The Galata Tower, called Christea Turris (the Tower of Christ in Latin) by the Genoese, is a medieval stone tower in the Galata / Karakoy quarter of the city just to the north of the Golden Horn. One of the city's most striking landmarks, it is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista of Old Istanbul or Constantinople and its environs.
Galata is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Istanbul where you can see the iconic Galata Tower, one of the most important historical monuments of Istanbul. The first man who flew in history, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi opened his wooden wings and flew from Galata to Uskudar in the 17th century. You can see an amazing, breath taking panoramic view of Istanbul from the tower.
There is a restaurant and cafe on its upper floors which command a magnificent view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Also located on the upper floors is a night club which hosts a Turkish show. There are two operating elevators that carry visitors from the lower level to the upper levels.
You can find many local shops (from gift shops to cool shoe shops, vintage boutiques to Turkish designer’s showrooms) great cafes and cozy restaurants and you can wonder the streets of Galata to enjoy a lovely day in Istanbul.
The most which everyone likes most about Galata is the neighborhood’s energy, crowded by young people and many foreigners every day of the week and at any time. Galata is from a walking distance to Tunel, so you can stay at some of the little hostels in Galata and discover the city starting from the heart of Istanbul. Am sure u gonna like the Galata Tower and the surrounding neighborhood .... :)
The Galata Tower is a 14th centrury, Genoese-built tower standing tall above the Galata and Karaköy districts of Istanbul.
It first caught our eye as we arrived by ferry at Eminönü on the opposite banks of the Golden Horn. I knew that we'd get great panoramic views of the city from the top, so we stopped by for a visit while walking back from Tünel Square to Galata Bridge.
At the time of our visit, in February 2013, a ticket for the viewing platform cost 13 TL (£5), or 6.5 TL for Turkish citizens.
A lift transported us up to the 7th floor of the tower, and then we walked up a couple of flights of winding stairs (not too steep or narrow compared to other towers we've visited) to reach the observation deck.
The observation deck is outside and runs around the entire circumference of the tower, providing panoramic views in all directions. It was very busy while we were up there, making it a struggle to walk around. Visitors are supposed to walk in one direction only (clockwise), but not everybody was following that rule.
We were particularly interested in the view over the Galata Bridge and out towards the Sultanahmet area of the city. It was every bit as impressive as we expected it to be, with the busy waterway below us and countless minarets on the skyline.
As well as the observation deck, there are also floors near the top of the tower that house a restaurant and a nightclub. As always in such places, prices are inflated due to the views and the presence of foreign tourists. We gave the restaurant a miss and just visited the observation deck.
Galata Tower affords excellent panoramic views over the city of Istanbul and its surrounding waters!
This old historic tower has a fantastic view over Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. It was built as Christea Turris in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople. The nine-story tower is 66.90 meters tall (62.59 m without the ornament on top, 51.65 m at the observation deck), and was the city's tallest structure when it was built. The elevation at ground level is 35 meters above sea-level. The tower has an external diameter of 16.45 meters at the base, an 8.95 meters diameter inside, and walls that are 3.75 meters thick. Galata Tower represents the man and Leandro Tower (Kiz Kulesi) represents the girl where two lovers cannot reach each other. As you will observe, both towers can be seen from each other, but the sea seperates them. There is a jazz cafe at the top where you can enjoy the music and the view together. The entrance fee is 12 TL for foreigners and 6 TL for locals. Only cash is accepted. After 8 pm, visitors are not allowed except those who have reservation for the restaurant.
Galata is outside of Istanbul proper, and as such has a history and origin that is deistinct from the origins of the city. Galata's origins lie with a Greek settlement in the 5th century CE, but its fortifications and more famous old remains stem from its Genovese community, which was established in the 12th century. Galata also was home to a Romaniote Jewish community that prospered with the city and was permitted continuous residence even after the Ottoman conquest. Arabs and Jews expelled from Spain in the 15th century further enriched the mix of this part of the city, and Jewish bankers helped to build up the mercantile interest of Galata. The result is a rich architectural heritage that is best exemplified in and around Galata Tower. While significant money has been invested in the restoration of the Galata Tower area, other areas are still in need of a facelift. This quasi-dilapidation provides for great pictures and an unedited view into the history and sociology of one of Eurasia's great cities.
