Luckily for those in Istanbul, there are a number of nearby destinations to swim and have fun in the sun. They also happen to have wonderful beach clubs to accommodate everyone.
Just an hour's drive away from the metropolis, Kilyos is one such destination on the European side of Istanbul. Şile, one the other hand, is on the Asian side of Istanbul. Both Kilyos and Şile share some beautiful coastlines on the Black Sea. They offer an excellent opportunity to enjoy swimming and the summer vibe. Both locations also feature beach clubs that offer a different atmosphere, some more relaxing while others host full-blown beach parties and musical events.
Here's what you need to know before you visit some of the best beach clubs in Istanbul. Heading to Kilyos for a day at the beach is now regular practice for many hip Istanbulites and the beach clubs that have been established there have perfected the art of catering to the summer crowd. But you must choose the beach club you go to carefully as some are louder and more crowded than others, which for many can make all the difference. It is pretty much the norm to be charged a daily entrance fee, which depending on the beach club can range from as low as TL 20-30 to upwards of TL 80. Many of the beach clubs also offer discounted season passes, should you want to make it a regular excursion.
With a beach that spans 1 kilometer and capacity for 2,000 sunbathers, Solar Beach is one of the most popular summer hot spots in Kilyos. A favorite with the urban hipsters, Solar Beach holds dance parties with and even has its own nightclub. One of the most standout features of this beach club though is that it has a pool for those who prefer to lounge poolside. There are a variety of sports activities on offer such as jet skis and water sports and there is also a pet hotel on site. Solar Beach also offers transportation from a number of pick up points in the city including Beşiktaş and Levent. The daily entrance fee on weekdays is TL 40 and TL 80 on weekends.
Tırmata is the most relaxing and upscale among the family-oriented beach clubs on offer in Kilyos. While Tırmata is even larger in capacity than its neighboring Solar Beach, you wouldn't know it as it feels more calm and quiet. Despite this, they also happen to have a kite surfing school. One of the beach's standout characteristics, however, is that they do not accept males unaccompanied by a female companion. Entrance weekdays is TL 40 and TL 60 on weekends and children under 12 enter discounted with those under 6 years of age enter for free. There are shuttles daily to Tırmata Beach in Kilyos from the Hacıosman Metro station in Tarabya.
Milyon Beach Kilyos
Joining the roster of beach clubs in Kilyos last summer is Milyon Beach, which has a huge beach that will soon host what is set to be Turkey's biggest outdoor rock festival ever. That is because the organization behind Milyon Beach is the very same that holds Turkey's oldest and largest scale rock music festival annually in Zeytinli and has gone on to organize nearly ten rock festivals throughout the country. Opened last year, in what was formerly the Babylon Beach Club, Milyon Beach has a huge stage, beach and grassy knoll to hang out on as you listen to Turkish and foreign rock and pop music in a party atmosphere. This venue also has a designated play area for dogs if you want to bring your pet. Entrance on weekdays is TL 45 and TL 65 on weekends.
The newest beach club on the scene in Kilyos is Plaj Silver, which has somewhat taken over from where the popular beach club it was prior Suma left off. This hip party beach was famed for its electronic music festivals and Plaj Silver seems to be somewhat continuing the concept. There are weekend dance parties with DJs from all over the world, a huge sandy beach to lounge on and a restaurant serving international fare. The venue also houses Turkey's sole wave surfing school, Surf School Istanbul, where you can learn to kitesurf or ride the waves of the Black Sea. They also offer a shuttle service that goes from Taksim, Nışantaşı to Beşiktaş and Levent on the weekends when they host dance parties.
Aqua Beach Club
The beach club scene in Şile differs greatly from that of Kilyos and is a much more family-oriented and low-key affair and the beaches are not as comfortably expansive. However, the Aqua Beach Club has the best sandy shore in Şile making it well worth discovering the Black Sea in this area. There is a neighboring public beach should you want to go it alone, but to enjoy the day on a lounger the entrance fee for Aqua Beach Club is TL 35 on weekdays and TL 50 on weekends.
Fora Beach Restaurant
This particular venue in Şile is more famed for its fish restaurant, but it also operates a beach club with loungers on docks from which you can dive into the sea. In the vein of the establishments in Şile, this is a relaxed family-oriented atmosphere. The entrance fee on weekdays is TL 25 and it goes up to TL 40 on weekends.