Topkapi Palace
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Topkapi Palace: Tours & Tickets

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An insider's guide to Topkapi Palace Museum

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.

While You Buy Your Tickets…

While You Buy Your Tickets…

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.

Visit the Topkapi Palace harem

Visit the Topkapi Palace harem

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.

Topkapi Palace Jewels

Topkapi Palace Jewels

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.

Topkapi Palace Relics

Topkapi Palace Relics

Relics from the Prophet Mohammed and Moses, among others, are collectively called the Sacred Trusts.

How long to spend

How long to spend

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!

Our insider tips

Obey the Dress Code

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.

Orient yourself

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.

Good to know

  • 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

Overall rating
4.3 / 5
based on 1,932 reviews

A perfect introduction to an amazing city, Istanbul

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.

Although a bit expensive, I enjoyed the 3 hours of the tour

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.

Perfectly on time, comprehensive of the tops attractions of the Palace

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.

Topkapi Palace: Guided Tour with Fast-Track Entry Reviewed by

Kadir is a patience and knowledgeable guide.

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.

The sites you see are pretty darn awesome

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.

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