Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi)

#13 in Best Things To Do in Istanbul
Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) picture
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Key Info

Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galata Kulesi

Details

Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.4

scorecard

  • 3.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

For perhaps the best view of Istanbul from Beyoglu, head up the Galata Tower. This landmark crowns the hill opposite the Golden Horn and was once used as a jail. After a copula was added during a 1960s restoration, this historic structure's observation deck opened to visitors. A restaurant and nightclub are also available at the top.

Travelers praise the Galata Tower's jaw-dropping vistas and historical charm, however, several were disappointed with the attraction's pricey admissions – adult tickets are $25 Turkish lira ($7). Others bemoaned the long wait times to get to the top but said you can avoid crowds if you arrive early.

The Galata Tower is open every day from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. It sits near the Sishane metro station, Karaköy's ferry terminals and the Istasyonu and Tophane tram stops.

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#1 Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii)

Sultan Ahmed I was determined to build a mosque that rivaled the nearby Hagia Sophia, and most would agree that he accomplished this task – or, at least, came close. Since the early 1600s, the Blue Mosque has been quite the sight to behold, with an array of domes, semidomes and minarets (or narrow towers). It's also one of the biggest tourist draws in Istanbul.

Visitors say this mosque offers "stunning architecture inside and out." It can, however, get busy, so consider arriving early. And remember, the Blue Mosque is an active religious site, so dress conservatively. Women should wear headscarves, as is custom. If you forgot to bring one, you can borrow one from the mosque.

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