Istanbul Guide for LGBTQ+ Community

Istanbul is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and is home to all kinds of people. According to the latest population data, it is the 5th most populous city in the world. And of course, that means Istanbul has its own LGBTQ+ community. Nowadays there are more than 50 LGBTQ+ organizations in Istanbul.

Culturally liberal districts such as Nişantaşı, Etiler, Kadıköy, Moda are places where the LGBTQ+ community feels comfortable. However, in more conservative districts such as Tophane, Harbiye, and Şişli, people may hold more traditional views for gay people.

Gay Clubs

Aside from the iconic cultural and historic activities, Istanbul also offers a rich nightlife for the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ people are welcomed in most clubs and venues but also there are many gay bars where sexual identity is not questioned and you can just have fun. Here are the places where you will experience the beauty of just being yourself in this great city:

1. LoVe Dance Point

Love Dancepoint in Istanbul

Love speaks here… Go inside and let your soul be free… Love Dance Point, which originally used the motto “Love is here, where are you?”, is a place where all are welcome. It’s closed on Sundays and weekdays but opens from 23.00 – 05.00 on Fridays and Saturdays. LDP has been an important place in the gay nightlife of Istanbul for more than ten years and is still going strong.

More Information

Open Hours: 23:30 – 05:00  Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 232 56 83
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Istanbul Guide for LGBTQ Community

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2. SüperFabric

Superfabric in Istanbul

Opened in 2014, SuperFabric is famous for its amazing shows. If you look at the website for what’s on you only see the following: Mystery, mystery, mystery! The shows change from time to time. But from what we have seen of the shows don’t be surprised by anything – even guys taking a shower behind a glass cabin when you enter the venue is a normal sight here. If you want to watch shows, don’t stay by the bar as your view will be restricted. Everyone is welcome here. We have seen people who have just got married dancing at their wedding dresses inside! There is entertainment here five days a week including weekends.

More Information

Open Hours: 23:30 – 05:30 Closed Sundays and Tuesdays
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: 0530 848 52 52
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3. Cheeky Club Istanbul

Cheeky Club in Istanbul

Cheeky Club is famous for its darkroom. It is always ready to entertain with special DJs and music that excites you. Open until 5 am, the club offers great entertainment. The darkroom brings you to yourself! Try it, you will understand what it means to be breathless with excitement and fun.

More Information

Open Hours: 23:30 – 05:00 Closed Mondays
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: 0532 341 10 43
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4. Club Tekyön

Club Tekyon in Istanbul

The entertainment never ends in Club Tekyön, one of the most cult gay bars in Istanbul. People from all walks of life come here for fun. Since the influx of Arab tourists to Istanbul began, Club Tekyön has become their favourite too. Although there are differing views on the quality, we think it’s fun for everyone. You can express yourself freely, wear whatever you want and let your soul lead the way to the dance floor!

More Information

Open Hours: 23:00 – 05:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: 0537 425 28 85
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Istanbul Guide for LGBTQ Community

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Lesbian Clubs

Looking for somewhere for girls only? You don’t need to be lesbian. Even if you just want to get away from men and have fun with the girls, these clubs are waiting to greet you. Here are the best lesbian clubs in Istanbul:

1. Bigudi Club

bigudi Club in Istanbul

Although its location has moved several times since its opening, customers have always loved the Bigudi Club. The Bigudi Club, opened in 2006, only accepts women, apart from on certain days of the month when men are allowed. There are entertaining stage shows and world-famous DJs at Bigudi which is open between midnight and 4 am at weekends.

More Information

Open Hours: 22:00 – 04:00  Closed Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: 0535 509 09 22
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2. Gizli Bahçe

Gizli Bahce in Istanbul

Not just for gays and lesbians. The upper floor and the terrace floor are colorful and you can enjoy entertainment in the LGBTQ+ environment while sipping your drinks on the terrace, especially in summer evenings.

More Information

Open Hours: 20:00 – 05:00  Closed Sundays and Mondays
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 249 21 92
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Gay-Friendly Shopping Places

You find gay-friendly places in Istanbul not just for fun but also for shopping. If you are looking for special clothes, go to the smaller boutiques. The ones that stand out in the shopping malls where you can sit and drink something and eat while shopping according to your taste are as follows:

1. Zorlu Center

Zorlu Center in Istanbul

The motto here is “The most special address for the firsts in your life”. Zorlu Centre is a popular meeting point for Istanbulites. There are more than 200 stores in Zorlu Center where you can choose from thousands of products. Beymen’s store is located in an area of ​​9600 square meters. Apple installed the same iconic cube store in Zorlu as they have in New York. Zorlu also welcomed the first branches in Turkey for Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co., Balmain, Brooks Brothers, Costa, Pomellato, brands are Stella McCartney and Superdry. You can find many more famous brands, fashion designers, and fashion brands in Zorlu. At Zorlu Gurme, you can experience tastes from all around the world. In Cinemaximum, you can see the latest movies. You can shop from 10 am – 10 pm seven days a week. Click here for detailed information.

