A Guide of The Maiden's Tower in Istanbul

The Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi) was opened in 1725. It is also known as Leander's Tower since the medieval Byzantine period. Maiden's Tower is located at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m from the coast of Uskudar in Istanbul, Turkey.

Maiden's Tower istanbul

Maiden's Tower and the Seraglio Point

Maiden's tower - Kiz Kulesi Istanbul
Maiden's Tower at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus, with the Seraglio Point in the background.

Construction started : 1725

Maiden's Tower
The Maiden's Tower was constructed by Sultan Ahmed III (Tulip Era Sultan). Sultan Ahmed III was called as GAZI (The Warrior).

Its main contractor Damat Ibrahim Pasha. Maiden's Tower is 18 m (59 ft) in height, has 5 floors and 1 lift.

Where is Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi)?

Address: Salacak, Uskudar Salacak Mevkii, 34668 Uskudar / Istanbul

Maiden's Tower Map

Maiden's Tower Map

Maiden's Tower Opening Hours

Thursday 9:15AM – 7PM
Friday 9:15AM – 7PM
Saturday 9:15 AM – 7PM
Sunday 9:15AM – 7PM
Monday 9:15AM – 7PM
Tuesday 9:15AM – 7PM
Wednesday 9:15AM – 7PM

Phone: +90 216 3424747

What is the story of Maiden's Tower in Istanbul?

According to Turkish legend, a princess was locked in Maiden's Tower to protect her from being bitten by a snake. Come and learn other amazing facts and legends about Istanbul's most curious tower, erected around 340 BCE on an islet on the Bosphorus.

The Maiden's Tower has been used as a tax collection area, a defense tower, a lighthouse, a quarantine hospital during the 1830 cholera epidemic, and a radio station! Explore at your leisure and get amazing 360 views of Istanbul from the top.

Sunset with Maiden's Tower on Bosphorus

Sunset with Maiden's Tower on Bosphorus
Wonderful sunset with Maiden's tower on Bosphorus and view of historical peninsula. Maiden's tower is one of landmarks of Istanbul, Turkey

How to get Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi)?

In order to get to the Maiden's Tower, you need to get to the port of Üsküdar first, then walk by the sea side opposite to the Bosphorus bridge, until you are across the tower. Then, just wait for the boat that will take you to the Tower.

Aerial view of Maiden's Tower

Aerial view of Maiden's Tower
Aerial view of Maiden's Tower in Istanbul on the Bosphorus

Maiden's Tower Entrance Fee

Maiden's Tower ticket prices and before buy;

  • Adult (18+): EUR €10.00 each
  • Child (6-17): EUR €9.00 each
  • Kids under 6 can join for free, no ticket required
  • The Maiden's Tower is only accessible from the Asian side of Istanbul
  • The guide speaks English and Turkish

What's included?

  • Entrance to the Maiden's Tower
  • Boat transfer to the tower and back
  • English and Turkish-speaking guide (optional)

Important information

Boats run every day from 09:15 until 18:30 from Salacak, every 15 minutes.

Highlights of Maiden's Tower and What Things to do

  • Get astounding photo opportunities from an islet on the Bosphorus, it's just a quick ferry ride from Üsküdar!
  • Visit Maiden's Tower during the daytime and learn the history of one of Istanbul's most storied structures
  • Head to the cafe at the top (we must warn you, it's hard to get a seat!) and enjoy 360 views of Istanbul

The Maiden's Tower History

In 1110 Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus built a wooden tower protected by a stone wall.

During the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, the tower held a Byzantine garrison commanded by the Venetian Gabriele Trevisano.

It was destroyed during the earthquake of 1509, and burned in 1721.

Since then it was used as a lighthouse, and the surrounding walls were repaired in 1731 and 1734, until in 1763 it was erected using stone. From 1829 the tower was used as a quarantine station, and in 1832 was restored by Sultan Mahmud II. Restored again by the harbour authority in 1945, the most recent restoration began in 1998 for the James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough, and steel supports were added around the ancient tower as a precaution after the 17 August 1999 earthquake.

Maiden's Tower Today

The Maiden's Tower has a restaurant in the first floor and a café at the top of the tower.

Today, Kizkulesi is a very popular and classy restaurant and cafeteria-bar. It offers 360 degree views of the Bosphorus and the old city, especially at night.

In Popular Culture

  • It was featured in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, in the 1963 Bond film From Russia with Love.
  • It was featured in the film Hitman.
  • The tower was a point on the American reality game show The Amazing Race 7.
  • The tower was featured in the Turkish drama Kurtlar Vadisi.

Maiden's Tower Banknote

maiden tower 10 lira
Maiden's Tower on the reverse of the 10 lira banknote (1966–1981)

Author: Arif Cagrici