Shrouded in myth and history, the Maiden's Tower, which also goes by the name of Leander's Tower, has become one of Istanbul's most iconic attractions. The sturdy structure sits on a small islet keeping watch over the entrance to the Bosphorus Strait. Take a short boat ride to explore the beauty and legends surrounding the tower.
Local LegendsThe Maiden's Tower was first constructed during the Byzantine period and has been captured and destroyed by various besiegers and natural disasters throughout Istanbul's turbulent history. Each time, it has been rebuilt. There are many stories and myths surrounding the tower and this is part of what makes it so attractive to visit. The most popular legend is that a Turkish sultan constructed the tower and kept his daughter in it to protect her, after an oracle prophesied she would be bitten by a snake on her 18th birthday. She eventually died on the islet when her father accidently brought an asp snake hidden in fruit to her when visiting on that very birthday. It is this tale that is thought to endow the tower with its name.
You may be familiar with the tower without realizing as it has appeared in many movies. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, loved Istanbul and the city often makes an appearance in the films, including The World is not Enough and From Russia with Love.
Café with a viewThe tower has now been converted into a popular restaurant and café where you can enjoy magnificent views of Istanbul skyline and the divide of two continents. To make the most of incredible sunsets an evening visit is recommended.
To reach the tower, make your way to Uskudar and purchase a ticket at the shoreline kiosk before taking the short crossing to the islet. Our reception staff at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Asia are on hand to assist you with public transport routes and tips for the best way to reach Uskudar.