ABOUT FREE TOUR TAKSIM AND GALATA
Free Tour Taksim and Galata starts in front of the Republic Monument at Taksim Square at 10:30 am every day. The tour lasts around 2,5 hours and finishes in front of the Galata Tower.
Just come to the meeting 10 minutes before our tour starts! Look out for the red umbrellas at the meeting point. Our free tour guides with red umbrellas will be waiting for you in front of the Republic Monument. The free walking tours of Taksim and Galata run every day in all weather conditions, rain or shine.
Free Tour Taksim and Galata covers many attractions in Taksim Square, Istiklal Street and the historic neighborhood of Galata, including Maksem Cistern, Church of Saint Anthony of Padua, the Aga Mosque, the Passage of Flowers, the Fish Market, the Galata Whirling Dervishes Hall and the Galata Tower.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR
- Marvel at the neo-classical European heritage buildings in Taksim neighborhood
- Visit the Church of St. Anthony and The Greek Orthodox Church
- Walk along Istiklal Street and explore the art galleries, cafes, restaurants and shops
- Visit Taksim Maksem Cistern from which the district had its name
- Learn about the 129-year-old Pera Palace Hotel and its famous guests
- Be introduced to the life of whirling dervishes and philosophy of Sufism
- Visit Flower Passage and The Fish Market
- See the iconic Galata Tower and learn about its history
- Professional English-speaking guide
- Istanbul city map
What’s not included
- Tip for the guide
- Donations to the churches (optional)
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off
FREE TOUR TAKSIM AND GALATA: WITNESS THE CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Free Tour Taksim and Galata is an excellent chance to witness the cultural and religious diversity in Istanbul. Istanbul is a meeting point between East and West, Asia and Europe, history and today. It is an imperial city that served as the capital of three powerful empires: Roman, Byzantium and the Ottoman. Taksim and Galata neighborhoods offer intense diversity of cultures in this timeless city.
Join us on our free walking tour of Taksim and Galata to witness the different tastes of cultures, nationalities and religions in this cosmopolitan city. Free walking tour of Taksim and Galata offers an amazing experience that will live in your memories of Istanbul for years to come.
Discover the living memories of different cultures and religions
During your free tour of Taksim and Galata, you will see many historical landmarks that signify the cultural and religious diversity of Istanbul. Taksim has always been a melting pot for different religions. There are various churches, synagogues, temples and mosques in this area. On your free walking tour of Taksim and Galata, you will visit two churches: The Church of St. Anthony and The Greek Orthodox Church. You will also see two mosques: the Aga Mosque and the Taksim Mosque which is still under construction.
The Church of St. Anthony of Padua is the largest Catholic temple in the city of Istanbul. This church is still fully functioning. The Greek Orthodox Church is known as The Hagia Triada (Holy Trinity) and it is the biggest Greek Orthodox temple in Istanbul today. The Huseyin Aga Mosque, known as the Aga Mosque, is a small mosque which dates back to the 16th century. Taksim Mosque will be one of the landmarks of Taksim Square once its construction is complete.
While marveling at the stunning religious structures, you will hear about how which these religions coexist in harmony in Istanbul for centuries. On this tour, you will also see Galata Whirling Dervishes Hall (Galata Mevlevihanesi) and learn about the Sema ceremony that dates back to the 13th century.
Dig deep into the history: From Pera to Beyoglu
A walk through Istiklal Street is a great chance to dig deep into the history. The 19th century is a milestone century for the Ottoman Empire as the society slipped into a period of Westernization during this century. Pera, a European neighborhood in the Ottoman Empire, emerged as the symbol of this movement.
On the original free tour of Taksim and Galata, you will see some of the landmarks of this era. You will marvel at the European-style buildings on Istiklal Street. You will walk past the Genoese, Jewish and European heritage buildings. The Pera Palace Hotel is one of these iconic buildings. You will marvel at this stunning structure which is a combination of neo-classical, art nouveau and oriental styles. It is the first and most famous hotel known in Istanbul. One of its renowned constant guests was Agatha Christie who is said to have written her famous novel “Murder on the Orient Express” in her hotel room in Pera Palace.
You will learn the history of the nostalgic tramway that runs down Istiklal Street. If you are lucky, you might take a nice selfie with the tramway. Keep in mind that Istiklal Street is one of the most instagrammable places in Istanbul thanks to this nostalgic tramway.
Without any doubts, the Galata Tower is one of the most visited attractions of Istanbul. The free tour Taksim and Galata ends in front of the Galata Tower which is a medieval stone tower in Galata neighborhood. This Genoese tower offers a panoramic vista of the old city of Istanbul. You will learn about the history and legends of the Galata Tower.
Experience contemporary life in Istanbul
During your free tour of Taksim and Galata, you will get the excellent chance to learn about the contemporary life in Istanbul. This neighborhood is full of cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and art galleries.
Your free tour guide will take you popular places such as Flower Passage and The Fish Market. The Flower Passage started life as a popular theatre in 1800s and then converted into shops after a big fire. After the Russian revolution in 1917, people from Russia moved to Istanbul and acquired the new shops at the passage to sell flowers. Later, these shops became traditional Turkish bars, meyhane. Today, the passage is colorful and lively with many restaurants and bars where you can relax.
Another stop on Free Tour Taksim and Galata is The Fish Market, located behind the Flower Passage. It is a popular market for buying fresh fish. Here, you will taste stuffed mussels with aromatic rice, herbs and spices. Your guide will inform you about the traditional Turkish cuisine.
There will be many flavors and spices that you would like to try. Your guide will give you insider tips on where to find the best food at the most affordable price.