Kiz Kulesi, also known as the Maiden’s Tower or Leander’s Tower, is a historical tower located on a small islet at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. The tower has a long and rich history, dating back to the ancient times. It has served as a lighthouse, a fortress, a prison, a quarantine station, and a restaurant.
The tower is open to visitors every day from 9:00 am to 6:45 pm. The entrance fee is 25 TL for adults and 10 TL for children. You can also buy a combined ticket that includes a boat ride to the tower and a guided tour for 60 TL. The boat departs from Kabatas and Uskudar piers every 15 minutes.
To get to the tower, you can take a ferry, a bus, a tram, or a taxi to Kabatas or Uskudar piers and then take the boat service to the tower. Alternatively, you can book a private boat or join a Bosphorus cruise that stops at the tower.
Some tips for visiting the tower are:
- Book your tickets online in advance to avoid queues and secure your preferred time slot.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes as there are many stairs and narrow passages inside the tower.
- Bring your camera and binoculars to enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the sea.
- Try the traditional Turkish tea and snacks at the cafe on the top floor of the tower.
- Visit the museum on the first floor to learn more about the history and legends of the tower.
There are also various tours that include the tower in their itinerary. Some of them are:
- Bosphorus Sunset Cruise with Dinner and Turkish Night Show: This tour offers a romantic evening on a luxury yacht with live music, folk dances, belly dancing, and a delicious dinner. You will also see the tower illuminated at night along with other landmarks such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace.
- Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Cruise and Dolmabahce Palace: This tour covers the highlights of Istanbul in one day. You will visit the Sultanahmet area with its famous mosques and monuments, explore the lavish Dolmabahce Palace, and enjoy a scenic cruise along the Bosphorus. You will also have a photo stop at the tower.
- Private Tour of Istanbul with Maiden’s Tower: This tour is customized according to your preferences and interests. You will have a private guide and driver who will take you to the best spots in Istanbul. You will also have an exclusive visit to the tower with no crowds or queues.
There are some prohibitions that you should be aware of when visiting the tower. They are:
- Smoking is not allowed inside or outside the tower.
- Pets are not allowed on the boat or in the tower.
- Drones are not allowed to fly over or near the tower.
- Flash photography is not allowed inside the museum.
The tower offers many things to see and do for visitors of all ages and interests. Some of them are:
- The panoramic terrace: This is the best place to enjoy the breathtaking views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. You can see both the European and Asian sides of the city, as well as many bridges, palaces, mosques, and islands.
- The legend room: This is where you can learn about the famous legends associated with the tower. One of them is about a princess who was locked in the tower by her father to protect her from a prophecy that said she would die by a snake bite on her 18th birthday. However, a snake hidden in a fruit basket brought by her lover bit her and killed her anyway.
- The lighthouse room: This is where you can see how the tower functioned as a lighthouse for centuries. You can also see some old maps, charts, instruments, and models related to navigation and maritime history.
- The restaurant: This is where you can enjoy a fine dining experience with Turkish and international cuisine. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating options with stunning views of the surroundings. You can also book the restaurant for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, or anniversaries.