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Top 5 modern art galleries in Istanbul

Istanbul’s contemporary cultural scene draws visitors from around the world and no trip to this vibrant city is complete without visiting one of its enticing art spaces. We select five of the best

Hannah Lewis / © Katie Wilson-Ells
City Guide
Hannah Lewis,

Salt Galata
Salt is a not-for-profit organisation which promotes and supports innovation in Turkey’s cultural scene. Its second venue in Istanbul, Salt Galata, is a gallery and much more. Exhibitions held here encompass contemporary and historic artistic work, and visitors also have access to digital resources, archives, a café, restaurant and bookstore. Workshop spaces and an auditorium are also available. Located in a 120-year-old building which formerly housed the Ottoman Bank, this is a vibrant space within a notable location.

Salt Galata, Bankalar Caddesi 11, Karaköy, Istanbul, +90 (0)212 334 2200

Mixer has made its name on the Istanbul art scene as curator of some of the most exciting exhibitions in the city. The team aims to make modern art available to everyone, and consequently the space is welcoming and accessible despite its cutting-edge credentials. Exhibitions feature a mix of local and international artists involved in a wide range of disciplines, from painting and collage to photography. Work from emerging artists is available to buy, making this a must-visit venue for collectors.

Mixer, Sıraselviler Caddesi 35, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, +90 (0)212 243 5443


Nevin Aladağ exhibition at Rampa

Rampa Gallery/André Carvalho and Tugba Karatop

One of the largest galleries in Istanbul, Rampa’s mission is to promote the realisation and presentation of exceptional artworks. The venue is split into two areas: the first functions as a project room, while the expansive main gallery is an open space which accommodates a wide range of exhibitions, from those showing tiny pieces of art through to large works and installations covering diverse and innovative media. Turkey’s most prominent contemporary artists are represented here and the team of curators is also gradually incorporating some of the most exciting names from across the world.

Rampa Gallery, Şair Nedim Caddesi 21A, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, +90 (0)212 327 0800



© Courtesy of Arter/Murat Germen

Arter opened in 2010 to provide a sustainable infrastructure for the creation and promotion of contemporary art, which it achieves through an exciting roster of solo and group exhibitions. The works shown here embrace a mix of media, from installation and video to more traditional paintings and sculptures, and Arter is known for challenging visitors’ ideas about art. A number of exhibitions are held throughout the year, which strike a balance between established and emerging artists, and between local and international creatives.

Arter, İstiklal Caddesi 211, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, +90 (0)212 708 5800


Artwork by Ansen, from the Tyrant's Reign and Titan's Slain exhibition at X-ist

© Courtesy of X-ist

Established in 2004 as a gallery that would support emerging and mid-career contemporary artists in Turkey, X-ist is one of the best places in Istanbul to discover new and innovative modern art. The team, led by seasoned art collector Daryo Beskinazi and art director Kerimcan Güleryüz, excels in uncovering powerful creatives and artworks. Works shown here inform and inspire through the interplay between different media and artists, and the space has been designed to guide visitors through X-ist’s varied collection.

X-ist, Abdi İpekci Caddesi, Kaşıkçıoğlu Apartmanı 42, Nişantaşı, Istanbul, +90 (0)212 291 7784



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