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Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

4.4
#2 of 522 in Museums in Turkey
Home to sultans for centuries, Topkapi Palace is a World Heritage Site with a rich history and superb Ottoman architecture. Built by Sultan Mehmed II in the 15th century, the enormous palace's courtyards and buildings were, at one time, home to almost 4,000 people. Though much of the site is off limits to tourists, one of the highlights you can access is its highly ornate harem, with an intriguing history and notable interiors. Though royalty later moved to European-style residences along the Bosphorus, this palace is important for being truly Ottoman in spirit and design. Using our custom trip planner, Istanbul attractions like Topkapi Palace can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Topkapi Palace Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
26,258 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Of course, it's a play on words. Saray' in Turkish means "palace." There is a perception problem here: we expect to see something like the Winter Palace or, say, Versailles. In Topkapa, everything is different - it's a garden, fenced with walls on "yards" on which are scattered small "pavilions." Outside, the palace in general is more like a fortress, because it is surrounded by walls (some of them were erected under Emperor Theodosia), above which only pipes rise from the side of the embankment, which causes an association with the boiler room. The palace in the usual sense can be called only Garem, which is a single structure. The layout of the buildings is irregular, the symmetry then, apparently, was not in honor. The garden also does not correspond to the usual stereotypes - it is not geometric...
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  • If you go to Istanbul you obviously have to visit it but it is better to take an audio guide to understand. If not average enough with people so better to choose good hours of visit if not it quickly becomes boring.
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Google
  • Really interesting place to visit and get a feel for the Ottoman Empire. Easy to wander around and even though it was busy - you could still visit at your own pace and without too many people. The only reason for dropping a star is that when we were there some of the main buildings were closed for renovation. Hope to be back once all the work is complete.
  • One of the best places to visit in Istanbul. I had visited only this place in the trip but I don't regret it all. This place is worth the visit to Istanbul. Cost of the entrance is 72 Turkish Lira and you can get the ticket at a self-buy kiosk instead of waiting in the line. You can see the kitchens, tombs and rooms used by the royal people. You can understand the Islam culture better.
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