Galata Tower: A Historic Landmark with Panoramic Views

Across the Galata bridge and a short walk brings visitors to the great tower built by the Genoese in 1348 A.D., Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi). This dominating structure is one of the major landmarks of Istanbul, once Constantinople, the center of the civilized world. Enter the tower and walk to the top of this medieval stone structure in the Galata or Karakoy quarter of Istanbul.  Get the inside scoop on all of the necessary details for accessing Galata Tower as part of your itinerary.

A Walk through the Ages

Galata Tower is one of the stunning landmarks of Istanbul, a stone tower with a high, cone-capped cylinder that draws eyes and offers a wonderful view of the boats along the Bosphorus River and the other landmarks of the city from its perch above the Galata quarter. This is a nine-story tower, once the tallest structure in the city, rising 35 meters above sea level and built to replace another tower, Megalos Pyrgos or the old Tower of Galata, destroyed by Latin Crusaders in 1204. There are stories of early flight from this tower as early as the 1600s.

From 1717 on, the Ottomans used the tower to spot fires. Fires could easily take buildings and in 1794 and 1831, fire damaged the tower itself. In 1875, a storm destroyed the conical roof and the tower was left in disrepair for the remainder of the Ottoman period. Restoration work in 1965 through 1967 reconstructed the conical roof and during a final restoration, the wooden interior was replaced with concrete and the tower was opened to the public.

Some Necessary Details to Know 

Within the 66.9 meter tall structure is a restaurant and café on the upper floors offering a splendid view of the Bosphorus River and the Istanbul environs. Enjoy a tower-shaped biscuit with coffee in the restaurant for a dazzling view by day or night. The café coffee prices are affordable for visitors. The restaurant menu is based from typical Turkish dishes, with items such as meatballs stuffed with cheese or Ottoman “shish kebap”. Reserve seating in advance. All food and entertainment is designed with the Western tourist in mind. A Turkish show with Taksim music is available for guests in the night club. Two elevators offer a convenient way for visitors to gain access to the upper levels. Visitors can enter the tower daily with opening hours from 9am to 8 or 8:30pm. The entrance fee is 6,5 Euros and but be aware that credit cards are not accepted at this time. To speak directly with a Galata employee, call +09 212 293 81 80.

On a clear day, the Galata Tower is a must-see destination for travelers to Istanbul. It offers a panoramic view in a historic medieval structure that has all of the expected modern appointments. Elevators make it easy for the very young and those with mobility issues to avail themselves of the opportunity to see the best that Istanbul has to offer. Galata Tower welcomes all.


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