Site logo

Istanbul’s Top 10 Museums

Istanbul’s Top 10 Museums

Istanbul museums are the main attraction for tourists. Istanbul’s historical museums include the Topkapi Palace and its Harem, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, and the Dolmabahce Palace, where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk died.

Istanbul’s Turkish and Islamic Arts Museums, right across from the Blue Mosque, are also classics. Istanbul’s contemporary face is reflected in all these museums, from science to maritime.

Art lovers should check the Istanbul Modern Museum, Pera Museum, and Elgiz Museum. There’s a Rahmi M. Koc Museum and an Islamic Science and Technology History Museum for techies. Topkapi

  1. Topkapi Palace and Harem
  2. Istanbul Archeology Museum
  3. Dolmabahce Palace
  4. Beylerbeyi Palace Museum
  5. Rumeli Fortress
  6. The Great Palace Mosaics Museum
  7. Hagia Irene Museum
  8. Basilica Cistern
  9. Istanbul Modern Museum
  10. Galata Tower Museum

The Most Famous Museums in Istanbul

Istanbul’s Top 10 Museums

Topkapi Palace and Harem

  • UNESCO has listed Topkapi Palace as a World Heritage Site since 1985, and it’s one of the most famous museums in Istanbul.
  • After conquering Constantinople in 1453, Sultan Mehmet started building Topkapi Palace. In 1468, the first part of the building was finished. A lot of work was done on the palace until 1478.

Istanbul Museum’s Harem in Topkapi
It’s the most secluded and private part of Topkapi Palace that’s exciting, that is, the Harem. In 1853, the sultans and their wives, children, concubines, and children moved to Dolmabahce Palace in the Harem from the Topkapi Palace. Despite some historians’ claims, there’s no evidence that Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566) lived in the Harem.
There used to be about 300 rooms in the Harem. Today, only some of them are available. There’s been a lot of curiosity about harem life among Europeans. Behind its walls, the Harem hides intrigue and exciting stories.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

  • Istanbul Archeology Museums is consisting of 3 central units. Museum of Ancient Oriental Works, Tiled Kiosk Museum and Archaeology Museum. Turkey’s first museum, nearly one million artefacts from various cultures were brought from the imperial lands. It is located near the Topkapi Palace.
  • The collection contains more than 15,000 archaeological fragments from the prehistoric, Assyrian, Mesopotamian, Akkadian, Sumerian, Roman, Egyptian, Greek also Byzantine periods, Islamic Arab units, Islamic.

Address: Alemdar Cad. Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu, Gulhane
Visiting Hours: It is open every day. You can see the museum between 09.00 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. You can buy tickets up to 6:00 p.m.

Dolmabahce Palace – Istanbul Museum

  • Built by European architects on a 45,000 square meter area, Dolmabahce Palace has 46 halls, 285 rooms, six baths, and 68 baths.
  • The Dolmabahce Palace has a great collection of European antiquity, beautiful paintings, handmade silk carpets, and a 4.5-ton crystal chandelier that is the largest in the world.
  • The palace has significiant to the Turkish people, because Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who is the founder of the Turkish Republic, spent his last days here and passed away on 10. 11. 1938.
  • You can visit the clock museum, painting museum here.

The Address: Dolmabahce Sarayi, Visnezade Mahallesi, Dolmabahce Caddesi, Besiktas
Visiting hours: The palace is open every day of the week except the. Hours are from 09:00 – 18:00.

Beylerbeyi Palace Museum

  • It’s on the Asian side of Istanbul, the Beylerbeyi Palace museum offers stunning views of the Bosphorus and the old city.
  • In addition to serving as the summer house of the sultans, Beylerbeyi Palace hosted foreign heads of state such as Queen Eugenie of France, Queen Elisabeth of Montenegro, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Russian Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich.
  • This museum in Istanbul is an excellent opportunity for visitors to see another incredible monument and learn more about the ancient empire on the other side of the Bosphorus.

Address: Beylerbeyi Palace, Beylerbeyi Mah., Abdullah Ağa Caddesi, Beylerbeyi
Visiting hours: The Beylerbeyi Palace is open daily from 9:00 to 18:00, except on Mondays.

