GAY & LESBIAN HOTELS IN ISTANBUL
Gay and lesbian friendly hotels, rooms, flats in Taksim and Sultanahmet districts of Istanbul. We listed these hotels after making face to face interviews with their administrations and we were persuaded that they understand the expectations of the gay people.
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Practical Istanbul Gay and Lesbian Guide for Travelers

General Information


Majority
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 in Istanbul

The venues listed in the category are all gay-exclusive. Almost all of these are open / busy after midnight and some of them are only open on Weekends (Saturday/Sunday)

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.

X-LARGE 23:00-05:00 (open Friday and Saturday)
Address: AOS Sitesi, G:52.Sok. No:12/1 Maslak, Istanbul,
Opened in May 2009, X LARGE has become very popular weekend club where you can find the atmosphere of the big European gay clubs. It was located in Taksim/Beyoglu for about 4 years, until has moved to above address in early May 2013, next to Ataturk Oto Sanayi metro stop.

PENTHOUSE  - Closed Down in December 2011.
Address: Istiklal Cad. Zambak Sokak No:2 Kat:5 Taksim, Istanbul
Senior Otherside Club has changed administration and its name in January 2012, but everything else is the same. It is a after-midnight club especially busy on Friday and Saturday nights. It is located on 5th floor and has a large terrace for smokers. Their shows are quite professional.

LOVE CLUB  - 23:30 - 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.

EKOO BAR & CLUB (23:30:00-05:00) www.ekooclub.com 
Address: Tarlabasi Bulvari No: 32 Taksim/Istanbul.
This venue has a more local and relaxed atmosphere with no attitudes. Ekoo bar has moved to a more central location in March 2011, very close to Taksim square. It is now across from the flower shops at Taksim square on Tarlabasi avenue, next to Carlton Hotel. Beware of rent-boys.

CLUB 17 23:00-05:00
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Zambak Sokak No:17 (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.

CHEEKY CLUB Open 23:00-05:00
Address: Kucuk Bayram Sokak, No:1/A Beyoglu / Istanbul.
This is a new club first opened in July 2010. It is an after-club indeed not busy until almost 3 am. They got famous for being the first club to try a dark room. It still exist but does not operate as liberal as the dark rooms in Western countries. 

DURAK BAR  (19:00 - 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 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 clubs.

FRAPPE CAFE & BAR (12:00- 02:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Zambak Sokak No.10/A Beyoglu/Istanbul
Cafe & restaurant located on the same street (Zambak Sokak), very close o Taksim Square. It is a small venue which also functions as a bistro and serves various kinds of food in day time.

PİNOKYO CAFE & BAR (15:00- 00:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Buyukparmakkapi Sk No: 26/1 Beyoglu/Istanbul
A new cafe bar opened in March 2011. It is located on Buyukparmakkapi street across the Benetton on Istiklal. It is a modest place on the 1st floor. You can observe live Turkish music and drag show performances on different days of the week.

CHAPLIN CAFE
Chaplin Cafe (12:00- 00:00)
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.

HASPA CAFE & BAR 12:00-01:00
Address: Istiklal Cad. Ipek Sokak 16/2 Beyoglu/Istanbul
A senior straight cafe bar on a small street off the Istiklal avenue was undertaken by gay people in April 2011 specifically declaring that they want to welcome straight acting gay men. It is located at the same building with Chaplin Cafe.

SUGAR CAFE  12:00-00:00
ADDRESS: Istiklal Caddesi, Saka Salim Cikmazi, No: 3/A Beyoglu Istanbul.
This small gay cafe & bar and bistro restaurant is located on a dead-end lane on Istiklal Avenue, somewhere opposite of St. Antoine Church. They used to implement a double price policy to the tourists but they changed it recently after our publications protesting it..

CHIANTI CAFE & BAR 18:00-01:00
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,

Gay Friendly Restaurants

BESINCI KAT RESTAURANT 12:00-01:00 Web: http://www.5kat.com/ 
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

360 RESTAURANT 12:00-01:00
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 THAI 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.

