Discover Istanbul’s New Cruise Port: Galataport Guide
A trip to Istanbul wouldn’t be complete without visiting Galataport Istanbul in 2022!
Istanbul’s new cruise port is located in the city center in the waterfront suburb of Karaköy district and covers 1.2 km coastal line on the Bosphorus.
From gastronomy to shopping, entertainment to office spaces, the Galataport Istanbul offers amazing cruise facilities as a cultural and historic social hub for Istanbul’s visitors and also locals.
Walk along the Bosphorus, enjoy the sun with view of historical peninsula, taste a local food, have a Turkish coffee or shop in style.
If you are planning a visit Istanbul’s new cruise terminal, this is your ultimate Galataport Istanbul 2022 Guide.
What exactly is the Galataport Project?
The Galataport Project is one of a kind in the cruise industry. It includes the world’s first underground cruise ship terminal, which is connected to an underground terminal with a unique hatch system. The project has already global fame with its innovative construction and design.
Galataport Istanbul, a renowned junction of the ancient and the contemporary, welcomes locals and tourists to the city of Istanbul. Low-rise buildings, in accordance with the historical texture of neighborhood, shopping & dining options and alternative modes of transportation make Galataport Istanbul a unique complex.
Galataport, built with an investment of $1.7 billion, is expected to welcome 25 million visitors yearly. The project will contribute to Istanbul’s tourism as an innovative complex in the city center.
The terminal is hosting major shipping companies such as Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Vikings Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
What makes Galataport Special?
Inspiration From Ancient Cisterns
Design of the 21st Century Galataport Mall was created with inspiration from ancient cisterns, based on a contemporary approach. It reflects the historical significance of the port as well as the rich cultural tapestry of nearby neighborhoods as Karaköy and Beyoglu.
The architectural idea is based on Roman and Byzantine Cisterns in Istanbul. Main ancient cisterns in Istanbul, such as the Basilica Cistern and the Cistern of Philoxenos, are important historical sites and popular tourist attractions. Cisterns with rounded columns and a structural shape that represents architectural character of the terminal’s interior are a reminder of immense history.
The terminal also includes unique elements pointing in the directions of the Topkapi Palace and the Dolmabahçe Palace to give you an idea of their locations.
The World’s First Underground Cruise Ship Terminal
Bringing a stylish look to the Bosphorus, Galataport is the world’s first underground cruise ship port.
Galataport Istanbul, a new homeport for cruise ships, is a world-class terminal. The project aims to give a boost to cruise tourism in Istanbul, Turkey over a vast territory from the Mediterranean basin to the Black Sea.
To improve efficiency, the whole passenger and luggage flow at Istanbul Port was moved underground. Among these are passport check and customs, areas for taxis, minibuses, and tour buses, which provide uninterrupted views of the sea. There is an extra underground parking for a total of 2,400 automobiles at the complex. Galataport, with a 29.000 sqm of space, can host three large ships at a time and serve 15,000 cruise passengers per day.
What to do in Istanbul Galataport?
Restaurants and coffee shops
When it comes to eating out, Galataport Istanbul is the new place to go!
Gastronomy is playing a significant part in the complex as restaurants and cafes take up half of the area.
“Galataport is Istanbul’s New Culinary Neighborhood”
Cafes and restaurants serving the most delicious dishes of global and Turkish cuisine are available in a variety of spots. Some of the famous diners within the complex are Liman Lokantası, Mezzaluna, Baylan, Saltbae Burger, Cookshop and Bigchefs.
From breakfast to full-service meals, including Turkish cuisine, and international cuisines, Galataport Mall offers great tastes for everyone!
Galataport has a wide range of brand and retail store collection. From local brands to international concepts, the new cruise port terminal offers world-class shopping experiences. Whether you are looking for a gift, or to treat yourself, visit Port Istanbul now and shop in style!
Galataport offers a unique office environment for domestic and foreign companies with 42,000 sqm of space in the city center. Compared to plaza buildings, working life is much more flexible. Low-rise buildings and interactive designs are creating a more social environment.
