Topkapı Palace

Price guide: Expensive

Soğukçeşme Sokak, Gülhane, Istanbul

Price guide: Expensive

Topkapı Palace
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By Jennifer Hattam, your Istanbul expert

I write for DK Eyewitness, Time Out .... Read more
#3 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Istanbul
Expert overall rating:4.7 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Couples, Culture vultures, Design and architecture, Great views / scenery, History

Best for Romance - Expert review of Topkapı Palace

Grand Ottoman royal complex full of beauty and treasures.

The centre of the Ottoman empire for four centuries, the former residence of the sultans retains its grandeur, with a riot of colourful tiles, sumptuous furniture, and fine architectural details throughout the massive complex of pavilions, halls, and courtyards. Don’t miss the many museums displaying Ottoman armour, outrageously sized jewels, and religious relics including both the hand of John the Baptist and one of the Prophet Mohammed’s teeth.

Price advice: 

Regular admission is 20 lira; it’s worth paying the extra 15 lira to explore the harem as well.

Expert tips: 
Queue up by 8.45am to be one of the first in and head straight to the harem and the treasury, the most popular parts of the palace.
Allow plenty of time to explore the palace’s many corners; you can easily spend a half-day within the complex.
The former palace gardens, now called Gülhane Park, are free to the public and a rare oasis of green and calm in one of the most crowded, hectic parts of the city.

More information on Topkapı Palace:

Price guide:
Castle / palace, Historic site
Soğukçeşme Sokak, Gülhane, Istanbul
0212 512 04 80
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Wed-Mon 9am-5pm. Last admission 4pm. Closed Tuesdays.

Have you been to Topkapı Palace? Would you recommended it?