This impressive complex was build by the end of 19th century by the architect Vallaury thanks to great efforts of famous Turkish painter Osman Hamdi Bey. It includes the exquisite Tiled Kiosk and the Museum of the Ancient Orient and houses a large collection of artifacts and works of art belonging to ancient Greek, Roman and other Anatolian civilizations dating back to the 6th century BC. The Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, Sarcophagus of Mourning Ladies, and other ancient sarcophagi and various objects found in the Sidon excavation are among its most interesting pieces.
Ancient Eastern Archeological Museum was designed and opened to service in 1917 by Halil Eldem Bey. The collection on displays comprised of about 15000 archeological pieces of Ancient Mesopotamia, Pre-Greek Anatolia, Assyrian, Sumerian, Acadian, Babylonian, Ancient Egyptian and Pre-Islamic Arabic culture.
Open daily between 09:30-16:30
Tel: (212) 520 77 40 and 41
The Ataturk Museum
House where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk lived and worked before the War of Independence during his stay in Istanbul between 1918 and 1919, originally was built in 1908 and restored by the Municipality of Istanbul in 1943, opening to the public in 1981. Top floor of this building was reserved to His mother Zubeyde Hanim and His sister Makbule, meanwhile Ataturk used middle floor for himself and lower floor for His loyal officer.
On display are photographs of Ataturk from his birth until his death, as well as some of his clothes, personal belongings and paintings. It's located at Halaskargazi Street in Sisli district.
Open daily between 09:30-16:00 except Thursdays and Sundays.
Tel: (212) 240 63 19
This museum is the former residence of famous Turkish poet Tevfik Fikret (1867-1915) who constructed the building himself. In addition to an exhibit of the personal belongings of Fikret, there is a room devoted to the poet Nigar Hanim and displaying some of the belongings of Abdulhak Hamit.
It's located in Asiyan-Bebek neighborhood on the Bosphorus.
Open daily between 09:00-16:00 except Sundays and Mondays.
Tel: (212) 263 69 86
The Beyazid Medresse, which was used as the municipality library since 1945 was evacuated, restored and reorganized as the Turkish Calligraphic Arts Museum. It has interesting and valuable examples of the Turkish art of the pen, Korans, imperial seals, diplomas, Hilye-i serif (descriptions of the Prophet), equipment and apparatus for calligraphic writing, samples of bookbinding, holy relics and miniatures, especially from Ottoman and the Seljuk periods.
Open daily between 09:00-16:00 except Sundays and Mondays.
Tel: (212) 527 58 51
Sadberk Hanim Museum
Founded by the Vehbi Koc Foundation in 1980 in the historical Azaryan residence along the Bosphorus, this museum is a beautiful three-story "yali" (old Ottoman mansion) and houses a rich collection of Anatolian-based works of art, antiques and relics dating from 6000 BC. It is the first private museum of Turkey opened by Koc family, the richest of the country.
Open daily between 10:00-17:00 except Wednesdays.
Tel: (212) 242 38 13 and 14
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
Opened its doors in December 2004, this is the first museum of modern and contemporary art in Istanbul. Committed to sharing Turkey's artistic creativity and cultural identity with the local and international art worlds, the museum hosts a broad array of interdisciplinary activities. The museum was housed at renovated old docks in Karaköy district facing Topkapi Palace, but due to reconstruction of the pier it's now temporarily located in Beyoglu district. It offers a variety of cultural activities in its permanent and temporary exhibition halls, photography gallery, spaces for educational and social programs, library, cinema, cafe and souvenir shop. One can find in this private museum almost everything on modern Turkish Arts.
Tel: (212) 334 73 00
Fine Arts Museum
On the order of Ataturk, this museum was opened in 1937 in the crown prince suites of Dolmabahce Palace. It was the first art museum in Turkey and only one in Istanbul until 2004. The permanent collection presents a panoramic view of the Turkish plastic arts and also includes works of world famous artists, an impressionist collection, sculptures and works of military painters.
Open daily between 10:00-17:00 except Mondays.
Tel: (212) 261 42 98 and 99
Museum of Painting and Sculpture
Fine collection of 19th and 20th century Turkish painting and sculpture.