Office spaces with high ceilings, private lobbies, green roof terraces meet with spectacular view of Bosphorus and the historical peninsula. Parking and charging units are also available within the complex.
Historical Attractions around ISTANBUL PORT
Tophane Clock Tower
Several historical heritage buildings on the site have been restored to their former state as part of the project. The Tophane Clock Tower, also known as Nusretiye Clock Tower, is one such structure. Tophane Clock Tower is one of Istanbul’s oldest clock towers still intact. Many historical landmarks in Istanbul, as well as tourist attractions in Karaköy, are within walking distance of the tower.
Post Office Fashion Galleria
The Post Office Fashion Galleria is one of the city’s oldest structures with its distinctive slate dome and roof, as well as unique rooms and facades. The structure is now being rebuilt so that it may once again serve as an iconic emblem of Galataport Istanbul.
With its yellow tiled façade on the sea side, Çinili Han is one of the most inspiring structures on the pier. The structure was designed in an eclectic style and initially had six levels.
They added the top story later. The structure was originally used as a passenger terminal. But, after the completion of the new terminal in 1940, it served as a post office for a long period.
A British architect, William James Smith, built the Tophane Pavilion in 1852 under the reign of Abdulmejid. The structure had two was used to receive foreign state officials coming to Tophane, and to serve sultans during their inspections of the city’s military capabilities.
Arts &Culture Activities
With its exceptional position, the Galataport Istanbul is the new center of culture & arts.
Galataport embraces the approach of culture coming from the sea and focuses on being a cultural hub. The port hosts Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, first museum of modern and contemporary art. The port is also home to Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum within the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.
It represents traditional and modern at the same time and shows patterns of historical Karaköy neighborhood in its design elements.
Galataport makes art accessible for everyone. So that, you can add an artistic touch to your Istanbul experience.
Using the free Wi-Fi service while enjoying your coffee by the Bosphorus sounds amazing! After 24 hours of uninterrupted use, you must reconnect to the network.
The parking garage at Galataport Istanbul has a capacity of 2,400 cars, so, no worries about finding a spot. You can use “Find My Car” feature of the mobile app to show the location of where you parked your car.
If you want to start your journey at Galataport Istanbul right away, you may leave your car off at Parker Valet. There are two approved drop-off places at Blocks E and G, located on Meclis-i Mebusan Street and on Kemankeş Street. Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m., valet service is available.
It is possible to leave your bicycles at the bike parking area behind Museum Square and G Block.
How to get to Galataport?
Istanbul has a vast public transportation system with an array of transit options. It includes buses and rail transport such as the metro, trams, and the Marmaray.
Public transportation: Galataport is easy to reach by public transportation, with metro, tram, bus, and Marmaray stops all within walking distance.
Tram: T1 Kabataş – Bağcılar Tram Line: You can reach Sultanahmet or Sirkeci from Galataport via this tram line or vice versa.
Ferry: To get Galataport from Asian Side, you can take Kadıköy- Karaköy Ferry in Kadıköy. From Üsküdar, you can take Karaköy Ferry and arrive within 20 minutes.
Metro /Subway: You can use M2 metro line to reach the Taksim station and then take the Funicular line to arrive Karaköy.
There are also several buses to get to/from Galataport and get around in Istanbul too. Click for more public transport options in Istanbul.
Taxi: You can get to Galataport Istanbul by taxi from anywhere in Istanbul.
By foot: Many significant attractions, as Taksim Square and Galata Tower, are within a 15–20-minute walk from Galataport. From Beşiktaş, it takes a 30-minute walk to reach to the terminal.
How can I go from Galataport to Istanbul Airport or vice versa?
The most convenient way to reach Istanbul Airport or Sabiha Gökçen Airport from the Galataport would be choosing a taxi drive. The distance is about 40 km and usually it takes 35-45 minutes.
In case you need an airport transfer from/to Galataport, Istanbul travel agency is happy to offer a private transfer for your group.
