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
The Bosphorus
Separating East and West, the dramatic Bosphorus strait is perfect for a fabulous cruise.
Church of St. Anthony of Padua
Is the largest church of the Roman Catholic Church in Istanbul.
Roman Catholic Church Santa Maria Draperis
Is one of the most historic Roman Catholic churches in Istanbul.
Neve Shalom Synagogue
Located in the Karaköy quarter of Beyoğlu district, the synagogue was built due to an increase in the Jewish population in the old Galata neighborhood in the late 1930s.
One of the city's historic districts, dating back to the Byzantine Empire, the district is now full of cool shops and cafes.
Galata Köprüsü
The famous bridge over the Golden Horn, with wonderful views of old Istanbul.

Related Tours

Off the Beaten Path: Taksim to Galata Private Walking Tour
Explore the cultural heart of Istanbul for centuries on a walking tour, where East meets West, and where history meets modernity. On your private tour, you will:

  • Enjoy the comforts of a private vehicle throughout the tour, including hotel pick-up and drop-off.  
  • Discover the vibrant Taksim Square - the central point of metropolitan Istanbul.
  • Explore the artistic Cihangir neighbourhood, and enjoy a soft drink & snack on one of Istanbul's most famous rooftops, which boasts spectacular views over the Bosphorus!
  •  Visit the antique district of Çukurcuma where you will be able to find an astounding array of treasures. 
  • Walk both the famed Istiklal shopping street and step off-the-beaten-path to explore small alleys and passageways full of charming eateries, shops and other surprises.
  • Visit the incredible landmark Church of St Anthony of Padua, Istanbul's largest Roman Catholic church.
  • Walk by the  Neve Shalom Synagogue, the largest Sephardic synagogue in Istanbul. 
  • Explore the Galata area, the old Genoese quarter, famed for the Galata Tower and artisanal shops. 
  • Your tour ends at a café, with spectacular views over Istanbul’s Old town, where you can see the Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar or you can enjoy a relaxing transfer back to your preferred location. 

On your private walking tour of Istanbul, you will visit Istanbul’s cultural centre, which remains largely undiscovered by travellers. Enjoy a journey into the vibrant district of Beyoğlu,  where you will explore several of its neighbourhoods, from Taksim to Galata. First, discover Taksim Square, one of the main centres in Istanbul, thronged with locals in cafes. Next, your private guide will help you discover CIhangir, where you will enjoy a respite, along with spectacular views of the Bosphorus. After, enjoy a walk through Çukurcuma, where antiquities and local treats abound. Enjoy meandering through the small streets of Istiklal, where you’ll discover hidden churches, passages, stalls, and taverns. Your tour finishes in the famed neighbourhood of Galata, the old Genoese quarter with its tower looming over the city. While in Galata, your guide will point you in the direction of great food and drink before departing. 



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