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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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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.


Guide to Exploring around Galata Tower


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Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul $218
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul

Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul

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

    This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the historical district, within 1 mi (2 km) of City's Nişantaşı Shopping Center, Dolmabahce Palace, and Taksim Square. Vodafone Arena and Istiklal Avenue are also within 2 mi (3 km). Maçka Cable Car Station is 7 minutes by foot and Taşkışla Cable Car Station is 12 minutes.

    Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus $89
    Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus

    Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus

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

      Located in Istanbul City Center, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Galata Tower, Istanbul Modern Art Museum, and Spice Bazaar. Taksim Square and Grand Bazaar are also within 2 mi (3 km). Tophane Station is 5 minutes by foot and Karakoy Station is 7 minutes.

      Doruk Palas Hotel $37
      Doruk Palas Hotel

      Doruk Palas Hotel

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

        Located in Istanbul City Center, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Galata Tower and Pera Museum. Galata Bridge and Spice Bazaar are also within 1 mi (2 km). Tunel Square Station is only a 4-minute walk and Karakoy Station is 8 minutes.

        Rixos Pera Istanbul $142
        Rixos Pera Istanbul

        Rixos Pera Istanbul

        Kamerhatun Mah.Mesrutiyet Cad.No 44, Tepebasi Taksim, Istanbul, Istanbul
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Taksim, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Pera Museum, Istanbul Modern Art Museum, and Demiroren Istiklal. Museum of Innocence and Taksim Square are also within 15 minutes. Tunel Square Station is 9 minutes by foot and Taksim Station is 14 minutes.

          Nuru Ziya Suites $59
          Nuru Ziya Suites

          Nuru Ziya Suites

          Yeni Çar Cad. Nur-u Ziya Sok. 33, Beyolu, Istanbul, Istanbul
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Taksim, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Galata Tower and Taksim Square. Suleymaniye Mosque and Grand Bazaar are also within 2 mi (3 km). Tophane Station is 7 minutes by foot and Tunel Square Station is 10 minutes.

            Istanbul Golden City Hotel $52
            Istanbul Golden City Hotel

            Istanbul Golden City Hotel

            Tersane Cad. No. 111, Karaköy, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Istanbul
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Istanbul City Center, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Mixer, Spice Bazaar, and Suleymaniye Mosque. Grand Bazaar and Basilica Cistern are also within 2 mi (3 km). Karakoy Station is 6 minutes by foot and Tunel Square Station is 6 minutes.

              Pera Palace Hotel $169
              Pera Palace Hotel

              Pera Palace Hotel

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

                Located in Taksim, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Pera Museum, Istiklal Avenue, and Galata Tower. Istanbul Cruise Ship Terminal is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) away. Tunel Square Station is 6 minutes by foot and Tophane Station is 10 minutes.

                Luce Di Pera $20
                Luce Di Pera

                Luce Di Pera

                Balik Sokak No : 13 Taksim - Beyoglu, Istanbul, Istanbul
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Taksim, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Istiklal Avenue and Pera Museum. Taksim Square and Galata Tower are also within 15 minutes. Taksim Station is 12 minutes by foot and Tophane Station is 12 minutes.