More Information

Open Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 924 01 24
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2. Kanyon

Kanyon Mall in Istanbul

The shopping centre, with the motto “I wish everywhere was Kanyon”, stands out with its concept activities prepared for special occasions. You can find a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars in the shopping mall, which consists of 4 floors and 160 stores on 40 thousand square meters. Kanyon, has lots of concepts, especially in its outdoor areas during summer which documents environmental sensitivity by submitting Breeam measurements every year. Enjoying a movie is another pleasure in Kanyon, which has 9 different movie theaters.

More Information

Open Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 317 53 00
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3. Istinye Park

Istinye Park in Istanbul

147 clothing stores and 41 new brands which are selling in Turkey for the first time gives you access to many options. The ultra-luxurious concept stores, located in the top garden of the park, which also includes many options from the world cuisines, allow customers to shop by appointment only. There are all kinds of opportunities for you to be yourself in Istanbul in the neighbourhood of the bazaar. On rainy days, after shopping, you can drink Turkish coffee and play backgammon at the cafe in the middle of the neighbourhood. There are approximately 300 stores in İstinyePark. There are 12 movie theaters. You should choose İstinyePark for luxury stores and famous brands. You can also find concept clothing and accessories.

More Information

Open Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 345 55 55
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4. Cevahir

Cevahir Mall in Istanbul

With nearly 300 stores on 6 floors, this is the most crowded place in Şişli and one of the oldest shopping centres in Istanbul. You’ll find almost everything you can think of here. In addition to shopping, a small amusement park, Funlab is filled with many toys for unlimited fun and excitement. A shopping centre full of tastes which include local flavors and foods from around the world.

More Information

Open Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 368 69 00
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Istanbul Guide for LGBTQ Community

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As Tripster, we understand your expectations from your trip and offer you the most suitable ones for your wishes from the plans prepared by locals living in the destination you want to visit.

Parks

Some parks in the city are used as meeting points for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Macka Demokrasi Parkı
Cahide On5, has been at the heart of gay culture for years. There is no longer a nightclub here, but the park is still used as a meeting place for gay couples. Be careful though as this park is also used by some to bully gay people.

1. Taksim Gezi Parkı

Taksim Gezi Parki in Istanbul

Taksim Gezi Park is considered the most popular outdoor gay place in Istanbul. You can meet someone at any time of the day. But more people come at weekends and in the evenings. In this park, while trying to find other gay individuals, drug addicts and pickpockets can find you too so don’t bring valuables.

More Information

Open Hours: 7/24
Location: View on Google Maps
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2. Yogurtcu Park

Yogurtcu Park in Istanbul

Kadıköy is a very open district to LGBTQ+. In fact, many events are held here which would not be held in other parts of Istanbul. Kadıköy Municipality treats LGBTQ+ people with the solidarity and respect they deserve so you can feel comfortable in this region. Yogurtcu Park is also used for LGBTQ+ meetings. At one time there was a picnic and market here every Sunday which attracted lots of gay people from all over the city. In addition to entertainment, you’ll find beautiful clothes and accessories. Currently, such events are no longer organised but this doesn’t prevent you from strolling in Yogurtcu Park. One of Turkey’s major football teams, Fenerbahce play their home games near here and match days can be quite crowded.

More Information

Open Hours: 7/24
Location: View on Google Maps
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3. Moda Beach Park and Walkway

Moda Beach in Istanbul

Kadıköy and Moda are places with a warm and friendly atmosphere. This is the face of Istanbul facing Europe. Right after Moda Beach Park, there is also a long walking path from Moda to Kadıköy Rıhtım. You’ll come across many people along this walking path; students, families enjoying the park and the beautiful weather, rehearsal artists, lovers who live in the most beautiful state of love… You can have a picnic on the grass, take a healthy walk on the path or experience romantic moments gazing at the sea with your loved ones.

More Information

Open Hours: 7/24
Location: View on Google Maps
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4. Caddebostan Beach Walkway

Caddebostan in Istanbul

Caddebostan beach is popular for its bars and cafes. You shouldn’t come by car as parking is limited. You can sit under a tree, read a book, go for a walk with friends or enjoy romantic moments with your partner.

