Skip the line and enter the most important museum of Turkey and the Balkan Peninsula. Enjoy a guided tour inside and see the four courtyard museum…
Visit the glorious Topkapi Palace, the house of the Ottoman Dynasty for 4 centuries, with fast-track admission. Simply choose your time, meet your…
Explore Topkapi Palace and its Harem on a 3-hour guided tour. Marvel at its opulence and mystery and learn about this period in Istanbul's history.
Explore Istanbul at your own pace on board a double-decker, open-top, hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. See all the famous landmarks, from the Hagia…
Get the most out of your holiday in Istanbul with a 5-day pass to the city's most important landmarks. Skip the line to get into the Hagia Sophia,…
Discover Topkapi Palace and Harem with a local historian guide and enjoy fast-track entry. Get a real sense of the palace and enjoy the collections…
Enjoy a walking tour in the heart of Istanbul's old town Sultanahmet to see the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Gain priority admission, and skip…
Spend a delightful day on a private tour that takes you to some of the most interesting sites in the heart of Istanbul. See the Blue Mosque, Hagia…
Uncover Istanbul on your own itinerary with a private, flexible tour. Choose the places you want to see and travel at your own pace. A private guide…
Top sights in Istanbul
Topkapi Palace's history is vibrant. The building served as the residential, administrative, educational and cultural building of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 of their 624 reigning years. Today it doubles as the Topkapi Palace museum.
Be sure to notice the Fountain of the Executioner next to the ticket windows before you head in. This is where the executioner would wash his hand and sword after a decapitation.
This impressive building of hundreds of rooms where the sultan and his family lived has been restored in lush ornate fashion. It’s a separate ticket, but definitely worth it.
The Topkapi Palace diamond is the pride of the palace. The riches in the Treasury are not purely aesthetics, they make up the complex Topkapi Palace history.
Relics from the Prophet Mohammed and Moses, among others, are collectively called the Sacred Trusts.
You’ll need at least half a day to explore the palace, but make a whole day out of it to really take it all in. Try to arrive at opening to avoid the crowds!
You’ll get denied entrance to the Sacred Relics Department if you’re showing some skin. No shorts, short skirts or sleeveless shirts are permitted. It is the holiest section of Topkapi Palace, Turkey.
Along with the harem section, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul houses four courtyards or “avlu.” Shade or eateries for resting aren’t too hard to find. There’s a café and a restaurant in the first courtyard, a second café in the third courtyard, and a second restaurant in the fourth.
- When should I visit?
- Open Wednesday through Monday. October 26 - April 15, 9:00AM to 4:45PM. April 15 - October 26, 9:00AM to 6:45PM.
- Is it expensive?
- Museum tickets start at 30TL (about $11), Harem tickets start at 15TL (about $5) and continue up with perks and tours.
- Will I need a guide?
- A guide will definitely add to the experience! Audio guides are also available for rent at the palace.
- How to get there
- Take the tram to the Gülhane or Sultanahmet stations, or the Marmaray to the Sirkeci Station. It's a short walk from any station.
- Additional information
- Cloths can be provided by onsite staff if you need to cover up during your visit to the Sacred Relics Department.
- Stroller and photography are not permitted inside, so please plan ahead.
What people are saying about Topkapi Palace
This was my first time in Istanbul, so having two days with a guide was essential for understanding this amazing city and its history. On my own I could not have found my way to so many places, or learned so much. Saban Sezer was an excellent guide; I always have questions to ask that many visitors would not, as I am interested in Islamic architecture and as I live in Egypt and am interested in how in the past Turkish traditions have transferred to Egypt, Saban was patient with my questions and with me wanting to spend longer in some places that interested me. He gave information even about places you don't have time to visit in your first two days, places we just passed on the cruise, and that makes me want to return for more exploring of Istanbul.
The guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. He guided us through the palace, explaining major details and even interesting side stories related with the palace. He did not seem to rush us and took the time to explain what we should visit and answer any questions the group had. If you want to know more about the palace and its history, I recommend this tour. Although a bit expensive, I believe it is about right in terms of price/quality, as you would be paying around 10£ per hour + tickets. You also have the perk of skipping any queue (in our case there was none because we started early.
I did not want to book a tour over 2 hours as I like to get info about what I am visiting but at the same time I like to have time for me to explore what I liked most during the explanations. I would suggest to add two options, one excluding the Harem and one including it. I paid for it but of course it was already clear to me that it was not included in the tour. Guide started the tour perfectly on time, he was friendly and provided clear explanations. I think the tour is a good balance for those that want to get tips on the attractions but do not want to join an half day tour.
Kadir Kucekeren was absolutely fantastic. He is very knowledgeable and we saved lots of time enjoying Istanbul with him. He knows all the secrets to truly enjoy the city in a safe and efficient manner. He personalized our trip to fit our cultural interests - like Süleymaniye Mosque. He is very caring of his guests; he helped my mother up and down the old city steps. He is a true gentleman and I will always be grateful to him for his patience and understanding.
We had a great time with the tour, there where a few areas of knowledge the tour guide seemed a bit lacking (maybe we was the first to ask those questions! Or maybe a misunderstanding) but was courteous and professional and in general enjoyed every moment of it. However it would of been nice to have more of a tour of the bazar than left in it but still I feel it was value for money and would do again also the fast track was incredibly convent.