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Galata Tower

Photo credit: Clay Gilliland / Foter / CC BY-SA
Galata Tower
  • (worth a trip)
  • NA
  • Moderate
  • Average
  • 1 hour or less
  • 3 3

The best place to enjoy a panoramic view of Istanbul

Bereketzade, Galata Kulesi, Turkey
A must try rooftop restaurant for its magnificent views of the Bosphorous, great local Turkish food and live belly dance shows.
1) There is bit of walking involved to reach the tower which is going to need you to navigate through small and steep streets filled with tourists and lots of eating places.
2) In case you reach the tower entrance an are possibly late or if it is too crowded and you do not wish to bump into every other tourist or likewise, you could just sit by the entrance of the tower to enjoy good views of the Bosphorous and get a feel of the area.
15 TL

Built in 1384, the Galata Tower is considered one of the highest points in Istanbul. It is a tall standing cylindrical structure with a cone caped roof top that dominates the skyline of this Byzantine land.


During the early Ottoman era, the tower was occupied by the high rank officers in the Turkish Army and subsequently during the18th century, the tower was also used to house prisoners who were consigned at Kasimpasa area. However, it has undergone some modifications during the Ottoman period when it was mainly used to spot fires.


There is a bit of history associated with the tower, in 1348, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi had designed and created a pair of wooden wings which he used to take a flight from the Galata Tower to the Asian side of the Bosphorous which is more than 3 kms away. The then ruling Sultan Murad IV was petrified about this and thinking it was some sort of black magic, exiled him to Algeria.


The streets leading towards the tower are steep and filled with locals, restaurants and cafes. At the tower, there are 2 elevators which take you directly to the top but further up there are about 60 flight of stairs which take you to the actual observation deck.  Overall, the Galata Tower is a must see once at Istanbul.

Opening hours

The Galata Tower is open on all days from 09:00 - 20:00.

How to get there

From the Sultanahmet board the T-1 towards the Kabatas and get off at the Karakoy Stop. Proceed further walking towards the Galata Tower.