Guide to Istanbul’s Top Museums

Museums in Istanbul: Opening Hours & Entry Fees

Istanbul, a city where history and culture intertwine, offers a myriad of fascinating museums for tourists. The Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, Rahmi Koc Museum and much more… Here’s some tourist information about Istanbul’s leading museums. However, it’s advisable to check the museums’ official websites for the most current prices and information before your visit.

Topkapi Palace & Harem

Opening Hours and entry fee; 09:00-17:00, closed on Tuesdays. Ticket price; Topkapi Palace + Harem + Hagia Irene combined ticket; 1500 TRY. Official website Home to Ottoman sultans for 400 years, Topkapi Palace showcases opulent treasures and intriguing harem life. This architectural jewel in Istanbul, the epicenter of the Ottoman Empire, features sprawling ornate courtyards and lavish chambers, offering a glimpse into the sultans’ opulent lifestyle. The Harem, a secluded part of the palace, intrigues visitors with its tales of palace intrigues and luxuries, reflecting the complex social structure of the Ottoman court. Visitors are captivated by the richly decorated rooms and the fascinating history behind the palace walls.

Entrance fee, visitor information for Topkapi Palace, / Istanbul


Hagia Sophia Mosque (Ayasofya)

Opening Hours and entry fee; the mosque is open to visitors 24/7 throughout the year, from 08:00-19:30. Visitors are only allowed access to the upper floor. Muslims wishing to enter for worship purposes are granted free access to the lower floor. Entry fee is 25 € per person. A stunning example of Byzantine architecture, Hagia Sophia is famous for its massive dome and rich historical mosaics. As a symbol of Istanbul’s rich history, Hagia Sophia stands as a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Originally a cathedral, then a mosque, and now a museum, its massive dome and stunning mosaics have awed visitors for centuries. The blend of Christian and Islamic art inside Hagia Sophia narrates a history of empires and religions converging. It’s particularly renowned for its majestic central dome and the Deesis Mosaic, epitomizing the pinnacle of Byzantine art.

Santa Sophia Istanbul, opening hour, ticket price

Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii)

Opening Hours and entry fee; entry is free of charge, and it is recommended to avoid visiting during prayer times. Known for its striking blue tiles, this working mosque combines Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements. The Blue Mosque is used for praying five times a day, and visits are allowed only before or after prayer times. Entrance is free of charge.

Sultanahmed Mosque opening hours, prayer times

Istanbul Archaeology Museum

Opening Hours and entry fee; open everyday from 09:00 to 21:00. (Last entry is 20:00).  Ticket price; 15 €. Official website.This complex houses extensive collections from the Ottoman Empire, Byzantium and ancient civilizations including the Treaty of Kadesh, the world’s earliest surviving peace treaty and the famous Alexander Sarcophagus. Two sections (Ancient Oriental Civilizations section is closed / under renovation as of June 2024).

Istanbul Arhaeology Museum, Ticket Price and Hours

Roman Hippodrome

Opening Hours and entry fee; this site is open 7/24 hours and entry is free of charge. an open-air museum, the Hippodrome offers a glimpse into Constantinople’s political and sporting center with its ancient monuments.

Sultanahmed, Hippodrome opening hours, entrance fee

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici)

Opening Hours and entry fee; 09:00-22:00, open everyday. Ticket prices; 09:00-18:30; 800 TRY, 19:30-23:50; 1300 TRY. Official Website. Basilica Cistern, Istanbul’s ancient underground water reservoir, is famed for its atmospheric columns and Medusa head carvings, creating a mysterious ambiance.

Museum Of Turkish And Islamic Arts

Opening Hours and entry fee; 1 April-31 October; 09:00-19:30  / 31 October – 1 April; 09:00-18:30. Open everyday. Ticket fee; 17 €. Official website. Located in a former palace, this museum showcases Islamic art, antique carpets, and historical Turkish artifacts.

Turkish And Islamic Arts Museum, Opening and Closing Times

Chora Church / Museum (Kariye Müzesi)

Renowned for its well-preserved and stunning Byzantine mosaics and frescoes mostly between 13th-14th centuries, this museum reflects the city’s deep Byzantine roots.

Chora Church Museum, Byzantium Relics, Opening Hours And Ticket Price


Dolmabahçe Palace

Opening Hours and entry fee; 09:00-17:30. Closed on Mondays. Ticket price; The Palace (Selamlik) + Harem + Painting Museum combine ticket valid for 1 week; 1050 TRY. This palace on the Bosphorus impresses with its opulent European and Ottoman interior, home to the world’s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier. Official website

Dolmabahce Palace Visiting Information


Beylerbeyi Palace

Opening Hours and entry fee; 09:00-17:30. Closed on Mondays. Ticket fee; 350 TRY. An imperial Ottoman summer residence on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, known for its elegant interior and lush gardens. Official website

Beylerbeyi Ottoman Palace, Opening Hours And Days


Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi)

Opening Hours and entry fee; Open everyday. Opening time: 08:30 – Closing time: 23:00. Ticket price; 30 €. Official website. Offers a panoramic view of Istanbul and is a symbol of the city’s Genoese past, with a rich history dating back to medieval times.

Galata Tower Istanbul, How much is the entrance fee, opening hours


Pera Museum

Opening Hours and entry fee; visiting hours; Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 – 19.00, Friday 10.00 – 22.00, Sunday 12.00 – 18.00. Closed on Mondays. Ticket price; 100 TRY. Official website. Famous for its Orientalist Painting Collection, bridging eastern and western art.

