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Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

(4.4/5 based on 20,000+ reviews on the web)
Home to sultans for centuries, Topkapi Palace is a World Heritage Site with a rich history and superb Ottoman architecture. Built by Sultan Mehmed II in the 15th century, the enormous palace's courtyards and buildings were, at one time, home to almost 4,000 people. Though much of the site is off limits to tourists, one of the highlights you can access is its highly ornate harem, with an intriguing history and notable interiors. Though royalty later moved to European-style residences along the Bosphorus, this palace is important for being truly Ottoman in spirit and design. A visit to Topkapi Palace represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Istanbul trip itinerary planner to plot your vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • When you enter the Topkapi Palace, I had a deja-vu. As Ezio Auditore protect because you had some missions to cope with and the young Prince Suleiman Firence. Now, I strolled through the 4 yards and looked at me the relics. Which are overrated in my opinion. The crowd was enormous here but the reason could not reveal themselves to me. Overall, the pavilions and the Harem were very nice. Beautiful there a dessert and enjoyed to have coffee with views of the Bosphorus. I had no association with the game, it would have been enough just to four points, but by the Association there are a whopping 5 points!
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  • Presented as a "major attraction" of iSTANBUL, the reputation is a bit overrated. There are places rich in history and tradition, much more interesting... Fairly extensive site offering various buildings in which you will see exposed a few objects or relics tracing the history of life of an Overlord and his court and his servants. Beautiful views of the Bosphorus at the north end of the site. Nothing extraordinary, buildings in average condition, little maintained.
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  • Whilst a very impressive building with huge supporting columns, I was rather underwhelmed. Maybe I was on a bad day?  more »
Google
  • Prices are a little high, and seeing both the palace and the harem will run you 40TL and 20TL together. But if you can swing it, it's pretty amazing to see something built shortly after the conquering of Constantinople. The architecture and art is completely gorgeous, and the setting is peaceful and tranquil. And the artifacts onsite are pretty incredible. Gems and diamonds that would make Tiffany's blush. Check it out. But in my opinion, skip the harem. It's pretty dull and relatively unkempt unlike the rest of the facility.
  • I visit the palace once in a year. It gives you some hints about the life in 15th century and the Ottoman interpretation of life, their unique "modest" approach. Three continent is directed from this palace once, and it is a fascinating museum. If you have any special interest in history, I think it is the number one place to visit in Istanbul. It is prohibited to take pictures inside the museum by the way, especially the last three compartments (jewelry, armory, holy relics. The palace is located next to Ayasofya and right across the Blue Mosque
  • Wonderful!!! A must go place if you visit Istanbul. It must be a great experience! Don't forget to explore all the rooms
  • If you can visit only one place, I'd say go here. It is a really comprehensive and well designed museum of ottoman history. It might feel kind of expensive when you buy the ticket, but you will see it is well worth after your visit.
  • Interesting collection of relics, from arms and armor to pieces recovered or replaced from Kaaba, and objects of significance from prophets (Moses's staff, Abraham's pot, etc). The architecture is lovely and filled with wonderful mosaic's from different periods throughout history and the grounds themselves offer some wonderful seaside views and tantalizing glimpses of Istanbul.