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
4.4 / 5
based on 2,628 reviews

Very nice tour with knowledgeable tour guide. Recommending this tour. It took us overall 3 hours to see the main part of the Topkapi. We didn’t go to Harem but the rest was beautiful. All the exhibitions are very well designed, accessible and beautiful.

Guide Emrah was great! Extremely kind and pleasant, he explained in detail every landmark in Istanbul, even on the way to these landmarks he explained some of the attractions of Istanbul, which are important to us tourists. For every recommendation!

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day Reviewed by

It was pretty good. Like the guide and his guidance around the historical places. He was friendly. But I didn’t like turkish store where we should buy at least something - carpets, tea, baklava and so on

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day Reviewed by

Marvelous tour around historical sites and great value for money. My tour guide was Emrah and he was friendly and extremely knowledgeable on the history of Istanbul

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day Reviewed by

We were picked up on time from our hotel. Our guide Barish was very knowledgeable and explained us in very detail the history of the places we visited.

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day Reviewed by