Galata Tower

This medieval stone tower offers stunning vistas over Istanbul.

TravelCurious Tip

Combine a trip up the tower with a walk down nearby Istiklal Street.

Great heights

Galata Tower dominates the skyline of Istanbul. Nine stories high, it looms 67 metres above the city: the viewing platform provides incredible 360 degree views of Istanbul, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.

The tower was first constructed as a defensive outpost in 1348; its Romanesque tower was the tallest in the city, and was built to replace the old Galata Tower, a nearby Byzantine structure largely destroyed in the 1204 Sack of Constantinople.

All along the watchtower

Galata’s conical cap was modified during the Ottoman period; at this time it was used as a lookout point for spotting fires in the city. In the 17th century, popular tales of the Ottoman aviator Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi tell that the tower was even host to his early attempts at flight.

The roof was destroyed in an 1875 storm before being reconstructed in the 1960s. Thankfully, two lifts were also installed during this last renovation. The tower is well worth a visit for the views alone, which have long been appreciated; panoramic photographs from the observation deck exist from as early as 1880. Today you can enjoy the view from the tower’s restaurant and café, and there is even a nightclub on the upper floors which features belly-dancing shows.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Istanbul
Grand Bazaar
One of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is the ultimate shopping spot.
Topkapi Palace
The Sultans’ royal residence for four centuries, today Topkapi Palace is a spectacular museum.
Süleymaniye Camii
Located on the Third Hill, Süleymaniye Camii is the largest mosque and one of the most distinctive sights in Istanbul.
Spice Bazaar
An indoor market built in the 17th century, famous for its fantastic herbs and spices.
The Bosphorus
Separating East and West, the dramatic Bosphorus strait is perfect for a fabulous cruise.
Galata Köprüsü
The famous bridge over the Golden Horn, with wonderful views of old Istanbul.

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