from the top of the Galata Tower, built in Byzantine times originally as a watchtower, you can take in the most beautiful, 360-degree views of Istanbul... both European and Asian sides. One look towards the Asian shore will make you understand what probably prompted Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi, back in the 16th Century, to fly with artificial wings from the top of Tower to Uskudar.
Galata Tower is something of an Istanbul landmark. While I didn't pay the entrance fee (which I felt was much too steep), I did enjoy viewing the exterior and using the tower as an easy meeting spot (much better than the local meeting spot for Istanbul-dwellers: "Meet you at Burger King!"). The tower itself was actually built by Genoese living in Constantinople, and has a rich history of multiple uses and restorations.
This 61m high tower is visible from all parts of the city and overlooks the Bosphorus and Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara. It was built by the Genoese between 1348-9 but there had been a tower on the site since the 5th century BC.
The visitor can climb 143 stairs to the top floor viewing terrace or take the lift. There is a restaurant/cafe on the floor below. The views are stunning, even if it is pouring rain!
The Galata tower is one of the oldest still standing towers in the world dating back to 528ad.
It was originally build as a lighthouse and the place has been restored many times over the centuries, the last time being in 1967.
It´s open for visitors and you will have to take a lift up as the staircase is closed to visitors at the time of writing.
there is a really good view of the olod part of town from the top of the Galata tower aswell as a cafe there and i think it´s worth the 10 Lira entrance fee.
Dominating the Beyoğlu skyline for nearly 700 years, this fortified Tower was named Christea Turris when it was built by the Genoese in 1348. Its construction was part of the fortifications of Galata, hence the name Galata Tower (or Galata Kulesi in Turkish), a colony established north of the Golden Horn by the Republic of Genoa from the 13th to the 15th centuries. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, the tower was turned into a prison for a while. Today, it is a remarkable tourist attraction with a restaurant offering panoramic views at its top.
I'd seen it from afar on dozens of occasions, but eventually went to take a close up look. It is 62m high and was built 1348 by the Genoese.
I didn't go in because I was already hot and sweaty from walking around, and didn't fancy the climb.
Apparently it's worth it for the view, but the interior itself is a disappointment.
The nine-storey tower is 66.90 meters tall (62.59m without the ornament on top, 51.65m at the observation deck), and was the city's tallest structure when it was built. The elevation at ground level is 35m above sea-level. It has an external diameter of 16.45m at the base, an 8.95m diameter inside, and walls that are 3.75m thick.
It offers great 360 degree views of Istanbul across the Bosphorus from it's outside, open balcony. You buy a ticket & then queue up for the elevator. Once you get out, you still have to climb up some stairs to reach the viewing balcony. Inside, you can read about the history of this place, and see photos over the years.
The Genoese built the Galata Tower, which they named as Christea Turris (Tower of Christ), at the highest point of the citadel of Galata, in 1348.
Now the upper section of the tower has a conical cap, which was slightly modified in several restorations during the Ottoman period when it was used as an observation tower for spotting fires.
Starting from 1717 the Ottomans began to use the tower for spotting fires in the city. In 1794, during the reign of Sultan Selim III, the roof of the tower made of lead and wood and the stairs were severely damaged by a fire. Another fire damaged the building in 1831, upon which a new restoration work took place. In 1875, during a storm, the conic roof on the top of the building was destroyed. The tower remained without this conic roof for the rest of the Ottoman period.
Many years later, in 1965-1967, during the Turkish Republic, the original conical cap was restored. During this final restoration in the 1960s, the wooden interior of the tower was replaced by a concrete structure and it was commercialized and opened to the public.
RECORD SET HERE:
In 1632 Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew as an early aviator using artificial wings for gliding from here over the Bosporus to the slopes of Üsküdar on the Anatolian side, nearly six kilometres away.
Going to the top of the Galata Tower was one of my favorite things to do in Istanbul because the panoramic views from the top were great! I loved the greens, pinks, and tans of the surrounding buildings, the views of the mosques, the ships and ferries sailing the Bosphorus, the bridges, as well as the views of Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and the Galata Bridge.
The tower itself rises 196 feet out of Beyoglu and is easily spotted from the Eminou side of the Galata Bridge. It is shaped like a rocket ship and doesn't really look so tall up close. In the 6th century it was used to monitor ships in the surrounding waters. In subsequent years it was a jail and also a fire lookout.
