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Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
(4.4/5 based on 19,000+ 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
  • Topkapi Palace is a large complex of buildings that afford a charming surprise around every corner, and it is an absolute must-see. One of the best things about it its location in Gülhane Park which t...  more »
  • Take a couple or 3 hours to enjoy the gardens and meet this beautiful Palace. Don't forget to meet the kitchen of the Palace with its beautiful porcelains and the harem. Those walls should contain so many secrets.
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  • We thoroughly enjoyed this tour with our local guide, Metin Koca, and would not have understood or appreciated it nearly so much without his excellent service. Highly recommended. 
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.