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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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Lodging Near Galata Tower

See all 2,034 Hotels near Galata Tower
$124
Rixos Pera Istanbul

Rixos Pera Istanbul

Kamerhatun Mah.Mesrutiyet Cad.No 44, Istanbul
4.5
of 5, from 431 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Beyoglu, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Pera Museum, Museum of Innocence, and Taksim Square. Acibadem Taksim Hospital is 1 mi (1.6 km) away.

$129
Grand Hyatt Istanbul

Grand Hyatt Istanbul

Harbiye Mah. Taskisla Caddesi No.1, Istanbul
4.5
of 5, from 448 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Harbiye, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ataturk Cultural Center, Acibadem Taksim Hospital, and Taksim Square. Macka Park and Istanbul Modern Art Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$78
Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus

Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus

Kemankes Kara Mustafa Pasa, Istanbul
4.1
of 5, from 163 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Beyoglu, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Istanbul Modern Art Museum and Galata Tower. Spice Bazaar and Suleymaniye Mosque are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$72
Hotel Amira Istanbul

Hotel Amira Istanbul

Kucuk Ayasofya Mahallesi Mustafa, Istanbul
4.8
of 5, from 992 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old City, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sophia. Blue Mosque and Cemberlitas Bath are also within 15 minutes.

$21
Lalinn Hotel

Lalinn Hotel

Oyuncu Cikmazi Oyuncu Sok. No 4, Istanbul
4.3
of 5, from 413 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Old City, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Arasta Bazaar and Hippodrome. Basilica Cistern and Blue Mosque are also within 15 minutes.

$44
Meroddi Bagdatliyan Hotel

Meroddi Bagdatliyan Hotel

Ilk Belediye Caddesi, No:35 Galata, Istanbul
4.4
of 5, from 37 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Beyoglu, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Nardis Jazz Club, Galata Tower, and Spice Bazaar. Grand Bazaar and Suleymaniye Mosque are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$40
The Peak Hotel

The Peak Hotel

Mesrutiyet Cad. Oteller Sk. 1/3, Istanbul
3.7
of 5, from 100 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Asmali Mescit, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of French Palace and Galata Tower. Taksim Square and Dot are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$87
The Marmara Pera

The Marmara Pera

Mesrutiyet Cad. Tepebasi, Istanbul
4.1
of 5, from 713 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located on the boardwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Pera Museum and Galata Tower. Taksim Square and Dot are also within 1 mi (2 km).