Galata Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey

Last Updated on July 8, 2022

Galata Bridge is the heart of Istanbul, spanning the Golden Horn from Karaköy on the north to Old Istanbul, centered on Sultanahmet, on the south.

Crossing the bridge you look west toward Europe and east across the Bosphorus to Üsküdar and Asia.

Right at the northern end is Karaköy (Galata), a Genoese colony during Byzantine times.

Galata Bridge & Tower, Istanbul, Turkey

Beneath Galata Tower, anglers catch fish from the top deck of Galata Bridge while diners eat fish below

It is said that Sultan Beyazid II commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to design a bridge to span the Golden Horn in 1503, only 50 years after the city was captured from the Byzantines. The great artist and engineer did the design, but alas the bridge was never built.

The present Galata Bridge, built in 1992, replaced a much-loved pontoon bridge dating from 1912 that gently swayed and rolled as the seas moved beneath it.

Passenger ferryboats leave from Karaköy for Haydarpasa Station (terminus for Asian/Anatolian trains) and the bedroom suburb of Kadiköy.

At the southern end is Eminönü, with the Egyptian (Spice) Market, the New Mosque (Yeni Cami), and Sirkeci station (terminus for trains from Europe).

Ferries depart the Eminönü docks for Üsküdar, the Bosphorus, and the Princes Islands. Car ferries cross the Bosphorus to Harem, between Üsküdar and Haydarpaşa.

View of Galata Bridge, with labels

Looking south from Galata Tower over Galata Bridge toward Eminönü and Old Istanbul.

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