Stretched across the Golden Horn, the Galata Bridge connects the shores of Istanbul’s historical peninsula with the Karakoy and Galata neighborhoods. Though the presence of the bridge started in 1845, the current structure dates only to 1994. Fishermen line the atmospheric bridge day and night, trying to haul in their daily catch.
Though the current Galata Bridge is the fifth version of the structure, the desire to cross the Golden Horn on foot goes back to Byzantine times. The Galata Bridge unites the Sultanahmet neighborhood, with its imperial mosques and Topkapi Palace, to the traditionally mercantile and shipping areas near the Karakoy port.
Many private and small-group Istanbul tours that cross the Galata Bridge also stop at the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, Galata Tower, the Karakoy neighborhood, and the Hagia Sophia.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Galata Bridge is a must-see for all first-time visitors to Istanbul.
- The bridge is a great spot for watching the ferry boats crossing the Bosphorus, and taking in the city’s mosque-dotted skyline at sunset.
- Wear comfortable shoes as you walk across the bridge and through the city.
How to Get There
Galata Bridge connects Istanbul’s central transit hubs of Eminonu and Karakoy, and is walking distance from the historical neighborhood of Sultanahmet. To get to the bridge on public transportation, take a taxi, bus, ferry, or tram to the Eminonu or Karakoy stop.
When to Get There
Galata Bridge is usually full of activity, but is quieter in the morning. Arrive early to watch the fishermen and stroll without the crowds. During the day, the bridge is a busy transit way for people walking or driving between Eminonu and Karakoy, and it’s particularly lovely at sunset.
What to See From the Bridge
Due to its central location, the Galata Bridge offers stunning views of many of Istanbul’s historical sites. Look toward the Old City to see the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. See the New Mosque in Eminonu Square and Suleymaniye Mosque rising above it. To the northeast, spot Galata Tower perched above its namesake neighborhood. And of course, peer down the Bosphorus and its numerous ferry and other boats below.