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Topkapi Palace

Photo credit: blondinrikard / Foter / CC BY
Topkapi Palace
  • (worth a trip)
  • 1-2 km
  • Moderate
  • Average
  • 2-3 days
  • 3 3

An Impressive collection of the Ottoman culture

Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
There are two places to eat on site. You can try the BKG cafe for some light snacks. Also try the Konyali restaurant which serves delicious Ottoman styled cuisine. It also has an excellent view overlooking the Bosphorous.
1) If you already have a museum pass, you can use it to get entry to the palace swiftly.
2) Use an audio guide to get all the detailed information about the Ottoman history.
3) Wearing appropriate clothes is mandatory while accessing the sacred relics around the palace. Refrain from wearing shorts, strapless or tank tops. Alternatively, you could use the cloths provided at the entrance to cover yourself.
4) You need to take a separate ticket, incase you decide to visit the Harem which is located besides the Topkapi palace.
30 TL for Topkapi Palace + 15TL for Harem

Built in the 15th century, the Topkapi palace is one of the largest palace-museums in the world with its striking architectural structure and design on display. History has it, during the Ottoman Empire, this was the meeting area for the royals. With a dazzling exhibition ranging from the gold studded seating areas to royal artefacts and gifts. This palace has it all and it really portrays the character of the bygone era. A palace, within itself, consists of small palace museums spread among four courtyards each representing contrasting fragments of the empire.


The first courtyard was considered as an Armoury and was used to develop a medical facility within the palace. However, the second courtyard was used as the ceremonial ground by the Sultan who had also constructed the ‘Tower of Justice’ which was a place for advocating fair-play among his empire. Adjacent to this building you can find other service buildings which boasts the palace kitchens and other related utility infrastructure.


Moving on, you can find the Third Courtyard which incidentally was the Palace of Agha. This place where the Agha’s themselves were tutored, also housed the Agha’s mosque, the conquerors pavilion and their privy room. This courtyard also has a few big and small rooms used to store pantry items and treasure chests. Lastly, the Fourth Courtyard, leads down to the grand Imperial Sofa which was used by the ambassadors and Sultan.

Opening hours

The museum is open from 09:00-16:45.
Closed on Tuesdays.
The ticket windows close 45 mins before closing time.

How to get there

Take a tram to Sultanahmet or Gulhane, the nearest stations which are at a walking distance from the palace.