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Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

4.5
#2 of 303 in Museums in Turkey
History Museum Museum
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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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • It's nice too visit this museum. Keep in mind the no place is huge and will require a few hours to see it all and enjoy it.  more »
  • Following the advice from Trip Advisor, I arrived at 9am, just as they were opening. Best. Move. Ever. I avoided the crowds and was able to wander through this space at my own pace. To stand in the ro...  more »
  • Well I don't know were to begin there is so much to see here, all the way in the back there is an amazing view of the sea. Several rooms show art, caligraphy, weapons. Don't forget to visit the kitche...  more »
Google
  • Former Palace of the Ottoman Empire's Sultans - great place to visit and stroll around with lovely rose gardens, traditional buildings and pavilions spread across a large area overlooking Istanbul. The Harem offers great insights into the social live of the Sultan and his consorts. This place requires time to visit... Must see.
  • Annual Visitors: 3,335,000 With a lovely setting overlooking the Bosporus and Sea of Marmara, Topkapi Palace was the royal residence for about 400 years until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s. The sultan lived with his wives, concubines, mother and children in the harem, under the fierce protection of eunuchs. Look for the Privy Chamber of Murat III, with its indoor pool, gilded fireplace and walls decorated with blue, white and coral Iznik tiles from the 16th century. The Palace Kitchens reopened in September 2014, displaying fine china and large cookware. And the complex also includes courtyards, gazebos, gardens and the Imperial Treasury. An emerald-and diamond-studded bow and quivers sent by Sultan Mahmud I to the ruler of Persia is just one example of the lavish gifts on view
  • Historical and well preserved. Buy the full package ticket worth 89 Lira so that you can use it for 5 days and visit many other places in Old town Istanbul. Harem is the main place to visit. Very nice lobby outside with good food options.
  • An amazing palace which was residence of more than 20 generations of Ottomon Rulers. So much history under one roof. Its museum has the most amazing and unbelievable artifacts including staff of Moses, beard of Prophet..Its is on the sea side with a cafe also.The museum is closed on Tuesdays. Check its website for closing information before planning.
  • A must see. Very beautiful and great place to understand European history. Get the tour there's alot to take in. Spend 4 to 5 hours. Enjoy the restaurant for traditional well serviced lunch.

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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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