Tel: (212) 261 42 98
This museum was opened in 1975 in Tepebasi by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality through the efforts of the Caricaturists Association, then temporarily closed down in 1980 as the building where it was housed was torn down and later re-opened in its new site in Fatih district. The Gazanfer Aga complex, which consists of an Ottoman medrese, a shrine and a fountain in Sarachanebasi, was restored for use as the new structure. Re-opened in 1989, the museum contains a rich collection of satirical works, written or drawn, and the exhibits are frequently changed.
Tel: (212) 521 12 64
Carpet and Kilim Museum
Tel: (212) 518 13 30
The museum was first located in the Bayezit Municipal Library from 1939 until it was moved to the Fine Arts building of the Yildiz Palace complex in 1988. On display are paintings depicting the social life of the Ottoman period in Istanbul, calligraphy, textiles, 18th and 19th century porcelains made in the imperial workshops of Yildiz Palace, various glass objects, calligraphy equipment and other objects of daily life.
Tel: (212) 258 53 44
A building on the Yeniceri (Janissary) Street in Cemberlitas district, originally built as a university by Safvet Pasha and having served different purposes from then on, now houses the Press Museum. Its architect is believed to be Mr. Gaspare Fossati. The museum displays documents on the history of the Turkish press and old printing machinery.
Tel: (212) 513 84 57 and 58
Divan Literature MuseumDervish Lodge
The first dervish lodge in the city was built in 1492 and belongs to the Mevlevi order founded by Mevlana. The present wooden structure on the site dates from the late 18th century. It is situated in a large garden that includes a cemetery in the Tunel district of Pera. Historical objects and literature of the order are displayed in this recently restored building.
Tel: (212) 245 41 41 and 243 50 45
19th century documents and objects belonging to the Ottoman Tanzimat period are displayed in this museum. It was first opened in the Ihlamur Mansion in 1952 and moved to its present location in Gulhane Park just below Topkapi Palace in 1983.
Tel: (212) 512 63 84
Museum of Turkish & Islamic ArtIbrahim Pasha Palace
Fine collection of art and ethnography in the lovely setting of Ibrahim Pasa Palace in the old Hippodrome area. It was built in the 16th century and donated to Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha by the great sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. He was the first counselor of the Sultan and married Suleyman's sister as the sultan ascended the throne, thus occupying a very important place in the Ottoman palace hierarchy. After Ibrahim's death the palace was used as a military barracks for new recruits, and made a museum during the Republic era. The museum is recently restored.
Islamic Sciences & Technology History Museum
One of the newest museums of Istanbul opened by the Metropolitan Municipality in May 2008 at Gulhane Park, near Topkapi Palace. There are plans, copies and replicas of several inventions of Muslim scientists and researches throughout the history of Islam, especially between 8th and 16th centuries AD.
Open daily between 09:00-16:30 except Tuesdays.
Tel: (212) 528 80 65
Santralistanbul Energy & Arts Museum
The building used to be an electric power plant built by Hungarians in 1914 at the tip of the Golden Horn, and known as Silahtaraga Electric Plant. It produced energy for Istanbul from Ottoman period until 1983 then it was shut down because it wasn't effective anymore to compete with modern technology. The grounds were taken by Istanbul Bilgi University in 2004 and converted into a university campus, restoring the power plant as well. Santralistanbul was opened to public in September 2007 as an electric museum displaying industrial power machines and for modern art exhibitions.
Open daily between 10:00-22:00 except Mondays.
Tel: (212) 311 78 78
Bahcesehir College Science Museum
One of the newest museums of Istanbul opened in June 2008 inside the Bahcesehir private highschool. The museum has several tools and work stations aiming young children to explore the scientific world. Young visitors can test and learn several facts of science and physics at the interactive stations and research labs. There is also a Planetarium, sky observation station, and a 3-D movie theater for scientific educational films.
Open daily between 10:00-16:00 except weekends.
The Glass museum in Istanbul is located next to a nice groove in Beykoz district on the Asian side of the city. It's an old mansion from 19th century belonging to Abraham Pasha, which was recently restored and opened to visitors in April 2021. There are around 1500 glass objects on display, from late Ottoman and European periods.
Open daily between 09:00-17:00 except on Mondays, first day of religious holidays, and 1st of January.
Rahmi Koc Industrial Museum
This museum is located in the anchor casting workshop at the docks on the Golden Horn (Halic in Turkish), an area that symbolized industrialization in the Ottoman Empire of the 19th century. The anchor casting workshop was built in the era of Ahmet II (1703-1730) and the building's foundations go back to a 12th century Byzantine construction. It was restored under Selim III and used by the Finance Ministry until 1951. After a fire in 1984, the building stood in ruins. In 1991, it was bought by the Rahmi Koc Museum and Cultural Foundation, restored and opened to the public in 1994.
