The Galata Tower is one of the most prominent landmarks in the city on the European Side, located in Old Pera (Beyoglu) district. It is open everyday from 9.00 to 18.00 to climb up to the observation deck. There is a restaurant on the top of the tower where you can enjoy a traditional Turkish Night.
Originally known as the “Tower of Christ”, it was built in 1348 in connection with the first expansion of the Genoese Colony. The first fortified area, walled in as early as 1304, was a long, narrow rectangle along the Golden Horn between today’s two bridges over the Golden Horn.
In the 17th century, an Ottoman citizen, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi attempted to fly from Galata Tower to Asian Shore of Üsküdar and he worked on his project for years. With the wings he invented, he succeded to fly to his target and this was a great success of that time. It was used as an observation tower and constituted an important part of their defense system. It was used as a fire observation tower till 1960s, and later restored and converted to a touristic attraction.
The observation deck is spectacular, it gives one the opportunity of a 360 degrees of vision. You can observe the Asian Side, the highest point of Istanbul, the Bosphorus, the Bophorus Bridge, the harbour for the cruise ships, the Golden Horn, the old Galata settlement with rather poor neighborhoods, Süleymaniye Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapı Palace, Spice Bazaar, New Mosque and the Golden Horn.