By Justin Mays:
Coastal area that was previously closed for over 200 years has now opened to the delight of Istanbullus. Last fall the long awaited Galataport, a 1.7 billion development, opened to the public. This sleek new waterfront district in Karakoy has the world’s first underground cruise terminal, and offers its guests much enjoyment through its museums, eateries and shops. On your next sunny day in Istanbul head to Galataport to explore this exciting new area. Let us take you on a tour.
Galataport sits where the Golden Horn, Sea of Marmara and Bosphorus meet on the European shore. It is reachable via ferry from the Asian side or the Golden Horn, the tramway, buses taxi or metro. Skip Istanbul's rush hour and head over there around 10:00 AM. We recommend grabbing a late breakfast at Vakkorama Café. Vakko is one of Istanbul’s most prestigious department stores where fashionistas go to shop. With outlets at prestigious locations like Kanyon, this one is its latest venue at the beautiful old Post Office building. The cafe offers continental breakfasts and a wide selection of tea, coffee and colorful pastries to enjoy from its sun-soaked outdoor eating space.
After a delicious meal, head into the shop and browse the designer wares. If you are looking to do something more traditional take a walk to the Kilic Ali Pasha Hammam. This hammam was impeccably restored and is one of the most beautiful in Istanbul. If you're not in the mood to experience the traditional scrub, take a leisurely walk through the older parts of Karakoy and check out all the cute independent local design shops there.
Continue your walk towards the Kabatas direction of the wide promenade, browse the books at DNR, stop at the Leica Ara Guler Museum, or if you go after May 2022, spend the afternoon in the massive new Istanbul modern venue, one of the most impressive art collections in Turkey today. After you have walked off your breakfast it may be time for lunch at one of the many restaurants to choose from or you may just want a small coffee and dessert break one of the most classic Istanbul dessert shops, Baylan. This is its third outlet after Bebek and Kadikoy. One of Istanbul’s few iconic desserts that isn't baklava or pudding is the Coupe Griye, a vanilla and caramel ice cream sundae. Galataport welcomes people from all over the world when cruises are docked so take a seat at one of the many comfortable benches and lounge areas and people watch.
If you are not completely exhausted after your busy day out of shopping, dining, people watching and enjoying art, there are three restaurants we would recommend going to eat dinner at Istanbul’s first outpost of Roka, a Japanese restaurant with its flagship venue in London, or head to the classic Liman which means lighthouse in Turkish and have meze and fish in its beautiful interior or for meat lovers we would suggest heading to Gunaydin, a Turkish steak and kebab house. If you want a nightcap, head to one of Turkey's first microbreweries, Populist, and enjoy its beers from an American brew master. Watch the skyline light up the old city while ferry boats, tankers and private vessels cruise the waters surrounding the city.
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