Galata Tower

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Galata Tower, Istanbul, Turkey
(0212) 245 1160

Galata Tower Istanbul Reviews

EmEm EmEm
150 reviews
The Genoese Tower May 31, 2017
In Beyoglu on the European side of Istanbul, by the Golden Horn- Halic, it is easy to notice a big round tower that distiguishes from the surroundings. That is the Genoese Tower Galata, the symbol of the Galata district that can be seen from various parts of Istanbul. The district Galata is today called Karakoy and has been the most important harbour in Istanbul. It was a center of commercial activities between the Genoese colony in Galata and Europe during the Buzantine Empire. Many warehouses and embassies were also built in the district during the Ottoman Empire.

In front of the tower there is usually long line of visitors waiting to get in and sometimes it can take more than an hour of waiting.

The ticket to visit it is expensive, but it does not stop the long queque of visitors to pay it and climb to the observatory platform and take some photos of the city and the strait. It was built in 1348 as a tower of the walls surrounding the district. In the past Genoese used it to look out for their or enemies ships, as well as a warehouse or a prison sometimes. As there were frequent fires in the district, the tower was also used as a fire lookout tower.

In front of the ticket office is a little souvenir shop. Beside it is an elevator that will take you to the restaurant under the top and than you go by round stairs up and out on a balcony around the tower. There is a sign to start going on the right not to make chaos and disturb other visitors coming from the other side.

You get an excellent view of the strait and all landmarks on its other side. The vista of the peninsula is magical specially during the sunset: the redish sky with the silhouettes of the Topkapi Palace and mosques around it.
8 / 8 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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starship1 says:
Nice review and photos! I saw the tower from a distance, but I would have liked to see the inside as well.
Posted on: Jun 06, 2017
HORSCHECK says:
Great review with brilliant photos. I really like travelling in Turkey as well, but currently I must admit that I try to avoid Turkey. - Thanks for your congrats on my latest award.
Posted on: Apr 08, 2017
spocklogic says:
I saw the Galata Tower up close in Istanbul, but skipped the going inside part. Sounds ok, but not great, eh?
Posted on: Aug 09, 2015
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irenem irenem
152 reviews
The Galata Tower Feb 25, 2017
The Galata Tower is the cylindrical tower with the pointed roof that juts out of the Galata skyline on the Karaköy side of the Golden Horn.

Historically the Galata area was populated by the Venetians and then by the Genoese. Therefore, it was a Catholic area surrounded by an Eastern Orthodox city, and later a Catholic area surrounded by a Muslim City.

The Genoese built strong defensive walls around the Galata area. They also built the Galata Tower as an observation tower in 1348. The tower's original name was Christea Turris or the Tower of Christ. At 66.9 metres high it was at one time the highest building in the city. The Galata Tower replaced an earlier tower located closer to the waterfront. This was known as the Great Tower. The Great Tower controlled one end of a chain that could be pulled across the Golden Horn to stop enemy ships from entering the harbour The Great Tower was destroyed in 1203 during the fourth crusade. After the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453, the Galata Tower was used first as a prison and later as a fire watch tower. As many of Istanbul's buildings were made of wood, fire was always a grave danger.

There is a legend associated with the Galata Tower. In 1348 Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi created a pair of artificial wings. Wearing these, he leapt off the Galata Tower and flew all the way to Üsküdar on the Asian Side of the Bosphorus, more than three kilometres away. This flight terrified the ruling sultan, Sultan Murad IV, who thought Çelebi was using some form of black magic so he had him exiled to Algeria.

Nowadays the Galata Tower is a great place to enjoy scenic views over the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Istanbul rooftops which can be teeming with life. You will see women gossiping, preparing food together, washing and drying clothes. You can also enjoy the Istanbul skyline with the domes

and minarets of many famous buildings displayed against the horizon.

