The best of the paid sites in Sultanahmet, although I used the Museum Pass which allowed entry into the palace and the Harem section without needing to queue.
Take your time walking around the palace; there are so many sections to explore and the Harem is worth paying for if you are not using the Museum Pass. I tried to cover each section first before moving to the next, although I did miss some areas which I covered on the end.
The rooms in the Harem do get crowded because some sections are small; I got stuck with a large tour group (over 20 people) in a few rooms, I let them pass first but they were taking too long in each room because they all wanted to take photos, I missed one room to get in front of them. Some people do recommend seeing the Harem first and if you are going in July and August, it probably would be better; I did refer seeing the palace first and then seeing the living section.
Crowding was not an issue in the palace even though there were so many people, everyone was looking at something different and as there is so much open space, one could easily walking the palace at their own pace.
The only disappointing part was the audio guide, which is TL20 & another TL10 if you want cover the Harem as well; I was expecting a lot more information then provided and due to this, I did not get an audio guide at Hagia Sophia. If you do want to get an audio guide they ask for some of identification like a passport or driving licence, as I did not keep any identification with me, I had to pay a 100TL deposit (they provided a receipt for the pay deposit).
If you are restricted for time, you could see Topkapi Palace + Harem, Hagia Sophia, Turkish & Islamic Art Museum and the Blue Mosque in one day if you start early – starting with the palace, take a break, Hagia Sophia and the art museum, break, and then Blue Mosque at night; if you spend too long at the palace, missed out the art museum. Besides the mosque the others require a ticket, purchase a Museum Pass which is the same price and allows you to skip the ticket queues.
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