Galata Tower Aerial View

Galata Tower: Iconic Symbol of Istanbul’s Rich History and Views

Greetings fellow travelers, there is one place you must never miss if you are planning to visit Istanbul: Galata Tower. Rather than just being a tower, it’s a journey through time and a breathtaking view of one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

A Little Bit of History

Galata Tower Old Photo (1875)

Galata Tower Old Photo (1875)

Galata Kulesi, or Galata Tower as it is known in Turkish, is among the oldest surviving towers worldwide. As far back as 1348, during the Genoese era when they built this section of their defensive walls around their neighborhood called Galata, it has been a historical treasure that has gone through various centuries. Originally called Christ’s Tower, it has undergone several restorations and functions such as watchtower, political prison and even fire tower. It serves now as a famous tourist attraction which offers tourists bits and pieces of Istanbul’s past.

The Climb to Galata Tower

Alright let’s first discuss how we can get to the top of the tower. The area where you will find it is referred to as Galata/Karaköy district; getting there alone feels like an adventure due to its steep streets that snake up and down with vibrant ambiance around them. Once at the top you should purchase your ticket. In 2024s it costs approximately 30 Euro but I assure you that amount would be money well spent.

View of Galata and Square

View of Galata and Square

Though an elevator takes most people up towards the end of their ascent; before finally stepping right onto its pinnacle there remains some few flights of stairs which should be climbed by visitors themselves. These staircases can get pretty narrow and packed therefore take your time while climbing them so that you avoid any form of accidents happening along the way since everyone would be hurrying upwards simultaneously.

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The View from Galata Tower

Galata Tower View

Galata Tower View

But we can go to the most attractive part – this is the sight. When you step onto the viewing platform, a 360 degree vista of Istanbul shall unfold before you. It’s an astonishing sight that will take your breath away as you look at it from the sparkling waters of Bosphorus to a vast urban landscape with minarets and domes all over. If weather is clear, even Princes’ Islands can be seen!

Pro tip: Try to visit early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowd in order to get best light for photography purposes. Sunset is also magical for during this time, the city lights up like a golden spark and turns into pieces.

View of Galata Tower

View of Galata Tower

What To Do Around Galata

After getting enough of the views, explore the surrounding areas for some time. The district has bohemian vibes and is filled with various cafes, boutiques and art studios among others. Here are some must-dos:

  • Drink Turkish Coffee: Go seating at one of many cafes around here and have a cup of traditional Turkish coffee that is thick and strong thus making it perfect for pick-me-up moments.
  • Go to Galata Mevlevi House: This ancient Whirling Dervishes lodge lies just few steps from the tower itself. It’s calm place which has small museum enabling its visitors understand Sufi culture better.
  • Shop at the Boutiques: The streets around Galata are lined with unique shops selling everything from handmade jewelry to vintage clothing. It’s a great place to find a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

Practical Tips

  • How to go there: The Galata Tower can be reached by tram. Step off at Karaköy and follow the signs up the hill.
  • Operating Hours: Open daily from 9am to 11pm but verify times as they are subject to change.
  • Admission: You can get your ticket at the entrance or on the internet. This way, you will not have to wait in line during busy season.

Galata Tower Night View

Galata Tower Night View


Visiting Galata Tower is like going back in time while still enjoying an amazing view of modern Istanbul. If you are a history buff, a photography enthusiast, or just someone that loves a good view, it doesn’t matter; Galata Tower should be on top of your Istanbul itinerary. If you need other golden suggestions to immerse your Istanbul visit do not hesitate to contact us, our proffesional team will be happy to assist you.

So make sure you pack your bags and camera because galata tower has so much magic waiting for you when you arrive.

Bon Voyage!

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