Tango in Istanbul
Updated: 13. 1.2013
It might surprise you - but Istanbul has a
very good, lively tango scene and it's one of the reasons
I love going there.
During my frequent trips I visited many milongas, alone or with
a friend. And I danced a lot! Turkish dancers also ask ladies
to dance if they don't know them and many of them speak some
English, French or even German.
There is at least one milonga every night (it can be a bit
slower in the Summer months). You can find a lot of information
about this in the Internet. Most of them go on until 1 AM during the
week and longer on the weekend.
There are also several tango festivals through the year.
A friend of mine told me that there were a lot more women
than men during a festival, so ladies should bring their
Here are some milongas that I
have been to myself - if you want to know about more others you can go to www.milongaistanbul.com
a place where you can dance tango every night. During the
winter they even have a live orchestra on some nights,
a very nice experience. It's also a good starting point
to meet other people and ask them for recommendations.
The place is very easy to find, if you descend the Imam
Adnan Sokak (coming from Istiklal Caddesi) you will walk
directly towards it (see picture).
There is a popular milonga on Monday by Tangotürk at
the Armada Hotel in Sultanahmet. I also like the newer one called El Huracan by Tangonoa at Café Krepen right on Istiklal Caddesi (Halep passage).
On Tuesday at the "My House" in Siraselviler
Caddesi No. 35/4 you will find a very nice milonga by Tangoist on
the back side of the restaurant with a great view over
Istanbul at night.
The "333 Milonga" takes place every Wednesday and Saturdayon Siraselviler
Caddesi No. 33 on the 3rd floor, organized by Istanbultango.
The place to be on Thursday is
"TangoPoint" by Milongatörat
the Hotel Point, Topcu Caddesi No. 2. See picture
One of the several milongas on Friday is a bit
further out, by the metro station 4. Levent, organized by Tangotürk.
Levent Tenis Klubu, Akasyali sok, No:3 (walk or take a taxi
from the station). Dance with a view on tennis courts :-)
There are several milongas on Saturday, for example:
right on Istiklal Caddesi, on the top florr of the building
where MAC Cosmetics has a store. Through the week it's Metin
Yasir's dance school.
Club la Cumparsita, Ortaklar Cad. 40, metro station
One of my favourite milongas is the one on Sunday at
the Ponte restaurant on Istiklal Caddesi. Take the elevator
to the 7th floor for another milonga with a view.
As you can see most of the milongas are situated in the Taksim
/ Istiklal Caddesi area. A good reason to take a hotel here - so
you can simply walk there and back home. Suggestions for hotels
Istanbul Tango Festival
For more, just ask your friend Google :-)
Of course there are also shoes made in Istanbul: Turquoise
Shoes for example. They sell high quality shoes in great designs. Recently there is also a range of men's shoes.
It's quite easy to find the store: Coming from Takism square, walk down Siraseliviler caddesi. Der shop is opposite of the Italian hospital, on the left side of the street.
As you can see, there is also the possibility to test-dance the shoes! English is spoken.
Want something more personal
and for a good price? Go and see Istanbul's most famous tango
shoe maker, Necmi Usta. He speaks ONLY Turkish, but some
pantomime, drawings and a calculator will help. Often there
are also other customers around who can help to translate.
Shoes cost around 120 YTL for standard models up to 240
YTL for special designs.
I had many shoes made there, some with materials that I
brought or after my own drawings.
His workshop is close to Istiklal Caddesi as well. At Benetton
go down the Mis Sokak, the entrance will be to your left.
Mis Sok., Mis Gurkan Han No. 7, 5. Stock
Best let your reception call him first to make sure that
he is there. Official opening hours are 8:00 - 20:00.
Tel. 0533 446 64 25
Watch him at work on Youtube.
If you don't have much time, Necmi can mail the shoes
to you. This always worked well for me, sometimes it can
take a while though.
Some of my shoes by Necmi Usta. I will soon get a gold
member card :-)
I designed the black and white shoes myself and also brought
The white shoes are a standard model.
Right next to this you will find Umay Kundura. He has many
ready made shoes in his shop but also does custom orders. He speaks
French and some English and is used to shipping shoes abroad as
well. Prompt service and good quality.
Mis Sokak No: 13-A
Tel. 249 96 05 / 0535 457 47 06
If you prefer to buy tango shoes off the rack, you can visit www.buenestilo.com