Pera Museum Istanbul


Maiden’s Tower (Kız Kulesi)

Opening Hours and entry fee; Open everyday. Opening time: 09:00 – Closing time: 21:00, 1 November – 1 April, Opening time: 09:00 – Closing time: 20:00. Open everyday. Ticket price; 27 € including the boat transportation. Official website. A historic tower on a small islet, offering panoramic views and legends, including one about a maiden’s tragic fate. 

Maiden's Tower Visiting Hours


Museum Of Great Palace Mosaics

Opening Hours and entry fee; 01.04-01.10; 09:00-19:00 & 01.10-01.04; 09:00-18:30. Open everyday. Ticket price; 10 €. Official website. Exhibits stunning Byzantine mosaics from the Great Palace of Constantinople, showcasing daily life and nature scenes.


Rumeli Fortress (Rumeli Hisari)​

Opening Hours and entry fee; 1 April – 31 October – Opening time: 09:00, Closing time: 19:00. 31 October – 1 April, Opening time: 09:00 – Closing time: 17:00. Closed on Mondays. Ticket price; 6 €. This massive fortress on the Bosphorus showcases Ottoman military architecture and offers stunning views of the strait.

Rumeli Hisari, Ticket Prices


Beşiktaş Naval Museum (Deniz Müzesi)

Opening Hours and entry fee; weekdays 09:00-17:00 / weekends; 10:00-18:00. Closed on Mondays. Ticket price; 300 TL. Home to majestic Ottoman-era boats and artifacts, showcasing Turkey’s naval history. 

Istanbul, Ottoman Maritime Museum, opening hours


Rahmi M. Koç Museum

Opening Hours and entry fee; tuesday to friday; 10:00-17:00, saturday-sunday; 10:00-19:00 . Closed on Mondays. Ticket price; 120 TRY (students 60 TRY). Official website. Dedicated to the history of transport, industry, and communications, this museum houses a diverse collection including classic cars and submarines, one of the secret jewels of Istanbul.

Rahmi Koc Museum Entrance Fee And Hours


Harbiye Military Museum (Askeri Müze)

Opening Hours and entry fee; wednesday to sunday from 09:00-17:00. Closed on monday and tuesday. Ticket price; 6 TL. You can listen “Janissary Military Band” between 15:00-16:00. Focused on Turkish military history, it features arms, uniforms, and the famous Mehteran band performances. It’s a worth to visit museum especially for the ones interested in military and history of Turkey. Also has one of the cheapest museum ticket price of Istanbul.

Military Museum In Istanbul / Turkey, visiting hours, ticket price


Istanbul Modern

Opening Hours and entry fee; tuesday-wednesday-thursday-saturday-sunday; 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Friday; 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM. Monday Closed Ticket price; 230 TRY. Official website. Located on the Bosphorus, it features modern and contemporary art exhibitions reflecting Turkey’s vibrant art scene, also worth a visit for its cafeteria with magnificant Bosphorus view.

Istanbul Modern Arts Museum Opening Hours and Ticket Fee


SSM (Sakip Sabanci Müzesi)

Opening Hours and entry fee; open everyday except mondays, opening hours; 10:00-18:00. Ticket price; 120 TRY. Official website. Hosts valuable calligraphic art, paintings, and a scenic view of the Bosphorus.

SSS, Sakip Sabanci Museum, Visitor Information


The Museum Of Innocence

Opening Hours and entry fee; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10:00 AM-6:00 PM, closed on mondays. Ticket price; 160 TRY. Official website. Inspired by Orhan Pamuk’s novel, this museum recreates scenes from the book and reflects Istanbul life in the 20th century.

Museum Of Orhan Pamuk


Galata Mevlevi Lodge (Galata Mevlevihanesi)

Opening Hours and entry fee; (under restoration as of June 2024). 1 April – 1 October, Opening time: 09:00 – Closing time: 20:00. 1 October – 1 April, Opening time: 09:00 – Closing time: 18:30. Closed on Mondays. Ticket price; 7 €. Official website. A museum dedicated to the Mevlevi Sufi order, showcasing their cultural heritage, including the Whirling Dervishes’ ceremony.

Mevlana / Rumi, Sufi House In Istanbul


Istanbul Toy Museum (Oyuncak Müzesi)

Opening Hours and entry fee; 1 April – 1 October, Opening time: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Closed on Mondays. Ticket price; 350 TRY for adults and 300 TRY for children. Official website. The Istanbul Toy Museum, located in Istanbul’s Göztepe neighborhood in Asian Side, offers a nostalgic experience for adults and a fun time for children with its extensive collection of toys from around the globe. Established in 2005, the museum is housed in a historical mansion and showcases over 4,000 toys, some dating back to the 1700s.

Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum (Resim Heykel Müzesi)

Opening Hours and entrance fee; 09:00 to 18:30. Closed on Mondays. Admission; 300 TRY (combined ticket with Dolmabahçe Palace is 650 TRY). Official website. The museum, located within the Dolmabahçe Palace complex, includes several exhibits such as the Museum of Painting & Sculpture. This museum is a significant cultural site, showcasing a range of artworks and offering insights into the rich history and artistic heritage of Turkey.

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