Galataport, Turkey’s Most Advanced Underground Port, World’s First!


Turkey has a sophisticated port that is second to none in the world, called Galataport. Instead of above ground, Galataport passenger terminal is underground!

Galataport is arguably the most sophisticated and largest port in Turkey. Extending for 1.2 kilometers, Galataport occupies a quite historical location in the city of Istanbul.

Yes, Galataport stands in the Karakoy area, one of the most historic districts in Istanbul. Karakoy itself means ‘Black Village’ and has been around since Byzantine times. Here, the Genoese, Venetians, Catalans and Greeks established trade relations.

After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire, Karakoy increasingly developed into a port city. Until finally in modern times, Galata port in Karakoy began to be abandoned because it could no longer accommodate passenger capacity.

Until 2015, the Dogus Group and Bilgili Holding consortium invested US$ 1.8 billion to revitalize the historic Galataport.

“Our goal is to revive Galataport as the largest port with the latest technology, as well as make Istanbul a Home Port for cruise ships,” said Mehmet Bali, Chief Marketing Officer of Galataport Istanbul to detikTravel.

Galataport TerminalMehmet Bali, CMO Galataport Photo: Wahyu Setyo Widodo/detikTravel

The ambitious project is slowly showing results. The Galataport area has now become a very busy passenger port since it opened in 2021. In addition to living because of cruise ship passengers, this area is increasingly lively with many tourists.

Galataport has been successfully transformed not only into a port, but also into an integrated tourist area, where travelers can go shopping, culinary tours, and even visit museums.

detikTravel witnessed how crowded Galataport was in the afternoon. Many visitors come here to eat or just to walk and take pictures by the harbor.

No less than 250 shops and restaurants are lined up in the Galataport area. Chef Nusret’s famous branch of the Saltbae restaurant also stands in this port.

In this area also stands Hotel The Peninsula Istanbul, where a traveler can stay. As for the tour, not far from the port there is the Tophane Clock Tower, the Nusretiye Mosque, and also the Istanbul Modern Art Museum. Guaranteed not to die style while here.

Galataport Harbor in IstanbulGalataport Harbor in Istanbul Photo: Wahyu Setyo Widodo/detikTravel

When detikTravel visited Galataport, there was a Costa Venezia cruise ship waiting for passengers. This ship is planned to sail from Istanbul for a week around the Mediterranean and back again to Istanbul.

Oh yes, the cruise ship passenger terminal at this port is located underground. To get there, a traveler must go down the escalator 2 times. Once you get to the terminal area, you can immediately feel the futuristic feel from the very cool building design.

Galataport TerminalGalataport Terminal Photo: Wahyu Setyo Widodo/detikTravel

The area is no joke, reaching 29,000 square meters and can accommodate 3 cruise ships with a total of 15,000 passengers a day. The port is also equipped with a 1.2 kilometer conveyor belt and can serve up to 15,000 passenger luggage.

Galataport technology is also very advanced. Although the terminal is underground, the terminal building is actually equipped with a hydraulic system that can be lifted up. The terminal building is also equipped with an advanced exhaust system and environmentally friendly noise-canceling.

No wonder Galataport has been named as Port of The Year in the event Seatrade Cruise Awards 2022 which will be held in Malaga, Spain. Galataport is also like a show for the Turks, that they are not playing games to preserve history and revive their glorious era in the past.

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