The Galata Tower is nine floors high. If you want to see the view, take the lift to the seventh floor, then walk up two flights of stairs. Be careful when you step out onto the observation deck there is a sort of ditch around the outside of the tower down which you can easily turn your ankle. I know, I did once.
Views from the Galata Tower.
Views from the Galata Tower.
Views from the Galata Tower.
Views from the Galata Tower.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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HORSCHECK says:
Irene, excellent review about the Galata Tower here. Well done.
Posted on: Apr 08, 2017
irenem says:
Really, Alec, we were fortunate we did not encounter any dogs, though we did sometimes on the islands.
Posted on: Feb 28, 2017
alectrevor says:
Yes great views,had to aviod loose sleeping dogs at the bottom. Alec.
Posted on: Feb 28, 2017
kolomiyasvitlana kolomiya…
17 reviews
One of the oldest Tower Mar 11, 2011
Istanbul has plenty of sights to see but one of my favourte is Galata Tower. It is located near the most central and popular Istikal street. It is very easy to find Galata Tower ;)

You will not need to climb up there, it has an elevator.

On the top of the Tower you will see whole great Istanbul city, Bosphorus and gardens on the roofs of turkish homes :)

And it is always better to be there with somebody who you can hug (this place is so romantic ;)

After that you can stay and eat in the Tower's restaurant and read the history of Galata tower in turkish and english.

I recommend it to everybody who are going to visit my favourite city Istanbul!!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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amazed says:
I'm taking 4 hugsworthy people with me ;)
Posted on: Apr 21, 2013
uh-mazin uh-mazin
2 reviews
Breathtaking Bosphorus View Jul 25, 2011
Don't forget to take your camera with you, and a coffee at the restaurant inside the tower would be a nice choice. You can reach galata tower on foot from Karaköy tram and bus station, Karaköy ferry port, Eminönü ferry port and Beyoğlu tunnel. There are no direct buses going to there.
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anntjuh1988 anntjuh1…
6 reviews
Best view of the city! Jan 13, 2011
If you want to have the best view over Istanbul, the Galata Tower should be your first choice!;-)
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hlek hlek
17 reviews
Amazing View of Istanbul Jun 04, 2010
One sentence to describe the place - "one stop shop". You can see the entire Istanbul coming to this place. Simply gorgeous especially when the sky is clear.

Entrance fee: TL 10

You need to take a short elevator ride to the tower and then navigate yourself on the narrow path surrounding the tower. Make sure your camera is fully charged because the view at ALL angles are worth taking. And I'm sure you will not finish snapping.
The Tower
View of Istanbul
Buildings in Istanbul
View of Istanbul
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Turk449 Turk449
3 reviews
Sunset at Galata Tower Dec 06, 2010
I am a Turkish American who is exploring the city i was born in. This was a place where i decided to start exploring this amazing city. The towers entrance fee is 10TL about $7. For that price it is well worth it.The 360 degree view is breathtaking especially at sunset. Istanbul night comes alive and you are the witness. Some things to consider: I went on a not so special Monday and it was still pretty packed there are elevators however they take 6 people at a time. If you don't like shoulder to shoulder conditions and afraid of heights this place is not for you. The balcony is open and it is packed with people. It is not really organized there is not really a directed way of moving so waiting to circle the entire balcony can take time. You do get very close to your fellow visitors.

Try not to think about the location of Istanbul. City sits very close bye an active fault line and you are on top of something that is build in the 14th century!!

The opportunity to take amazing pictures are always there.Wait for the evening call to prayers after sunset, it adds another dimension to the experience!
0 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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sarahrwilkins sarahrwi…
2 reviews
Galata great view BUT made me woozy, leave the baby at home Oct 17, 2009
The Galata Tower was a good one to visit. It has a wonderful view of the old part of town. However, I had my six month old baby strapped to me, and the view area at the top of the tower is very narrow, crowded, and not the "safest". By safest I mean the rails didn't go up very high and I was having to sqeeze by people constantly. It was about 10 bucks to get in, but It made me to nervous and woozy so I didn't enjoy the view.
1 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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diabolic diabolic
3 reviews
stunning Oct 05, 2008
it is definetely in must see list when you are in Istanbul.
0 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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photo by: Memo