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Mosaic Museum, Istanbul

3.8
#12 of 60 in Museums in Istanbul
Ruin Art Museum
Admire the restored mosaics from the Byzantine era on display at Mosaic Museum, located underneath the city's popular bazaar. Created by roofing over the ruins of the Great Palace, the museum offers insight into the daily lives and social classes of the citizens from the Byzantine era through the stories told by the mosaics. The surviving mosaics capture 90 different themes that are populated by over 150 human and animal figures, depicting scenes like children playing, animals grazing, mythical creatures and tales, and daily activities. Some of the mosaics were used to decorate the pavement of a peristyle, or columned, courtyard, discovered during the excavations. Feel free to touch many of the exhibits as you read about how much time, effort, and money went into creating and preserving them upon their discovery. Note that the museum can be difficult to find, as it is surrounded by a shops on an nondescript street, so ask for directions from a local or watch for signs. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Mosaic Museum and many more Istanbul attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Istanbul trip builder.
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465 reviews
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  • The state of preservation may not be as good as some others and the colours may be more faded but it is clear as soon as you seen them that these mosaics are of the highest quality - which is what you...  more »
  • Once you find the museum, you will be rewarded with a splendid collection of mosaics, most in situ. These are the only surviving remains of the great Palace of Boukoleon which was abandoned after the ...  more »
  • The mosaics, the bulk of which are in a single well-laid-out ground piece, are amazing - such detail! So much has survived, it's wonderful. However, they are not being that well kept. There is a panel...  more »

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Where to stay in Istanbul

The bustling downtown core of old Istanbul is the popular choice among tourists wanting a short walking distance to the city's biggest attractions. Here you'll find hostel-style accommodations and reasonably priced and traditionally decorated hotels, as well as bed and breakfasts and inns with views overlooking the sea. Though often the most affordable, accommodations in the old city can be very overrun with tourists and street solicitors. If you seek a more relaxed stay, consider lodging near Taksim Square. This new, trendy neighborhood is a short 15-20 minute ride from the old city, but puts you closer to restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Though the newer area of the city is a bit more upscale, you'll also find moderately priced hotels and some hostels. Look for luxury hotels in the western suburbs close to the airport, overlooking the banks of Bosphorus.
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