The Galata Tower in Istanbul was built in 1348 and was the tallest building at it’s time with a height of 66.9m (not including the spire). It was originally built as a watch tower due to advantage being able to see panoramic views across the Bosphorus seeing both European and Asian sides.
At a Glance
Located: Beyoğlu (walking distance from Taksim). European Side.
Great for: Breathtaking views, history
Time needed: 1 hour. ~15 minutes queue and 45 minutes taking in the views and having a drink at the restaurant at the top of the tower or one of the restaurants at the bottom.
Visiting Hours: Between 09:00 and 20:30. Open everyday.
Cost: 25₺ (Approximately £3.40 based on today's exchange rate).
I have been three times so far to see the Galata Tower in Istanbul and below is a picture I took last time from the top:
This picture shows the Galata bridge which goes between Eminönu & Karaköy (Location of Galata Tower). To get to the tower I find it best to first start from Taksim. Taksim is a long street (1 mile) full of shops, food, cinemas, bowling and bars, a place much loved by tourists and locals alike! At one end of İstiklal street you have Taksim Square at the other is Şişhane (a neighbourhood), make your way to Şişhane and then it is just a few minutes walk. The total journey time should take around 20 minutes.
At the top of the tower is a restaurant where you can order food or a few drinks. If you arrive early you will be able to get a table right next to the window to enjoy the view whilst you relax.
Interesting Facts/Local Beliefs
The First Flying Turk
Long before the Wright brothers, in the Ottomon Empire of the 17th Century, a man named Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew from the top of the Galata Tower. He studied aerofoil looking at birds wings for inspiration successfully flew from the top of the tower, over the Bosphorus and landed in Üsküdar which is on the Asian Side. This was in 1632AD making Hezarfen the first person to fly from Europe to Asia.
Marriage will follow a trip to the Galata Tower!
It is local belief that whoever you climb the tower with is destined to marry with you. It is now become a tradition where locals and tourists will bring their one true love to the tower so that one day they may Marry.
I first climbed up the Galata tower with Demee In November 2013. On the 4th of May 2017 we married, so I can confirm this belief as true!