Galata Square surrounds the Galata Tower and, by virtue of its connection to one of Istanbul’s more famous landmarks, it has become a major hub for tourist traffic. While the shops, restaurants and cafés on the sides of the square may not be to everyone’s liking, the square does retain some of the more aesthetically pleasing aspects of the Ottoman civil campaign. In particular, there is an impressive fountain (sebil) that contains an engraved tughra or seal of an Emperor, as well as beautiful stone engravings, that stands just opposite the Tower.
It can be easy to miss the Galata Tower, or Galata Kulesi in Turkish, if you are simply wandering about Istanbul and trying to pick out landmarks. While this tower rises 65 metres – no small height – it is packed into dense mediaeval Istanbul, and thus is not immediately visible if you are walking along Istiklal Caddesi. If the tower seems out of place amongst Ottoman and Byzantine architectural styles, that is because it was first constructed in the middle of the 14th century by Constantinople’s Genoese community as watchtower for their fortifications in Galata. After the Ottoman conquest of the city, the tower was maintained and underwent several restorations, but it no longer served as part of a separate Galata fort, as the entire city was unified under Ottoman control. They used it for various purposes, including as a watchtower for fires and as a storehouse. In 1875, its conical roof was destroyed by a storm and was not replaced until the 1960s. At this point, the Republic’s authorities renovated the tower and reopened it to the public as a tourist site, complete with café and restaurant from which visitors get a view of the surrounding city. These facilities are still in operation today, and there is often a long line to get into the Tower. I prefer taking shots of the tower from below, as the square around it has been beautified and its stately rise above the buildings provides an excellent subject for photography.
The previous day we sighted the Galata Tower high on the hill overlooking Istanbul, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. We thought we would visit the next day and we did.
Taking the light rail (tram) from the Sultanahmet we soon arrived at Eminonu district where the ferry terminal is located. From here we could see the Galata Tower high on the hilltop on the Asian side of Istanbul. We walked the Galata Bridge, a most interesting walk and soon arrived in Asia.
The task ahead of us to climb the steep hill to Galata Tower was much harder than I expected. We took it slowly walking through the various small streets and as my wife was with me we often stopped as she looked in shop windows and occassionally entered. I found the shops interesting, much different to those in my home town, and often the items for sale looked as though the shopkeeper had crafted them.
First built during 507AD as a wooden lighthouse tower it was rebuilt in pile stone during 1348 and has been renovated several times. The tower is 60 metres high and topped with a conical tower.
Hezarifen Ahmet was the first man to fly when he attached wooden wings to his arms and jumped off the tower and flew to Uskudar.
Tower was built in 1348 by Genoese colony. It was used mostly for defensive purposes. At the time it was built, it was the highest tower in city. When Istanbul was already Turkish, from 1717 tower was used for spotting fires.
Some interesting stories tell that in 17th century few people tested idea of aviation from the top of tower. One flew using artificial wings, another one tried the flight with a rocket in a conical cage filled with gunpowder.
Nowadays it is observation tower, used as a spot for Istanbul panorama. I haven't visited it inside, as I think there are enough places to see how Istanbul looks.
Originally built by the Genoese community in 1348 at the apex of the Byzantine fortifications protecting the old district of Galata, the tower stands some 67 meters high – the observation deck is at almost 52 meters plus the ground level is already 35 meters above the sea. During the Ottoman times, the tower was used as a fire lookout over the city. Fires and storms damaged the tower over the years, but the tower was restored in the mid 1960’s and privatized. There are elevators taking you to the observation deck plus a restaurant just below. The tower is open from 0900-2000 every day – the restaurant is open until midnight. One of the best views of Istanbul can be enjoyed from up here, but everyone else seems to know this too. Sunsets can be especially spectacular, but the crowds of tourist will be just as amazing. To get here, it is either uphill from the Galata Bridge or a short ways from the Tünel end of the major pedestrian street of Ýþtikal Caddesi.
Visible from far, this tower built by Genovese in the 14Th century and still keeping its italian look, is now the place of a restaurant and, it seems, a "tourist trap".
Going up is expensive and the sights are... roofs and distance. We didn't risk to go up.
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