Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey is a culturally rich city that captivates tourists and historians from across the globe. The city now holds a prestigious rank of being the world’s fifth most popular tourist destination. It holds a great cultural significance and is also viewed as a bridge between the East and the West as it is the only city in the world that separates the two continents i.e. Europe and Asia.
It is a great hub for shopaholics too. One can indulge in a whole day of shopping, buying ceramics, jewellery, leather goods, and spices. But what makes this city a must visit? Istanbul is a vibrant destination that unveils a striking history and culture the moment you enter. It’s home to an array of impressive monuments and beautifully structured museums. The sight of towering minarets and the alluring mosques is truly an archaeological delight for the eyes. The tourists are left spellbound by the matchless iconic structures of the various museums of the city. Every museum has its own history and significance. Some of the most famous Istanbul museums that one cannot miss being in the city are:
10 Best Istanbul Museums
Take a look at the best museums in Istanbul that offer a glimpse into the rich culture of the city and give a heart-warming experience.
1. Topkapi Palace Museum
This palace is one of the marvelous creations of the 15th century boasting of the rich Ottoman heritage. It is a great historic building with beautiful portraits of the Sultans in the dormitory of the Privy Chamber. It served as an Imperial residence of Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years. Walking around the courtyards you will unfold the mysteries of why this palace served as the educational, administrative and cultural center from the 15th to 19th century. You can admire the royal luxuries while seeing the famous diamond-studded Topkapi Dagger, kingly gowns and lavish weaponry preserved in the museum. It is one of the most beautiful Istanbul museums.
Timings: 9 AM – 6 PM (April-October) | 9 AM – 4 PM (November-April)
Entry fee: INR 717/-
2. Hagia Sophia Museum
Hagia Sophia is the most remarkable structure in Istanbul and is an artistic delight for the visitors. Glittering with gold mosaics, the structure was earlier a church for almost 916 years but later it became a mosque and a museum. The iconic structure with its 56 m immensely high dome exhibits both Christian and Islamic art. Visiting the museum, one can often spot the glimpses of Byzantine mosaics as it is the most glorified creations of the Byzantine Empire. It’s one of the best Istanbul museums with an impressive architectural beauty.
Timings: 9 AM – 7 PM (April-October) | 9 AM – 5 PM (November-April)
Entry fee: INR 720/-
3. Istanbul Archaeology Museum
Located close to Topkapi Palace, the Istanbul Archaeology Museum is a group of three museums showcasing archaeological and artistic treasures from the early civilizations. The entire museum consists of the archaeological museum, the museum of the ancient Orient and the museum of Islamic art and was built with a vision to modernize the Ottoman Empire by westernizing the city. This is a superb museum which reflects the classical statuary of the Istanbul’s history.
Timings: 9 AM – 7 PM (April-October) | 9 AM – 5 PM (November-March)
Entry fee: INR 240/-
4. Istanbul Sabri Artam Foundation Automobile Museum
This museum is a perfect destination for car enthusiasts. Preserving the extensive collection of antique automobiles from the ancient times, the museum exhibits the era’s technical specialization of the country. Each vehicle housed in the museum comes with its own historical story. So, don’t forget to add this to your itinerary!
Timings: 9 AM – 6 PM (on weekends)
Entry fee: Nil
5. Istanbul Military Museum
The Istanbul Military Museum happens to be an encyclopedic war museum that exhibits a great collection of historical weapons, uniforms, as well as tools from different periods belonging to the army. It is a true fascination for the people who have an interest in the military buff, making it one of the best Istanbul museums and galleries. Visitors can admire the genuine historic items like arms, armor, and weapons during their visit to this museum. The highlights of the museum include the amazing tents as well as the interesting Ottoman cannons and mortars, a rail gun, aircraft, and helicopters.
Timings: 9 AM – 4:30 PM (Wednesday-Saturday)
Entry fee: INR 50/-
6. Madame Tussauds Istanbul
Tonnes of people flock everyday through the doors of Madame Tussauds since it first opened its doors over 250 years ago. And the truth is, it still remains just as popular as it ever was. The world’s most famous wax museum – Madame Tussauds – has found its way into the glorious city of Istanbul in Turkey! It features an excellent collection of the over 60 popular figures from history, culture, art, sports, science, and politics of Turkey and the world, such as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Rumi, Suleiman the Magnificent, Messi, Rihanna, and Muhammad Ali. Since this Istanbul museum pass price is a little higher than other typical museums across Istanbul, you will need to buy your tickets way in advance to avoid a last minute rush.
Timings: 10 AM – 8 PM
Entry fee: INR 1,040/-
7. Sakip Sabanci Museum
An unusual addition to the landscapes of Istanbul, the famous Sakip Sabanci Museum looks out over the stunning Bosphorus and isn’t you average tourist attraction, which makes it all the more visit-worthy. The Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul has a distinct permanent collection as well as holds temporary exhibitions to make it well worth the journey for visitors. It is amongst the best Istanbul archaeology museums that also gives guests the chance to venture away from the crowds and see Emirgan, one of the most affluent neighborhoods of Istanbul.
Timings: 10 AM – 6 PM
Entry fee: INR 360 (free entry on Wednesday)
8. Istanbul Toy Museum
A prominent attraction on the list of museums in Istanbul, Istanbul Toy Museum is the first and only ever private toy museum of Turkey that has been opened by the Turkish poet and author Mr. Sunay Akın on April 23, 2005, a prominent day in the history of the Turkish Republic. On this day, the country celebrates National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, which is why this museum was opened on this day and dedicated to the children of the world. Each room of the museum resembles a different theater stage. From the gallery of space toys with stars hanging overhead, miniature train sets, to a submarine, there’s a lot for children to see here. Visitors can relax in the cafe which has pretty antique dolls, dollhouse, and miniature furniture as well as buy souvenirs and books from the gift shop.
Timings: 9:30 AM – 6 PM
Entry fee: INR 145/-
9. Heritage Nomadic Art Gallery
This chic and classy museum lets you discover the magical world of kilims and carpets. The museum has on exhibition the finest range of exceptional village rugs, that have been individually handmade with natural dyes and the finest handspun wool, making it one of the most intriguing Istanbul art museum for art and craft lovers, history geeks, and students who wish to learn about the heritage and culture of Turkey through its art. The ticket is nominally priced, so a visit to this museum won’t go hard on your pocket.
Timings: 9 AM – 11 PM
10. Turkish And Islamic Arts Museum
Among the premier Istanbul Modern Art museum is the Turkish And Islamic Arts Museum that showcases Islamic calligraphy, tiles, and rugs as well as recreates rooms or dwellings from Turkish cultures, particularly from nomadic groups. It’s a great place to learn about the interesting heritage, history, traditions, and customs of this culturally rich city of Turkey. Want your kid to know about all about this charming city and how its past shaped its present? Teach them here in the most fascinating way – through its art!
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM
Entry fee: INR 300/-
Further Read: 7 Glitzy Secrets Of Nightlife In Istanbul Revealed
The city promises to offer a memorable trip to history lovers. To get a deeper understanding of the historical facts of the Istanbul, one must visit the iconic museums of the city featuring the tall minarets. So, plan your holiday in Istanbul with TravelTriangle right away!
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