Top Ten Istanbul Live Music Venues

10. NINA, Galatasaray: Intimate, friendly rooftop terrace jazz, blues and rock & roll.

Typical acts: Aysu & The 4th World

9. KARGA, Kadıköy: Sophisticated, artistic venue at the top of the Asian side’s best bar.

Typical acts: Wingmen, Spent Ex

8. BRONX, Beyoğlu/Tünel: Turkish pop/rock, with an excellent sound system and lighting, owned by the Kafe Pi bar chain.

Typical acts: Model, Pijama, Kreş

7. MOJO, Taksim: Turkish rock/pop from all generations, at the top of one of Taksim’s most famous streets, Büyükparmakkapı Sokak (Upper Finger Door Street).

Typical acts: Beduk, Moğollar, Pamela, Scorpio Rising

6. SHAFT, Kadıköy: Classic Turkish and international hard rock and metal. The oldest venue on the Asian side.

Typical acts: Bluesaint, Indigo, Alley, Ok Band

5. HAYAL KAHVESI, Taksim: Mainstream Turkish and international rock/pop, often frequented by celebrities.

Typical acts: Hayko Cepkin, 4×4, Aylin Aslım, Mor ve Ötesi

4. PEYOTE, Nevizade: Defiant indie ethic and avant-garde DJs, with excellent sound and reputation, populated mainly by students from the ‘better’ universities.

Typical acts: Replikas, Gevende, Dinar Bandosu, Kutu

3. BABYLON, Tünel: International and occasional Turkish rock and jazz, from probably Turkey’s most famous venue.

Typical acts: Ed Harcourt, The Ringo Jets, Cingi

2. GHETTO, Nevizade: Most visually stunning of Istanbul venues, with cavernous ceiling, multiple levels, psychedelic backscreen and expansive stage.

Typical acts: Yasemin Mori, The Charlatans, Lydia Lunch & Gallon Drunk

1. SALON IKSV: Arts foundation-supported, Salon adheres to the ‘black cube’ auditory aesthetic, and keep a solidly credible line-up supported by good principles and strong management.

Typical acts: Midlake, Nekropsi, John Grant, Owen Pallor

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