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Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi)

Istanbul’s medieval lookout point offers panoramic views across city’s historic district and the water of the Golden Horn.

When it was built, the stone Galata Tower was the tallest structure in Istanbul, its nine stories rising high to nearly 220 feet (67 meters).

The Galata Tower was known as “Tower of Christ” when it was erected in 1348. It was later used by the Ottomans as an observation tower from which to spot fires. The tower was damaged by two major blazes in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since its latest large-scale restoration in the 1960s, the tower has been opened to the public and now offers visitors a great vantage point from which to see the city and the Bosphorus.

Climb the tower to access the outdoor panorama balcony. From here you will get a different perspective of the landmarks that define Istanbul. Take in the strait that divides Europe from Asia, and cuts straight through Istanbul. The Galata Bridge connects the two continents and can be seen as well.

See if you recognize other famous sites, such as Topkapi Palace, the minarets and dome of the Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque. The ambiance at the top of the tower is enhanced by the regular calls of the imam from the loudspeakers of the nearby mosques, reminding all Muslims to come to prayer.

It is clear where the Golden Horn, a natural harbor, get its name from when you view it from the Galata Tower at sunset. Relax at the restaurant and café on the upper floors and consider a visit to the nightclub at the top. Turkish night shows at the tower mix harem-style entertainment with folk dancing in a display of color and energy.

Galata Tower is on the north side of the Golden Horn, in Beyoğlu, Istanbul’s “New Town,” and is accessible by public transport. The balcony of the tower is open daily, with longer hours in the summer months. There is a lift to the seventh floor, but you will have to climb the last two flights of stairs to the top. The restaurant is very popular, so book ahead if you can. Entry to the tower is half price on Mondays.

Popular Activities at Galata Tower

Would you like to make your time spent at Galata Tower even more unique? Don't forget to try a few of these activities:

If you're chasing more activities, have a look at our Istanbul things to do page.


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Lodging Near Galata Tower

See all 2,619 Properties near Galata Tower
Doruk Palas Hotel $57
Reviewed on May 12, 2019
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Doruk Palas Hotel

Doruk Palas Hotel

Emekyemez Mahallesi, Nazli Hanim Sk. No 19 Galata, Istanbul, Istanbul
     
    4.8 of 5
    0.0 out of 5.0

    The reception staff, named Emir, is very hospitality and handy. My first night stay was at the 1floor and there was a minor issue of that room. Emir brought all the tools and try to fix it. What a NICE problem solver! well done! very thoughtful!

    Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus $117
    Reviewed on May 18, 2019
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    Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus

    Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus

    Kemankes Caddesi No: 57-59, Karaköy - Beyoglu, Istanbul
       
      4.3 of 5
      5.0 out of 5.0

      Hotel is walking distance to the tram station which takes you to the main sight seeing places in 10-15 mins. There are good cafe's to eat very close to the property. Area is safe too. Only downside is that there is construction going on across the road so its a tempoprary thing. All in all great ...

      Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul $168
      Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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      Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul

      Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul

      Visnezade Mah. Acisu Sok. NO. 19, Macka Besiktas, Istanbul, Istanbul
         
        4.5 of 5
        5.0 out of 5.0

        I always stay in swissotel in Istanbul One of the best hotels

        10 Karakoy Istanbul $113
        Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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        10 Karakoy Istanbul

        10 Karakoy Istanbul

        Kemeralti Caddesi No: 10, Karakoy, Istanbul, Istanbul
           
          4.5 of 5
          5.0 out of 5.0

          modern, very well located, walking distance to the Galata Tower and Bridge, rooms are standard very clean and comfortable. Will definitely come back and recommend to friends and family.

          The Marmara Pera $77
          Reviewed on May 6, 2019
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          The Marmara Pera

          The Marmara Pera

          Mesrutiyet Cad. Tepebasi, Istanbul, Istanbul
             
            4.1 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0

            location is nice - view is nice too - room is clean and ok

            Pera Palace Hotel $151
            Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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            Pera Palace Hotel

            Pera Palace Hotel

            Mesrutiyet Cad. No. 52, Tepebasi Beyoglu, Istanbul, Istanbul
               
              4.7 of 5
              5.0 out of 5.0

              Beautiful late 19th Century Hotel with a light airy feel because of the Atrium around the rooms. Much better than soulless corridors. The rooms on the sixth floor have balconies and you can overlook the Golden Horn. The Library is magnificent and has a complete set of Agatha Christie novels (as you'd ...

              Grand Hyatt Istanbul $128
              Reviewed on May 9, 2019
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              Grand Hyatt Istanbul

              Grand Hyatt Istanbul

              Harbiye Mah. Taskisla Caddesi No.1, Sisli, Istanbul
                 
                4.5 of 5
                5.0 out of 5.0

                The staff went out their way to help us. ESP I think his name was Doug.

                The House Hotel Karakoy $113
                Reviewed on Apr 27, 2019
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                The House Hotel Karakoy

                The House Hotel Karakoy

                Emek yemez mh. Bankalar cd. No 5, Istanbul, Istanbul
                   
                  4.7 of 5
                  5.0 out of 5.0

                  This is a very nice property and the staff were very nice and courteous. We had two rooms on the top floor (floor 5) and both were decent sizes for being in the city. Housekeeping was quick and efficient and having a buffet breakfast was nice. The only complaint we had was that the rooms were too ...