On the first floor, motors and steam engines are displayed. On the second floor are the scientific instruments and communications apparatuses. The entrance is reserved for the aircraft department, mint machinery for printing paper money and coins, bicycles and motorcycles, the naval department and ship engines. In the open area, there is a coast guard life-boat, a tram, a narrow gauge steam train, and a vertical steam boiler. There is a submarine in the water.
Open daily between 10:00-17:00 except Mondays.
Tel: (212) 369 66 00
Sakip Sabanci Museum
The building today known as the Horse Mansion on the Bosphorus was built in the 19th century and belonged to Sabanci family for many years. Just before the death of Sakip Sabanci the mansion was converted into a museum and opened to the public with its antique furnishings and art collections. Today the Museum's collection of precious manuscripts and extensive collection of 19th and 20th century paintings are on permanent exhibition in the rooms of the original house and gallery annex. From time to time, it is also hosting great exhibitions of international artists such as Pablo Picasso, Rodin etc.
Open daily between 10:00-18:00 except Mondays.
Tel: (212) 277 22 00
The museum was opened in July 2005 by the Suna-Inan Kirac Foundation, another project of Koc family. The old building was originally constructed in 1893 by architect Achille Manousos and restored recently for the modern museum. Kutahya tiles, Anatolian weights and measurements, and Oriental portraits painting Collections are the permanent exhibitions in the museum. One of the most famous paintings in the museum is of Osman Hamdi's "The Tortoise Trainer" (Kaplumbaga Terbiyecisi in Turkish). In addition, three art galleries and an auditorium are among the facilities of the museum.
Open daily between 12:00-18:00 except Mondays.
Tel: (212) 334 99 00
Borusan Contemporary Museum
The museum is opened in 2011 at the headquarters of Borusan Holding, one of the leading companies in Turkey, located in a historic building near Rumelihisar. It's a comtemporary art museum with exhibitions and events in its galleries. The museum has a caffeteria and a panoramic terrace with breathtaking views of the Bosphorus.
Open between 10:00-20:00 on Saturdays & Sundays Only, except if the weekend falls on the first days of the religious holidays or on January 1.
Tel: (212) 393 52 00
Vedat Nedim Tor Museum
This museum is located in the Yapi Kredi Bank building in Galatasaray district and contains a collection of coins, embroidered textiles, gold covered copper objects, calligraphy, rosaries, Karagoz figures and ethnographic works.
Open to the public during exhibitions around central themes.
Tel: (212) 245 20 41 and 252 47 00
Rezan Has Museum
This private museum is located inside the Kadir Has University at the Golden Horn, inside an old building which also contains some relics of a Byzantine cistern and Ottoman hamam. The museum displays paintings and documents belonging to important persons who draw the Golden Horn in the past centuries, objects from Anatolia, and so on.
Open daily between 09:00-18:00
Tel: (212) 533 65 32 and 534 10 34
Ottoman Bank Museum
It's located in the former head office of the Ottoman Bank on Voyvoda Street in Karakoy district and operates under the aegis of the Garanti Bank sponsored "Ottoman Bank Archive and Research Center". The museum, organized in and around the bank's safe room, draws on a wealth of information from the bank's archive to narrate the history of this institution, which operated as the Central Bank, bank of issue, and treasurer of the Ottoman Empire.
Open to the public during weekdays between 10:00-18:00.
Tel: (212) 334 22 00
Is Bank Museum
Opened in November 2007 at Eminonu district, it's located on Bankacilar Street of Hobyar neighborhood. The museum is housed in an old building of one of the oldest banks of Turkey, Is Bank, founded by Ataturk. There is a big collection of many documents, photos, films and objects collected since the foundation of the Is Bank, showing the economic and cultural heritage of Turkey and its recent history.
Open to the public between 10:00-18:00 except on Mondays, holidays, and 1st of January.
Tel: (212) 511 13 31
Adam Mickiewicz Museum
Adam Mickiewicz, Polish romantic poet and playwright, was born in Zaosie in 1798. He was arrested by the Russian police in 1823 because of taking part in a semisecret group which protested Russian control of Poland, he was jailed and then exiled to Russia. After his release, he spent the rest of his life in Western Europe and in Turkey where he continued to write his poems. He died during a cholera epidemic in Istanbul in 1885. His body was first transported to Paris and than returned to Poland.