COOKING ALATURCA
Address: Akbiyik Caddesi 72a, Sultanahmet, IstanbulTel: (90) (212) 458 5919
Web: http://www.cookingalaturka.com 
The concept is basically to offer a miscellaneous menu of all authentic Turkish dishes, some Ottoman classics, some home-cooking and some regional specialties. Open only for lunch and prices are average.

Sauna and Bath Houses

There are no explicitly gay bath houses  in Istanbul, probably because any sexual action is forbidden in public venues. Please visit this following website for more information including location maps, visitor reviews etc: http://www.turkishbathguide.com/

FIRUZAGHA HAMAMI
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

YESHILDIREK  HAMAMI
Address: Tershane Cad. Yolcuzade Sok. N:74
There is no obvious gay scene and recommended not to be too obvious. 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.

CHESME HAMAMI
Address: Voyvoda (Bankalar) Caddesi, Yeni Cesme Sokak,  Karakoy, Istanbul
It is on a back-street (Yeni Cesme) hard to locate somewhere below Galata Tower; or above Galata Bridge to the left. (off Persembe Pazarı street). Not very clean. Mostly attended by middle aged/older men or bears

HORHOR HAMAMI
Address: Hamam Sokak, No: 8 Aksaray/Istanbul.
Another small historical non-touristy hamam located in Aksaray quarter of Istanbul's Fatih district. It can be confused with Sofular Hamam in the same vicinity known as Horhor, It is located close to Aksaray Metro station, on a small back street

PASHA HAMAMI
Address: Pasa Hamami Street., 2/6 Fatih - Istanbul.
This hamam is not very centrally located, and actually the neighborhood is conservative for gay activities. Located somewhere below Chora/Kariye Museum (walk down Kariye Turbesi street and turn left). If you go by public bus take Edirnekapı buses from Taksim Square or from Eminonu bus terminal by the Galata bridge. Get off at Aci Cesme bus stop, just before Edirnekapi. Walk down the street right next to the Stadium.

AQUARIUS SAUNA
See official website
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.

CIHANGIR SAUNA
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.

Please visit this following website for more information:
http://www.turkishbathguide.com/

Cruising Areas & 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. 

Taksim Park
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.

Sultanahmet 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

Ortakoy Coast.
Once a small fishing town, Ortakoy became popular with bars, restaurants, cafeterias creating a summer resort atmosphere within the city. It is near major Besiktas town along the Bosporus Straight. The coastal area around the Ortakoy Mosque is very busy and there's a vibrant night life in summer, especially busy during the day on Sundays. Some 15 minutes ride away from Taksim with a taxi but it naturally takes longer during rush hours.

Princess Islands (Adalar) beaches
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.

Istanbul Gay Travel and Accommodation

GAY & LESBIAN HOTELS IN ISTANBUL
Gay and lesbian friendly hotels, rooms, flats in Taksim and Sultanahmet districts of Istanbul. We listed these hotels after making face to face interviews with their administrations and we were persuaded that they understand the expectations of the gay people.
See Details
ISTANBUL GAY FRIENDLY CITY TOURS
11 different Istanbul city tours. Private guided and regular group tours. No credit card confirmation is required for booking these tours. Flexible pick up time for private tours by gay/gay friendly guides. Tours cover Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Bosphorus, Grand Bazaar and more
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ORANGE FLAT
Location: Taksim. Price: Single: 30-40 Euro, Double: 35-50 Euro
Gay owned studio flat available daily, only 200 meters away from Taksim Square providing most hotel facilities such as breakfast, air-condition, safe box, cable TV with international channels, wireless ADSL connection , en suite bath/shower etc.
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PRIVATE GAY BAR & CLUB TOUR IN TAKSIM
Are you a gay man visiting Istanbul for the first time? Are you a stranger to the gay life of this metropolis? You surely need somebody to lead you the way during your first few days. Somebody who knows what is going on in the gay world in this mysterious city.
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GAY FRIENDLY HOTELS IN TURKEY
Pride Travel is also offers reservations for the most gay and lesbian friendly hotels in other cities of Turkey, including Bodrum, Antalya, Marmaris, Kusadasi, Fethiye, Kas, Alanya, Dalyan, Ankara, Izmir etc. By booking these hotels, you will be under our protection in Turkey
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