This paper describes the hysteresis in the torque for Taylor–Couette flow in the turbulent flow regime for different shear Reynolds numbers, aspect ratios and boundary conditions. The hysteresis increases with decreasing shear Reynolds number and becomes more pronounced as the aspect ratio is increased from 22 to 88. Measurements conducted in two different Taylor–Couette set-ups depict the effect of the flow conditions at the ends of the cylinders on the flow hysteresis by showing reversed hysteresis behaviour. In addition, the flow structure in the different branches of the hysteresis loop was investigated by means of stereoscopic particle image velocimetry. The results show that the dominant flow structures differ in shape and magnitude depending on the branch of the hysteresis loop. Hence, it can be concluded that the geometry could have an effect on the hysteresis behaviour of turbulent Taylor–Couette flow, but its occurrence is related to a genuine change in the flow dynamics.