The Topkapi Palace, on türkisch Topkapı Sarayı, is one of the richest museums in the world and together with the neighboring one Hagia Sophia be considered as the best and most visited attraction in Istanbul. It is located on a hill overlooking the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. For centuries, Topkapi Palace was the official residence and seat of government of the sultans and the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire.
If you are planning to visit Topkapi Palace, it is advisable to find out about it in advance Opening hours and entry prices and, if necessary, reserve tickets in advance to avoid queues.
Topkapi Palace is an impressive place, known for both its architecture and historical importance. The palace consists of many buildings, gardens and terraces, all built in different eras. Some of the most famous points of interest & sights in the palace are the Harem, the Audience Hall, the Imperial Kitchen and the Treasury.
A special highlight is the view of the city from the terraces and Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Visitors can also explore the palace's magnificent gardens, which were used as a haven by the sultans.
There are also many works of art and treasures on display in the palace, including Ottoman ceramics, textiles, jewels and weapons. The treasury houses an impressive collection of gold and silver jewellery, precious stones and other precious objects used by the sultans.
The historic Topkapi Palace in Fatih district and was built in 1475 by Fatih Sultan Mehmed II. First he built a palace on today's Beyazıt Square (Beyazıt Meydanı). It was only at the beginning of the 18th century that the complex acquired its current appearance as a result of extensive renovation and expansion work.
It consists of four main courtyards and several smaller buildings.
- Im first yard were mainly rooms for services. The parades took place on a park-like square.
- The second yard was the political center with state and administrative offices.
- The third yard could only be entered with express permission. Here was the throne to receive the highest civil officials, ministers and foreign guests.
- Im fourth yard there were other parks and gardens on various terraces.
Topkapi Palace was the residence of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire for approximately 350 years until the early 1850s. Since the palace no longer conformed to etiquette and ceremonies, the sultans moved to the Dolmabahce Palace in Besiktas at the Bosphorus.
Despite this, Topkapi Palace still preserves many collections such as royal treasures, the holy relics of the Prophet Mohammed and the royal archives. as the republic Turkey Founded in 1923, Topkapi Palace was commissioned by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk into a Museum i.e. into oil.
Topkapi Palace is a stunning example of Ottoman architecture and offers a glimpse into the lifestyle and culture of the Ottoman sultans. It is a large site made up of many buildings, terraces and gardens that have been added over the centuries.
Discover interesting facts about Topkapi Palace in Istanbul
- Built between 1460-1478.
- It was once the residence of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire.
- One of the richest museums in the world.
- A collection of the finest seals, bindings, jewelry and box art, and inscriptions.
- Possesses the finest collection of Chinese porcelain in the world.
- It was turned into a museum in 1924.
Explore the attractions at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul
The palace covers an area of approximately 700.000 square meters and is surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. On land it is surrounded by a 1.400 meter long city wall known as the "Royal Wall", with the Byzantine city wall facing the sea.
The architectural complex of Topkapi Palace is magnificent and consists of three main gates including the Royal Gate (Bâb-ı Hümâyûn), the Greeting Gate (Bâbüsselâm) and the Fortune Gate (Bâbüssaâde), four courtyards, the Harem and the Royal Garden (aka as the Rose Garden (Gülbahçe) and several other gardens.
Discover the sights of Istanbul's Topkapi Palace - Harem, Audience Hall, Terraces and Treasury
Topkapi Palace has the most exquisite collection of seals, bindings, jewelry and box art, and inscriptions. The former Royal Kitchen houses a collection of some of the finest Chinese porcelain in the world.
The treasury has a stunning and perfect collection of precious stones such as emeralds, rubies and diamonds.
The Baghdad Pavilion is adorned with beautiful blue tiles and contains a sanctuary with displays of the Prophet Mohammed's relics, paintings and manuscripts.
The world famous harem, a private part of the palace where the sultans' wives and concubines lived.