More Information

Open Hours: 7/24
Location: View on Google Maps
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Hammam

How would you like to have a bath with your partner? There are suitable places for this in Istanbul but it may be appropriate to look inside before booking. Some places are also suitable for gay couples but can be very poor quality. We chose one of the baths that Heytripster teams researched for you:

1. Historical Galatasaray Hammam

Galatasaray Hammam in Istanbul

When you enter the bath, you are greeted in the hammam square. The room attendant takes you to the room you will use. Clogs and loincloth are given to you. You put on your clogs in your room, wrap your loincloth around your body and come to the hammam square. Your cutter/massager welcomes you. The stone in the middle of the bath is called the “navel stone”. Lie here. Half an hour will pass. Do not think that nobody is interested in you. This is the time to rest. Your masseur will come shortly. If the pressure is too hard, just say you want a slower massage. After the massage, the pouch and foam bath await you. Then you are asked to lie down on the navel stone and rest. Don’t argue. Because rest is important! After it is finished, you can wash again or go out immediately. If you want to go out, you need to take your towels and wait for a while in your room or in the hammam square. If you are overwhelmed by the heat, this is the place to enjoy a cold drink. Because we say it again, the bath is hot and you should definitely rest. You must experience the meaning and beauty of life, the wonderful feeling of just resting. After getting dressed, pay at the exit. Going to the bath will make you feel happy like a child, especially if you’re hungover!

More Information

Open Hours: 08:00 – 22:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 252 42 42
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Event Venues

Almost all cultural and artistic sites in Istanbul are gay-friendly. However, in some places, there may be a reaction from other customers. The places we recommend visiting are as follows:

1. [mecra]

Mecra in Istanbul

[mecra], which opened its doors in November 2017, has become one of the important concerts, events and entertainment venues in Istanbul. There is a bar, kitchen, workshop, multi-purpose hall, and a spacious terrace in [mecra], where everyone can find something they enjoy. [mecra] is located in Kadıköy, one of the most prominent entertainment neighbourhoods of Istanbul. The carefully prepared menu has great vegetarian options. [mecra] offers workshops for small groups on the top floor as well as offering guests the opportunity to enjoy various performances, exhibitions, meetings, and demonstrations in the hall located on the first floor of the building. Many important artists, music groups, DJs and producers, both domestic and foreign, have performed on the terrace of the building, [mecra].

More Information

Open Hours: 12:00 – 04:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0216) 349 04 80
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2. Anahit Sahne

Anahit Sahne, where you can listen to music from many different cultures, is in Beyoğlu. The motto of this place, where the most beautiful examples of multiculturalism are staged, is the following: ‘If you are homophobic, if you are a racist scum, do not come here’. Anahit takes its name from the madam Anahit, who once earned money by playing the accordion in Taksim. There is a cultural event almost every day at this venue. Anahit Sahne is located in a reliable space for LGBTQ+ individuals.

More Information

Open Hours:  During events only
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: 0543 760 31 65
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Cafe – Bar

You don’t want to live it up, but you are looking for a nice place to chat with your friends or your lover over a few glasses of something. Our favourite among gay-friendly cafe-bars are as follows:

1. Vegisso Ev Cafe

Vegisso, the best address for vegan food, is a cafe established in Ankara and which moved to Istanbul. There is a fixed menu here in the restaurant opened by Yasin Keskin. There are falafel, burger, sandwich, saute, paninis, dessert in this fixed menu. In addition, there are vegan dishes that change every day. Yasin, the owner of Vegisso, started this business by cooking dishes for other vegans in the same neighbourhood. Over time, he started inviting customers to eat at his home rather than delivering food to them and eventually he turned his house into a small boutique restaurant. And, so Vegisso was born! Yasin’s Home-Cafe, which is visited by appointment, is in Şişli. Vegisso advertises itself as a safe place for LGBTQ+ individuals.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:00 – 23:00 Closed Mondays
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: 0542 238 97 17
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2. 5. Kat Cafe Bar Restaurant

The 5th Floor is one of the most beautiful places in Istanbul. There is a wonderful area where you can sip your drink while chatting on the terrace. In cold weather, you can enjoy your meals in the restaurant. The view is also beautiful from here. The owner is an artist, Yasemin Alkaya. That’s why they have customers such as Patricia Arquette, Russell Crowe and Andrew Knight as some of their globally recognised clients.

More Information

Open Hours: 17:00 – 02:00  Weekends: 10:00 – 02:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 293 37 74
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3. Kafe 26A

There is a lot to be said about Kolektif26, which is admirable with its environmental consciousness, and respect for nature and man. Kolektif26 has a cafe named Cafe26A. We won’t say too much, but when you come to Istanbul, go see it. You can see Kollektif26 at the book fair, host a conversation about the environment or participate in a discussion about the revolutionary struggle in Chile. The most certain thing here is that Kolektif26 has no boss. Cafe 26A is operated collectively. LGBTQ+ is in a safe space network.

More Information

Open Hours: 09:00 – 22:45
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 243 60 85
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Istanbul Guide for LGBTQ Community

PLANNING A TRIP TO ISTANBUL?

As Tripster, we understand your expectations from your trip and offer you the most suitable ones for your wishes from the plans prepared by locals living in the destination you want to visit.

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