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. There is an elevator and two floors to walk up.
The tower was the focus of the Genoese fortifications of Medieval Galata. Originally known asGalata Tower 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. On the 17th C, an Ottoman citizen, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi attempted to fly from Galata Tower to Asian Shore of Uskudar 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. It is 61 meters, 183 ft. tall. From the deck, one 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, the Suleiman's Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace, the Spice Market, the New Mosque, the Halic (Golden Horn) settlements, the new part of the town, Beyoglu(old Pera) and so on...In order to see Istanbul's four different sides, one must go and visit the tower. It is being restored but still open to visit.