His house in Tarlabasi neighborhood near Beyoglu was converted into a museum in 1955 to commemorate 100th year of his death. Inside the museum, there are many documents and information about the poet and his works, photographs of Constantinople of that time, and documents of Polish Liberation struggle. There is also a symbolic grave of the poet in the basement of the building. The museum today is administered by the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum.
Open daily between 09:00-16:00, except on Mondays.
Tel: (212) 237 25 45
Ismet Inonu Museum
Inönü was the second president of the Turkish Republic. The summer house on Heybeli Island was bought by him in 1934 and lately it is rennovated and opened as a museum in 2008. There are personal objects and books of Ismet Inönü, as well as some exhibitions. The admission is free.
Open from April to November between 10:00-18:00.
Tel: (216) 351 84 49
Huseyin Rahmi Gurpinar Museum
Rahmi Gürpinar was one of the early Republic period writers of Turkey. His house on Heybeli Island, where he lived between 1912-1944, has been rennovated and converted into a museum by the Ministry of Culture and volunteered school theachers in 1999. The house is located on a high hillside of the island, where one can visit his personal objects, books, and some handycrafts made by the writer.
Open daily between 10:00-16:00, except on Mondays.
Leyla Gencer Museum
Leyla Gencer was a world famous Turkish opera Diva and the Primadonna of the La Scala opera for 25 years while she lived in Italy. Interior of her house in Milan is reproduced inside the IKSV building in Sishane neighbourhood near Galata Tower, where you can see items and furnitures from the life of this great soprano such as her piano, her library, her photographs, her dining room and her bedroom.
Open daily between 11.00-16.30 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Tel: (212) 334 08 21
The Dogancay Museum, one of Turkey's first modern art museum, was officially opened in 2004. It is centrally located in a 150-year old historic building in the bustling section of Beyoglu in walking distance from Taksim Square. The museum provides a general overview of a small portion of the prolific oeuvre of one of Turkey's leading artists, Burhan Dogancay, and that of his father, Adil.
Open daily between 10:00-18:00
Tel: (212) 244 77 70
Museum of Innocence
The Museum of Innocence, inspired by the same name book of the Nobel Prize winner author Orhan Pamuk, was opened in 2012 in a historic building located in a residential area near Galata Tower. The belongings of Fusun collected by Kemal, the two characters of the book, are displayed on all three levels of the museum. These objects, which embody daily life in Istanbul during the second half of the 20th century, are well displayed in boxes and cabinets.
Open daily between 10:00-18:00, except on Mondays
Tel: (212) 252 97 38
Museum of Illusions
The Museum of Illusions is located in the recently restored Narmanli Han on Istiklal street, near Pera. These fascinating illusions will trick your senses in several ways. Its entertaining exhibits and areas such as infinity room, the vortex tunnel, the Beuchet Chair illusion and Ames room is lots of fun both for kids and adults. There is also a small shop and a great candy shop at the entrance of the museum.
Open daily between 10:00-22:00
Tel: (212) 244 06 64
Miniaturk is also named as the "Showcase of Turkey", where you can find many important structures of Turkey in small scales, models of architectural masterpieces representing the Anatolian and the Ottoman civilizations.
Models of 105 historical and architectural works, all made in the scale of 1/25, including the Library of Celsus in Ephesus, the Malabadi Bridge in Diyarbakir, Grand Mosque of Bursa, the Tomb of Mevlana in Konya, Dome of the Rock (Mescid-i Aksa), the Church of St. Antoine in Istanbul, the Ottoman galley, Savarona yacht which was used by Ataturk, the Underground Cistern (Yerebatan), Stone houses of Mardin, Fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, Ataturk's Mausoleum in Ankara, ancient theater of Aspendos in Antalya, Hagia Sophia and the Maiden's Tower of Istanbul, can all be seen in one single place. There is also a miniature railway network, a motorway with moving vehicles, an airport with moving airplanes, thousands of human figures, and ships sailing across the Bosphorus. These dynamic models make Miniaturk a living park.
Built in 2003 on a 60,000-square-meter site in the Golden Horn, it is the largest miniature city in the world and has attracted lots of interest and is located opposite the Pierre Loti Coffee House in Eyup district, a favorite with tourists.
