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“You cannot visit Istanbul without coming here”
Review of Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace
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Topkapi Palace Entrance Ticket
Ranked #7 of 1 175 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This enormous palace was the Imperial residence of Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years. Although much of the palace is not accessible, the daily tours of the Harem are of great interest to tourists.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

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.

Thank RWandSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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86 - 90 of 23 030 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Topkapi Palace is just The place to go in Istanbul. Very different from traditional European palaces, the visitor is just taken very far away in place and time. This Ottoman Palace is composed of several buildings in large gardens. Take your time to fully appreciate the constructions, the mosaics and the environment. The Library and the Harem are a must see, but do not forget the other places. Large clock collection. You have to pay an extra fee to visit the Harem, or, just buy the Museum Card and it’s included. The Palace is closed on Tuesdays. If visiting during summer, do not forget a hat and a bottle of water, even if it is available on site (but really pricey).

Thank Cuca8219
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Absolutely stunning palace. You really can immerse yourself in the days of the Ottomon Empire. Its is definately worth also paying to see the harem as i would say that this was the most special part, particularly the imperial harem room which blows your mind. Unfortunately a large part was closed due to rennovations. There is still plenty to see including the holy relics section. Female visitors need to cover their hair, arms and legs and men must also cover their legs when entering this section. Relics include the sword of the prophet and keys to the holy kaaba. There was a queue in this section waiting to see the relics as people tend to just hover at the window and hog the view for themselves. Lots of small children running around also which became irritating after a while! You can also see the quarters of the corps and the stunning courtyard. Do not forget to visit the hagia irene which is in the grounds of topkapi. For some reason no guests had gone in to see it so luckily we had it to ourselves! You will need to pay for this separately, but we had the museum pass which was great. You can pick up audio guide headset just by the entrance if you want it. There is a gift shop but as you can imagine the prices are ridiculous.
Important: make sure you bring with you a bottle of water if you think you may become thirsty, otherwise you will be forced to pay 14 Lira for a bottle of water which the vendors around the palace sell.

Thank Karima M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This is absolutely an amazing place!!! I would say the best place in Istanbul to visit. This palace was home to Ottoman Sultans once. You can pay extra to see the harem as well. From Islamic Prophets to Moses and Joseph, this museum will make you fall in love with world religions...

Thank oguz2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This should have been a 5, but at least as of our visit in June, the entire Treasury building is closed for renovations. Given that one of the most famous attractions is the emerald dagger, housed in the Treasury, I'd erroneously assumed that they would have temporarily relocated it and some of the other Treasury items. Wrong. All those treasures are completely unavailable. The buildings are lovely, but by themselves not IMHO a 5-star experience. Fortunately the wonderful views from the terrace and the decorated interiors are still there to enchant and make a visit worthwhile, although without the Treasury you're temporarily looking at 1.5-2 hours maximum, not 3-4 hours as per many estimates.

Thank Fenice_Mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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