Istanbul gay tourist guide

Istanbul is a very big city. Fortunately many of the interesting places including the gay night life are close to each other.

Where to stay

<b>Where</b> to stay

Most gay bars and clubs, the shopping street, and many trendy restaurants can be found near Taksim Square (map). From Taksim you can walk to most places. Taxis are cheap but traffic can be busy. From Taksim there is also a short metro to the coast, from there you can take a tram.

 

Some hotels are very strict in bringing 'guests' to the room. So if you have intentions that way make sure you book a large hotel where you are more anonymous. Or book an apartment to have more privacy. See our hotel and apartment page for suggestions.

Istanbul hotels and apartments

Hotel for Istanbul

Destination
Check-in
(dd-mm-yy)
Check-out
(dd-mm-yy)
 

Gay night life

Gay night life in Istanbul changes a lot. Places come and go all the time. Most gay bars and clubs are located near Taksim Square. On the street many Turkish str8 guys walk hand in hand and hug each other. However most gay guys are not openly gay. Some gay places are really busy, but the guys are discrete. Many guys speak some English, and tourists area very popular for Turkish guys to meet. Online gay meeting sites like gayromeo are officially blocked in Turkey by the government. Of course there are ways to connect anyway. Ask locals online before how to get sites like that running on your mobile or laptop before you go there.

Gay bars and clubs

Be safe

Istanbul is quite a safe city, there is police and guards everywhere. But of course you have to be a bit careful. Do not follow people who call out to you in the street and promise to take you to what they refer to as a 'gay bar'. It is very likely that this is a scam where you'll be taken to a 'pavyon' (a 'tavern', so to speak) and be charged astronomical prices for services that you didn't even request.

Hamam

The quintessential Istanbul experience that is the hamam (the Turkish bath) can be very alluring and fulfilling. The homosocial environment of a hamam is almost always a very homoerotic one. Therefore, hamams are very good for cruising. However, the code word here is discretion, because sexual activity in hamams is strictly forbidden --even in the ones that are listed as 'gay' hamams-- and if you're caught in the act, you're likely to get into a lot of trouble. The truth of the matter is that there is no exclusively gay hamam in Istanbul, even though you can easily cruise men, find quick action or join in on an impromptu group wank. Oh, and, you can also use the hamam for its primary purpose and actually get clean.

Gay bars, cafes and pubs

Beşinci Kat
Soğancı Sokak 7
The "Fifth Floor" is located at the fifth floor of a renovated building near Alman Hastanesi in Siraselviler Caddesi. [...]
mon-thu 10:30–01:30, fri-sat 10:30–02:30, sun 10:30–01:30
Chianti Cafe Pub
Istiklal Caddesi, Balo Sokak No: 31.
Chianti Cafe Pub is a gay exclusive bar is located on a side-street just in the middle of famous Istiklal Street, the heart of the nightlife and gay life of Istanbul. [...]
mon-sun 16:00–02:00
Durak
Muratpaşa Sokak 9
Its the most traditional gay bar in the city, many men with moustache drinking beer with live turkish. [...]
mon-sun 11:00–02:00
Mor Kedi
Istiklal Caddesi,Imam Adnan Sokak 7, Taksim
Mostly gays comes but also lesbians are coming to this cafe bar. Turkish and English pop music. [...]
mon-sun 10:00–00:00
Secret Club
Saka Salim Çıkmazı, 1
Trendy dance club, formarly known as Exit Club. See also www.myspace.com/secretturkey
fri-sat 00:00–05:00

Gay clubs

Club 17
Zambak Sokak 17, taksim
Similar to its neighbour Queen and located near to the French consulate. Meeting point of mainly cheap young hustlers and escort boys and gay men who would be interested in them. [...]
mon-sun 21:00–04:00
Love Dance Point
Cumhuriyet Cd, No:349, Beyoğlu
One of the larger and most popular gay clubs in the country. Trendy, busy and recommended. [...]
fri-sat 23:30–05:00
Sahra Bar
Sadri Alisik Sokak 40
Originally a she-male club in a 5 floor bar/club. Packed with a compilation of transvestites, semi-transvestites, male prostitutes, queens and hundreds of horny young boys ready to screw anything (call them bi or straight) coming from ghettoes of Istanbul especially on Saturday nights. [...]
mon-sat 21:30–05:00, sun 21:30–00:00
Tekyön
Siraselviler Caddesi, 63/1, Taksim, 34250, Beyoğlu Şehit Muhtar Mh. Istanbul
Tekyon is the busiest gay night club of Istanbul. No entrance fee, which makes it very popular with younger guys, however drinks are (like everywhere in Istanbul) quite expensive. [...]
mon-thu 22:00–04:00, fri-sat 22:00–05:00, sun 22:00–04:00
XLarge Club - El Hamra Cinema
Kallavi Sokak 12
Big club in a former cinema. It used to be mostly gay but now it has become more and more str8. [...]
wed 23:30–04:00, fri-sat 23:30–04:00

Gay saunas and bath houses

Aquarius Sauna
Istiklal Caddesi, Sadri Alisik Sokak, No: 29/1
A sleazy gay sauna. Many in-house rent boys who offer 'erotic massages' starting around 100 YTL.
mon-sun 24h

Gay cruisingareas

Taksim Gezi Parki
Mete Caddesi, Beyoğlu
This is the big park in Taksim Square, behind MacDonald's and the bus stops. Cruising action is mainly on the part bordering Mete Caddesi (where Hotel Gezi is) where there are three lines of benches. [...]
mon-sun 00:00–00:00

Gay and regular restaurants

Beşinci Kat
Soğancı Sokak 7
The "Fifth Floor" is located at the fifth floor of a renovated building near Alman Hastanesi in Siraselviler Caddesi. [...]
mon-thu 10:30–01:30, fri-sat 10:30–02:30, sun 10:30–01:30

Big gay events

Istanbul Gay Pride - Various locations
Istanbul LGBT Pride Week takes place every year during the last week of June and it consists of workshops, panel discussions, parties and a series of similar activities. [...]

Events

Istanbul Gay Pride - Various locations
Istanbul LGBT Pride Week takes place every year during the last week of June and it consists of workshops, panel discussions, parties and a series of similar activities. [...]

If you know more gay (minded) places, add here