Over the many centuries of Istanbul’s existence, it has become mundane to say that it is a city that has been rebuilt many times. But there is always some truth in overused expressions. If not rebuilt, it will be a place that has been reborn many times and appears to be entering another incarnation thanks to the culmination of a series of long-awaited mega-projects. From a huge, shiny new waterfront to an old gas works that animates Istanbul’s creative scene, the Turkish city is showing new life in public spaces in ways that have not been seen in decades.
Where the Bosphorus, Golden Horn and Sea of ââMarmara meet, the long-awaited becomes Galata port District, a complex that’s a mix of museums, shops, restaurants, and breweries on the picturesque shores of the funky Karakoy district, has finally opened its first phase. The $ 1.7 billion redevelopment project has brought to life an area that was previously closed to the public for 200 years and marks the place where cruise ships are now returning to Istanbul for the first time since 2016, taking passengers across the first underground cruise terminal in the world. Although the return of the mega-cruise lines has generated predictably mixed reactions from locals, the Galataport reveal came as a pleasant surprise. What was feared as a waterfront mall turned out to be one of the best new culinary and cultural hubs in town, opening up a vast and pristine waterfront neighborhood overlooking the best new vantage point for enjoying the Bosphorus and minaret-ornate skyline from Sultanahmet.
A nearly mile-long boardwalk of blushed sandstone forms a grand entrance, lined with mid-century pink and hazel buildings accented by overflowing planters and benches, and is lauded by locals for having some of the best local culinary spots in Istanbul a. to present new light. The populist, in Istanbul’s first brewery from 1890, brews craft beer in an elegant new three-story room with uninterrupted views of the water – a contrast to its flagship in the charming rustic Bomontiada factory complex in the ÅiÅli district. granny is an intimate bakery that has some of the best seasonal baked goods in Istanbul (order the hazelnut and cherry cake when you have it) and Mezzaluna offers more subtle Italian classics such as ravioli de melanzane. The next phase of the new waterfront development will be launched in early 2022 with the highly anticipated unveiling Istanbul Modern‘s new house designed by Renzo Piano alongside a number of other openings.