Galata Tower (2024 Master Guide with Tickets & Insider Advice)

Discover the Galata Tower, in Galata, Istanbul, learn its history, what to expect and see, hours and ticket price, guided tours, and visiting tips with our comprehensive guide. Galata Tower, topped with a distinctive witch’s-hat roof, is one of the most impressive and popular landmarks in Istanbul.

Dating back to 14th century, the tower is an old Genoese tower overlooking the beautiful Istanbul and has a massive cone shaped structure that was built at approximately 38 meters above the sea level and rises to a height of 62 meters above its base. There is an amazing view of the Historical Peninsula, Golden Horn and Bosphorus through Princes’ Islands from the tower that encompasses Istanbul.

Galata Tower Tickets & Tours

If you are looking for the best Galata Tower entrance with guided tours, trust our recommendations, save time and money, we have you covered. Below are some of best experiences you can find! Feel free to book online in advance (as you’ll get discounts), by choosing the eco-friendly option of online tickets.

  1. Entry Tickets to Galata Tower (superb, cheapest price on net)
  2. Galata Tower Skip-the-Line Ticket and Audio Guide (good one with audio)

Fast Facts: Galata Tower

One of World’s most impressive tower. So what exactly lies behind the Galata Tower?


  • First built in 528 during Byzantium era.
  • Current tower was built in 1348, by the Genoese and named Tower of Christ.
  • During Ottoman era; used as a prison (16th century), for the Ottoman military band (18th century), a fire tower (19th century).
  • Witnessed the unique event that; Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi managed to fly from tower’s top (European side) to the Uskudar coast (Asian side) with a home-made artificial wings.
  • 38 meters above the sea level, rises to a height of 62 meters above its base.
  • Has extraordinary 360 degrees panoramic views of the city.

History of the Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is believed to have been constructed in the year 1348. It is also known that the first tower was constructed closer to the sea with the order of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 528. But it was demolished by the Latin Crusaders. On the 14th century, in 1348, it was the Genoese, who had a semi-independence from the Byzantines constructed a gorgeous tower on the site and called the Tower of Christ, and it also had been part of their fortification.

During the Ottoman period and reign of the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566), the tower used as a prison (16th century), and afterwards as the accommodation place for the Ottoman military band (18th century), as a fire tower (19th century).

Galata Tower also has an important story and event from the year 1638 that; according to Evliya Celebi, a renowned Ottoman historian and traveler, a man named Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi managed to fly from the Galata Tower’s top (European side) to the Uskudar coast (Asian side) with a home-made artificial wings. And this flight is considered to be the first intercontinental flight in the world. After the flight, in order to reward Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi, Sultan Murad IV sent him to exile in Algeria. :)

Galata Tower Attractions

Today, Galata Tower serves as a popular tourist sight, that its observatory deck has a 360 degrees view of Istanbul. There are two elevators in the entrance that takes you to the top.



We Highly Recommend These Fantastic Night-time Activities


There is also a cafe and restaurant (Galata Tower Restaurant) on top that visitors may have Turkish breakfast and meals in the company of excellent views, and a souvenir shop in the entrance of the tower.

Visitors may also spend great day out at the recently restored small square around the Galata Tower, along the couple of lovely outdoor cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops.

As well as strolling along the narrow streets, especially the famous Galip Dede ramp leading the Tunnel square and Istiklal Street. There are variety of lovely craft, souvenir and music shops as well as a couple of art galleries along the Galip Dede ramp that you may enjoy.

Visiting Tips

Why is Galata Tower famous?

Galata Tower is famous for its iconic presence on Istanbul’s skyline and its rich historical significance. Dating back to the medieval period, the tower has served various purposes throughout the centuries, including as a watchtower, prison, and observatory. Its strategic location provides breathtaking panoramic views of Istanbul, making it a must-visit landmark for locals and tourists alike.

Is Galata Tower worth it?

Absolutely, Galata Tower is worth a visit. Beyond its historical importance, the tower offers one of the best vantage points to admire Istanbul’s beauty. The immersive experience of ascending the tower and witnessing the city from its observation deck is both memorable and rewarding.

Is there a dress code for Galata Tower?

There isn’t a strict dress code for Galata Tower. However, it’s recommended to dress comfortably, considering that you might climb stairs to reach the top. Given its historical context, modest attire is generally respectful.

How long do you spend at the Galata Tower?

The amount of time spent at Galata Tower depends on individual preferences. Exploring the tower, enjoying the views, and possibly having a meal or a drink at the cafe within can take approximately 1 to 2 hours.


How to get tickets for Galata Tower?

Tickets for Galata Tower can be purchased at the entrance. Many visitors also opt to buy tickets online to save time, especially during peak hours. Online platforms and travel agencies often offer convenient ticketing options. See them below.

