Top 8 Art Galleries in Istanbul, Turkey: How to Feel the City?

Istanbul is one of the most famous cities of Turkey if it is not already the most popular one. People prefer Istanbul as a place to live and visit mainly because of the abundance of opportunities, activities to do, active life, and cultural heritage.

Istanbul has many art galleries to visit while there. It might not always be possible to see each of them during your visit. For this reason, it might be plausible to see the list I prepared of the top 8 art galleries in Istanbul to have an idea about where to visit.

The number and quality of art galleries in Istanbul contributed to the city’s cultural wealth and atmosphere. Visiting art galleries is known to be a way of understanding the city’s culture.

SALT Galata

SALT Galata is one of the most visited art galleries in Istanbul and takes place in the Beyoğlu district. SALT Galata is a building that gives place to an exhibition area, workshops, a bookstore, a movie theater, a library,  and a restaurant.

Throughout the year, SALT Galata hosts various exhibitions by many different artists. It is possible to see the event calendar for exhibitions on SALT Galata’s website. The general atmosphere and quality of exhibitions make SALT Galata a frequented art gallery.

SALT Galata’s building was first made as a bank by French architect Alexandre Valluary. The architectural properties of the building differ from typical Istanbul architecture with its monumental scale, neoclassical, and orientalist architectural properties.

The exhibition area in SALT Galata takes place on floor -1 and has a surface area of 410-meter squares.

Istanbul Modern

Istanbul Modern is the very first modern art gallery in Turkey. Up to today, the gallery awarded many national and international awards. The purpose of Istanbul Modern is to represent Turkey’s culture and art identity with the rest of the world.

Istanbul Modern hosts many different events throughout the year. In addition to art exhibitions, Istanbul Modern organizes educational activities, offers a library and a shop.

Istanbul Modern describes its exhibitions as “innovative and interdisciplinary.” Today, all the exhibitions are made in the temporary space of Istanbul Modern. The second and third floors of the temporary space are dedicated to art exhibitions in Istanbul Modern.

The collection exhibitions are renewed periodically in Istanbul Modern. In the collection exhibitions, the cultural heritage of Turkey, including paintings, pictures, new media, video, sculptures, etc., are represented, starting from the 20th century.

Moreover, Istanbul Modern also gives place to international artists, especially those who have overlapping works with Turkish artists. Those overlapping works are often exhibited under a theme.

Address: Asmalı Mescit, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:99, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Number: (0212) 334 73 00

Art ON Istanbul

Art ON Istanbul is an interdisciplinary art gallery in Beyoğlu. The gallery was founded in 2011 by collationers Nil Duran and Oktay Duran. Throughout the year, Art ON Istanbul hosts various events and exhibitions.

The event schedule of Art ON Istanbul mainly focuses on famous artists and those who have a good influence in the art world. Beyond the exhibitions, Art ON Istanbul aims to create a discussion environment for art analyzes and talks.

The gallery’s purpose is not to view art as something still and solid but as an interaction between humans and art itself. For this reason, interaction and discussions are taken seriously.

Address: Meşrutiyet Cad. Oteller Sok. Hanif Binası 1/A Tepebaşı 34430 Beyoğlu İstanbul

Number: 0 212 259 15 43

Akbank Sanat

Akbank Sanat (Akbank Art) is a Turkey-based art gallery that supports modern art development in Turkey. The gallery was found in 1993 and hosted various art exhibitions and artists all around the world. One of the main goals of Akbank Sanat is to give a chance to new, young, and talented artists.

Akbank Sanat hosts over 700 events annually and describes its missions as being a place where “change never ends.” The events in Akbank Sanat are not limited to art exhibitions; the gallery focuses on everything related to art. There are dance shows, children’s workshops, movie exhibitions, concerts, and so many more events.

Akbank Sanat takes place in one of the most popular districts of Istanbul, Beyoğlu, and has six floors. The first two floors (entrance and 1st floor) are used as the gallery for exhibitions. Starting from the day Akbank Sanat was founded, there have been more than 150 art exhibitions on those two floors. Up to today, Akbank Sanat hosted many national and international artists, which had both famous artists and new artists who had never made an exhibition earlier.

