Galata Tower Overview

The Galata Tower, called Christea Turris by the Genoese, is a medieval tower in the Galata Quarter of Istanbul, Turkey , which was built in 1348. It is a high cone capped, cylindrical tower that offers a 360 degree view of the historic town of Istanbul.

The tower has nine stories and is 66.90 m or 219 ft high and was the city’s tallest structure when it was built. Located close to the main junction of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, it is the ideal place to see Istanbul’s peninsula and the surroundings from a different perspective. Plan your trip to Turkey and make sure to include a visit to this iconic tower for a unique view of Istanbul's landscape.

Originally named the Tower of Christ, Galata Kulesi has so much to offer to its tourists. With scintillating vistas, narrow cobbled streets filled with cafes, restaurants and small art galleries, the area around Galata is zestful all day long.

Entertain yourself with a nightclub on the upper floors of the tower which host a Turkish show. Also relish the scenic Golden Horn, visit highlights like the Eyup Sultan Mosque and enjoy a traditional Turkish coffee with mouth-watering baklava at the hilltop Pierre Loti Café.

How To Reach

Reaching Galata Tower from the airport would not be a herculean task and you could reach here easily by taking a bus, a taxi or the train.

By Train:
You can take the train from the Ataturk Airport Havalimani to Yenikapi and then Sishane to Galata Tower which takes around an hour trip. The fare will cost you 8 ₺ which is approximately 94 INR. 

By Bus:
Alternatively, take the bus from Ataturk airport to Sisshanee and walk for 10 mins to Galata Tower. The trip would take about 1 hr and 40 minutes and will cost you 70 to 90 INR.

By Taxi:
Taking a taxi from the airport to the tower will take around 20 minutes to reach the tower. It will be a convenient option but more expensive than others too.

Best Time To Visit

April to May:
During these months, the weather is very pleasant and easy on the eyes. These months mark the beginning of Spring in Istanbul and a perfect time to have a trip with your family or a romantic week with your partner. 

August to October:
These months are the best time to visit the tower as the weather is mild to experience and discover historical sites. With Autumn on its way,  the days are longer, drier, and sunnier, but not as hot as in the peak of summer.

In a Day:
The best time is 9:00 am sharp and  15-20 minutes in advance, if you want to avoid heavy crowds and long queues. The natural light at this hour is considered good for photography.

Other Essential Information


It is located at  Bereketzade, Galata Kulesi, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey.

Distance from Airport- 
It is located at a distance of around 43 kilometres from the Istanbul airport and it takes approximately 50 mins-1 hour to reach.

Height of Galata Tower-
The tower has nine stories and  is 66.90 m or 219 ft high and was the city’s tallest structure when it was built.

History of Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is a marvelous potpourri of east Roman, Genoese and Ottoman characteristics. The influence of all these empires can be easily seen in it’s architecture. As to who built Galata Tower, there are two theories.

The first one states that Byzantium Empire’s Anastasios was the first person to build the tower as a lighthouse in 528 A.D. The second story states that it was built in 1348 when the Genoese arrived and Galata city walls were built to protect the city from invaders.

The Galata Tower was built to provide surveillance from the inside of the walls. It was originally assumed that The Galata Tower was built as a lighthouse to keep the Genoese from seizing the place. Alternatively it is believed that it took the position of an important tool for  defense in the 14th century and had a very important military importance.

The defense function of the towers was then converted to being a fire detection tower during the Ottoman Empire and then it was converted into a dungeon for dockyard prisoners during the rule of Sultan Suleiman ‘The Magnificent’.

There are several reasons why this tower has a cultural and historic significance. The first being Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi succeeded to fly from Galata Tower to Uskudar Dogancan using his wooden wings in 1638. More recently, famous Turkish poet Umit Yaşar Oğuzcan’s son commited suicide from this place which made this place even more popular.

What the tower has today is a museum and a restaurant cum café. It’s conic top also has a restaurant with a terrace from where one can have a panoramic view of the Bosphorus, the golden horn and the real Istanbul.

Facts about Galata Tower

There are some interesting facts about Galata Tower that will make your visit to this place even more interesting and significant.

- It has been put to multiple uses- As we already know by now the tower was primarily used for defense purposes. In 1714, it started to be used as a fire detection tower due to its height and perfect location. Fires were lit on the top of the tower to send signals at great distances. When the Ottomans captured Istanbul they converted it into a prison and later to a dormitory for the military.

The most famous story related to the tower is of Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi. Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi succeeded in flying from Galata Tower to Uskudar Dogancan using his wooden wings(Yes,wooden wings) in 1638 after several failed attempts to do so. After which the locals fondly called this tower ‘The Hezarfen Tower’ For quite some time.

The tower was also used for a strange sport ‘Rope climbing’. In this sport people used to tie ropes to the support of the top of the towers and then slid down these ropes. Later they would climb back to the top of the tower. There were even competitions held in this sport.

The tower was also used for ceremonies by the Mevlevi Order.

Apart from these events, a sorrowful incident occurred in 1973, when famous Turkish poet Umit Yaşar Oğuzcan’s 15-year-old son Vedat committed suicide, there. The famous poet wrote one of his elegies for the memoir of his son.

Lastly, the tower underwent its last restoration in 1990 ,it was opened for the public soon after.

Tips to Visit Galata Tower

- The easiest way to move up is by elevator, so use it and don’t let it go. The lift in the tower goes only upto 7th floor, after that you have to climb up two more flights of winding stairs, i.e to the 9th floor, going through the restaurant. 

The elevator only accommodates 6 people, and you will see a que to reach the top. However, if you are eager to relish the view from top, climb up the stairs to reach first.

The entry fee for the tower is 35 Lira or 532 INR and children below 7 years of age have free entry. Please note that Istanbul Museum pass is not valid for the entrance
Read More

Tourism Board Alliances

Galata Tower FAQs

Is Galata Tower free?

Galata is free only for children below 7 years of age. The entry to Galata Tower is 35 Turkish Liras or 532 INR for every person above 7 years. You can buy Galata Tower tickets at the ticket window on location. We recommend you buy your tickets online as you will face a large crowd at the window.

What is inside Galata Tower?

There is a museum and a restaurant cum café and bar inside the tower which truly defines luxury dining. Enjoy world-class food, wine from around the world and delicious desserts of the restaurant is,where one can have a panoramic view of the Bosphorus, the golden horn and the real Istanbul.It also has a phenomenal observation gallery upon which you can marvel the entire city and the coast.

How many steps does the Galata Tower have?

he Galata Tower has elevators to take you upto 7th floor. You only need to climb two more winding stairs which gives you the best view of the entire city.

Why Choose Thrillophilia