Can you enter the Galata Tower for free?

Entrance to Galata Tower is not typically free, and there is an admission fee. It’s a popular tourist attraction, and the fee contributes to the maintenance and preservation of this historical site.

What time should I visit the Galata Tower?

To enjoy the best views and potentially avoid large crowds, consider visiting Galata Tower early in the morning or during weekdays. Sunset is another popular time, providing a spectacular backdrop as the city lights up.

Do you need a tour guide for Galata Tower?

While a tour guide isn’t necessary to appreciate Galata Tower, having one can add historical context and interesting stories to your visit. Guides can enhance your understanding of the tower’s role in Istanbul’s history and make the experience more enriching. See them below.

Visiting Hours & Admissions

Opening Hours

Open every day between 08:30-23:59.

Galata Tower restaurant is open between 20:00-22:00

Ticket Price

Please check hours and admissions from muze.gen.tr

Where to Buy Galata Tower Tickets

You can buy Galata Tower tickets at ticket window on location. Keep in mind that you’ll face with a crowd and waiting in the line for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

We recommend you buy your tickets online. This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get tickets to Galata Tower.

We put the links to the official buying channels below. Just pick your date and time and skip the lines.

Galata Tower Ticket Options and Prices

There are several options:

  • Buy directly at the ticket window on location.
  • Buy Galata Tower only guided tours.

We recommend you to book the Galata Tower tickets for the week days. The weekends will be more crowded with the Istanbul locals.

General Admission Tickets

The skip the line access tickets, plus walking tour around the area with a guide (see below) seems to be some expensive.

You should consider on your own would it worth to pay that amount to save yourself from 30 minutes to 1 hour waiting in the line, plus having a Galata neighborhood walking tour with a guide. We guess it would!

Fast Track Entry Tickets + Guided Tours

This is the best option we recommend especially for first time visitors. And we always recommend opting for an extended English guided tour offered exclusively by several historian guides of Istanbul.

When you book  you’ll get an email confirmation with meeting details (in front of the Galata Tower) and there your name being checked from the official guide’s list with your confirmation number.

See below the recommended Galata Tower guided tour with fast track entry. Here we only suggest the proven ways and top rated ones with travelers’ comments. You can feel free to book one of the below top selling tours for Galata Tower.

Galata Tower Skip-the-Line Ticket and Audio Guide

Embark on a visual feast with a skip-the-line ticket to the iconic Galata Tower and witness Istanbul’s breathtaking panorama unfold before your eyes. Exchange your voucher effortlessly, bypassing long queues, and await the express elevator that will elevate you to the summit of this nearly 700-year-old marvel.

As you ascend, an enchanting audio guide narrates the tower’s rich history, immersing you in the tales of bygone eras. At the top, a Romanesque-style spectacle unveils itself, offering unobstructed vistas of Istanbul and its historical peninsula.

Marvel at the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, each a testament to the city’s storied past. Let the audio guide transport you back to the ancient Byzantine Empire, unraveling the tales that echo through the ages.

On the deck, relish a 360-degree view of Istanbul’s architectural wonders, historical landmarks, and natural beauty. Indoors or outdoors, balconies beckon you to absorb the grandeur from every conceivable angle. Step outside, feel the invigorating breeze, and let your gaze stretch across the turquoise waters of the Bosphorus Strait and the expansive Marmara Sea.

Included:

  • Galata Tower skip-the-line ticket
  • Elevator access to the top
  • Access to the optional audio guide app
  • Unlimited time to explore inside

Buy Galata Tower Skip-the-Line Ticket and Audio Guide

How to Get to Galata Tower?

Location

Galata Tower is situated in between Galata and Karakoy neighborhoods, not far from the Karakoy shore and Galata Bridge. See the location map.

Transportation

The most practical way to get to Galata Tower is via Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line).

  • The closest tram stop is Karakoy.
  • For the ones who stay in the Taksim and Galata hotels, than you easily walk to the Galata Tower.
  • From the end of the Istiklal Street, on the Tunel Square, you can walk downwards from the Galip Dede Street or take the Tunel-Karakoy funicular (F2 line) to get to Karakoy and take a short walk.
  • From Sultanahmet, you should take the Bagcilar-Kabatas Tram from the Sultanahmet stop and get off at the Karakoy stop and take a short walk.
  • From Kadikoy, on the Asian side, you may take the ferries operating to Karakoy and from there you may take a short walk.

Note: Driving to Galata Tower is not recommending that you hardly can find an empty parking area located close to the Galata Tower.

Contact Details

Address: Buyuk Hendek road, No: 2, Galata, Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 293 57 07

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