Last Updated on January 10, 2021
Here you can read our guide and find everything you need to know about Galataport (the Cruise Port of Istanbul), including terminals, services, how to get to the city center, nearby attractions and sights with insider advice tips.
Where is Galataport, Istanbul’s Cruise Port?
The new Galataport Project
The reconstruction of new Galataport still continues and it is estimated that the new port will fully be operational in 2021.
After the completion of Galataport in 2021, it will will host around 3 cruise ships at once, and 500 cruise ships with an average of 4,000 passengers each throughout the year. The port will be able to host the biggest cruise ships in the world. And Istanbul will be one of the major cruising destinations along Mediterranean.
The new Galataport will also host number of culture and arts centers, the world standard cruise terminal, a port hotel, and an entertainment area housing various brands, cafes, restaurants and offices.
The terminal of the Galatport will also has areas under the ground (which will be first in the world) and will have a capacity to serve high number of passengers. There will ve passport control and check-in areas, waiting saloons and more.
Cruises to Istanbul
As of June 2019, Istanbul again started to be in the program of the world wide cruise programs after 4 years of waiting time. So we can say that cruises to and from Istanbul become very popular.
Where do Cruise Ships currently dock?
Until the completion of the Galataport, the cruise ships are temporarily docking on the Sarayburnu coast, on the opposite of Galata coast, along the skirts of Sultanahmet and Topkapi Palace.
What to do in Istanbul from Galataport?
If you’re visiting Istanbul by cruise ship, we can say that you’ll have about 8 to 12 hours to explore the city. If you will have 12 hours layover, than you can explore the city’s all the best attractions for sure with our guide below. And if you will have 24 to 72 hours Istanbul stay, than you are very lucky that you can explore all of the city’s sights and sounds very effectively.
We recommend you to visit and see Sultanahmet, Galata and Taksim and see Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Museums (in Sultanahmet), Galata Tower (in Galata), Taksim Sqaure and Istiklal Street (in Taksim) for sure.
You can read more about what to do in Istanbul from a cruise from our Visiting Istanbul by Cruise Ship page.
Guided city highlights tour from Galataport
If you don’t want to get confused and stressed on planning about the days out with limited time, the itineraries and schedules, and let someone else take care of all the logistics and guide you the city’s all sights and sounds, we highly recommend you to take the guided city highlights tour.
You’ll be offered variety of shore excursions by your cruise ship for sure, but anyways we believe that you may find the below tours more cheaper and would worth to check out as well.
Those private guide city tours also offer drop-off & pick-up from the cruise ship and are either private or small-group tours. And they are all very competitively priced, and guarantee an on-time return to your cruise ship.
How to get from Galataport to the City Center?
You are lucky that Galataport is located in the heart of the city, very close, within walking distance or short tram ride from all of the major sights and sounds of the city. The best way to get to the Istanbul major tourist zones, which are Sultanahmet, Galata and Taksim, is to take the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line) or taking public buses.
You can also catch a taxi, but this will definitely be the most expensive way, although you will feel comfortable in getting back your cruise on time.
You can buy Private Guided Istanbul’s Highlights Tour to save yourself from the hassle of all those arrangements.
How to Get Around Istanbul from Galataport?
You may find variety of options for getting around Istanbul. We can say that, from your Cruise port, the popular sights and sounds of the city can be accessed by walking or via short tram ride.
The three busiest areas for tourists, that include Sultanahmet, Galata and Taksim, are easy to get around on foot. Istanbul offers a huge network of public transportation that include; buses and railways such as metro, tram systems and Marmaray. You may read more on our Getting Around Istanbul and Public Transportation page.