TurkeyIstanbul $$$$$ All Year Indoor/Outdoor
Tower

Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi)

At 67 meters high, the Romanesque-style Galata Tower is one of the tallest and oldest buildings in Istanbul. From the time of its construction in 1348, during the Ottoman Empire’s reign in Istanbul, it served as a jail, observatory, and watchtower.

The tower was restored in 1967 and opened as a tourist attraction with an observation platform and restaurant, both providing panoramic views of the historic city.

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Price

Adult: ₺35 (USD$5.02), Child (<7 yrs): Free

Time Spent

1-1.5hours

Fitness level: Light effort

Hours

9am-7pm7 days

Look Around

Who Will Like Galata Tower

Culture Buff

Be transported back in time as you walk around the top of this ancient tower. Imagine yourself watching for enemy ships entering the harbor as you look out over the Golden Horn. Stroll through in the small museum on the ground floor before ascending up the elevator.

Bucketlist Bandit

Arrive early in the morning to avoid the queues at one of Istanbul’s most popular tourist attractions. Be one of the first to ascend the tower and enjoy city views from the 360-degree observation platform.

Photography Whiz

Stitch together a panorama of the old city using your DSLR, or even your smartphone, if that’s your fancy.

Insider Tips For Galata Tower

  • Arrive at least 10-15 minutes before opening to avoid waiting in a long entrance queue.
  • Expect to need your patience as the elevators and observation platform are very squishy.
  • Make areservation to dine in the restaurant for fast-track entry or to access the tower at night.

Video

Where Is It

Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galata Kulesi Sk., 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey

Open map...

How To Get There

Taxi

Insist on using the taxi meter before hopping in. Prepare for a nail-biting drive as your driver weaves between traffic along the old and narrow roads.

Train (T1Karakoy Istasyonu)

15-minute walk from train station. Expect to walk up steep hills.

Walking directions from train...

BusKemeralti

26, 26A, 26B, 28, 28T, 30D, 70D, 70KE

10-minute walk from bus stop. Expect to walk up steep hills.

Walking directions from bus...

Train (M2Sishane)

10-minute walk from underground station.

Walking directions from train...

Train (F2Beyoglu)

5-minute walk from funicular train.

Walking directions from train...

What To Bring

Do:
  • Hat and sunscreen for sun protection.
  • Camera for selfies and cityscapes.
  • Patience for long lines and cramped elevators.
Don't:
  • Backpacks or large bags. These will have to be left at the ticket desk before ascending the tower. 

Tech & Photography

Wifi

Public wifi access: None

Photography

Photography allowed: Yes

Tripod allowed: No

Selfie sticks allowed: Not encouraged

Best time to shoot: Sunset

Tips: Go to the rooftop bar of the nearby Anemon Galata Hotel for the best view of the tower.

Drones

Drones allowed: No

Bags

Backpacks allowed: No

Secured bag lockers available: Yes (free, required)

Food & Drink

  • Galata Kule Restoran - 9th floor restaurant operating as a café during the day and full-service restaurant at night.

Several cafes and restaurants selling Turkish coffee and traditional meals are located on the streets surrounding Galata tower.

Backstory

First constructed in 1348 AD as part of the defensive wall surrounding the Genoese district of Galata and to replace a Byzantine tower destroyed during the 4th crusade. Originally called "Christea Turris" (Tower of Christ), it was primarily used the tower to watch the harbor in the Golden Horn. It was later used by the Ottomans as a lookout to detect fires within the city.

In the 17th century, the Turkish inventor, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi, jumped from the tower with wings designed to mimic that of a bird's and flew 4 miles across the Bosphorus landing in the Uskudar district.

Etiquette

Do:
  • Be patient and expect queues.
  • Be respectful of other visitors in the cramped elevator and observation platform. 
  • Take peoples’ photographs if requested.
Don't:
  • Hog the best photo-spots on the observation platform.
  • Stand in one spot too long when on the observation platform. The path is very narrow and other visitors will struggle to get past you.

Scorecard

Best Parts:
  • Amazing views over Istanbul and the Golden Horn.
  • Interesting museum on the ground floor.
  • Galata square full of historic architecture and old-world charm.
Could Be Better:
  • Long ticket queue even if you arrive early in the morning.
  • Very small elevators often overfilled with eager tourists.
  • Expensive restaurant with average food and service quality. 
My itinerary Save View

Oh, you're so close

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