All photos (40)Topkapı Palace
Topkapı Palace
Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace

9.3157 reviews
Sights and Museums, History Museum, Historic Site
Popular with:
  • 9.8
    History Buffs
  • 6.6
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 5.6
    Backpackers
  • 5.6
    Family Travellers
Write Review
Bookmark
Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
+90 212 512 04 80
http://www.topkapisarayi.gov.tr/tr
Edit info
Description
The official Istanbul residence for the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years, the place had everything a royal could want, including a library, mosque and a complex for the harem. A major attraction ... Read more
in Istanbul, the palace now contains more Muslim relics than anywhere else -- including the sword of the Prophet Mohammed -- and is full of artifacts from the Ottoman era. The artifacts aren't the only draw. The place is rich with stories of political intrigue and double-dealing, like the tale of Roxelana, the harem girl who became a sultan's legal wife, is full of rivals getting exiled, heir apparents getting strangled, and other drama worthy of a Hollywood movie.

Member Reviews(157)

Reviews
9.3/10
Wonderful!
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Most Helpful
Show Local Reviews
Bethesda

Topkapi Palace is an incredibly historic site, home to Ottoman Sultans and it really feels like Sultans still live there.

Recommended for:Family TravellersLuxury TravellersHistory Buffs
Helpful
Report
Merriam

Plan to spend a few hours here if you want to see everything. A variety of rooms and areas to explore the different portions of the palace.

Recommended for:Family TravellersHistory BuffsAdventure Travellers
Helpful
Report
Marsaxlokk

The Topkapi Palace used to be the political center of the Ottoman Empire. It was built on top of a hill in a small peninsula, dominating the Golden Horn, the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus.

The palace was opened to the public as a museum by Ataturk. It contains many sections and you would need a good half day to tour it properly.

Past the first gate, the Imperial Gate, you'll be in the Courtyard of the Regiments from where you can visit the Imperial Mint, the Archaeological Museum and the Hagia Irene church.

Two guard towers dominate the second gate, the Gate of Salutation. You will access the second courtyard of the palace and see the palace's kitchens. Across the courtyard, there is the Council Chamber, the treasury of the Divan and the Harem.

The Gate of Felicity is the third gate that leads to yet another courtyard. Amongst the more important buildings here you'll find the Treasury which contains interesting exhibits such as the 86 carat Spoon Maker's Diamond, the Topkapi Dagger and relics of St. John the Baptist. There is also the Holy Relics section which include a tooth and hair of Prophet Mohammed amongst its religious items on display.

After the third courtyard, various passages lead to the fourth and last courtyard of the palace, the private garden of the sultan.

Recommended for:Family TravellersHistory BuffsArt & Design Lovers
Helpful
Report
Foster City

Topkapı Palace construction started in 1460 and completed at 1478. It was the administrative, educational and art center of the Empire for nearly four hundred years. Great place to see old Byzantine art.

Recommended for:History BuffsArt & Design Lovers
Helpful
Report
Dubai

This is one of the best things I've visited in Istanbul, depending on the season, there are long queues waiting to enter, allocate a lot of time to explore this magnificent and huge palace.

Recommended for:BackpackersHistory Buffs
Helpful1
Report
San Jose

Details, details, so many interesting details. The murals, the arches, the stained glass, the indoor fountains, the gates, the view, and really most everything here. There are areas with subdued colors, and other scintillating. There are wide open green-spaces, and intimate royal chambers. There are royal collections of weaponry and clocks and plates, and you wonder if anything was ever done here except spend as much money as possible on bejeweled fineries. You could easily spend an entire day here, and I'd be right alongside you.

Recommended for:History BuffsArt & Design Lovers
Helpful
Report
San Francisco

Topkapı Palace was less crowded than Hagia Sofia and some of the attractions we went to. The tiles in here are simply gorgeous.

Recommended for:Family TravellersLuxury TravellersHistory BuffsArt & Design Lovers
Helpful
Report
San Marcos

It was really interesting to see how the sultans lived, especially the harem. The dagger and the diamond in the treasury exhibit are absolutely stunning. Be prepared for lots of schoolchildren and crowds.

Recommended for:History BuffsArt & Design Lovers
Helpful2
Report
San Diego

In the palace you will be able to see beautiful tilework, kitchen items, jewels, swords and so much more! Allow a few hours to be able to see everything, and pay the extra price to view the harem. This is a must do if you are in Istanbul.

Recommended for:Family TravellersHistory Buffs
Helpful
Report
New York City

With a lovely setting overlooking the Bosporus and Sea of Marmara, Topkapi Palace was the royal residence for about 400 years until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s. The sultan lived with his wives, concubines, mother, and children in the harem, under the fierce protection of eunuchs. Look for the Privy Chamber of Murat III, with its indoor pool, gilded fireplace, and walls decorated with blue, white, and coral Iznik tiles from the 16th century. The Palace Kitchens reopened in September 2014, displaying fine china and large cookware. And the complex also includes courtyards, gazebos, gardens, and the Imperial Treasury. An emerald-and diamond-studded bow and quivers sent by Sultan Mahmud I to the ruler of Persia is just one example of the lavish gifts on view.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsHistory BuffsArt & Design Lovers
Helpful
Report
New Delhi

time your meeting to coincide with one of the tours which is the only way to see the interior of this massive palace. the exterior is beautiful, much of which is built from marble. located right on the Bosphorus

Recommended for:History Buffs
Helpful
Report
Berlin

So many things to see! This is a place for everyone with jewels (at one point, I looked at my friend and said, "Is that...is that a box of emeralds? Like just a box full?"), fascinating architecture, gorgeous art and tiles as well as lots of interesting historical information. I recommend going to the Harem as well as some of the most beautiful tile work was there.