We went at 4 p.m. which was a good time. The sun was still shining but glare was less. There was a line even at that time of day. The elevator goes almost to the top but once you exit the elevator you have about 60 (circular) stairs to climb. You have to yield to people passing and it gets a little tight especially if you're on the "small" part of the stair. Once you do reach the top, make sure to go clockwise around the tower otherwise you will be constantly trying to pass people on the narrow walkway (and in turn, irritating them!). There is a sign posted with a directional arrow.
There is a restaurant where the elevator lets off and a gift shop in the bottom of the tower. There is also a nightclub in the tower but I didn't see that.
Do try and go when the sky is clear for the best "long" views. If you are coming from the Eminou side or from the Galata Bridge, take the "tunel" (funicular/underground railway) up the steep hill to Beyoglu Square and walk back down a short distance to the Tower. Otherwise, the walk from the bridge to the tower is pretty steep.
Admission is 10 TL
Open 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily
Restaurant & Nightclub is open 8 p.m. to midnight daily.
GALATA TOWER................You can see the Tower from far and wide when in Istanbul.....
AND ON THE TOWER..........You can see far and wide all over Istanbul !!!....
This is really worth visiting I think, for the incredible views over Istanbul.
The Tower is quite old, being built in 528 by the Byzantine Emperor. It was used by the Genoese as a part of their fortication of Galata in the 13th century. The Tower has been restored several times because of Earthquakes that have given it a shake up!
The Tower is 61metres high, has 11 floors, with a Lift taking you up 9 floors, and then you climb the steps for the last 2 floors to the viewing platform, nightclub and restaurant. In the evenings, the Restaurant has a dinner/cabaret show, with Turkish folk and Belly dancing.
They only allow a certain amount of people up at once, so as some come down, that amount of people are allowed up. Even so, it was fairly crowded on the platform, not much room for moving about. The queue when I was there was long, not helped because one lift wasn't working. When I came down, the queue was longer again!
ADMISSION IN 2009 was 10t/l
OPEN DAILY from 9- 7pm
DINNER SHOW from 8pm - 1am
The views are wonderful, you can see everywhere.
The Galata Tower is one of the city's most striking landmarks. It is a huge, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline on the Galata side of the Golden Horn.
The tower was built in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople. It was the apex of the fortifications surrounding the Genoese citadel of Galata.
The nine-story tower is about 67 meters tall. The tower has a diameter of 16.5 meter at the base, with 9 meters diameter inside. The upper section of the tower with the conical cap was slightly modified in several restorations during the Ottoman period when it was used as an observation tower for spotting fires.
You can watch my 3 min 21 sec HQ Video Istanbul Beyoglu and Galata Tower out of my Youtube channel with Askin Nur Yengi – Bocrum Olsun Turkish pop music.
The first man ever to fly was Turkish. Using two wings, Hazarfen Ahmet Celebi flew from the Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Uskudar in the 17th century. Hazerfen means 1001 wisdom or sciences.
I went to Galata Tower (Kulesi) after sunset, and it was a great experience to watch all the lights of Istanbul from the top of the tower.
There is a restaurant in the tower and you can book a table there (call number) and at the same time have a great view of the city.
Galata Tower is one of the oldest towers of Istanbul. It was built in the 6th century during the reign of Emperor Justinianus.
During the years it was used as a fortress, as a prison, observation tower, fire-control station. Now it's the main tourist attraction that offers a spectacular view on Istanbul. There's also a fancy restaurant where you can taste traditional Turkish cousine and see Turkish folk dance.
These views will complete the 360 degree survey we did around the tower. The photos show:
1) The Golden Horn and the Suleymaniye Mosque whose minnarets you can see under repair with the scaffolding.
2) Ataturk Bridge over the Golden Horn
3) Old Galata Bridge over the Golden Horn
4) Eminonu and the ferries
5) Galata Bridge
If you have read that the Galata Tower is the best observation point in Istanbul, you have received good information. The only better may be from the top of some hotels in Taksim Square, a slightly higher point. But they would not have the unobstructed view of the Golden Horn, Galata Bridge and Ataturk Bridge that you DO have from Galata Tower.
The photos show:
1) The Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn.
2) The Topkapi Palace
3) The Bosphorus
4) Nisantasi area
5) Piyalepasa area