Maiden's Tower, Istanbul

Maiden's Tower, Istanbul

In the middle of the Bosphorus, ships passing at every moment, looking out onto two continents and thousands of years of human history, this little stone tower – an icon of Istanbul – is a quick 2-minute boat ride from the shore. Since the times of Ancient Greece, it has served as a fort, a crypt, a tower for commercial observation, a tax collection center, a lighthouse, a quarantine hospital, and even made a cameo in the James Bond film, "The World Is Not Enough". At twenty-five centuries old, some would call this an aging maiden, but it's still an attractive one.

The lighthouse is still in working order, but on the first floor, a restaurant is operating, and on the top, up six flights of stairs, is a coffee shop providing sweeping views over the Bosphorus Strait. You can get a hot or cold drink, take lots of photos, and enjoy the atmosphere – and, of course, you'll have an opportunity to visit a little museum.

Apparently, the tower has a heroic-cum-romantic story linked to it, and even today people use it to propose their loved ones for marriage, expecting their bond to last as long as the lighthouse. Those planning a romantic dinner date here should make reservations well in advance, however, especially if they want a table next to the window.

Opening Hours:
[Tower] Daily: 9am-7pm

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.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Maiden's Tower on Map

Sight Name: Maiden's 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

Creating your own self-guided walk in Istanbul is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old European Quarter Walk

Old European Quarter Walk

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
Bosphorus Coast Walking Tour

Bosphorus Coast Walking Tour

One of the planet's most praised stretches of water, the Bosphorus is a source of great pride for Istanbulites and of admiration for travelers. The 30-km strait dividing Europe and Asia and connecting the Marmara with the Black Sea is one of the city's highlights, having been for all ages the subject of legend and art. This self-guided walk will take you along the coast so that you can...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Asian Side and Bosphorus Walking Tour

Asian Side and Bosphorus Walking Tour

Istanbul, Turkey's wealthiest and biggest city is split by the Bosphorus in two parts: European and Asian. On this self-guided walk you can experience the Eastern side and feel the spirit of the Orient – whether by admiring the beauty of the waterway or the historic buildings that line its shores.

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

Byzantine Heritage Walking Tour

Being an imperial capital for over a millennium, Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) still contains numerous sites that testify to the greatness of the Eastern Roman Empire. This self-guided walking tour will take you through the most noteworthy of historical traces, giving you a glimpse of medieval Europe's most prestigious and flourishing city – the "crown jewel" of Byzantium.

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

Mosques Walking Tour

Once a citadel of Christianity, for over half a millennium now Istanbul (former Constantinople) has been a major center of Islam, replete with mosques – both, originally-built and converted from Christian churches – dotting the city scape. Whether religious or not, you may wish to explore the local mosques out of purely historical or architectural interest. In case you do, this self-guided...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
Istanbul Old City Walking Tour

Istanbul Old City Walking Tour

Situated at the heart of Old Istanbul, the Sultanahmet neighborhood is a fascinating hub of historical timeline. The former administrative center of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, this area abounds in historic sites, such as the Great Palace of Constantinople – the former residence of Byzantine emperors, the Topkapi Palace – a place where the Ottoman sultans used to live, plus a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Istanbul Shopping Guide: 16 Turkish Items To Bring Home

Istanbul Shopping Guide: 16 Turkish Items To Bring Home

Istanbul, known throughout history as Byzantium and Constantinople, has been a major center of commerce and trade, a place where merchants and general folk would rush to regularly in search of exotic things. In our days, modern travelers to Istanbul are also bound to enjoy a truly magnificent...