How to get around Istanbul from Galataport?
Istanbul offers a highly developed transportation infrastructure. From rail lines to ferries crossing between two continents, you can get around Istanbul from Galataport in a variety of ways.
Popular sights and sounds of the city can be reached by strolling or taking a short tram ride from Galata cruise port.
Sultanahmet, Galata, and Taksim, the three main tourist districts, are all accessible on foot.
Tourist Attractions Around Galata Port
T1 tram line provides easy access to the historical peninsula, where Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar are located. You can reach the old city from Galataport in only 10 minutes by T1 tram. Tram passes over Golden Horn and goes through Eminonu district where you can visit Spice Bazaar and the New Mosque.
As one of Istanbul’s most iconic monuments, Galata Tower is only a 15-minute walk up hill. Istiklal Street, most famous pedestrian street in Istanbul, is only 5 minutes walk from Galata Tower. The Karakoy Tunnel within the area is the second oldest subway in the world and worth a visit.
Best Hotels Near Galataport Istanbul
From luxury segment to affordable options, there are plenty of hotel options near Galataport Istanbul. You can find some of our recommendations, which are within maximum 15 minutes walking distance of the new port.
If you would like to make a group reservation, contact our travel agency Istanbul to get best group rates.
The Peninsula Istanbul Hotel ★★★★★
The Peninsula Hotel, located right by the Bosphorus in Galataport Istanbul, will be fully operational by the end of 2022. Considering there are only 10 Peninsula Hotel at prestigious locations worldwide, it will bring a new perspective to Istanbul tourism. The hotel will operate with 177 rooms, a swimming pool and beautiful gardens overlooking the Bosphorus and historical peninsula.
Here is the list of the hotels that are accessible from Galataport Istanbul:
- JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus ★★★★★
- The Bank Hotel ★★★★★
- Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus ★★★★★
- Port Bosphorus ★★★★
- Nidya Hotel Galataport ★★★★
- 10 Karakoy ★★★★
- The Haze Karaköy ★★★★
- Nordstern Hotel Galata ★★★★
Useful Information About Galataport for Cruise Passengers
Is there a map/app that shows where stores and restaurants are located and what they have to offer?
The Galataport Istanbul Mobile App allows you to locate retailers and restaurants as well as learn about their unique offers, benefits, and exclusive discounts.
What are Galataport Istanbul’s opening and closing hours?
Galataport Istanbul is open from 10:00 a.m. to 22:00 p.m. every day. Because restaurant and café operating hours may differ, you can check opening and closing hours on Galataport mobile app and website.
How much is the entrance fee to Galataport Istanbul?
You can visit the Galataport Istanbul free.
Is there a good hotel near Galataport Istanbul?
Karakoy district has plenty to offer for your staying. Check the list above for some of best hotels near the port.
Is a cruise port transfer available?
The cruise port shuttle service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for visitors arriving at the Galataport. Visitors can receive chauffeur service with luxurious automobiles.
What is Galataport Christmas Market Istanbul?
Galataport Christmas Market Istanbul is a special event that took place between 17-26 December 2021 in Galataport Istanbul. The event started shortly after the opening of the new Istanbul cruise port and featured Christmas-theme shops, workshops, and concerts of famous singers.
Some Numbers About Galataport
- 29,000 m² underground terminal
- A unique hatch system with 176 pieces of 3 meters high hatches
- Capable of hosting 3 ships and 15,000 passenger per day
- $1.7 billion project including shops, fancy hotel, office spaces and a museum
- 1,2 km of coastal line
- A parking lot for 2,400 cars
- Providing jobs for 4,000 people
- Had been closed to public for 200 years.
Are you excited yet? Time to Plan Your Galataport Visit!
If you’re planning a visit to Galataport Istanbul, Oskar Tours is one call away.
Discover the best Galataport Istanbul has to offer with the leading travel agency in Istanbul. Diners, shops, art and culture combined with the beauty of the Bosphorus and the historic charm of Karakoy district.
(Latest update March 6th 2022)