The İstiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) has it all: main shopping street during the day, party mile during night time and the historic tramvay between Taksim and Tünel.
When going out at night you will most probably be easily spotted as a tourist and people will try to lure you into half empty clubs with free drinks and also false promises of the amount of people that are there. Stay away and research online before where to go, ask locals without an agenda or simply stumble upon them when you least expect to find a place. Found the Litera restaurant and roof top bar online – when walking past there both during day and night time you would never think a place like this would be hidden behind a normal entrance door, apart from a small sign saying „Goethe Institute“. I actually walked past it myself a couple times without knowing it was there and even if you enter and pass the detectors you have to take the elevator to the 5th floor and then walk one more floor to the top. The view you have from there is a beautiful one, overlooking the old part of the city with the Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, all illuminated at night.
Other places I’ve found by chance – been to the Ritim Bar a couple of times for drinks without even knowing that they had a rooftop dance floor, which we discovered by chance during my last day of my stay in June 2015. The place might be small but it was absolutely a ton of fun and we only left when they closed the place down for the „day/night“ because the sun came up and the clock said 6 am at some point and some sleep before the flight that day.