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Outstanding European Placemaking Project recommended by Yurdaer Kahraman, CEO and Board Member of FİBA Commercial Properties, and Member of the ACROSS Advisory Board. /// credit: ACROSS
Outstanding European Placemaking Project recommended by Yurdaer Kahraman, CEO and Board Member of FİBA Commercial Properties, and Member of the ACROSS Advisory Board. /// credit: ACROSS

Outstanding European Placemaking Projects: Galataport Istanbul — A Regeneration Story

Our industry is strong and can achieve a lot. To emphasize this optimistic spirit, we want to showcase what our industry offers. Recommended by Yurdaer Kahraman, CEO and Board Member of FİBA Commercial Properties, and Member of the ACROSS Advisory Board, Galataport Istanbul is one of the many outstanding placemaking projects that drive the industry forward.

The aim of Galataport was nothing less than transforming Istanbul’s historic port into a vibrant hub for gastronomy, art, culture, and shopping through innovative engineering and architectural works. It was constructed in 2016 and opened in 2021. Galataport Istanbul stands out since it transformed 1.2 kilometers of the Bosphorus coastline, closed to access since the late 19th century, into a favorite gathering point while preserving the region’s historical and cultural heritage.


Galataport is a 400,000 sq m mixed-use development located along a 1.2 kilometer long part of the shore in the Karaköy, formerly called Galata, neighborhood of Istanbul. /// credit: Galataport
Galataport Istanbul creates innovative and experience-oriented setups for visitors to spend quality time safely with their families. /// credit: Galataport

With a total investment of 1.7 billion US dollars, Galataport Istanbul is a monumental mega project seamlessly woven into the fabric of the city. Its urban planning approach, characterized by low-rise buildings and thoughtfully designed squares and streets, ensures a seamless integration with the surrounding urban landscape. It is located in Karakoy, one of Istanbul’s oldest neighborhoods, and has an enchanting view of the Historical Peninsula.

The unique hatch system at Galataport plays a pivotal role transforming of the coastline. When a ship docks, it creates a temporary customs area, and once the ship departs, the coastline seamlessly converts back into a promenade. This innovative system is central to Galataport’s design. All cruise operations take place within the world’s first underground cruise terminal, spanning 29,000 sq m and connected to the temporary customs area through ramps.

This groundbreaking approach ensures that Karaköy’s unique coastline, excluding the customs area separated by hatches where the ship docks, remains accessible to guests. It has quickly become one of the city’s most distinctive promenades. Galataport Istanbul received 13.5 million visitors in the first year. It hosted free festivals, concerts, and exhibitions attended by more than 500,000 people. Galataport Istanbul provides a 72 percent increase in the arts & culture events in the nearby region as well.



The shore area connecting the main part of the cruise terminal to the Karaköy ferry terminal and the Galata Bridge has also been redeveloped as part of the Galataport project. Situated on a total area of 112,000 sq m, the stores at Galataport Istanbul range from 20 sq m to 3,000 sq m. The total leasable area allocated to shopping and dining units is about 52,000 sq m. The occupancy rate at Galataport Istanbul has already reached 90 percent in the first year, with 230 retail and dining points. With a 40-percent dining rate, Galataport Istanbul has become the city’s gastronomy center. There are 250 shops, restaurants, and other food service outlets.

“Concerning having a favorite project, there are outstanding examples globally. Since 26 years in business and being responsible in over 20 countries, I have seen fascinating projects worldwide in retail and commercial properties. From this year’s experience, I want to emphasize the multifaceted development of Galataport Istanbul. Sitting on the European side of the city, visitors can enjoy looking at the Asian side of the cosmopolitan city by browsing the latest collections of local and international designers and brands or while dining leisurely in fantastic waterside restaurants and enjoying alluring sunsets over the old city or the beautiful Topkapi Palace on the historical Peninsula. Expecting 250-300 cruise ships per year, Galataport also welcomes the world to Istanbul. The Istanbul Modern Museum, designed by Renzo Piano, is a must! Such a project’s symbiosis of history and present art, culture, gastronomy, and innovation is worth mentioning. Last but not least, Galataport invites visitors to a delightful walk along approximately 2 km of the Bosphorus coastline.”