht. Mehmet Sk. No:9, 34357 Beşiktaş/Istanbul
11. Alexandra Cocktail Bar
One of the best rooftop bars in Istanbul for that Latin American vibe, this elegant bar will not disappoint. The incredible views of the busy street and the Bosphorus paired with tender pink lighting give this place’ date-night vibes. While they do have a classic and innovative list of cocktails, the wine list has us drooling.
This roof top terrace is popular among locals and also serves international cuisine if you feel like biting into some delicious food.
Address: Arnavutköy, Bebek Arnavutköy Cd No:50, 34345 Beşiktaş/Istanbul
12. Salon Cuma
Sitting close to Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence, this exhilarating ‘space’ is the most suitable for those with literary affectations. Pronounced “juma,” its name translated literally as Salon Friday, the living-room-esque space is resonating the same vibe of those historic French literary salons. The traditional, woodsy style with a Turkish twist suggests that you might just be drinking with the next generation of the Bloomsbury writers. Of course, the Turkish version.
Although the food menu is relatively small, it is reminiscent of the indulgent luxuries of Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market.’ If the regional wines aren’t to your taste, you will find happiness in their cocktail menu. Our favorites; Amour Fou (black mulberry, Cointreau, and Tequila) and Chiara Extravaganza (Plymouth Gin, Campari, egg white, and orange) are two of their signature cocktails that shouldn’t be missed.
Address: Firuzağa, Faik Paşa Cd. No:37, 34425 Beyoğlu/Istanbul
13. Halet-i Ruhiye
Stepping into this particular bar is like stepping into Narnia. The vintage Ottoman-esque design and vibe will tickle that exotic, adventure-seeking part of you. Although their mezes are tempting, this is the home of the sour drinks. Fortunately, Halet-i Ruhiye does have a few options for teetotallers.
Although this quaint bar is surrounded by many other eateries, bars, and tea shops, Halet-i Ruhiye is one of the best rooftop restaurant-bar in Istanbul if you’re looking for that exotic, other-worldly feel for your Instagram feed. Grab a table by the window because the views are amazing, but no worries if you can’t. This place is also known for its friendly staff.
Address: Arnavutköy, Bebek Arnavutköy Cd No:83, 34345 Beşiktaş/Istanbul
14. James Joyce Irish Pub
Aptly named, James Joyce Irish Pub is a little taste of Britain and Ireland in the middle of Istanbul. It isn’t one of those imitation places; it is the real thing. It’s not just the Irish pub feel the decoration has; no, it’s the traditional menu. Homesick Brits and Harry Potter fans can warm themselves with English breakfast or even a veggie burger with their drink. Not to mention the specials on the chalkboard that can include Irish stew and fajitas!
In addition to the food, the drinks menu is not to be scoffed at. It’s not just the Irish beers; you can have ciders and beers from Germany, Belgium, or from around the world. However, if you’re not into beers, they do have a selection of wines, including mulled wine! They also have a selection of classic cocktails and are happy to custom-make anything you desire.
It’s no wonder they’ve been there since 1996. The prices are reasonable, and if the live music isn’t fun enough, you can play darts and pool. This is one of the best bars in Istanbul.
Address: Hüseyinağa, Balo Sk. No:26, 34435 Beyoğlu/Istanbul
15. Moretenders Cocktail Crib
Located in an unassuming passageway, you cannot miss this lounge bar. The modern, jazzy ambiance hits you from the outside in. The classic décor and atmosphere may remind some of those swanky bars in those romantic Turkish soap operas.
Although half the menu is made of alcoholic drinks, they are happy to make a custom-ordered drink to satisfy your cravings. The English menu hints at the taste and feel of each drink as well as the name of the bartender who created it. Each cocktail has an exciting and fun name. Considering thirteen pages of exotic concoction, this place is less for the wine-lovers and more like the home of cocktails.
Not to mention: the sushi experience is intense. Having been awarded a ‘Japanese Cuisine Ambassador’ certificate, which is only given to 15 people each year, the chef has got us wondering what tobiko and black panto are. We also want to try the Spicy Dragon for the Japanese Seven Spice… even if it does mean tasting eel!
For the ultimate cocktails and sushi experience, don’t miss this upmarket cocktail bar in Istanbul.
Address: Asmalı Mescit, Müeyyet Sk. No:5, 34430 Beyoğlu/Istanbul
We hope you found our “best bars in Istanbul” list helpful. All these rooftop bars and terraces in Istanbul are truly amazing. They offer views of the city that you can’t get anywhere else, all while enjoying some of the best drinks in town. If you’re planning a trip to Istanbul soon, make sure to check out one of these rooftop bars for an unforgettable experience.
Surrounded by these fantastic bars in Istanbul, if you ever find yourself sober anytime, consider joining one of our culinary adventures to cure your hangover and truly appreciate everything that makes Istanbul so special. We guarantee that after just one tour with us, not only will your appetite be satisfied but also your curiosity about Turkish history and culture! Why don’t you come join us on an adventure?