Galata Tower in Istanbul - A travel guide

Once a colony of Republic of Genoa, Galata was a neighbourhood across the medieval city of Constantinople, and was reachable by the Galata bridge over the Golden Horn. The imposing Galata Tower has been an important landmark of the city of Istanbul for centuries and continues to impress all visitors of present day Istanbul.

galata tower istanbul travel blog
Galata Tower, Istanbul
galata tower istanbul travel blog
Galata Tower from a distance 

The tower is built in the Romanesque style in the year 1348 and was then the tallest structure of the city. The tower was primarily used for spotting fires, but it was often itself damaged by fires which also altered the form of the tower. In 1875 the top part of the tower was destroyed in a storm and the tower was without it's famous conical head for almost a century. Much later it was added one again during restoration work in the previous century.

My visit to Galata Tower

When I visited Istanbul over an extended stopover, Galata Tower was second item on my check-list (yes back then I used to make at least some mental list of places to see) after Hagia Sofia. As a traveler on foot and low on budget, I skipped taking a tram or bus and walked from Hagia Sofia to the Galata Tower. Despite the almost pleasant European weather, I was soon sweating due to the sun and tired under the weight of my heavy backpack.

galata tower istanbul travel blog
The tower has an imposing height of 66.9m
gala tower view from top
Another tower on my way up :)

But the walk was pretty amazing...I crossed some more stunning mosques, busy market places (somehow fake branded shoes were around everywhere), kids playing with the pigeons, and some chic restaurants on the bridge. I was tempted to stop by and eat, but decided to instead use the money for later, which ended up being a good decision.

Now Galata Tower is often visible from a distance across the city, but the way to the tower is not exactly straightforward. I had to ask the locals often for directions, and it wasn't too difficult to locate. The walk was a bit steep, but I lugged on. When I was almost there, another worry took over - the imposing tower of 219½ feet (66.9 m) didn't look like an easy climb at all! Of course luck was on my side and there was an elevator which took me all the way up, well almost. It was one of those days when there was almost no line outside the tower, which I learnt later was quite a rarity. There were a few of us on top, but it wasn't crowded.

And the view from top?

Well, as they say a picture is worth a million words, so here are about 3 million words below :)

gala tower view from top
From L to R: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque
gala tower view from top
Topkapi palace
gala tower view from top
Istanbul from top - loved the views!

Practical information about Galata Tower

Galata Tower restaurant
There is also a restaurant within the tower itself, and both the food and the views are excellent there! Dinner is recommended as there is also a performance about Turkish art and culture. Read more.

Entry prices:
Adults: ₺25
Children under 12: ₺5

Visiting Hours:
Summer / Winter Between 09:00 - 20:30 Hours (viewing balcony is open till 7pm)
Closed Days: Open Every Day (Open Days & Hours may change by Official & Public Holidays)

To reach:
I suggest walking to the tower as the roads are pretty narrow and parking is tough. Though you can take a tram, funicular or metro. Read more on this discussion on TripAdvisor.

Galata Kulesi (Tower)
Büyük Hendek Caddesi, Galata
Phone: +90 212 293 81 80
Fax: +90 212 245 21 33

Here is a map for reference.


  1. Replies
    1. It's such a beautiful make your wish come true :)

  2. My dream we come trul to this country

    1. I am sure your dream will get fulfilled :) Where are you currently based Kunle?

  3. Excellent photos and they are truly inspiring too. It seems you enjoyed the 360 view of Istanbul from the top of Galata Tower. Great experience. Visitors of this page might find this article useful too:


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