Istanbul is an international art and cultural center. The International Arts and Cultural Festival is held each year in June and July with famous artists coming from all over the world. These performances are held mostly in the Ataturk Cultural Center. Those enjoying classical music can hear it at Cemal Resit Rey Hall. Operas, operettas, ballets, film, concerts, exhibitions and conferences all share the cultural palette of the city. Istanbul also has a rich program of light entertainment. Nightclubs provide splendid entertainment throughout dinner, ranging from a selection of Turkish songs to the famous belly dance. Istanbul is an international gambling city with many casinos.
Alongside these are modern discos, cabarets, and jazz clubs in the Taksim-Harbiye district.
In Sultanahmet, there are a number of restaurants in restored Byzantine and Ottoman buildings which offer a unique setting for an evening out.
Kumkapi, with its many taverns, bars, and fish restaurants, is another attractive district. People have been meeting for years in Beyoğlu district’s Cicek Pasaji for snacks and seafood specialties. Also in this district, the narrow Nevizade street, near Cicek Pasaji, is the best place in Istanbul for eating Turkish specialties and drinking raki.
On the Bosphorus, Ortakoy is the best place for nightlife in Istanbul, with its nightclubs, jazz clubs, fine seafood restaurants, and bars.
In Eminonu, don’t miss an opportunity to see the fishermen dressed in traditional Ottoman clothes on their Ottoman-style boats where you may board and taste their famous delicious fried fish.