Things to do in Istanbul

A guide to the centuries-old Galata Tower in Istanbul

Last Updated:

Amidst the brimming beauty of Istanbul lies an architectural marvel that stands out in the landscape of the city — Galata Tower. Once a symbol of Istanbul for centuries, it gives a 360-degree view of the entire historic peninsula of the city.

Essential Information for Visiting the Galata Tower


Park Galata Tower - Istanbul
Galata Tower - Istanbul
Galata Tower - Istanbul

Handy information

⏰ Suggested Duration:1.5 hours
☀️ Best Time to Visit:Before sunrise or sunset
?️ Galata Tower Skip the Line Ticket: €12.50
? Taksim + Galata Tower + Dervish Lodge Walking Tour Combo:

Opening Hours And Address

From 8:30 am to 10 pm every day of the week

Address : Bereketzade Mahallesi Büyük Hendek Caddesi, Numara: 2, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Get Directions

Why You Must Visit the Galata Tower


Galata Tower - Istanbul
  • The Galata tower is a whopping 219 ft in height. When it was constructed, it held the distinction of being the tallest tower in the city. Owing to its height and the perfect location of being in between the main junction of Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, the view provides a magnificent perspective to the entire Istanbul peninsula.
  • Surrounded by vistas, cobbled streets, a lavish selection of charming cafes and eateries, and aesthetic art galleries, The Galata Tower’s surroundings make for the perfect wondrous day for visitors.
  • From quaint cafes like Pierre Loti Café on the hilltop to exciting nightlife on the top floors of The Galata Tower which holds Turkish shows, this monument makes for a perfect balance of solace as well as endless entertainment!

Recommended Galata Tower Tickets


Your preference for Galata Tower tickets will depend on the type of experience you want. Skip the line Galata Tower tickets are the best if you’re on a schedule. If you want a relaxing and educational experience, you can also choose to purchase tickets for a guided tour.

History of the Galata Tower


Galata Tower - Istanbul

The Galata Tower is an eclectic mix of east Roman, Genoese and Ottoman influences on its architectural style, owing to the change of empires through the centuries. The exact date of construction of this monument is still unknown, but it is known to have been first built during the reign of the Byzantines in the 5th century.

The Galata Tower has faced damages in history, and was rebuilt by the renowned Ottoman architect Hayreddin during the reign of the Ottomans. In the 14th century, The Galata Tower was used for surveillance and also played a vital role in defense for the Genoese. During the reign of the Ottomans, the defense function of the tower had been changed to a fire detection one, and eventually converted into a jail for dockyard prisoners during the reign of Sultan Suleiman ‘The Magnificent’.

The Best Time to Visit Galata Tower


The best time of the year to visit The Galata Tower is from April to May , and August to October. From April to May, the weather of the city is very pleasant making it the perfect time for a fun filled family vacation or a romantic getaway. With the weather being persistently perfect, it adds to the magnificent view from atop the tower. August to October welcomes Autumn with a perfect temperature to explore the city and discover the history in this city.

The best time to visit The Galata Tower during the day would be early morning to skip the hustle bustle that comes with the flowing in tourists or during sunset when the 360-degree panoramic view is a sight for days! During both these times, the lighting is just perfect for photography aficionados.

Galata Tower Opening Hours


The Galata Tower is open from 8.30 AM to 11 PM, and is open 7 days a week. If you go before noon however, you can get tickets much faster as it starts to get really crowded post-noon.

How to Reach Galata Tower


  • By Metro:
    Take the M2 green line to the closest metro station, Sishane. The Galata Tower is a 5-minutes walking distance from there.
  • By Bus:
    Take the bus to Sisshanee. The Galata Tower is a 10-minutes walking distance from there.
  • By Taxi:
    The taxi will drop you off at the Galata Tower directly but would be a more extravagant choice in monetary terms.
  • By Tram:
    Take the tram from Sultanahmet to Eminonu.

