I do love a good bridge, as anybody who has read my Bristol pages may have realised. So I was very pleased to see the segments of the German-built 1912 Galata pontoon bridge were not scrapped when they became redundant: they were merely towed upstream and moored up.
Charmingly, one of the sections sports an English red telephone box. I couldn't see whether it was a K2 or a K6 from the boat.
The Galata Bridge spans the mouth of the Golden Horn and joins the Asian side (Eminou) of Istanbul to the European side (Galata). The previous bridge was a pontoon bridge which probably had alot more charm than the current bridge. The Galata Bridge is a bascule (moveable) bridge. Built in 1992, the new bridge is 490m long. The deck of the bridge is 42m wide. There are 3 lanes for vehicles and a walkway in each direction. The tram runs on the tracks in the middle of the bridge.
The bridge is itself is not particularly attractive. It is more the activity on and around the bridge that is so interesting. It is a great place to walk - actually stroll.
Along the top of the bridge men are fishing and selling their catches while vendors are selling various street food. The lower level of the bridge is lined with cafes and restaurants selling fish, of course. We stopped for lunch one day - took a seat outside almost right on top of the Bosphorus River. We had great fish and relaxed watching the various vessels sailing the Bosphorus while fishing lines with small fish attached were reeled in over our heads.
From Eminou you can catch the ferries or tour boats that ply the Bosphorus (definitely recommend doing this!).
For a great snack/lunch visit the boats lining the Eminou quayside. The fish are grilled right on the boats and the finished sandwich is handed over to you from the boat. Small chairs and even smaller tables available. Gets very crowded but absolutely worth it! (With your back to the Yeni Cami/New Mosque, the boats are located on the left side of the bridge - Eminou side.)
Everybody seems to know the Galata Bridge, what I didn't know was there has been many.
The first Galata Bridge at the mouth of the waterway was constructed in 1845, then was replaced by a second wooden bridge in 1863. This bridge was replaced in 1875. The fourth Galata Bridge was built in 1912. It is this bridge that was badly damaged in a fire in 1992 and towed up the Golden Horn to make way for the modern bridge now in use.
The Galata Bridge is very busy with Trams, Buses, Cars & people. People can walk and eat at Restaurants on the lower deck. On the top deck, lots and lots of Men fishing! where are the women? I love fishing! The Fish they catch are very small and if home, we would have to throw them back into the ocean!
On the Eminonu side you can get Fish sandwich, freshly cooked, with a little bit of salad added, they are quite nice! It does get very busy with the local Turkish people, so it must be good!
I loved watching their boats bobbing around in the water, evidently they don't get seasick, I know a few people that would! And how do they stand up on them, must have good sea legs!
And I forgot to add.........the men cooking, serving etc, are all dressed in nice Turkish clothes.
The Galata Bridge is a bridge that spans the Golden Horn.
The oldest recorded bridge over the Golden Horn in Istanbul was built during the reign of Justinian the Great in the 6th century close to the area near the Theodosian Land Walls at the western end of the city. In 1453, during the Fall of Constantinople, the Turks assembled a mobile bridge by putting their ships next to each other and used it for transporting their troops from one side of the Golden Horn to the other.
The fifth Galata bridge was built in 1994. It is a bascule bridge, which is 490 m long with a main span of 80 m. The deck of the bridge is 42 m wide and has three vehicular lanes and one walkway in each direction.
You can watch my 4 min 26 sec HQ Video Istanbul Galata Bridge out of my Youtube channel with Istanbul Not Constantinople by Scacubano.
Ok, the Galata bridge is full of restaurants and bars on the bottom floor....we spent one night there and had a great time, but make sure you see the menu with the prices first......we didn't get taken but heard from several friends that they were ripped off there...anyways... I always wanted to smoke a sisha pipe or huuka pipe.....very common in the middle east...and we found a place that would let us borrow one as long as we paid for the tobacco smoked..usually in apple mint flavor.... I tried it and it was fun..... had a couple of beers and walked around....a nice evening out !!!!!
The Galata Bridge carries autos, buses, trams, and pedestrians across the Golden Horn. In addition to its roadway, the bridge has wide sidewalks from which dozens of locals fish every day when the weather is good. By walking across the bridge, you get good views of the city across the open water.
Below the roadway, the bridge has a lower pedestrian level which is lined with restaurants. Two things to keep in mid about the lower level: 1.) The walkway does not go completely across the river - you have to go up to the upper roadway to get across the midsection of the bridge's span, and 2.) The waiters from the restaurants along the bridge are very aggressive in their efforts to woo you into eating in their restaurants.
Galata bridge joins the shores of the Golden Horn. It is always very busy: cars and buses on the road, pedestrians crossing from one shore to the other, fishermen, shops; underneath ferries and fishing boats pass continuously under the bridge. Crowd is the keyword of Galata bridge.
The bridge spans the mouth of the Golden Horn connecting the 2 sides of European Istanbul. It is a great place to stand & view the cities skyline & the locals as they commute, shop & relax.
The bridge has 2 decks, the top deck is where the locals fish from. The lower deck is full of restaurants, bars & tea-houses.
