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Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

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Vienna, Austria
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5 posts
43 reviews
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Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

I will be flying to Istanbul next week and wanted to book electronic tickets or the Museum Pass so that we don't have to queue for hours before entering Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia. However, on the website muze.gov.tr it now says that tickets and the museum pass are only available to citizens of Turkey and of the Northern (Turkish) part of Cyprus! Despite this being very much descriminating, does anybode know whether there is there another way to reserve tickets?

Istanbul
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1,987 posts
19 reviews
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1. Re: Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

That's for the museum CARD which offers year long access and is for residents of Turkey, not the museum PASS which is aimed at tourists.

The New Forest, UK
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2. Re: Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

See this page - http://muze.gov.tr/museum_pass

Vienna, Austria
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43 reviews
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3. Re: Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

That's where I went and you cannot change the country setting to anything else but Turkey : (

Vienna, Austria
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5 posts
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4. Re: Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

Thank your for your reply. However, on the website the Museum Pass is listed under Cards. I can access but it will only be sent to an address in Turkey - I will buy it somewhere when I'm there.

Chichester, United...
2 posts
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5. Re: Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

We were extremely disappointed in this card during our recent visit to Istanbul as it did not deliver on its promise.

We read about the Museum Card in our guide book, which listed the museums which were covered and recommended it both as money-saving and time-saving, as it allowed one to avoid the ticket office queues. We worked out that although we were interested in visiting only three museums - Haghia Sofia, Topkapi and Kariye - we would not lose out financially and it would be worth our while to purchase it just to sidestep the queues. We enquired about it further at our hotel, who had printed information on display and confirmed what we had learned from our guide book, including the list of museums. On asking where to buy the ticket, the receptionist directed us to the official van at Haghia Sofia. Having located the van without difficulty and queued for a short while, we were stunned to be told that "only Turkish people" could purchase tickets there and everybody else was required to go to the main ticket office.... What discrimination! We therefore had no option but to join the enormous queue at the museum ticket office which took up most of the morning.

There are huge hoardings outside the main museums and around Istanbul, along the tramlines for instance, advertising the Museum Card and listing the museums which it covers, including the Kariye/Chora Museum. We made a special trip out to the Western District to visit this museum which was highly recommended in our guide book. On presenting our cards at the entrance, we were informed that the Kariye was not covered by our cards as they were only three-day cards and that only a five-day card allowed access to the Kariye.... We therefore had to purchase tickets at £10-00 each in order to visit the museum. And to add insult to injury, we found once we got inside that the whole of the nave was closed for restoration and only the narthex and a small side chapel were available for viewing. We had not been informed of this when buying our tickets but the staff's only reply was that there was "plenty to see" and their lack of interest and attitude was amazing - we really wondered whether they had some kind of a scam going. When the major part of a museum is closed, it is dishonourable not to warn visitors of this before they buy a ticket.

We informed our hotel reception staff of these incidents - they were as shocked as we had been to find that they had been giving all their guests incorrect information in good faith.

Our experience led us to the conclusion that the Istanbul Museum Card can be a rip-off and the authorities need to look into the matter urgently as tourists are being cheated. We ended up by losing out financially with the card as we were only able to use it at Haghia Sofia and Topkapi, and it would have been cheaper to buy separate tickets for each venue. So think carefully about buying the card.

Vienna, Austria
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5 posts
43 reviews
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6. Re: Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

Many thanks for your reply and advice! I would have bought the pass out of convenience but this doesn't sound very good at all! Thank you for sharing your experience!

Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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35,659 posts
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7. Re: Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

Isabel, If you had done a bit of a research at these forums initially and at the museum pass website, you would have seen all that information that seem to have surprised you so much. You would have seen that museum pass and museum card available only for Turkish citizens are two entirely different type of cards, that only 5 days museum pass covers the Chora Church, that Chora Church is under partial restoration, and that you could have bought your museum pass online and have it shipped to your hotel waiting for your pick up or have your hotel buy them for you. All these are clearly explained at the following links. "http://muze.gov.tr/museum_pass", and "museumpassistanbuldistributor.com/places-to-…", and "tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k7464…".

More research next time,

enigma...

Vienna, Austria
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5 posts
43 reviews
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8. Re: Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

I will buy a Museum Pass and have it sent to our hotel in Sultanahmet - if you say that this works out fine, then I'm happy : )

9. Re: Museum Pass Istanbul - no longer available?

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