Restaurants Near Galata Tower


Galata Tower - Istanbul
Sensus Wine Boutique Galata

A wonderful wine bar with a sophisticated ambience and great service. The place serves an array of local wines and a wide range of European cuisine.

Galata Tower - Istanbul
Pepo Restaurant

Pepo’s Galata is a warm and cozy eatery, perfect for a rejuvenating break after a long day of exploration. Their menu provides a wide range of contemporary Turkish cuisine and authentic Turkish cuisine.

Galata Tower - Istanbul
Ritim Galata

A relaxing European bar with great music to add to your experience at Ritim Galata. The ambience, food & drinks, service and music, this bar hits the perfect spot!floor.

Galata Tower - Istanbul
Velvet Cafe, Galata

A quaint tea-room with delicious food just a stone’s throw away from The Galata Tower. Not only does this cafe provide a wide range of delicacies but is also quite pocket friendly!

Galata Tower Facts


  • The Galata Tower is one of the most iconic and prominent landmarks in Istanbul and it lies at the famous junction of the waterways - the Golden Horn drains into the Bosphorus.
  • The Tower dates back to the 14th century and the architectural details hold influences of east Roman, Genoese and Ottoman styles.
  • The Galata Tower originally had a different name, Christea Turris - translating to the ‘Tower of Christ’.
  • The tower consists of a total 9 stories and measures up to 66.90 meters above ground. Back in the 14th century, when the Tower was reconstructed, it was the tallest building in the city.
  • The palace was constructed on the same site where the acropolis of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium stood, and it is situated right behind Hagia Sophia.
  • As it was initially built for defense purposes, The Galata Tower has extremely thick walls measuring up to 3.75 meters (12.3 feet) in thickness!
  • According to the history records, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew from the top of this tower with self-made wings and reached the end of the Bosphorus around 1630-1632.

Insider Tips for Visiting Galata Tower


  • The best time to visit The Galata Tower is early in the morning, just when it opens as you’ll be able to visit the monument without the hustle bustle of the tourists.
  • If you choose to buy your tickets at The Galata Tower, you will have to queue twice which takes up quite some time. Instead, buy your tickets online to skip this hassle and walk straight into the experience.
  • The ticket office is not inside the tower, in case you plan to purchase your tickets on the spot. It is located inside the red tram.
  • Set aside about an hour for the complete experience of The Galata Tower.
  • The Galata Tower is accessible by an elevator but it only goes up till the sixth floor. To reach the observatory, you will have to climb two floors more. The stairs are not too steep.
  • Please note that some of the stairs get really narrow in places, which can trigger those who are claustrophobic!
  • The observation deck is completely open-air. In case you’re traveling with children, do keep an eye on them as the railings are quite low.

Things to do around Galata Tower


FAQs


What is Galata Tower?

The Galata Tower is a historic, cultural and architectural marvel which has withstood the test of time and served many purposes through the ages from defense services, penitentiary to even entertainment in modern times. This tall tower also comes with the gift of a marvelous view of the entire historic Istanbul peninsula from atop its observatory.

How much does it cost to go up the Galata Tower?

The Galata Tower entrance fee as of 2022 is 175 Turkish Liras.

Is it worth visiting the Galata Tower

It is definitely worth visiting the Galata Tower as the views of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus along with the landscape of Istanbul is unmatchable! 

Is the Galata Tower safe to Visit?

The Galata Tower is completely safe to visit, it also has a fully-functioning and well maintained elevator for use.

Can you take pictures from the Galata Tower?

Absolutely! The view is just so magnificent from the Galata Tower, a picture is a must in-fact! The lighting is also perfect at early morning and during sunset which makes it the perfect spot for photography enthusiasts.

Where can I get the tickets for Galata Tower?

You can get tickets for the Galata Tower at the spot, but we recommend buying them online to avoid the hassle of queues as you’ll have to get in line twice for the ticket. 

Galata Tower Guide