20-05-2024 - Tips & Guides

Visiting Istanbul During Your Blue Voyage: A Cruise Traveler's Guide in Istanbul

Cruise ships are dream holiday places for many people, and also for me -the writer of this blog. If you are lucky enough to realize this dream make sure you get off the ship and enjoy the cities chosen in your cruise itinerary. Especially if Istanbul is on your list, get excited because there is so much to see, and nearly all of them are within close range of the Istanbul cruise port, Galataport.

This blog post is specially written for you, the Cruise passengers, to have an amazing experience in your limited time in Istanbul. Stepping off your cruise ship and into Istanbul, you are about to start on a journey through one of the most dynamic and historically rich cities in the world. Known as the city where continents meet, Istanbul is a vibrant mixture of cultures, flavors, and experiences waiting to be discovered.

To make the most of your limited time in Istanbul, consider the Istanbul Tourist Pass®. This digital sightseeing pass grants you access to over 100 top attractions and services throughout the city, including guided tours, skip-the-line entrance tickets, and various transportation options. Whether you’re interested in exploring the historic Hagia Sophia Mosque, cruising along the Bosphorus, or experiencing the vibrant Grand Bazaar, the Istanbul Tourist Pass® offers convenience and savings. With this pass, you can effortlessly navigate the city’s highlights, ensuring you experience the best of Istanbul without the hassle of waiting in long lines or managing multiple tickets. You can trust Istanbul Tourist Pass®, which is backed by a 25+ years old tourism company, so you don’t have to stress about the details.

Choose Your Pass

Choose from one of Istanbul Tourist Pass® options below providing Free access to 100+ Top Attractions, Tours and essential Local Services with over 80% savings.

5 Day Pass


€330 €230


€265 €185
7 Day Pass


€360 €250


€280 €195
10 Day Pass


€415 €290


€320 €225
1 Day Pass


€200 €140


€155 €110
2 Day Pass


€235 €165


€185 €130
3 Day Pass


€280 €195


€220 €155
4 Day Pass


€310 €215


€245 €170
2 Days Pass




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Welcome to Galataport Istanbul: The Door for Your Istanbul Experience

Galataport Istanbul is the premier homeport for cruise travelers arriving in Istanbul. With the capacity to serve three ships and 15,000 passengers daily, this is one of the biggest ports in the region. So it is fair to say that Galataport is your door for your Istanbul experience. 

Innovative Features of Galataport 

Galataport features a world-first hatch system and a 29,000-square meter underground terminal. The hatch system creates a temporary customs area only when ships are berthed, allowing public access to the beautiful Karaköy shoreline, which had been closed for 200 years.

Shopping and Dining in Galataport

With 230 food and beverage outlets and retail stores, Galataport offers 52,000 square meters of shopping and dining options. It’s set to become Istanbul’s new gastronomic hub, featuring a mix of Turkish and international cuisines in a safe and certified environment. For a detailed Galataport blog post, click here.

Perfect Starting Point for Amazing Adventures

Situated in a historically rich area, Galataport not only enhances the Karaköy shoreline but also provides a perfect starting point for your Istanbul adventure. Galataport is very central and close to the old town, Taksim area, and Besiktas Neighbourhood.  Enjoy state-of-the-art facilities, diverse dining, and stunning views, but don't stay there for long! In the next section, see what to do around the port cruise in your limited time.

What to Do in Istanbul: Must-Do Things for Cruise Passengers

Coming to Istanbul via a cruise journey offers an amazing chance to explore the city's rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landmarks starting from the Galataport. Here's a curated list of must-see attractions and experiences for cruise passengers visiting Istanbul via Galataport Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia Mosque 

You have probably heard about the amazing Hagia Sophia before you came to Istanbul. So, when you are in ıstanbul even for one day, step into the magnificent Hagia Sophia, an architectural marvel that has served as a church, mosque, and museum throughout its storied history. The best way to discover this amazing place and learn all about its stunning domes, intricate mosaics, and rich Byzantine heritage is a guided tour of the Hagia Sophia Mosque. Click here for detailed information about the Hagia Sophia Mosque & the Path of Byzantine tour.

Topkapi Palace

One of the must-dos you need to keep is to explore the opulent Topkapi Palace, once home to Ottoman sultans and their court. Give it a couple of hours and walk through its lush gardens, admire its exquisite collection of treasures, and immerse yourself in the grandeur of Istanbul's imperial past. Exploring Istanbul Topkapı Palace in the best way is so easy with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®! You will enjoy hearing the hidden stories, architecture, and history of Topkapı Palace with great local guides! Oh and not to forget: this tour includes tickets for the famous Harem Section!

Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque)

Blue Mosque is another amazing must-see which is close to the Galataport. Admire the beauty of the Blue Mosque, known for its striking blue tiles, elegant minarets, and vast courtyard. Enter this architectural masterpiece to experience the tranquility and spiritual significance of one of Istanbul's most iconic landmarks. The entrance is free but going there without a guide is not a good idea because you'll miss a lot. Instead, click here to see the best way to explore the Blue Mosque with a local guide!