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Galataport – A Small Town in the City

Recently there was a big event for Istanbul, which locals and tourists have been waiting for so long, Galataport finally opened its doors. We have visited it only now, but already in October 2021, the port has become one of the most popular places among Istanbul bloggers. This place truly struck us with its grandeur and beauty, although from a distance it looks inconspicuous. But once you go a little  inside, you will change your mind radically and we assure you, Galataport will become one of your favorite places.

What is Galataport? This is the new cruise port of Istanbul, which has been recognized as one of the largest coastal projects in the world. On its territory there are many places for entertainment, historical objects that have been restored specifically for the opening of the port, spaces for creativity, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (Istanbul Modern Sanat Muzesi), shops of famous world brands, many cafes and restaurants, including the restaurant of the world-famous Turkish chef Nusret.

On the central square right in front of the entrance to Galataport you will see the clock tower and the incredibly beautiful Nusretiye Mosque, which was built in such a rare Baroque style in 1823-1826 under Sultan Mahmud II.

Galataport is a very good financial investment in the city, because it is essentially a small town in  the city that can receive more than 200 cruise ships a year, 25 million visitors, including land and tourists who arrived from a cruise, and such passengers are usually willing to spend several times more money on food and souvenirs. Galataport is a reconstructed coastline of the Bosphorus, which starts from the pier of Karakoy and ends near the campus of Mimar Sinan University, and its length reaches 1.2 km. An incredible view of the city opens from the Galataport embankment, from here you can see many famous sights of Istanbul, the Chamlija Mosque, the Chamlija TV tower, the famous Martyrs Bridge and just admire the sea and ships. And just imagine what a view opens from here in the evening, everything is shining with bright colors, numerous cafes are decorated with lights, it really takes your breath away.

A project of this level cost $ 1.7 billion and it is expected that it will bring $ 5 billion in profit only to the tourism sector of Istanbul.

But the first thing that struck us from afar was a huge cruise ship. We saw him up close for the first time, and he made a proper impression. The first cruise ship arrived in Galataport on October 1, 2021, a ship of the Norwegian company SeaDream II sailed here. Tourists from the USA, Great Britain and Europe arrived in Istanbul from it. We also managed to see the Viking Venus vessel, which accommodates 930 passengers. Some of its passengers settled down in the balconies of their cabins, but we saw most of the passengers on the terraces of restaurants, sweetly sipping delicious cocktails. Galataport plans to receive more than 250 cruise liners for the whole of next year. It’s amazing that this stretch of coastline has been closed to visitors for 200 years, but now anyone can get here and this will not interfere with the work of Galataport, because all baggage and passport operations are carried out underground thanks to a unique system of 175 hatches that are interconnected. This is the first underground terminal in the world, with such a huge area (29,000 sq.m.) If you are planning to go to Istanbul, be sure to add Galataport to your list of plans, this is the place to go both in the afternoon and in the evening, because its scale and modernity conquer your heart from the first minute.

You can read this article in Russian language: Галатапорт – маленький город в городе

Anna Yablochkina

Hello, I'm Anna, I live in Istanbul. I love traveling and discovering new places. I share my trips on Expat Guide Turkey.

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