Hg2 : The Hedonist

Galata Tower

Built in 1348 by the Genoese whose settlement lived in its shadow, the heavy cylindrical form of the Galata Tower was converted by the Ottomans into a prison for captives taken in battle. Nowadays, the leg-irons are gone but its Turkish management (possibly direct descendants of the original jailors) still inflicts punishment on foreigners in the form of a nightly theatrical ‘touristic’ entertainment, which includes harem shows and belly-dancing. However, if you visit during the day you can avoid its clutches and instead enjoy the fabulous 360-degree views, arguably some of the finest in the city. While you’re up there, spare a thought for poor Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi, who in 1630 slipped on a pair of homemade wings and swooped down over the city landing, it is claimed, in distant Üsküdar across the Bosphorus. New ideas were considered dangerous in the Ottoman court, however, and Sultan Murad IV had Çelebi exiled and the theory of flight banished for several centuries.

Galata Square,
+90 212 293 8180
Opening Times
daily, 9am-8pm
Explore this venue in our app

Sign up for our newsletter

We'd love to keep you up-to-date with what's really going on around the world, from the hottest new restaurants and mind-blowingly beautiful hotels, to thumping underground clubs and world-class art galleries. Sign up to learn more - we promise you it'll be worth it...


Follow Us