Topkapi Palace
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Topkapi Palace: Tours & Tickets

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An insider's guide to Topkapi Palace Museum

Topkapi Palace's history is vibrant. The building served as the residential, administrative, educational and cultural building of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 of their 624 reigning years. Today it doubles as the Topkapi Palace museum.

While You Buy Your Tickets…

While You Buy Your Tickets…

Be sure to notice the Fountain of the Executioner next to the ticket windows before you head in. This is where the executioner would wash his hand and sword after a decapitation.

Visit the Topkapi Palace harem

Visit the Topkapi Palace harem

This impressive building of hundreds of rooms where the sultan and his family lived has been restored in lush ornate fashion. It’s a separate ticket, but definitely worth it.

Topkapi Palace Jewels

Topkapi Palace Jewels

The Topkapi Palace diamond is the pride of the palace. The riches in the Treasury are not purely aesthetics, they make up the complex Topkapi Palace history.

Topkapi Palace Relics

Topkapi Palace Relics

Relics from the Prophet Mohammed and Moses, among others, are collectively called the Sacred Trusts.

How long to spend

How long to spend

You’ll need at least half a day to explore the palace, but make a whole day out of it to really take it all in. Try to arrive at opening to avoid the crowds!

Our insider tips

Obey the Dress Code

You’ll get denied entrance to the Sacred Relics Department if you’re showing some skin. No shorts, short skirts or sleeveless shirts are permitted. It is the holiest section of Topkapi Palace, Turkey.

Orient yourself

Along with the harem section, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul houses four courtyards or “avlu.” Shade or eateries for resting aren’t too hard to find. There’s a café and a restaurant in the first courtyard, a second café in the third courtyard, and a second restaurant in the fourth.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open Wednesday through Monday. October 26 - April 15, 9:00AM to 4:45PM. April 15 - October 26, 9:00AM to 6:45PM.
  • Is it expensive?
    Museum tickets start at 30TL (about $11), Harem tickets start at 15TL (about $5) and continue up with perks and tours.
  • Will I need a guide?
    A guide will definitely add to the experience! Audio guides are also available for rent at the palace.
  • How to get there
    Take the tram to the Gülhane or Sultanahmet stations, or the Marmaray to the Sirkeci Station. It's a short walk from any station.
  • Additional information

    • Cloths can be provided by onsite staff if you need to cover up during your visit to the Sacred Relics Department.

    • Stroller and photography are not permitted inside, so please plan ahead.

What people are saying about Topkapi Palace

Overall rating
4.5 / 5
based on 2,674 reviews

Outstanding Experience, strongly suggested! Our guide "Matt" was very friendly and fond of all the details regarding the magnificent architectural and historical marvels of Istanbul. He picked me and my partner from the "Swissôtel The Bosphorus Istanbul" on a sunny 25 degrees October morning at 08:30am in the lobby. Due to COVID19 the group was very small, 3 people. The absence of tourists had a very positive impact on our daily schedule: We had the 15th century Topkapi Palace with its Ottoman treasures all for ourselves gently walking in the sun across the magnificent park with stunning panoramas of the Bosphorus. We then visited the secular 537AD worldwide known Hagia Sophia, the Sultan Ahmet Türbesi graves, the colourful Hand-painted blue tiles of the 15th century Blue Mosque and The Hippodrome of Constantinople with its columns. Lunch at a cozy local restaurant and then shopping at Bazar. All at a walking pace with no rush and time to feel the holiness and history of these sites.

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day Reviewed by

The tour was great. We had a professional and knowledgeable tour guide that was accommodating and understanding with our time restrictions. He was able to explain everything thoroughly and quickly. Plus we were about to see Asia from the terrace. I would recommend this tour to anyone traveling to Istanbul.

A gem of a tour! From the start a first class service with excellent communication and consideration - The day was fascinating and extremely memorable - thoroughly enjoyed every minute - Thank you

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day Reviewed by

Mehmet was an amazing guide, he took to all of the top tourists area. He was very knowledgeable about the history of Turkey. He even took me pictures, and was very friendly.

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day Reviewed by

Mahmet was an amazing, kind and knowledgeable guide. He answered all of our questions and was incredibly patient with our 2-yr-old. Highly recommended!!