Istanbul Galata Tower History
Galata Tower Entrance Fee, Opening Hours and Short History
Galata Neighborhood is located on the northern part of Golden Horn. It’s a very popular place to stroll around. There is Galata Tower to watch 360 view of Istanbul.
There are many activities to do in the streets surrounding the Galata Tower. The Galata neighborhood is mentioned in all of my articles about shopping, breakfast and nightlife. In the following lines, I will give you some examples and link to detailed articles.
Galata Neighborhood in Byzantine Period
Certain mercantile privileges were granted to some Italian city states by Byzantine Empire. Among them, Venice and Genoese colonies took the lead.
The city was captured and sacked by the Crusaders, during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. When the city was recaptured from the invaders by the Byzantines in 1261, Genoese Colony had contributed militarily and Galata area was given them in return of their aid.
The Genoese took important part in sea trade of the city and covered Galata area with walls. Galata Tower, one of the important historical monuments in the city, was built by them in 1348. Galata Tower was simply a military watch tower for the Genoese to watch over the harbor.
Galata Located on the Northern Bank of Golden Horn
Galata Tower of Today
In the afternoons there are long ticket lines in front of the Galata Tower. Although the scenery at the top is beautiful, it is debatable whether it will be worth the price of 35 Turkish Lira.
If you do not want to wait in the long lines check out the nearby Galata Anemon Hotel’s terrace. The top floor of the hotel is also a good choice to take great pictures of Galata Tower and the Golden Horn.
Fast Track Tickets for Galata Tower
There is another way to visit the Galata Tower without waiting for a long time. GetYourGuide organizes a 75-minute walking tour with a licensed tour guide. The tour sold at a very reasonable price included a fast track ticket and a guided visit to the Galata Tower.
The guide also provides information about the historical places surrounding the Galata neighborhood during the walk. Your guide will take you to Karakoy, one of the most popular squares in Istanbul, with the 19th century Taksim Metro. If you are interested, you can buy the guided tour of Galata Tower from this link.
Golden Horn that Separates Galata and Old City
Places to See Near Galata Tower
After visiting the Galata Tower, you can choose three different routes to explore the area. One of these is Buyuk Hendek Street, the other is Serdar-i Ekrem Street and the last one is Galip Dede Street.
If you want to go into details on this topic, I recommend you to read Things to do in Galata. However, the following lines will give you an overview.
Buyuk Hendek Street
One of the most important synagogues of the city, Neve Shalom, is located in Buyuk Hendek Street. Jewish Museum of Turkey also within the synagogue complex. The museum tells you the story of Jewish people being forced to migrate by Spanish Monarchs in the 15th century. They were welcomed by the Ottomans and inhabited in Balat Neighborhood.
If you follow the Buyuk Hendek Street, you will reach Sishane Square. Next to this square is Mesrutiyet Street, where historical hotels such as Pera Palace are located. This street stretches parallel to Istiklal Street, the most famous walking path of the region. Some of the main tourist attractions such as Pera Museum, Istanbul Modern and Mikla Restaurant are located on the Mesrutiyet Street.
Serdar-i Ekrem Street
This street stretches from Galata Tower to Cihangir direction and it houses shops that sell some specially designed products. These places present goods that are used in daily life in creative ways and they will definitely attract the attention of shopping fans. Moreover, some of the best coffee shops in Istanbul can also be found on this street.
If you walk towards the Cihangir neighborhood through this street, you can see Turkey’s Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence. Cukurcuma, which is also a street in the Cihangir neighborhood, is famous for its antique shops.
Galip Dede Street
It is easy to reach Istiklal Street from Galata Tower. When you take Galata Tower on your behind and follow Galip Dede Street on the northern direction, you will arrive at Tunnel Square. This is the beginning of Istiklal Street.
Along the Galip Dede Street, there are souvenir shops, hostels, cafes, painting workshops and musical instrument shops. At the corner where Galip Dede Street meets Istiklal Street, there is Galata Mevlevi House Museum.
Mevlevi House Museum is the best place to watch the Whirling Derwish Show along with Hodjapasha Cultural Center. It is also a museum introducing Rumi who lived in Anatolia in the 13th century. Rumi is the religious leader who created the philosophy of Sufism.
Galata Tower History, Ticket Price and Hours
Galata Tower Entrance Fee 2020
The entrance fee for Galata Tower is 35 Turkish Liras as of 2020. Admission is free for children under 7 years. Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid at the entrance of Galata Tower.
Galata Tower Opening Hours 2020
The Galata Tower is open from 9:00 am in the morning to 7:00 pm in the evening. The Galata Tower is open 7 days a week. If you don’t want to spend time in the queue at the entrance to the Galata Tower, I suggest you visit before noon.
How to Get to Galata Tower from Old City?
Tram is the best means of transportation for those coming by Sultanahmet. From Sultanahmet tram station, you can take the tram to Kabatas. After crossing the Galata Bridge, get off at Karakoy Tram Station and walk to Galata Tower in 10 minutes. However, the road from Karakoy to Galata Tower is a bit inclined.
Alternatively, you can take a one-stop subway called Tunel from Karakoy and go to Tunnel Square (beginning of Istiklal Street). From Tunnel Square, you can walk downhill to Galata Tower and reach the destination without getting tired.
Galata Tower is within walking distance for those coming from Beyoglu districts such as Taksim Square, Pera, Cihangir and Istiklal Street.