Discover Galata Tower


Discover the essence of Galata Tower through its rich history and enduring significance in Istanbul. From its mysterious origins to its architectural marvels, the tower reflects a fusion of Roman, Genoese, and Ottoman influences. Built as a lighthouse and watchtower, it later served as a vital part of the city’s defense system and even as a prison during certain periods.

Despite facing challenges such as fires and restorations, Galata Tower stands tall as a testament to Istanbul’s resilience and heritage. Legends abound, including the daring flights of Ottoman aviators, adding to its mystique and allure.

Today, Galata Tower welcomes visitors to explore its timeless charm, offering amenities such as elevator access and nearby parking. Whether you’re drawn to its historical significance, architectural grandeur, or simply the breathtaking views it offers, a visit to Galata Tower promises an unforgettable experience steeped in centuries of history and culture.

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What’s Included in Your Ticket?

Your Galata Tower tickets include a fast express elevator ride to the top and an audio guide for a detailed historical tour.

Suitable for: This ticket is perfect for visitors in wheelchairs, elderly tourists, and families with toddlers.

Note: Mobile signal inside Galata Tower can be weak. We recommend downloading the audio guide app before your visit to ensure a smooth experience

Galata Tower Entry Tickets

Book these Galata Tower entry tickets for a spectacular bird’s eye view of Istanbul. You’ll spot famous landmarks like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Dolmabahce Palace from the top. The express elevator whisks you to the summit in just a few minutes, making it a quick and convenient way to experience the city from above.

Highlights of Galata Tower Istanbul

Although the exact date of construction is unknown, it’s believed that Galata Tower was first established around 527 AD during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Known as ‘Christea Turris’ (Tower of Christ) by the Genoese and ‘Megalos Pyrgos’ (the Great Tower) by the Byzantines, the tower has withstood the test of time, including severe damage from a massive earthquake in 1509. It was later restored by the renowned Ottoman architect Hayreddin and even served as a prison during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent. In the 16th century, it also housed an observatory by the famous astrologer Takiyüddin Efendi. Destroyed by fire around 1794, it was restored again during the reign of Sultan Selim III, who added a comba (alcove).

The Rich History of Galata Tower

The Galata Tower, nestled in the Galata Quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, is a marvel of medieval architecture, combining influences from East Roman, Genoese, and Ottoman empires. Standing 219 feet tall with a distinctive cone-capped cylindrical shape, it was once the tallest structure in Istanbul. The tower’s purpose has evolved significantly—from a military and surveillance post to a fire detection tower and later, a popular public observatory and prison.

The most famous tale associated with the Galata Tower is that of Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi, the legendary Ottoman aviator. Legend has it that in the 17th century, Çelebi attached wooden wings to his arms and flew from the top of the tower across the Bosphorus to Doğancılar Square in Üsküdar. This remarkable feat allegedly made Sultan Murad Khan suspicious, leading to Çelebi’s exile in Algeria. This story, along with many others, adds to the mystique and allure of the Galata Tower, making it a must-visit for those intrigued by Istanbul’s rich history.

Key Informations for Visitors

Galata Tower location is centrally situated in the historic Galata Tower area, easily accessible by public transportation or on foot from the Galata Bridge. For specific Galata Tower direction, refer to local maps or navigation apps.

 • Metro: Line M2 to Sishane.

 • Tram: Line T1 to Karaköy.

Galata Tower entrance fee, Galata Tower tickets price, and Galata Tower entry fee are competitive, ensuring visitors can enjoy the tower regardless of budget. Galata Tower tickets can be purchased online or at the site. Be mindful of the Galata Tower hours, as the Galata Tower closing time may vary.

Galata Tower reviews often highlight the tower’s rich history and the stunning panoramic views it offers. Inside, Galata Tower inside includes exhibits and historical artifacts that narrate the tower’s past and its role within the Galata walls.

Opening Times: Every day except Tuesday´s from 08:30 – 22:00

Suggested Duration: 1 hours

Optimal Visit Times: Early morning or late afternoon for lighter crowds and stunning natural light effects on the dome.

Optimal Visit Times: Early morning or late afternoon for lighter crowds and stunning natural light effects on the tower.

Weekdays over Weekends and Holidays: To avoid the crowds, visiting during weekdays is recommended.

Off-season Months: The months from October to April offer a quieter experience as the tourist crowds are thinner.

Tips while visiting:

  • Accessibility: Most areas of Galata Tower are wheelchair accessible, featuring ramps and accessible toilets. Audio guides are available for an additional fee.
  • Photography: Personal photography is allowed. 
  • Tours: A guided tour is highly recommended for a deeper understanding of its rich history and hidden aspects.

Quick Facts

Frequently Asked Questions About Galata Tower

Galata Tower was originally constructed as a lighthouse or watchtower, mainly for the city’s defense. Look up the detailed history. 

Built in the 14th century, Galata Tower is a vital part of Istanbul’s historical landscape, serving as a key part of the defense wall of the district.

The word ‚Galata‘ is derived from ‚calata‘, an Italian term referring to a section of docks designated for mooring merchant ships

The origins of Galata Tower are debated, but it is generally believed to have been built by either the Romans or the Genoese Colony.

Yes, the Galata Tower was recently renovated and reopened to the public in 2021 after the restoration.

Galata Tower contains 146 stairs leading to the top.

Yes, there is an elevator in Galata Tower that provides access to the topmost floor.

Yes, the restaurant/cafe was opened following the recent restoration. Lookup whats inside.