Galata Tower: the most beautiful viewpoint in Istanbul?
The viewing platform on the top of the 68-meter-high Galata Tower is one of the most beautiful viewpoints of Istanbul’s old town Sultanahmet, the Golden Horn and the Bosporus.
The tower is one of the fixed points in Istanbul’s sightseeing program.
That’s why I would like to introduce it to you in more detail.
The Galata Tower stands atop a hill in the northern part of the Golden Horn. The height of the tower, built in 528 under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, towers over all the other surrounding buildings.
This makes it easy to notice from almost all the downtown districts of Istanbul.
So just because of its striking appearance in the Istanbul skyline, you get the idea that it is a great vantage point.
The rest of its notoriety is the clever marketing for the restaurant and cafe at the top of the tower.
Its notoriety has made the Galata Tower one of the most visited attractions in Istanbul. Accordingly, many visitors queue up every day to enjoy the view from its top. Of course, this is reflected in the waiting times at its entrance.
The first thing you do is queue for 20 minutes at the entrance to the tower. Then there is the queue at the ticket counter and the queue at the elevator to the tower. In total, it usually takes 30 to 45 minutes until you find yourself standing on the viewing platform.
The long waiting time is due to the viewing platform at the top of the tower, which is only half a meter wide. Together with the restaurant and cafe inside the tower, there simply isn’t room for that many people.
It is best to visit the Galata Tower in the morning. The waiting times are shorter and you can have breakfast with a wonderful view of Istanbul in the tower’s restaurant or cafe.
On the viewing platform: You have a 360 ° view of Istanbul from the Galata Tower
The lift to the Galata Tower brings you two floors below the viewing platform. From there, you will have to walk up a spiral staircase. The restaurant is located on the penultimate floor. The viewing platform runs on the outside of the cafe on the top floor.
The viewing platform and the windows from the restaurant and cafe offer you a wonderful, 360 ° view of Istanbul. All the sights of the city can be seen from there.
1. South: Sultanahmet old town
View of the old town Sultanahmet, with the Golden Horn, Galata Bridge, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara in the background. Even the Prince’s Islands, located twenty kilometres east of the Bosporus, can be seen clearly from the tower.
2. West: The Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a bay on the Bosporus. It separates the old quarter of Sultanahmet from Galata.
3. North: The Beyoglu district
Beyoglu is the “young” and “hip” part of Istanbul. The Istiklal Cadessi shopping street and Taksim Square can be found in the area. Behind it, you can see the skyscrapers of the Istanbul skyline.
4. East: Bosporus and the Asian side of Istanbul
The Asian side of Istanbul with the Bosporus and the Bosporus Bridge in the background. On the western side of the strait, the Dolmabahce Palace can be seen.
Tips for a trip to the Galata Tower
You cannot pay in euros at the entrance. That’s why you should change your money beforehand.
The queues at the tower can be very long. It just doesn’t fit that many people on the narrow viewing platform at its top. It’s best to visit the Galata Tower in the morning.
The closest public transport to the Galata Tower is the F1 funicular at Beyoglu stop or Metro 2 at Sishane station.
Reader’s question: What is your opinion on the Galata Tower? Are there any nicer views facing the old town of Istanbul?