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.
I saw the large fishing poles - they must be for something the size of a sturgeon. Walking behind the myriad of fisherman I saw the small fish swimming in buckets.
That must be the live bait.
No - it was the catch. They used huge poles to catch what was maybe 3 or 4 of these bite sized fishies. Ivan and Feyza took me to a restaurant and there they were, battered and fried, I ate them head and all.
Walking underneathe the bridge along the lower level you will find several restaurants and shops. Medium sized ships and ferries pass underneath, and if you look like a foreigner somebody will try to sell you something.
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.
We walked the bridge several times as it crosses the Golden Horn linking Eminonu to Karakoy. Such a busy bridge with so many activities. We liked watching the fishermen standing on the walkway on the side of the bridge with their various equipment, chairs, small burners cooking food, hawkers etc etc.
The water must be 20 metres below and their fishing lines pass by the lower deck of the bridge which has many restaurants and cafes.
Our walks were daytime and the size of the fish caught was small, however I would think some big fish would be caught at night.
A wooden bridge was built during the 20th century and destroyed by fire in 1992. The present bridge carries a huge amount of traffic.
We visited Galata Tower and then we crossed the Galata Bridge from Karakoy to Eminonu.
Galata tower (60m high) was built back in 1348 by Genoese colonists and has one of the best views of Istanbul. It’s beautiful to be seen during the night too when soft lights gives atmospheric photo opportunities (pic 3).
Galata bridge has 1km length and we enjoyed all that fishermen on the bridge trying to catch fishes(pic 2). Wow! I wonder if there are any fishes left alive in the river!! Stand there for a while open (or close!) your eyes and feel Istanbul! When you reach Eminonu side you can take a pic of the bridge with Galata Tower at the background(pic 1). Under the bridge there are many cafes and restaurants and the view of the lightened New Mosque is nice!
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 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 the pier by the Sirkeci Railway Station from where most of the ferries depart towards Asia (Uskudar), Pera, the Bosphorus…
There are 3 buildings, 1 for the Asian side, another for Pera and Bosphorus and another for Golden Horn. At the end, by the Galata Bridge, is the Hydrofoil for the Princess Islands.
Even if you are not gonna take any ferry, is an interesting area to feel Istanbul's daily activity, and to have a quick snack of fresh fried fish from one of the little boats selling fish sandwiches...
This is the place to be in the afternoon. The place to bring her with you. The place to drink pilsner type Efes. The place where to enjoy good fish. The place where to smoke water pipe. The places where to discuss about politics. The place where to listening to the call from Mosques... Even if it's a busy visit you will come here
every evening yjust ot be in contact with Istanbul.
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.
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 filled with Turkish people busy fishing and having fun spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul. From the end of the 19th century in particular, the bridge has featured in Turkish literature, theater, poetry and novels. It is the oldest recorded bridge over the Golden Horn in Istanbul and it 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.
Since 1845 there has been a bridge over the Golden Horn from Karaköy to Eminönü.
There have been 5 bridges - the last was completed in December 1994. It is a bascule bridge - the middle section hinges up to allow the traffic of boats up and down the Horn - and carries three lanes of traffic and one walkway in each direction. The light rail was added after the bridge was built allowing a connection from near Ataturk International airport to close to Dolmabahce Palace.
The first level of the Galata Bridge has markets.
Galata bridge is one of the bridges that connects the old town and the new town (the european side).
The bridge is always full with fisherman and street vendows and below you will find a lot of restaurants , most of them are sea food restaurants.
One of the restaurants is TRES - you can read about this restaurants on my restaurants page.