7 of the Most Impressive Fortresses and Towers in Istanbul

You can find out our ultimate guide on the most impressive fortresses, castles and towers in Istanbul to visit and see. From Galata Tower to Rumeli Fortress, the city has plenty to offer for outdoor activities and culture lovers.

1. Rumeli Fortress

Rumeli Fortress (Rumelihisari), a mighty castle, rises over one of the narrowest stretches of the Bosphorus, is among the favourite spots to go for breakfast, gaze at the scenery, and appreciate the fort, especially after the rush and bustle of Sultanahmet.

panorama of beautiful fortress of Rumeli on a sunset, Istanbul

The Rumeli region is calm and restful, and the breakfasts are delicious! Also serving as a museum, this is a must-see attraction in this unique city!

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2. Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is undoubtedly one of the most famous monuments in Istanbul, providing the most spectacular views of the whole city. It offers stunning views over the entire Istanbul peninsula and its surrounds and is located at the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.

Aerial evening shot of the Galata Tower in Istanbul, Turkey. Aerial view of landmark at golden hour with beautiful sunlight.

It is also one of Istanbul’s most prominent attractions, overlooking Galata and Karakoy from its perch. Its brilliant lights can be seen from all across the city at night.

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3. Maiden’s Tower

A tower situated between two continents, Asia and Europe, a tower with many stories to tell, many things that entice visitors to learn more about this magnificent structure. The Maiden’s Tower is probably one of the most world-renowned and historical sights of Istanbul. A must-see place for travelers coming to Istanbul.

The Maiden’s Tower in the Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey

During the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods, the island was used for surveillance and base purposes, as well as various towers were built. The building, which was used by the military to control maritime traffic during the Republican period, has undergone various renovations. Today, it serves as a restaurant and museum for its visitors upon its restoration process. Various events are also held at the tower.

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4. Anadolu Fortress

Anadolu Fortress is located on the shores of the Bosphorus on the Asian side, along the in Beykoz district. The historical fortress was built by Sultan Beyazıt in 1395, at the point where Göksu Stream meets the sea and at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus strait.

The structure consists of a small castle and ramparts and was built as one of the most beautiful examples of Ottoman architecture in order to control the transit passages in the Bosphorus.

5. Yoros and Imros Castles

The Yoros and Imros Castles is located along the Beykoz district, that were built mutually at the junction of the Black Sea and the Bosphorus. The castles were used for military and commercial purposes. The castles used to serve for Byzantines remained under the protection of the Genoese when the Eastern Rome was weak. The castles were also conquered by the Ottomans in the 14th century.

The castles also impress their visitors with their magnificent scenery of the Bosphorus and Black Sea. You are able to spend a great morning at the Yoros Cafe with a great breakfast with the magnificent views.

6. Beyazit Tower

Beyazit Tower is a popular one located in the Beyazit neighborhood of the historical peninsular that was built in 1749 to monitor and report the fires. The tower has a height of 85 meters.

7. Sile Ocakli Castle

Sile Ocakli Castle has a 2,000 years of history. It is one of the cultural assets of the Genoese in the Sile district of Istanbul. The 12-meter-high castle is made of white limestone. Upon the latest restoration of the castle, now it looks like the “Sponge Bob” 🙂


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