will close on Feb 27th.

Please save any personal content and exchange contact info with other members you?d like to stay in touch with. Thank you for your contributions to the VirtualTourist community.

"For superb views of the city" Galata Tower Tip by Durfun

Galata Tower, Istanbul: 99 reviews and 234 photos

  Approaching it from the narrow streets
by Durfun
  • Approaching it from the narrow streets - Istanbul
      Approaching it from the narrow streets
    by Durfun
  • Seen from it's base upwards - Istanbul
      Seen from it's base upwards
    by Durfun
  • Galata asseen from Topkapi terrace - Istanbul
      Galata asseen from Topkapi terrace
    by Durfun
  • View from the tower of Galata bridge & beyond... - Istanbul
      View from the tower of Galata bridge & beyond...
    by Durfun
  • Westward views from the tower - Istanbul
      Westward views from the tower
    by Durfun

The nine-storey tower is 66.90 meters tall (62.59m without the ornament on top, 51.65m at the observation deck), and was the city's tallest structure when it was built. The elevation at ground level is 35m above sea-level. It has an external diameter of 16.45m at the base, an 8.95m diameter inside, and walls that are 3.75m thick.

It offers great 360 degree views of Istanbul across the Bosphorus from it's outside, open balcony. You buy a ticket & then queue up for the elevator. Once you get out, you still have to climb up some stairs to reach the viewing balcony. Inside, you can read about the history of this place, and see photos over the years.

The Genoese built the Galata Tower, which they named as Christea Turris (Tower of Christ), at the highest point of the citadel of Galata, in 1348.

Now the upper section of the tower has a conical cap, which was slightly modified in several restorations during the Ottoman period when it was used as an observation tower for spotting fires.

Starting from 1717 the Ottomans began to use the tower for spotting fires in the city. In 1794, during the reign of Sultan Selim III, the roof of the tower made of lead and wood and the stairs were severely damaged by a fire. Another fire damaged the building in 1831, upon which a new restoration work took place. In 1875, during a storm, the conic roof on the top of the building was destroyed. The tower remained without this conic roof for the rest of the Ottoman period.

Many years later, in 1965-1967, during the Turkish Republic, the original conical cap was restored. During this final restoration in the 1960s, the wooden interior of the tower was replaced by a concrete structure and it was commercialized and opened to the public.

In 1632 Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew as an early aviator using artificial wings for gliding from here over the Bosporus to the slopes of Üsküdar on the Anatolian side, nearly six kilometres away.

Address: Galata
Directions: Galata Tower can be reached from Tünel.

However, from this funicular station, you will still then have to descend several steps, and walk through some narrow streets, before reaching the tower's base.

Phone: +90 212 293 8180

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jan 8, 2010
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“Cherish memories of fab places, fab people, and the occasional 'angel' you run into...”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 4 9 2
Forum Rank:
0 0 5 5 3

Have you been to Istanbul?

  Share Your Travels