Recommended for:History BuffsArt & Design Lovers
Helpful
Report
Pittsford

This is a very elaborate place, with different levels of importance. The more you go into the center areas the more it was only accessible by the most VIP's. The different rooms and some artifacts displayed are terrific. I also finally figured out how to pronounce this place - top copy.

Recommended for:Family TravellersHistory Buffs
Helpful1
Report
Bedford

A visit to this historic palace can take all day so plan accordingly. As a UNESCO site this palace is a must see while in Istanbul. The gem collection is mind blowing and the religious icons are also cool to see

Recommended for:History BuffsAdventure TravellersBackpackersStudents
Helpful
Report
Kuala Lumpur

Wow proper museum, found things that I thought I'd never see, so much history. worth visiting for sure

Helpful
Report
Hartford
Ambassador

Definitely a "MUST SEE" in Istanbul. The Topkapi Palace is an enormous Ottoman architectural wonder filled with multiple centuries of sultan rule. Some of the favorite highlights are the large courtyards, rooms for socializing, the treasury and weaponry exhibits, and the sweeping views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus from the long balcony on the east side of the palace.

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversHistory BuffsFamily TravellersStudents
Helpful
Report
Local from Istanbul

Stupendous sight. There are lots of Ottoman palaces in Istanbul but this is thr most unique and gives you a sense of how they lived for most of their reign.

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversHistory Buffs
Helpful
Report
Bedford

With its enormous courtyards and numerous opulent pavilions, Topkapi Palace will take a good of the day get through. The palace is remarkably well preserved with stunning tile intact. There are so many exhibits, including huge diamonds and gemstones, as well as a sacred relic section that includes the staff of Moses, cooking pot of Abraham, sword of David and a footprint and beard hairs from Mohammed, among many others. The harem was among the best sections - well worth the additional ticket cost to see some of the best rooms and courtyards but without so much of a crowd. Unfortunately the tourists here take away from the experience - several times we saw groups of young men skip a long line completely and push their way in. Be ready for aggressive crowds, but don't miss this historic place!

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversHistory BuffsSpiritual Seekers
Helpful2
Report
Palo Alto

The most interesting part of the palace was the visit to the harem and hearing the intriguing stories of power struggle and how the sultans were usually controlled by their mothers.

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversHistory Buffs
Helpful
Report
Union City

The Topkapi Palace is a place that one could take several hours to explore. There is so much to see and uncover in there. It's located in the historical area of Istanbul, walking distance from both the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Only wish we had more time to explore it.

For fans of jewelry, be prepared to suddenly feel inadequate of your own collection of jewels. The jewels in the palace's collection are intense, culminating in the enormous 89 carat diamond that is said to have been found on a beach and traded for three spoons. It's an impressive collection.

In addition to that, you can see some of the clothes worn by sultans of former times, as well as gifts that were received by the sultan from other kingdoms.

If you want to see the harem, you have to pay a separate admission fee, but it's well worth it.

We were also there around sunset. The view is gorgeous around that time.

Recommended for:History Buffs
Helpful1
Report
Topkapı Palace

Show Nearby Places

Loading...
41.01062628.982771
Ayasofya Konaklari
Ayasofya Konaklari
4.01 review
Distance: 0.16 mi
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
9.714 reviews
Distance: 0.31 mi
Hotel Sapphire
Hotel Sapphire
8.88 reviews
Distance: 0.33 mi
Seven Hills Hotel
Seven Hills Hotel
9.76 reviews
Distance: 0.33 mi
View all
Istanbul Archaeology Museum
Istanbul Archaeology Museum
8.826 reviews
Sights and Museums, History Museum
Distance: 0.06 mi
Sultan Ahmed III Fountain
Sultan Ahmed III Fountain
8.423 reviews
Sights and Museums, Historic Site, Landmark
Distance: 0.12 mi
Hagia Irene Museum
Hagia Irene Museum
9.77 reviews
Sights and Museums, Church, Concert Hall
Distance: 0.11 mi
Topkapi Sarayi
Topkapi Sarayi
10.04 reviews
Sights and Museums, History Museum
Distance: 0.15 mi
View all
Pierre Loti
Pierre Loti
8.812 reviews
££££
Cafe
Distance: 0.54 mi
Malko (Restaurant and Tearoom)
Malko (Restaurant and Tearoom)
10.01 review
Turkish, Coffee and Tea
Distance: 0.28 mi
Dejavu Restaurant & Bar
Dejavu Restaurant & Bar
10.01 review
Turkish, Bar
Distance: 0.3 mi
Saltanat Barbecue House
Saltanat Barbecue House
10.01 review
Barbecue, Turkish
Distance: 0.38 mi
View all

Aliases: Topkapı Sarayı

Report this place