On the second floor, there is a multi-purpose room. The room has a capacity of 125 people, and many concerts, movie exhibitions, panels, interviews, and theatres took place in this room.

The third floor consists of the “Modern Art Workshop.” In this workshop, Akbank Sanat aims to support the development of modern art in Turkey with applied and theoretical activities.

The fourth floor is reserved for a library and cafe. Lastly, on the fifth floor, a dance workshop takes place. The fifth floor is used for an open dance platform and workshops, dance classes, and many more dance-related events.

Address: Şehit Muhtar, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Number: (0212) 252 35 00

Ekavart

Ekavart is a famous art gallery in Beyoğlu, with a motto of “art improves, art heals, art unites.” When it was first founded in 1991, the purpose of Ekavart was to disseminate the art to a broader population and encourage young and new artists.

Ekavart Gallery is a branch of a foundation named EKAV (education, culture, and research foundation, initials of “eğitim, kültür, ve araştırma vakfı” in Turkish). The organization is non-profit and depends on donations.

The income of EKAV and Ekavart Gallery is used for scholarships to students who want to get an education in art-related fields. Today, the aim of Ekavart Gallery is still the same: to widen the area that art reaches.

Up to today, Ekavart Gallery hosted hundreds of exhibitions of well-known artists from Turkey and all around the world.

Address: Gümüşsuyu, Asker Ocağı Cad. Süzer Plaza No:15, 34437 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Number: (0212) 252 81 31

Zilberman Gallery

Zilberman Gallery is an art gallery founded in Istanbul in 2008 and offers ten to twelve art exhibitions annually. Additionally, Zilberman Gallery has an exhibition area in Berlin, too.

The gallery takes place in Beyoğlu, in an apartment named Mısır Apartmanı. This apartment’s architectural properties belong to nouveau architecture, which has rare examples in Istanbul. Additionally, the gallery takes place on two different floors in the apartment.

Zilberman Gallery is both famous in Istanbul and the world. Thousands of people visit art exhibitions in Zilberman Gallery annually, and the gallery itself has visibility and presence in international art events.

Zilberman Gallery takes social responsibility issues seriously and focuses on education quite a lot. To achieve it, Zilberman Gallery organizes various events, including but not limited to round table discussions, artist talks, and book launches.

At the end of each year’s exhibition season, Zilberman Gallery organizes one more extra event named “Young Fresh Different,” with a nationwide open call. In this organization, a number of artwork are chosen to find new talents and talented artists.

Address: Istiklal Cad. No.163 Mısır Apartmanı K.3 D.10, Istanbul, Turkey

Number: +90 212 251 12 14

Gallery Ark

Gallery Ark is an art gallery located in Kadıköy, Istanbul. The gallery was founded in 2014, which makes it a relatively new one compared to other art galleries in Istanbul. Gallery Ark mainly focuses on modern art, and especially those which can bring new voices to the art world.

Gallery Ark gave place to both famous and well-known artists and aspires to give place to new and promising artists. Art lovers typically prefer Gallery Ark to see the latest and different art exhibitions from those that they are familiar with. Indeed, Gallery Ark aspires to give a chance to new and extraordinary voices in their exhibitions.

Given that Gallery Ark is a relatively new exhibition, it is not well-heard of like the other rooted exhibitions. Art critics and art lovers state that Gallery Ark is a promising gallery that can achieve so much more success in the future.

Address: Goztepe Mahallesi, Kaya Apartments, No: 49, Operator Cemil Topuzlu Street, 34728 Kadikoy / Istanbul

Number: (0216) 369 49 00

C.A.M

Starting from the day it was founded in 1992, C.A.M aims to represent Turkish artists and international artists on various art platforms. To achieve its purpose, C.A.M joins many different national and international events throughout the year. 

Among all the art galleries in Istanbul, C.A.M is one of the galleries which gives place to young and new artists the most. Up to today, C.A.M has given place to more than 250 exhibitions of both well-known artists and young talents.

Since the gallery is quite rooted and experienced, C.A.M is known to be one of Istanbul’s most reputable art galleries. Recently, C.A.M opened a new branch in Istanbul to reach a wider audience and make art more accessible.

Address: Firuzağa, Çukurcuma Cd. 38/A, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Number: 0212 245 79 75

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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