The nightlife in Istanbul is filled with Western style clubs, especially in the Taksim Square area and they stay open until the wee hours of the morning. Other clubs still have a strong Turkish flavor and play live Turkish music. Most of the hot spots in the major cities play music that ranges from heavy metal to jazz. Cover charges in some of these clubs can be expensive, so it’s best to do a little research before you choose one. Belly dancing is done mainly for tourists, so dancers usually perform in large hotels where their shows are appreciated. A dancer will accept tips by placing a Lira note in the appropriate part of her attire.
The Turks still enjoy partying in tavernas, which are called meyhane. Folk music and dancing, along with traditional food, makes them a popular tourist stop as well. Traditionally a meyhane was an all male establishment that bordered on being sleazy, but the modern day tavernas are clean and comfortable and can be enjoyed by both male and females. Smoking was banned in public places in 2009 and that ban is in effect in cafes, bars and restaurants.