In the first courtyard of the palace there is also the famous Hagia Irene church, today a museum and center for cultural Activities and exhibitions. As with the Harem, you must purchase a separate ticket to access the Hagia Irene to visit.
Discover the impressive collections of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul - treasury, works of art and Ottoman treasures
- Arms: Weapons of Sultan Mehmed II, Bayezid II, Selim the Grim, Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, Mehmed II and Ahmed I and others.
- Chinese and Japanese porcelain: One of the best collections in the world.
- Copper and gilded copper cookware: Copper processing is an important part of Topkapi Palace cookware.
- Imperial Treasury: Topkapi dagger, jeweled pendants and feathers, treasure weapons.
- Pavilion of the Holy Cloak and Holy Relic: the sacred cloak of Prophet Muhammad, Abraham's tablet, the staff of Moses, the sword of David, the robe of Joseph, the swords of the companions of Prophet Muhammad.
- Portraits of the sultans and paintings: Many very valuable portraits of 36 different reigning sultans beginning with the establishment of the Ottoman state.
Discover the mysterious life in the harem of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul
Decorated with blue and red tiles, the secret chamber of Murad III is one of the most beautiful harem rooms to visit, as is the dome with outstanding classical designs, a built-in marble fountain with three tiers. Please note that you need to buy a separate ticket to visit the harem.
Frequently asked questions about Topkapi Palace in Istanbul: Answers to the most important questions
What is Topkapi Palace?
Topkapı Palace (Topkapı Sarayı) was built in 1459 and was the main residence of the Ottoman Sultans and the seat of the ruling family until 1853.
What to see in Topkapi Palace
The palace covers an area of approximately 700.000 square meters and is surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. The architectural complex of Topkapi Palace is magnificent and consists of three main gates. It is one of the richest museums in the world.
Do you need to book Topkapi Palace tickets in advance?
The number of tourists to Topkapi Palace can be very high. Therefore, we recommend that you book an e-ticket as early as possible to secure your spot.
How much do Topkapi Palace tickets cost?
Topkapi Palace entrance fees may vary.
What's the best way to see Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayi)?
Read our Topkapi Palace tips and guide.
What does Topkapi Palace mean?
In German it means "Cannon Gate Palace".
Who built Topkapi Palace?
Topkapı Palace / Architects: Sinan, Sarkis Bey Baylan, Mimar Davud Ağa, Acem Ali.
When was Topkapi Palace built?
When is Topkapi Palace open?
The palace is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 16:45 p.m.
How much does it cost to enter Topkapi Palace?
The entrance fee varies depending on the season and age, but for adults it is usually around 40 TL. There are also discounted rates for students and seniors.
Are there opportunities to visit the palace with a guide?
Yes, there is the possibility to book a guided tour of the palace. There are also audio guides available in different languages.
What is the best way to reach the palace?
The palace is best reached by public transport, the nearest metro station is Blue. There are also many bus and tram lines nearby. There are also parking facilities near the palace for those who wish to travel by car.
Is there a dress code to enter the palace?
Yes, there are specific dress code rules to enter the palace. Knees and shoulders should be covered and shorts and open-toed shoes should be avoided.
Is there a specific route to follow when visiting Topkapi Palace?
There is no set route to follow when visiting the palace, but there are some important sights not to be missed, such as the Harem, the Audience Hall, the Imperial Kitchen and the Treasury. It is also recommended to visit the terraces to enjoy the view of the city and the Bosphorus.
Are there places to eat or shop in the palace?
Yes, there are some cafes and souvenir shops in the palace in case you need a break or a souvenir.
What other attractions in Istanbul should you visit near Topkapi Palace?
There are many other places worth visiting near Topkapi Palace such as Hagia Sophia, the Blaue Moschee, the Hippodrome and the Grand Bazaar. There are also many historic streets and squares in the area worth visiting.
Is it possible to visit the palace at night?
