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“Best sight in Istanbul”
Review of Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace
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Ranked #7 of 1,096 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This enormous palace was the Imperial residence of Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years. Although much of the palace is not accessible, the daily tours of the Harem are of great interest to tourists.
Reviewed 27 August 2014 via mobile

We only spent 2 hours there as we had to go visit the other tourist attraction but it is easily possibly to spend the entire day. Tickets are now 30 Lera but there is so much to see when inside.

As mentioned by others, this place is more a museum than a palace. They have fantastic artefacts and beautiful grounds. Really worth taking the entire day out and spending it in the palace and it's grounds. Cannot think of a better way to spend a summers day.


The queues for the ticket desk was horrendous, probably 45 mins or longer. However, no one seems to use the self service ticket machines! They are to the left of the massive queue. You can buy the museum passes as well as tickets to the palace from the machine using cash or card. We used the machines and it took 2 minutes.

Thank Bingi M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,154 - 6,158 of 21,454 reviews

Reviewed 27 August 2014

Topkapi is a gorgeous palace with many rooms to visit and admire. Rooms for the Sultan, his mother, his wife, the Harrem, even though the kitchen make you feel like living in that era. You can see all the things they used in their life, their clothes, weapons, dishes, all the gifts from the European kings. All these are very expensive and unique.
You need about 2-3 hours to visit the palace and Harrem. Of course you can rest to the marvelous gardens and drink a coffee or an orange juice there...
There is extra ticket to visit Harrem, but if you go to Topkapi, it is a pity not to visit Harrem.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2014

Be prepared to spend at least 4 hours or more if you really want to see most of the exhibition halls. Once you are inside and in the line amongst the other tourists (very very crowded), you just have to stay in the line moving slowly forward while passing all the exhibitions, like the crown jewels (biggest diamond) and the well-known Topkapi dagger with the emerald stones. Of course all of these are highly secured with safety glass, cameras and guards. You have to go through scanners when entering and exiting the premises. No wonder, because of the valuable articles that are kept inside this palace. There are also beautiful gardens and the surrounding grounds are extensive. Nice for some relaxing time after spending so many hours inside.

Thank ElmarieM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2014

We were impressed by the palace's historical significance but less impressed by the actual place. It just feels like something is missing. There is an endless number of mostly empty rooms where some sort of display would help bring things to life. The Harem could be made to feel really special with a little effort, but it misses the mark as far as we were concerned.

The armoury has some interesting displays and another area has some amazing artifacts from the Prophet Mohammed, and others, that was very special to see. On the other hand the jewelry, which is really quite special and impressive, is so poorly displayed and dimly lit it makes it almost boring.

The intricate tile work throughout the palace is truly beautiful, but after a couple of hours we were left wishing this national treasure had more of a soul. Room after room of beautiful tile is simply not enough.

On the positive side we came mid-afternoon and there was no line-up to get in although we concur with others that the people working the ticket windows are unfamiliar with the concept of customer service to the point of total rudeness.

3  Thank CanadianTravelers33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2014

We would've loved to explore every nook and cranny, but due to time constraints, we could only power through a few of the exhibits. Seeing everything would take the better part of a day. I would advise getting there early to avoid long queues for entrance, jewels rooms, and sacred artifacts exhibit. The museum pass lets you bypass the entrance line and now includes entry to the harem. The harem, for me, was the most interesting and far less crowded.

Thank sarahernst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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