Beginning of main content

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


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5
Map

Lodging Near Galata Tower

See all 2,076 Hotels near Galata Tower
The Marmara Pera $109
The Marmara Pera

The Marmara Pera

Mesrutiyet Cad. Tepebasi, Istanbul
     
    4.1
    of 5, from 748 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located on the boardwalk, within a 10-minute walk of St. Anthony of Padua Church and Galata Tower. Taksim Square and Spice Bazaar are also within 1 mi (2 km).

    Vault Karakoy,The House Hotel - Special Class $73
    Vault Karakoy,The House Hotel - Special Class

    Vault Karakoy,The House Hotel - Special Class

    Emek yemez mh. Bankalar cd. No 5, Istanbul
       
      4.7
      of 5, from 526 reviews
      5.0 out of 5.0

      Located in Galata, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Nardis Jazz Club and Galata Tower. Spice Bazaar and Cagaloglu Hamami are also within 1 mi (2 km).

      Istanbul Golden City Hotel $47
      Istanbul Golden City Hotel

      Istanbul Golden City Hotel

      Tersane Cad. No. 111, Istanbul
         
        4.2
        of 5, from 715 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Galata, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nardis Jazz Club and Galata Tower. Suleymaniye Mosque and Basilica Cistern are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul $159
        Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul

        Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul

        Visnezade Mah. Acisu Sok. NO. 19, Istanbul
           
          4.5
          of 5, from 689 reviews
          5.0 out of 5.0

          Located on the banks of the Bosphorus river, this Istanbul hotel is set in its own 65-acre park in the city centre with shops, restaurants and attractions nearby.

          Meroddi Bagdatliyan Hotel
          Meroddi Bagdatliyan Hotel

          Meroddi Bagdatliyan Hotel

          Ilk Belediye Caddesi, No:35 Galata, Istanbul
             
            4.2
            of 5, from 43 reviews
            0.0 out of 5.0

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

            Rixos Pera Istanbul $135
            Rixos Pera Istanbul

            Rixos Pera Istanbul

            Kamerhatun Mah.Mesrutiyet Cad.No 44, Istanbul
               
              4.5
              of 5, from 460 reviews
              5.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Istanbul City Center, 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.

              Manesol Boutique Galata
              Manesol Boutique Galata

              Manesol Boutique Galata

              Arapcami Mahallesi, Bankalar Caddesi, Istanbul
                 
                4.0
                of 5, from 305 reviews
                0.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Galata, this hotel is steps from Nardis Jazz Club and Galata Tower. Spice Bazaar and Cagaloglu Hamami are also within 1 mi (2 km).

                Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus $97
                Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus

                Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus

                Cumhuriyet Caddesi, Istanbul
                   
                  4.3
                  of 5, from 1,036 reviews
                  5.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated downtown, Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus is a 25-minute drive from Ataturk Airport. Guests can walk 15 minutes to Taksim Square, the city's hub, or 3 minutes to ICC Congress Center. The Nişantaşı Shopping District is a 6-minute drive away and Dolmabahçe Palace is a 4-minute drive away.