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Preplanned City Guides and Travel Itineraries

Topkapi Palace

On this page you find practical information, photos and videos about Topkapi Palace.

Topkapi Palace features in these preplanned City Guides:

3-day Istanbul City Guide5-day Istanbul City Guide

Why visit / Interesting facts:

  • World heritage site
  • One of Istanbul's most known attractions
  • Once the center of a great empire

Time required: 150 minutes

Phone: +90 212 512 0480

Web site: http://www.topkapisarayi...

Opening hours:

Time period Opening hours
Summer, Wed - Mon: 9am - 7pm
Winter, Wed - Mon: 9am - 5pm
Tuesdays: Closed

Admission:

Ticket type Charge
General (palace): 20 TL
General (harem): 15 TL

Public transport:

  • Tram Line T1: Gülhane stop

Address: İbrahim Paşa Oteli, Binbirdirek Mh., Terzihane Sk 7, 34122 Istanbul

Photos: (see more photos)

Photo: gsz

Things you need to know:

  • Topkapi Palace used to be the Ottoman Sultans' prime residence for almost 400 years. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and Istanbul's main tourist attraction
  • Mehmet II built the palace in 1459-65 after conquering Constantinople. It served as the sultan's palace until Abdül Mecit I moved the court to Dolmabahçe Palace in 1853
  • It was designed to resemble the tent encampments of nomadic Ottomans. It stands on Sarayburnu, a strategic point overlooking the Bosphorus
  • Beside the sultan's residence the palace contained offices, the seat of government, a Harem and also a military training ground for Ottoman soldiers
  • After the fall of the Ottoman Empire (1921), the government turned the Topkapi Palace in a museum of the imperial era in 1924
  • The museum houses such invaluable treasures as the 86-carat Kasikci Diamond, the Topkapi Dagger, prophet Muhammad's cloak and sword. Collection of porcelain, robes, military equipments and Ottoman art pieces are also on display

What to do there:

  • Enter the outer Topkapı complex for free
  • Admire the ceremonial gates and the traditional fountains
  • After buying the ticket, you'll enter the inner complex of the palace (the "Museum") and visit several increasingly intimate courtyards, housing the palace kitchens, council chamber, armory, treasury, and tulip garden
  • Do not miss the Harem. You'll need to buy a separate ticket from the Harem's ticket booth (in front of the Harem entrance)

Tips & Insights:

  • Accepting only Turkish Lira and Credit Card as payment
  • The Kitchens, The Section of Arms and The Library of Manuscripts are closed to visit due to renovation
  • Stop for a cup of tea in the restaurant and enjoy the stunning view overlooking the Bosphorus
  • The Harem is well worth the extra charge

 

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Topkapi Palace features in these preplanned City Guides: