Galata Tower in Istanbul
The Galata tower is one of the best monuments and attraction in Istanbul, it houses a café on top, and a panoramic view over Istanbul. The history of the tower goes back to the Byzantine Empire when the tower was used for surveillance purposes.
Galata Tower District
The district surrounding the tower is called Beyoglu or in Turkish Beyoğlu, the district is full life during the day and night, it has a wonderful old sidewalks and relaxing cafes, with its unique Istiklal Street that has many local and international brands located on every side of the street. The district is famous for the Galata Tower and also famous for its fashion brands, and the Taksim Square. The walk from Taksim Square to the Tower is magical. Wherever you walk you will see street artists creating an atmosphere for the locals and tourists.
History of the Tower
The History of the tower as mentioned, goes back to the Byzantine Empire. Originally, the tower was called the Tower of Christ, it was built in the 14th century. You would wait in a long queue to get up the tower because of the huge demands of the people wanting to see the magic it offers. Don’t worry about climbing up the stairs, the tower has elevators but you will only climb three floors to reach the very top of the tower.
This current tower is actually in replace of the old Galata Tower which was destroyed during the fourth crusade of 1202-1204.
The tower was designed by Bizans Imparatoru Anastasius, the tower has a Romanesque architecture, which is a medieval style of Europe’s architecture. During the Ottoman Empire the tower was used for detecting fires in the city, so the upper section was modified to fit the style of the Ottomans.
Did you know that Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew from the top of the tower using artificial wings for flying, he glided over the Bosphorus and landed in the Uskudar District.
Life Around Galata Tower
The life around the tower is quite interesting, during the day after you finish exploring the district of Beyoglu, you want to catch the sunset at the top of the tower which is a beautiful sight. The nightlife around the tower and its district is as wonderful as the daylight life. During the night, all street artists gather around the district and start performing different shows, or singing different kinds of music. İf you are lucky enough, you will be able to catch some football fans during match days cheering for their club and walking around the district in a huge crowd creating an exciting atmosphere. İn addition, there are a lot of cafes and bars around the tower if you are in a mood to just sit and relax, or even have a beer with your friends. The balcony is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm (7 pm during the summer) and there is an admission fee of around 25 TL .
It really depends on which type of person you are, night owl or an early bird. İt is highly recommended to visit the district and the tower on both times, if you can, you may also spend the whole day in that district, and believe me, you won’t get bored. There are a lot of things the district has to offer. For nightlife you can spend the night in a cafe or a bar depending on your preference, the nightclubs and bars there differ from one another. The daylife in the district is actually as amazing as the nightlife. The crowded street of Istiklal creates a full touristic experience for the people. You can also grab a lunch on top of the tower of Galata, the restaurant and cafe on the top gives you a fascinating panoramic view over the city.