Galata Tower

The most important structure of the district and the center of attention, Galata Tower, was built as the watchtower of the city walls. It was built by the Genoese, and to this day, it is still used as a museum and is one of the landmarks of Istanbul. In addition to being one of the symbols of Istanbul, this building also carries a touristic value because we can see the city from the top of the tower with a bird's eye view. The tower was built about 220 feet high, making it the tallest building in the city at the time it was built. Compared to the structures constructed now, it has a height equivalent to a 9-story building. Still, with its height on the hill, it is located, it offers a magnificent lookout that will allow you to watch the whole city.

Highlights of Galata

Galata district with Galata Tower and its restored, lively narrow streets will give you a taste of many hidden Istanbul treasures. Here is a guide for the other places you should see in Galata and the fun activities you can do.

  • Galata Tower: Galata Tower is an old Genoese tower overlooking this magnificent city and has since been restored over and over again. It is also one of the most known symbols of Istanbul.

  • Kuledibi: Kuledibi is the name given to the streets under the Galata Tower. There are many places to visit in this region. These places are Saint Georg Church, Şehsuvar Bey Masjid, SS Peter, and Paul Church, and Austrian School.

  • Kamondo Stairs: The famous Kamondo Stairs are the stairs built by Abraham Salomon Kamondo towards the end of the 19th century as a solution for his grandchildren, who were studying at the Austrian High School at that time, to lengthen the way home and to get tired. This exciting design with a spiral structure is thought to have been made to prevent somersaults and damage if someone trips and falls from above. Today, it is also known as the lovers' ladder.

  • Galata Bridge: Galata Bridge, is one of the most important symbols of the city, with its fascinating calmness of the sea and its magnificent lighting.

  • Grand Avenue of Pera - Istiklal Avenue: There are world-famous brands, shops, stores, boutiques, art galleries, and theaters on Istiklal Street, which has a liveliness that you will not see anywhere else. It is one of the most known shopping streets.

  • St Antuan Church: Also known as St Antuan Basilica, is the largest church of the Roman Catholic Church in Istanbul. The church is specially designed in a gothic architectural style. This enchanting place is located in the Beyoğlu district.

  • Galata Mevlevi Lodge & Museum: Galata Mevlevi Lodge, also known as Galip Dede Lodge, is located at one end of Istiklal Street in Beyoğlu. This is both a museum and an area where whirling dervish performances are held.

  • Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews: This museum, which hosts the 500-year history of Turkish Sephardic Jews living in Istanbul, documents the closeness and togetherness of Jews and Turks.

  • Istanbul Modern Art Museum: It was established in 2004 as Turkey's first modern and contemporary art museum. Also, it has hosted the works of many artists so far.

Famous Restaurants in Galata

The district known as Karakoy, where Galata is located in the center, is home to many lively venues at all hours of the day. Some of these places are restaurants and cafes. In the back streets of Karakoy, delicious and different cafes and restaurants are listed below.

  • Firuzende Restaurant – Anemon Hotels: Located on the top floor of Anemon Hotel, this restaurant promises you a pleasant dinner with a view of the Galata.

  • Neolokal: This luxury restaurant, where the dishes of Turkish cuisine are reinterpreted and presented, will offer you unforgettable tastes accompanied by an incredible view.

  • Nola: With its famous garden and delicious food, Nola will give you a wonderful experience.

  • Il Cortile: Il Cortile will take you to Italy with its lush garden of Italian cuisine.

  • Guney Restaurant: Guney Restaurant offers European, Turkish, and vegetarian-friendly food options.

  • Meze by Lemon Tree: Meze is the name used for many different vegetables and dishes eaten with raki, which is unique to Turkish culture. You should taste this incredible feast of taste in this pleasant place.

  • Ficcin Restaurant: Ficcin, a Circassian cuisine restaurant, will offer you different and magnificent tastes.

  • Galata Namli Gurme: Besides the famous breakfast, Namlı Gourmets will offer you different tastes with unique gourmet delicacies.

  • Le Fumoir: Located on the terrace of Georges Hotel, this restaurant is a romantic place with french cuisine and a magnificent view.

Nightlife in Galata

 Galata nights offer great entertainment with quality bars and pubs, and various nightclubs. Here is the list of places you may want to see.

  • Snog Roof & Bar: Great place with specialty cocktails and a magnificent Galata view.

  • Tower Pub: Taste a variety of flavors in this pub, located very close to the Galata Tower, open until late.

  • Social Jazz Bar: One of the places to be preferred with live music and affordable alcohol products.

How to Get From Airport to Galata

You can reach the Galata region through two airports. There are several ways to get Galata from the new Istanbul International Airport. You can choose the private shuttles and taxis of the airports, or you can also take the shuttle service HAVAIST.

We can also explain how you can reach Galata from Sabiha Gökçen Airport. You can use HAVABUS, taxis, and private vehicles. However, Sabiha Gökçen Airport is located on the Anatolian side of the city, so your journey will take longer

Frequently Asked Question

What is Galata tower famous for?
Built in Byzantine times as a watchtower and lighthouse, Galata tower now serves as an exhibition tower and a museum.
What is the story of Galata tower?
The Byzantine Emperor Justinianos erected Galata Tower for the first time in 507-508 AD. In 1348-49, the Genoese erected the existing tower. Between 1445 and 46 years, the tower was raised. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1500s, and Architect Murad bin Hayreddin rebuilt it.
Why was Galata tower built?
The Byzantines erected it as a lighthouse, but after the Ottomans captured Istanbul, it became a prison. It served as a fire tower from the 16th century until the 1960s. In the late 1960s, the building's conical top was reconstructed in stone, giving it its current appearance.
Where is the Galata tower?
Istanbul, Beyoglu
Does Galata tower have a lift?
The Galata tower has a lift that can take visitors seven floors up.