While Istanbul can offer many renowned museums, petite galleries are also a big part of understanding the art scene in this big city. While Britain has its underground scene, Istanbul has its history engraved on its walls. It's the museums that encapsulate Istanbul from the Ottoman Empire to our modern age. Now, let's list some of these options for you, shall we?
Museums If You're Looking For A Blast From The Past
You can find all sorts of history starting from the Ottoman Empire to where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk resided once upon a time. If you want to learn more about this city's history, we suggest that you start your journey with the classics. When it comes to art conservation, the Turks don't mess around. Let's list some of the museums that are paramount in your traveling experience:
The Istanbul Archeology Museum
The Istanbul Archeology Museums are the perfect place to start your museum journey. Located in the Eminönü quarter near Tophane and Gülhane Parkı, the museum's archives are estimated to be over one million and entrance fees starting from 60 Turkish liras!
The highly visited museum offers collections from tiles of the Old Babylonian period until the statue of Alexander the Great. The museum has an immense collection of Turkish, Hellenistic, and Roman artifacts. So, go ahead and start your journey with one of the most prominent museums in Istanbul!
The Pera Museum
Let's say that you're making your way out of the Eminönü quarter; after a long walk around the archeology museum, you can find another museum at the Beyoğlu district! The Pera Museum offers a lot of catalogs mainly focused on the orientalist 19th century. Alongside their orientalist painting collections, the museum provides various tiles and ceramics collections.
Beginning with the first floor, you'll have a blast going up four more floors filled with multiple artifacts!
The entrance fee is 25 Turkish liras is also an upside to it!
Istanbul Toy Museum
Let's move from the European side to the Asian side now, shall we? The Istanbul Toy Museum, located in Kadıköy, is one of the museums that will make your inner-child jump with joy!
Dollhouses, figurines, toy soldiers, you name it. Even if you don't have any kids, this place will make you feel like one. The museum's gates, which are guarded by the diligently preserved, giant nutcrackers, will welcome you with great enthusiasm.
The craftsmanship of the toymakers is put out front; the details on the toys are like nothing compared to anything.
And you only have to pay 40 liras!
Topkapı Palace Museum
Let's not forget the most memorable museum of Istanbul! The legendary Topkapı Palace Museum holds an important place in understanding the history of Istanbul. Being one of the most visited museums in Istanbul, it is a "must" on your museum list.
Being the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans in the 15th and 16th centuries, the walls engraved with mesmerizing stones tell the stories of the sultans and the paupers. Even with its renovations, the collective acceptance of it being one of the most beautiful museums in Istanbul has its grounds.
You might want to spend more on this one since the tickets start at 200 Turkish liras.
The Rahmi M. Koç Museum
The Rahmi M. Koç Museum will transport you into whatever era you would like to be transported. As it takes on the history of transport, the cars displayed there will make you look like an old-timey movie star! Starting from vehicles, going into grand trains and even carriages, you might get lost in time just for a bit. Not to mention the submarine tour, which will leave you stunted and ready to gather the crew to go on a mission!
Transportation is not the only collection they have; a majority is also focused on the history of communication and transport with the steam engine. So, while you're at Beyoğlu, take a look at the industrial revolution happening right in front of your eyes! The entrance fee is only 21 Turkish liras for adults!
If you're looking for a more modern museum, the Müze Gazhane is the perfect place for you. With its industrial and glamorous architecture, the museum offers art pieces, workshops, and even concerts!
The collections at the museum entail subjects from the climate to the caricature.
The entrance is also free.
With all these options right in the palm of your hand, centuries of discoveries are waiting for you to look for them. This is the city that has everything you can wish for, go and discover Istanbul and conquer it!
Frequently Asked Question
Are museums free in Istanbul?
Some are free, but most of them come with an entrance fee. The Pera Museum, including some other museums, is free on Thursday.
Until what time do the museums stay open in Istanbul?
Most museums don't close until 18:00 / 6 pm on weekdays except Thursdays. On Thursday, museums are accessible since it's "Free Public Day" and don't close until 20:00 / 8 pm.
Is public transportation the best way to go to a museum?
Since most of the museums are located in the old parts of Istanbul, it may be best to use public transportation rather than a rented car.
Is there a subscription-based card I can use to tour museums?
Yes, the museum pass in Istanbul lets you have a discount on most of the museums located in Istanbul.