No, the palace is only open during regular opening hours and there is no possibility to visit the palace at night.
Is there a special recommendation for visiting Topkapi Palace?
There is no specific recommendation, but it is advisable to come early to avoid queues and enough Time to have to visit the palace. It is also helpful to know in advance about the opening hours and admission prices and to reserve tickets in advance if necessary. A guided tour or audio guide can also help in understanding the History and architecture of the palace.
Is it also possible to organize an event or a wedding in Topkapi Palace?
Yes, there is a possibility to organize events or weddings at Topkapi Palace. There are various rooms in the palace that can be rented out for such occasions, such as the audience hall or the terraces. Those interested should contact the palace administration for more information and bookings.
Admission, tickets and tours to Topkapi Palace
- Admission: Topkapi Palace is daily except Tuesdays open from 9 a.m. to 18 p.m.
- Tickets: Topkapi Palace + Hagia Irene (the first courtyard of Topkapi Palace) + Harem costs 280 lira (about 28 euros) for entry at the ticket office on site. The entrance fee for Topkapi Palace + Hagia Irene Cathedral at the on-site ticket office is 200 TL (about 20 euros).
- Tours: You can get guided tours with the Istanbul Welcome Card. The cost of the tour guide is around 30-40 euros.
please check the Opening hours and tickets from millisaraylar.gov.tr.
Tips for visiting Topkapi Palace
- Buy tickets in advance as they tend to sell out even in the off season.
- Booking a guided tour is recommended as the history of Topkapi Palace can be traced back to the 1460s.
- The harem area of Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Irene Museum (the original church, in courtyard 1) require separate tickets to visit.
- The palace has four courtyards, the first courtyard is free to enter where you will find a beautiful garden, the museum's souvenir shop, as well as a café and ticket office.
- Book tickets for 9:30am or 15:30pm to avoid the crowds.
- Plan at least 90 minutes for the visit.
- Plan your day with Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern, as these are within walking distance of Topkapi Palace.
- Try to have lunch at one of the four quality restaurants in the palace, facing the Bosphorus entrance with great views.
Experience an unforgettable guided tour of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul - audio guides, guided tours and insider insights
This is the top choice we recommend for first-time visitors. We always recommend to choose an extended English speaking guide exclusively provided by several historical guides of Istanbul.
This is provided by the Istanbul Welcome Card and is highly recommended.
Accessibility information at Topkapi Palace
- Part of the Topkapi Palace Museum is wheelchair accessible. You may need to bring your own wheelchair.
- Some areas and halls cannot be passed with wheelchairs.
- The disabled toilet is located at the entrance to the second courtyard on the right.
Where to buy tickets for Topkapi Palace?
You can buy it at the on-site ticket office, but it takes at least 1 to 2 hours to wait in line. We recommend that you buy tickets online. This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to do it Tickets for Topkapi Palace to get.
Topkapi Palace is a huge complex of buildings and a full tour takes about 1,5 to 2 hours.
How do I get to Topkapi Palace?
Topkapi Palace is located in Sultanahmet district of Fatih am district Sultanahmet Square, very close to the famous Hagia Sophia Mosque.
The most convenient way to get to Sultanahmet is by taking the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line).
- The nearest tram stop is Sultanahmet.
- Sultanahmet Square and most connecting streets are closed to vehicles, except for trams and coaches.
- From Partition from take the funicular to Kabatas (from Taksim place) or the funicular to Karakoy (from Tünel Square), then take the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (line T1).
- If you are staying in a hotel in the Sultanahmet area, you can easily walk to Topkapi Palace.
Overall, visiting Topkapi Palace is an unforgettable experience, a place known for its beauty and historical importance. It offers visitors the opportunity to gain an insight into the history and culture of the Ottoman dynasty and enjoy the breathtaking views of the city of Istanbul.
Address : Topkapi Palace, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi, Cankurtaran, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey