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Galata Bridge
Holiday Travel Guide

Walk across this historic bridge to spot famous Istanbul landmarks and watch the sunset from a bar full of Turkish men contemplating life while sharing a water pipe.

The Galata Bridge is an historic bridge that crosses the Golden Horn inlet, connecting Istanbul’s Old City with the northern districts. Follow the locals who cross between the two districts in droves and pause to spot famous city landmarks and to enjoy a spectacular sunset.

Leonardo da Vinci created the first design for a bridge at this location in 1502; however, it was considered to be too ambitious. The locals had to wait until 1854 for a bridge to connect the Old City with the northern suburbs. The current, fifth version of the Galata Bridge has two levels, spans 1,600 feet (490 meters) and was built in 1994.

Any time of day you can see the locals cross over on foot, by car or in a tram. Watch fishermen cast a line into the water below. Negotiate with street vendors for a good price for a snack or souvenir. Find a space between the fishermen for the unique opportunity to look west toward Europe and east toward Asia.

Walk down to the bridge’s lower level to find teahouses, bars and restaurants. You’ll also find traditional cafés, where you can try the Turkish nargile or hookah. Smoking the water pipe stoked up with aromatic tobacco is an acquired taste, but the local men clearly love it. Take a seat at an outdoor terrace and look out over Istanbul’s seven hills and the Golden Horn. A good time to visit the bridge is at sunset, when the city’s mosques and bazaars are silhouetted against the backdrop of a reddening sky.

Don’t miss the attractions at either end of the bridge. Go to the southern end to shop for spices and nuts, cheeses and meats at the Egyptian Market and to visit the so-called New Mosque, which actually dates back to 1597. At the northern end you’ll find a busy fish market, where you can eat the famous Galata Bridge fish sandwich.

An alternative way to see the bridge is to step aboard one of the passenger ferries that travel between the docks at Eminönü and Karaköy.

Top things to do in Galata Bridge

Top 10 Hotels Near Galata Bridge

The Marmara Pera
The Marmara Pera
4 out of 5
Mesrutiyet Cad. Tepebasi, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM249 per night from 12 Mar to 13 Mar

This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the entertainment district, within a 15-minute walk of Galata Tower and Mixer. Taksim Square and Suleymaniye ...

4/5Very Good! (970 reviews)

"The view of the hotel is excellent. The rooms are cleaned on a daily basis, the staff are cheerful at all times and they have 24 hour room service"…"

Reviewed on 22 Nov 2020

The Marmara Pera
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
5 out of 5
Visnezade Mah. Acisu Sok. NO. 19, Macka Besiktas, Istanbul, Istanbul
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is RM765 per night from 9 Mar to 10 Mar

This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the historical district, within 1 mi (2 km) of City's Nişantaşı Shopping Center, Dolmabahce Palace and Taksim ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (945 reviews)

"Staff were excellent, friendly and cooperative Location was off crowded areas but accessible But rooms were very small , and the hotel is rather short in height. Numbers can be deceiving"…"

Reviewed on 5 Mar 2021

Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
5 out of 5
Suzer Plaza, Askerocagi Caddesi, No:6, Elmadag/Sisli, Istanbul
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is RM796 per night from 9 Mar to 10 Mar

Located in Taksim, this luxury hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Taksim Square, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque. Taşkışla Cable Car Station ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (352 reviews)

"Old World elegance, which can still be experienced at The Ritz Carlton Istanbul, is simply a pricesless experience"…"

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2021

The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Galata Bridge

Galata Bridge

Top Galata Bridge Hotel Deals

The Marmara Pera
The Marmara Pera
4 out of 5
Mesrutiyet Cad. Tepebasi, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM249 per night from 12 Mar to 13 Mar
The Marmara Pera
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
5 out of 5
Visnezade Mah. Acisu Sok. NO. 19, Macka Besiktas, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM765 per night from 9 Mar to 10 Mar
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
5 out of 5
Suzer Plaza, Askerocagi Caddesi, No:6, Elmadag/Sisli, Istanbul
The price is RM796 per night from 9 Mar to 10 Mar
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
Levni Hotel & Spa
Levni Hotel & Spa
4.5 out of 5
Ankara Caddesi No: 12 Sirkeci, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM249 per night from 8 Mar to 9 Mar
Levni Hotel & Spa
Sultanahmet Nu Hotel
Sultanahmet Nu Hotel
Binbirdirek Mahallesi, Dizdariye Yokusu Sokak no 6, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM65 per night from 12 Mar to 13 Mar
Sultanahmet Nu Hotel
Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class
Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class
4 out of 5
Piyer Loti Cad No:7, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM248 per night from 8 Mar to 9 Mar
Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class
Pera Palace Hotel
Pera Palace Hotel
5 out of 5
Mesrutiyet Cad. No. 52, Tepebasi Beyoglu, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM485 per night from 8 Mar to 9 Mar
Pera Palace Hotel
Legacy Ottoman Hotel
Legacy Ottoman Hotel
5 out of 5
Hobyar Mahallesi Hamidiye Cad. No: 16, Sirkeci, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM264 per night from 8 Mar to 9 Mar
Legacy Ottoman Hotel
The House Hotel Karakoy
The House Hotel Karakoy
5 out of 5
Emek yemez mh. Bankalar cd. No 5, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM529 per night from 8 Mar to 9 Mar
The House Hotel Karakoy
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.