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Galata Tower

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The Galata Tower (or Galata Kulesi), also known as the Christea Turris or Tower of Christ was rebuilt in 1348 by the Genoese colony in Constantinople. According to legend, it was the starting site of the first intercontinental flight when Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi used a glider to cross the Bosphorus. It was damaged several times during its history until the Ottomans decided not to keep rebuilding the roof, but during the last renovation in the 1960s, the roof was added once more - this time made of concrete, not wood. Visitors can take the elevator up to the viewing platform to enjoy the views of Istanbul or enjoy a delicious meal in the restaurant at the top.
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Guided Tours

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Istanbul: Galata Guided Walking Tour and Tower Entry
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More Tickets & Tours

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Morning Galata Tower and City Tour of Istanbul
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Istanbul: Morning Sightseeing Tour with Galata Tower
 
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Galata Tower & Rooftop Breakfast
 
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Be Drawn in by the Views on Tour of the Galata Tower and City of Istanbul
 
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North bank with Galata Tower in the background | Ulmon: CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Galata Tower in Istanbul

The cylindrical tower to this day characterizes the skyline of the north shore at the Golden Horn
Top of the Galata Tower | Flickr: Jerzy Kociatkiewicz CC-BY-SA 2.0

History

The predecessor of today's Galata Tower was built as early as 528 during the reign of Justinian I. After it was destroyed during the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204, the Genoese rebuilt it as part of their fortifications during the days of their rule. During the Ottoman Empire, the tower served as a base for the Janissaries, a prison and a watchtower. In 1967, the historic structure was last restored to its original state.

Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi

It is told that the universal genius Ahmet Çelebi succeeded in 1638 in a 1.8 mile (3 km) long gliding flight over the Bosporus with self-built artificial wings. He took off from the Galata Tower and flew across the strait between Europe and Asia to today's Doğancılar Park. This would be the first intercontinental flight.
View from the Galata Tower | Ulmon: CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Galata Tower Today: The Best Viewpoint in Istanbul

There are a total of nine floors in the tower, with the last two floors housing a restaurant with 360˚ view and the view deck. An elevator leads from the first floor to the seventh floor, the rest of the way up has to be done by stairs.

General Information

Opening Hours:

The Galata Tower is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm. The hours of the restaurant at the top of the tower may vary.

Tickets:

Entry to the tower and use of the elevator costs TL35. Children under the age of 7 can enter free of charge.

Address:

Galata Tower
Bereketzade Mahallesi
Galata Kulesi Sk.
34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

How to get there:

The easiest way to reach the Galata Tower is to take metro line M2 to Azapkapı-Haliç Metro station, which is also served by several dozen bus services including numbers 32, 54E, 66, 74A, 78, and 91O. The site does not have its own car park but there are several private car parks nearby where you can leave your vehicle for a fee.
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