Open daily between 09:00-17:00
Tel: (212) 222 28 82
This is a private museum founded by Mr. Sunay Akin in a historical residence that belongs to his family, in Goztepe district of Istanbul. Approximately 2000 toys and miniatures are exhibited in the museum that occupies 500 square meters of land. Sunay Akin has collected some 4000 toys from Turkey and abroad. The oldest is a miniature violin manufactured in 1817 in France. A doll made in 1820 in United States, marbles from United States dating back to 1860 and German toys made from tin, and porcelain dolls are other items of the extensive collection.
The museum has a cafeteria and a very small theater as well.
Open daily between 09:30-18:00 except Mondays.
Tel: (216) 359 45 50 and 51
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
Madame Tussauds opened its 21st museum in November 2016. Located inside a historical building on Istiklal street near Taksim, the museum has 55 wax statues of Turkish and foreign artists and the management is planning to add 3 or 4 more statues each year. Some of the famous personalities in the hall are Ataturk, Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, Einstein, Steve Jobs, Brad Pitt, Anjelina Jolie, Madonna, Messi, and many others.
Open daily between 10:00-20:00
Tel: (212) 640 39 51
A private museum opened in 2012 in the modern Sapphire shopping mall located in a residential area of Istanbul. The wax statues were made by Mrs. Jale Kushan, using very realistic materials and the wax. There are around 60 wax statues of many important figures such as Attila, Elvis Presley, Da Vinci, Karl Marx, Mevlana, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Napoleon, Beatles, and many other historic and live personalities around the world.
Open daily between 10:00-22:00
Tel: (212) 268 80 80
SAV Automobile Museum
The Sabri Artam Vakfi (SAV) Antique Automotive museum has the largest collection of antique cars in Turkey with its over 100 vehicles collected privately in a record time frame of 15-20 years by Artam family. The museum is recognized by FIVA (Federation Internationale des Vehicule Anciens - International Federation of Antique Vehicles) as well. There are many special cars in the collection from last century, such as 1907 model Panhard-Levassor, 1912 model Mercer, 1926 model Bugatti, and 1929 model Packard. There is also the largest collection of Ferrari's in Turkey, and special models of Maserati, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini and Fiat cars are on display.
The museum is located in Cengelkoy, near Uskudar on the Asian side of Istanbul, and has a total of 5 floors; in the basement there are cars produced after 1960's, on the second floor cars from 1950's, on the third floor a cafeteria and antique cars, and on the roof there are model cars.
Open daily between 10:00-19:00 except Sundays.
Tel: (216) 329 50 30
PTT MuseumMuseum of Postal Service
The PTT (Post - Telephone - Telegram company) museum in Istanbul is located inside the historic building of main post office at Sirkeci neighborhood. It houses several old phone units, telegram machines, first stamp from 1863 and other late Ottoman or early Republic period stamps, old seals and mail boxes, postal clerk uniforms, and some photos of the first communication systems in Turkey.
Open daily except weekends and holidays, between 08:30-12:30 and 13:30-17:30
NOTE: the museum is closed due to restoration works of the main postal building.
Tel: (212) 520 90 37
The Photography museum is opened in 2011 in the historic neighbourhood of Kadirga, in order to witness the past & present of the Turkish photography. The museum contains works of various Turkish photographers, archive of photos and a library.
Open daily between 10:00-18:00 except on Mondays
Tel: (212) 458 88 42
Museum of the Princes' Islands
The Museum of the Princes' Islands is a contemporary city museum of Istanbul opened in 2010 at Buyukada, one of the Princes' Islands. The museum tells the story of the Islands from the geological formation of them to the present day, displaying hundreds of objects, Ottoman archival documents, photographs, documentary films, and so on.
Open daily between 09:00-18:00, except on Mondays
Tel: (216) 382 64 30
Panorama 1453 History Museum
One of the most popular sights of Istanbul and the first panoramic museum in Turkey, describing the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453 with 3-D objects and paintings, including sounds too. The museum is located in front of the ancient city walls of Edirnekapi where the Janissaries were first able to breach the city during the siege. Inside the museum you can have a 360 degrees of vision when you look at the wall paintings from a distance giving you a 3 dimensional impression. This 3-D effect makes you think that the picture is without boundaries.