Rumeli Fortress

  • Istanbul’s Rumeli Fortress Museum is a symbol of its conquest. Among the collection are cannonballs from the Ottoman period, especially those used in the win, cannons from the Beyazid II period and Late Period Ottoman cannons, various stone artefacts from the Eastern Roman Empire, and the Golden Horn chain.
  • The Rumeli Fortress museum has the most significant bastions of its time. Three viziers of Fatih Sultan Mehmet built Candarli Halil Pasha Tower, Zaganos Pasha Tower, and Saruca Pasha Tower, 22 meters tall. Saruca Pasha Tower has wooden floors and graphite writings from when it was used as a divanhane room and prison, which stand out with its acoustics.

Address: Rumeli Fortress, Yahya Kemal Cd., 34470 Sariyer/Istanbul
Visiting hours: The Fortress, which you can see between 09:00 and 19:00 in the summer, can be visited between 09:00 and 17:00 in the winter months. The Fortress is closed to visitors on Mondays.

The Great Palace Mosaics Museum in Istanbul (Buyuk Saray Mozaikler Muzesi)

  • Istanbul’s Great Palace Mosaics museum is in the Arasta Bazaar, next to Sultan Ahmet Mosque, on the grounds of the Great Palace, the former residence of the Byzantine emperors.
  • Initially, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque Bazaar was built on the remains of the peristyle section of the Great Palace.

Address: Sultanahmet Mahallesi Kabasakal Cad. Arasta Carsisi Sok. no. 53, 34122 Fatih/Istanbul
Visiting hours of the Great Palace Mosaics Museum in Istanbul is between 09:00 in the morning and 8:00 p.m. The ticket office closes at 19:30. The museum is open every day of the week.

Hagia Irene Museum

  • It’s a historical museum in Istanbul in the first courtyard of Topkapi Palace, close to and adjacent to Hagia Sophia.
  • The biggest Byzantine church in Istanbul hasn’t been turned into a mosque. Since 1985, this church has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Address: Cankurtaran, Topkapi Palace No:1, 34122 Fatih/Istanbul
Visiting Hours: Hagia Irene museum in Istanbul opens its doors to visitors between 09:00 and 18:00, except Tuesdays. Exceptionally, the entrance times may change on the first day of religious holidays.

Basilica Cistern – Istanbul Museums

Located southwest of Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern is one of Istanbul’s most beautiful historical structures.

  • A large cistern is 140 meters long and 70 meters wide.
  • There’s a water storage capacity of 100,000 tons in this 9,800 sqm museum in Istanbul. Inside the cistern are 336 columns, each 9 meters high.
  • According to Greek mythology, Medusa is one of the three Gorgonas, the female monsters of the underworld. Medusa, the snake-headed sister, turns people into stone when they look at her. One theory is that Gorgona’s paintings and sculptures were used to protect significant buildings and private places at that time, which is why Medusa’s head ended up in the cistern.

Address: Meclisi-i Mebusan Cad. Liman Isletmeleri Sahasi Antrepo 4, 34433 Karakoy/ Istanbul
Visiting Hours: Istanbul Modern is moving to its new building in Karakoy. The Preparations for the opening of the new building continue.

  • The museum is temporarily located in the Beyoglu building and is closed to visitors.
  • You can follow up-to-date information about the opening date on the Istanbul Modern museum website.
  • Istanbul Modern Museum is closed to visitors on Mondays. It is open to visitors the rest of the week.
  • In the Istanbul Museum of Modern Arts, the museum card is valid only once a year.

Galata Tower Museum – One of the Most Iconic Symbols of IstanbulIstanbul’s Galata Tower is in Beyoglu.

  • Within the Galata Walls, this tower serves as a watchtower.
  • In Istanbul, the building serves as an observation deck and a museum. It’s a symbol of Beyoglu and Istanbul.
  • Get a 360-degree view of Istanbul from the Galata Tower.

Address: Bereketzade, Galata Tower Sk., 34420 Beyoglu/Istanbul
Visiting Hours: in Summer: 08:30 – 24:00 & in Winter: 10:00 -20:00

We would be happy to assist you with your inquiries.

Blogs Contact Form

Logo Disi

Please fill the form correctly. We will contact you shortly