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Maiden's Tower

One of the most iconic images of Istanbul is surely the beautiful Kız Kulesi located in Üsküdar district's shoreline. It is known as Maiden's Tower in English. The beauty of this gorgeous architecture is being at the middle of Bosphorus historic peninsula. Thus gives an epical panaromic view mixed with other iconic images of Istanbul.

The first tower was built by the Athenian general Alcibiades on a rock at the entrance of Bosphorus in order to control the water way back at 5th century. A chain was pulled from the land to the tower to mark as a checkpoint of customs area for ships. The tower was made of wood and stone firstly, by 12th century Byzantine Emperor Alexius built a strong defense tower. During the Ottoman era the tower had been used for multiple purposes such as lighthouse, hospital, custom service, arsenal and many more...And nowadays it is being used as a restaurant at lower level, a museum and a cafe at the tower section.

As being on a very important location in history the Maiden's Tower has legends that we locals love to talk about. If you visit the museum inside the tower, you will have the opprtunity of living these legends by visuals consists of pictures, story tellers, overhead reflectors of animations of legends. One of the most I like among all tales, is about the girl of Byzantine Emperor. It had been fortuned that at her 18th birthday she will be killed by a snake. Therefore the Emperor sends her daughter away from main land so that no snakes can reach her. However at the 18th birthday, a basket full of grapes was being delivered to Maiden's Tower, which a snake secretly got into it. Sadly, the faith finds her anyway which had been told by the fortune teller. You can learn other legends at the historical ambiance in Maiden's Tower.

Maiden's Tower is also used as an iconic symbol at popular culture such as movies and computer games. The most remarkable featuring is a James Bond movie series in 1999; "The World is not Enough". 

How can Families get to Maiden's Tower?

You can have a boat either from Kabataş or from Salacak in Uskudar. Salacak is just cross the Maiden's Tower, where you can get to tower by sea shuttles less than 5 minutes, as by Kabataş in 10 minutes. The fare tickets are 20 TLs for each person.

You can also get Marmaray from Yenikapı and stop at Uskudar metro station.

Please see the google maps for location

Where to eat around Maiden's Tower with the kids?

The one and only suggestion is to have your meal at "Filizler Köfte", which is just across the street. We locals love these small Turkish style meatballs and some salad mixed with white beans. This place has also a beautiful scenery with the Maiden's tower, don't miss that ;) For location please see the link.

Of course there are more other places in Uskudar which is at least 15 minutes walk away from Maiden's Tower with kids. There are small restaurants which are serving Turkish home style meals. I suggest you to find "Özbolu Lokantası", follow the link for location.

There are buffets nearby the ferry port which you can have sausage sandwiches or other fast foods products.

The last option is having meal at Maiden's Tower's Restaurant, which is expensive. Additionally there is a cafe at tower of Maiden's which you can have drink and your kids can enjoy here hot chocolate.

A last local mom suggestion is have your Turkish style steamed tea and "simit" at tea house serving on the steps of panoramic view of Maiden's Tower during sunset.  "Simit" is a Turkish style bagel with seeds on it.

How about visiting info

Maiden's Tower is open for 365 days a year between 09.00 am - 19.00 pm.

Entrance fee for adults: 25 TL
                 for students:  15 TL

You can have the fare tickets from the ticket booth just cross the Maiden's Tower.

Some sightsee of mom tips for families

  • I suggest you to have a sightsee through Uskudar's historic streets to find the now and the past local living style.
  • You can have meal at Özbolu Restaurant, afterwards walk from the shoreline of Uskudar to Salacak Bay where the Maiden's Tower is located.
  • Take your sea shuttle to Maiden's Tower and visit the legendary tower.
  • As you are seeing 360 degrees of historic Istanbul make sure get the best family times

  • Get back from the Maiden's Tower before sunset, and sit on the benches for the glorious view of Istanbul with the Turkish style steamed tea
  • After the blue hours, if the kids got hungry, just cross the street towards "Filizler Köftecisi" for dinner
  • The restaurants on this tour are medium budgeted ones

  • If you have babies you must use strollers otherwise it will be hard to carry them all the way
  • You will find bathrooms at Maiden's Tower, in restaurants or at mosques' gardens for urgent times of children ;)
  • You must make sure you started the tour around 10 am in the morning to have more time to sightsee around Uskudar district which had been the favourite place of Ottoman era at Asian side.

I hope you will enjoy my programme about Maiden's Tower visit, if you have questions do not hesitate to contact me over my instagram account ;)


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