Open daily between 09:00-17:00
Tel: (212) 467 07 00
The museum consists of many interesting military pieces such as uniforms belonging to every period of Ottoman army, various weapons from bow and arrow to triggered guns, seals, armors, tent of the sultan, sultan swords, flags, photos of ministers of defense, Byzantine Cavalry Flag, various warfare pieces used from the Seljuk period to the Republic period, and the chain with which Byzantines closed the Golden Horn before the Conquest. There is also a Janissary Band show daily between 3-4 pm, if they're not on a tour.
Open daily between 09:00-17:00 except Mondays and Tuesdays.
Tel: (212) 232 16 98
The museum was opened to public in 1960 and renewed recently. It displays the uniforms of the Turkish sailors, models of Turkish naval vessels, paintings, engravings and maps related to Turkish maritime history. Also the materials and souvenirs from the vessels used in the first years of Ottoman Empire and the Republic, pictures of some navy disasters and martyrs, wartime weapons such as hand-bombs, torpedo, fire gun and sketches of several fleet commanders are amongst the display. A great collection of Sultans' row-boats (Saltanat Kayigi in Turkish) from 19th century are displayed in the large hall, as well as some boat decorations, coat of arms made of wood, and the chain which blocked the entrance to the Golden Horn before the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453. In the courtyard of the museum, cannonballs of various sizes and a part of German Battleship which sunk in our coastline during Second World War are also displayed.
Open daily between 09:00-17:00 except Mondays.
Tel: (212) 327 43 45
The museum stands within the Air Command Headquarters of Istanbul next to the old airport and has both indoor and outdoor exhibition sections; jet-motor and hovercrafts, cargo planes, helicopters, some aviation arms, pictures, emblems, medallions and belongings of Turkish air pilots are displayed. The Museum also features movie theater, conference room and a cafeteria.
Open daily between 09:30-16:30 except Monday and Tuesdays.
Tel: (212) 663 24 90
Fire Brigade Museum
This museum presents a chronological history of fire fighting in Istanbul starting with the water pumpers (tulumbaci in Turkish) of Ottoman times. All kinds of fire brigade equipment, from the first motorized fire engines to firemen's clothing and tools, are displayed. The museum in its present building opened in 1992 within the main Fire Brigade headquarters in Fatih district, after many years of collecting and repairing the objects.
Open daily between 09:00-17:00 except Sundays and Mondays.
Tel: (212) 524 11 25
Aya SofyaHaghia Sophia
The ancient Byzantine church, built by emperor Justinian I between 532-537 AD after the Nika Riot, was later converted to a mosque with the addition of minarets in mid-15th century. It's used as a museum during the Republic era until July 2020, when it was re-converted to a mosque. The remarkable structure with its 56 meters high immense dome is a mosque today that can be visited by tourists off the prayer times, in which you can see both Christian and Islamic art. There are good examples of the Byzantine mosaics as well. For about 1000 years this was the largest church in the world, and glory of the Byzantine Empire.
Tel: (212) 522 17 50
Kariye MuseumChurch of St. Saviour in Chora
Ancient Byzantine church later converted into a mosque in the 15th century AD. It's used as a museum of Byzantine mosaics and frescoes during the Republic era until end of October 2020, when it was re-converted to a mosque. The typical Ottoman neighborhood with wooden houses is also very interesting to stroll around.
NOTE: There are restoration works on progress therefore some sections are closed as of 2020
Tel: (212) 631 92 41
Fethiye Mosque MuseumPammakaristos Church
The Byzantine church dedicated to the Virgin "Pammakaristos" (The Most Happy) was built in 1261. After the Conquest, it was used as a nunnery and it became the see of Christian Orthodox Patriarchate between 1455-1587, then converted into a mosque in the 16th century changing its name to Fethiye. Its parekleison (burial corridor) was opened as a museum where you can see beuatiful Byzantine mosaics and some frescoes.
Open daily between 09:30-16:30 except Wednesdays.
NOTE: The museum is closed to visitors due to restoration works in 2020
This museum, opened to the public in 1953 behind Sultanahmet Mosque, consists of the remains of the Great Palace of the Byzantine Empire built by emperor Constantine the Great (324-337). These remains consists of mosaics, columns and other architectural pieces which had once been part of the Great Palace. They show scenes with human figures, daily life in Byzantium, hunting incidents, landscapes and animal figures.