Nothing much has been said about this bridge except for passing remarks whenever the Galata Tower is being mentioned.
But the Galata Bridge is a pretty sight itself. The whole bridge is full of fishing enthusiast from morning til afternoon. From end to end and both sides, the bridge is lined with people holding long fishing rod with small shrimps as baits. Each have jars or basins with live small fishes, kind of sardines, catch of the day. Catching fish is fun and I enjoyed watching them.
Walk along the bridge and pause for a moment at every opportunity, watch the people, breath the fresh air of the Bosphorous, before moving towards the end and onto the Galata Tower which is looming largely even from the beginning of the bridge. In winter, it gets too cold so cloth yourself accordingly especially if you’re passing by late afternoon or dining at one of the restaurant on the lower level of the bridge.
From Sultanahmet, take the tramvay and get off at Eminonu station, take the underpass and you’ll emerge into the Iskilesi (ferry port), the Galata Bridge is just beside it. Don’t forget to taste those grilled sandwiches just around the ferry port, tasty and very cheap, at YTL 2. Nice way to start your strolling, or end? Your preference.
Very nice place to walk during the day or night with lot of life specially during the night . You can find a nice restaurants and pub, with the most amazing view and enjoy the traditional hot tea or any other kind of drinks or food.
The Galata Bridge is an important, as well as symbolic link between the 2 parts of Istanbul separated by the Golden Horn. It is important simply because it is a bridge that spans one of Istanbul's waterways, enabling people to travel back and forth between the 2 sides with relative ease. Yet the bridge itself is also an iconic symbol of sorts within the city. It connects old Istanbul - the ancient part of the city with thousands of years of rich history, with new Istanbul - the more modern, trendy part of the city soaring towards the future.
Since the time of the Byzantines, there have been bridges being built across the Golden Horn. Leonardo da Vinci even came up with a design for a bridge to cross the Horn. Galata Bridge is actually the fifth bridge built in this location since the mid-1800's, constructed in 1994. In the late 1990's, the city included the bridge within the train line that runs through many major parts of Istanbul, with stops directly on both sides. Galata Bridge is a popular spot for many local fisherman, as well as thousands of pedestrians, both locals and tourists. Some of the city's most beautiful, picturesque views can be seen from right here. Underneath the bridge, there are several restaurants & shops, and on both sides there are many fish markets & cafes. With it's close proximity to many of Istanbul's other famous sites & landmarks, do try to take a stroll along the bridge during your visit as well!
The quayside around Galata bridge and the bridge itself are well worth a visit but you need to be careful. We visited the area around 4.00 pm which seems to be the peak of rush hour - possibly safer than other times due to volume of 'ordinary folk' milling about. It was a Thursday evening so locals seemed to be starting the weekend with a bite to eat and a coffee.
Just watching the ferries come and go was amazing! They leap off onto the quay before the ship has even docked!
The restaurant touts make the lower-level walkway under the bridge a bit irritating but JUST KEEP WALKING and don't engage in conversation.
It is the best spot to catch a fresh breeze on a hot day (40 centigrade in August when I went). It is also quite well policed so one need not feel fearful provided you are sensible.
We walked over to the north side of the Golden Horn and had a very pleasant glass of tea in a trendy quayside cafe playing retro rock, I am so sorry to have forgotten its name.
The new Galata Bridge replaced the old one (surprisingly!), and crosses the Golden Horn, linking Eminonu and Karakoy. The bridge, when first built, was supposed to open up in the middle to let the big boats in, but that never went to plan and now tram lines prevent this from ever happening. Even though the old bridge was supposedly far nicer to look at, you can get exactly the same views. Walk on the west side to view the Golden horn, take the east side to watch ferries nearly collide in the chaotic Eminonu and Karakoy docks.
Underneath the bridge are walkways with cafes and restaurants (perhaps inspired by the historic Esfahan tea bridge?). The restaurants, mainly serving fish, are very much geared up for tourists, offering multi-lingual menus and gupsy bands, while some of the cafes are more "local" oriented. My favourite was the first cafe on the east side coming from Karakoy...maybe not the best location, although views over the sea to Topkapi were still stunning, prices relatively normal, staff friendly and the nargile almost intoxicating!
On the other side, many chic and trendy cafes become busy, and if you want to catch the sunset as you puff on a nargile or slup at a tea, then you should get there early to find the best spot. As the sun goes down, birds descend on the fishing boats around the Karakoy fish market, and i challenge you not to take a photograph. With the sun reflecting on the waves, you can see where the name "Golden Horn" comes from. the Turkish name, Halic, is far less romantic, meaning simply "estuary".
This is one of those popular bridges of Istanbul. Specific to this place is a lot of ppl fishing. You can find there even people who are fishing not just to have a fish but to enjoy the process of fishing...
Btw, under the bridge (downstears) there are a lot of restaurants, and some special places where you can smoke nargile.
A good selection of bars and mainly seafood resturants on the bridge itself, a good place to watch the ferries and fishing boats going about their business
Location on the Galata Bridge between Eminonu and Karakoy