Galata Tower, Istanbul

Galata Tower, Istanbul (must see)

One of the city's most distinctive sights, this great fortification dating back to 1348 was erected by the mercantile Genoese Italians as a vantage point over the city walls and was subsequently used as a fire lookout tower until as recently as the 1960s. At nine stories and 67 meters in height, it is one of the best places to put Istanbul's defining landmarks in a cityscape perspective: all major sights are within easy view and you can walk around the outside platform for a full 360-degree look – provided, of course, the weather is right.

The walk to the tower, which is situated on high ground, can be strenuous for some; don't be afraid of the tower climb, however, as you'll ride in a very modern elevator. While you're there, you can have a drink from the cafe upstairs and prolong your time just a bit more. The lively area around the tower is home to some interesting restaurants, bars and cafés, and you can also take a leisurely walk up Galip Dede Caddesi with its abundant musical instrument shops.

Tip:
Be sure to pick an off-peak time. The tower opens at 9am, so aim to make your way up around then or around sunset. In the evenings, the restaurant hosts a dinner/cabaret show including the always popular belly-dancing.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am–8:30pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Istanbul. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Galata Tower on Map

Sight Name: Galata Tower
Sight Location: Istanbul, Turkey (See walking tours in Istanbul)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Istanbul, Turkey

Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

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Bosphorus Coast Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
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Byzantine Heritage Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Istanbul Introduction Walking Tour

Istanbul Introduction Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
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Istanbul Old City Walking Tour

Situated at the heart of Old Istanbul, the Sultanahmet neighborhood is a fascinating hub of historical timeline. Dramatically located on a peninsula pointing across the Bosphorus Strait to Asia, this area was formerly an administrative pole of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, and as such, reflects numerous influences of the cultures once prevalent here.

Whether you feel like walking...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
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In the Ottoman era, Beyoğlu (then known as Pera) was, along with Galata, the European Quarter of Istanbul. Home to embassies and trading centers, as well as fine 19th-century, Parisian-style apartment houses, the area was much-loved by the city's non-Islamic minorities, with names of Greek and Armenian architects still adorning the fronts of some of Istiklal Avenue's grander buildings. ...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Asian Side and Bosphorus Walking Tour

Asian Side and Bosphorus Walking Tour

Istanbul is the only megalopolis in the world that straddles two continents. The Bosphorus Strait splits Turkey's biggest city into two parts: European and Asian. The latter, known locally as Asya Yakası (“Asian Side”), or more commonly as Anadolu Yakası (“Anatolian Side”), is found east of the strait, geographically on the Asian mainland.

The vast Anatolian shore, wrongly...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles

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