Open daily between 09:00-16:30 except Mondays
Tel: (212) 518 12 05
Yerebatan SarayiBasilica Cistern
Byzantine cistern from the 6th century built by emperor Justinian I and is located to the south-west of Hagia Sophia. The water was brought from Belgrade Forest, 19 kilometers to the north of Istanbul, and it had a capacity to store 100.000 tons of water. It features fine brick vaulting supported by 336 various type of columns brought here from different parts of the Empire. The Basilica Cistern, or Underground (Yerebatan) Cistern as locals call it, used to host musical and theatrical performances and a Biannual until some years ago. There are two Medusa friezes brought from the Temple of Apollo in Didyma (today's Didim). Its dimensions are 140x70x9 meters.
Open daily between 09:00-18:00
NOTE: There are some restoration works on progress therefore some sections are closed.
Tel: (212) 522 12 59
It's one of the oldest Byzantine cisterns of Istanbul; it was built by Philoxenus to the west of the Hippodrome as a huge water storage in the 4th century AD during the reign of Constantine the Great. The dimensions of the cistern are 64 x 56 meters with 15 meters of height and there were 224 original columns, out of which 212 of them survived until our days. The brick arches and the roof surrounded by tick walls are supported by these columns. Binbirdirek in Turkish means "Thousand and one columns", referring probably to its many columns. During the Ottoman period it was used as a silk threads production atelier and unfortunately as a dump during the Republic period. It was opened to the public in 2002 after a long restoration period. Besides being a museum, there is a small cafeteria. The cistern is also used for special events and for small scale musical performances.
Open daily between 09:00-18:00
Tel: (212) 518 10 01
The Serefiye Cistern was built by the Byzantine emperor Theodosius II in the 5th century AD, to which fresh water was brought from the Belgrade Forest area north of the city through the Aqueduct. It was known as Theodosius Cistern in the past, but now is called Serefiye, meaning the "Goodwill" in Turkish. This cistern, like the Basilica Cistern, was connected to the Binbirdirek Cistern nearby. The dimensions are approximately 45 meters by 25 meters, with a height of 9 meters and 32 marble columns. It was opened to public in 2018. Today, the Municipality organizes art exhibitions, small classic music concerts and other events inside.
Open daily between 09:00-18:00, but closes at 15:00 on Saturdays
Tel: (212) 568 60 80
Situated on the Asian side of Istanbul, this 262 meter high hill provides a panoramic view of the city and has nice cafeterias to enjoy Turkish tea or coffee. It is also a well known spot for watching migrating birds over the Bosphorus. Recently, next to Camlica hill one of the biggest mosques in Istanbul and also a huge radio tower with observation desk were built.
Open every day
This was the scene of horse and chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life. It was the place where the Nika Riot started in 532 AD. There is an Egyptian Obelisk, a stone obelisk and the bronze Serpentine Column which were originally brought by the emperors and used for the decoration of the Hippodrome. At the other side of the Hippodrome the German Fountain still functions today. The imperial lodge was located to the west of the Hippodrome where Ibrahim Pasha Palace stands now. Today, Sultanahmet Square is a nice area for picnics and meetings.
Built in the 15th century as a complex of 3,000 shops selling raw materials to be used in clothes manufacturing, the Covered Bazaar fulfills a viable commercial function to this day. The Bazaar's fine shops and exotic atmosphere, mingling the ancient and new, make it a "must-see" in Istanbul. It's divided into many sections such as leather, rugs, souvenirs, copper, antiques, textile etc. There are 22 gates and 60 streets inside. You can read more information on the Grand Bazaar by following this link.
Open everyday except Sundays and on some National and all Religious Holidays.
Egyptian Spice BazaarMisir Carsisi
Built in the 17th century next to the Golden Horn, the Spice Bazaar is the second largest covered bazaar in Istanbul. Originally housing shops selling medicine and spices, the Spice Bazaar continues to fulfill its original function. This distinguished example of Ottoman architecture continues to sparkle with life even today. You can read more information on the Spice Market by following this link.
Open everyday except Religious Holidays.
There are many other museums like; Anadolu Fortress, museum of the Ancient Orient, Rumeli Fortress, Yildiz Chalet, Tekfur Palace, Ataturk's Sea Mansion in Florya, Sait Faik Abasiyanik museum at Darussafaka, Burgazada museum on Princes' Islands, Hilmi Nakipoglu Photo Cameras museum in Bakirkoy neighbourhood, Ercumend Kalmik museum in Gumussuyu neighbourhood, Sea and Sea Products museum in Beykoz district, and so on.