Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace, one of the symbols of Istanbul, welcomes its visitors today as an important artifact of our history.

You can take a look at our list of Things to Do in Istanbul, which we have prepared for other places to see in Istanbul.

Information About Topkapi Palace

The construction of Topkapi Palace began in 1460 after the conquest of Istanbul and was completed in 1478. Topkapi Palace, which has an area of ​​seven hundred thousand square meters, started to be used with Fatih Sultan Mehmed and was the place where the Ottoman Empire was ruled for 400 years until the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid.

It is one of the most popular historical places built in Istanbul. It was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet between 1460 and 1478. It was built on a hill in the peninsula part of Istanbul, on an area that dominates the Golden Horn in the north, the Marmara Sea in the south, and the Bosphorus in the northeast. The palace, which also has wonderful views of the Anatolian side, was the political center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries until the Dolmabahce Palace was built on the seaside.

Topkapi Palace Museum
Topkapi Palace Museum

After the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, II. While Mehmet ordered to build his palace on top of the old Byzantine ruins, that is, where the building is located today, he spent some time on the construction of a smaller palace in Beyazıt Square. When they moved to Topkapi Palace, the old place was called ” Old Palace ” and Topkapi was called ” New Palace “. However, the local people named it Topkapı Palace because the huge cannons displayed outside the palace were used during the Conquest. Originally the Palace had about 700-800 residents, but over the centuries it was 5,000 on normal days and around 10,000 on festivals. Rose to. Among them, the Janissaries were the largest segment of the population residing in the first courtyard of the palace.

The palace became one of the largest palaces in the world and became a city within a city. The walls surrounding the palace were about 5 kilometers long. The palace had an area of ​​approximately 70,000 m2 in its early days, but due to the buildings and structures built later, it currently has an area of ​​only 80,000 m2. Topkapı Palace, the first museum of the Republic, was turned into a museum on 03.04.1924. It is one of the largest palace museums in the world with its current state.

Topkapi Palace Sections  

There are six sections as Bab-ı Hümayun, Sofa-i Humayun, Alay Square, Enderun Courtyard, Divan Square, and Harem. Topkapı Palace has not undergone any major changes since the year it was built.

Babussaade Gate, Topkapi Palace
Babüssaade Gate, Topkapi Palace

During the 400-year reign in Topkapi, each sultan had a different section or hall added to the palace according to his own taste or the needs of the time. Therefore, the palace was formed in the form of a courtyard-centered labyrinth building protected by different gates. Its architecture is predominantly Middle Eastern. The first construction is the Tiled Kiosk, completed in 1472, and the main gate facing Sultanahmet Square and Hagia Sophia ( Bab-ı Humayun, Imperial Gate ). Then Bab-us Selam or Greeting Gate was completed in 1478. The third gate, the Gate of Felicity, separates the basic and most important parts of the palace from the other parts.

Harem Section Topkapi Palace
Harem Topkapi Palace

Finally, another part, the Harem, remained in the Old Palace at first, and after a century III. It was moved to Topkapı Palace by Murat and many buildings were added here over the years. The word harem literally means “not everyone is allowed to enter ”. The harem consisted of a structure where the goods, concubines, and the children of the sultans were protected by castrated landlords. Inside the harem, there were a total of 400 rooms, including the room of the sultan’s mother, the rooms of the sultan’s wives, the concubines’ rooms, the baths, the circumcision room, the apartments decorated with initials and the sultan’s rooms. . Today, the Harem is a separate museum within the palace complex. and open to visitors at certain times of the day.

The palace opened to the public as a museum in 1924. Topkapi Palace has many sections that can be visited today, and the exhibition halls do not contain furniture. Some of the exhibition halls may be closed for restoration, but it still takes almost half a day for someone interested in visiting the palace. It should be noted that photography is not permitted in the exhibition halls.

Topkapi Palace Artifacts

Topkapi Palace Queen's Room
Topkapi Palace, the sultan’s mother’s room

After passing the first gate, namely Bab-ı Hümayun, the first courtyard, the Alay Court, is entered. Here, there is a beautiful park, some ruins and columns from the Byzantine period, the Hagia Irene Church, which is used for some events today, the Imperial Mint, and the Archaeological Museum. The second gate has two guard towers and is called the ” Gate of Greetings ” because everyone had to greet the Sultan as he passed. Only the sultan and the people working in the palace could pass through this door, so it was not for public access. Today, while passing through this gate, a security check and ticket control are made and the second courtyard of the palace ( Divan courtyard ) is passed.

In this section are two small-scale models of the palace and a large map showing the foundation and expansion of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, the palace kitchen is also located here. Today, a fine collection of ChineseJapanese porcelain and silverware can be seen in separate sections of the kitchen. Across the courtyard is the divan of alms and grand vizier, who gather to talk about daily affairs or receive foreign visitors. In the place that is used as a weapons exhibition today, there was the treasury of the Court, and the Tower of Justice above it was used for the surveillance of the port.

The entrance to the harem is just behind the Divan Gate. The third gate is called the “ Gate of Felicity ” because the sultan celebrated important events here. When the sultan was happy, everyone would be happy. This gate was guarded by castrated landlords and no one could pass without the permission of the sultan. When entering the third courtyard ( Enderun courtyard ), the first building is the Audience Hall, which hosted the sultan’s grand viziers or foreign ambassadors. The room is nicely decorated with some furniture. There is also a library behind this room. To the right of the courtyard is the Treasury and the collection of sultan costumes, perhaps one of the most popular parts of the museum. Among many interesting items, the 86-carat Spoonmaker’s Diamond, Topkapi Dagger, enormous emeralds, a few wooden items, large candlesticks made of pure gold.

Topkapi Palace Interior

To the left of the third courtyard, there is the Sacred Relics section where religiously important items such as the footprintscardiganbeard of the Prophet, and the swords of the first caliphs are exhibited. Next to this hall, there are a few more rooms with sultan’s paintings, miniatures, old clocks, etc.

After the third courtyard, there is the fourth and last courtyard of the palace, the sultan’s private garden, and a magnificent area with roses, tulips, and marble pools. On the left of the courtyard, which is decorated with pearls on wood and facing the Golden Horn, Baghdad Mansion, Revan Mansion, Sofa Mansion, Mecidiye Mansion, Iftariye Mansion, Hekimbaşı Tower and Sofa Mosque are the interesting elements of the last courtyard. In addition, Gulhane Park, which used to be Has Garden, is connected to the Mabeyn Gate from here.

Topkapi Palace Garden

Topkapi Palace Entrance Fee 2024

Topkapi Palace entrance fee is 1500, harem section is 500₺. Discounted ticket prices and details are in the table below.

Ticket TypeFee
Topkapı Palace + Hagia Irene + Harem1500₺
Harem Section500₺
Hagia Irene500₺

Discounted tickets are valid for students between the ages of 18-25. Entry is free for all TR and TRNC citizens under the age of 18.

Topkapı Palace Museum entrance fee is 1500₺. The Harem section is not included in this price. There is no special discount for groups on museum tickets.

The entrance fee to the Harem section is 500₺. Those who want to visit the Harem section and the Zülüflü Baltacılar Ward along with the museum should also buy a Harem entrance ticket.

Note: The Museum Card is not used in the Harem and Hagia Irene sections.

Topkapi Palace Opening Hours

Weekdays09:00 am18:00

*Ticket sales offices close at 17:30. The last entrance time to the museum is 17:30.

Closed Days

The museum is closed to visitors on Tuesdays.

Visiting Rules 

  • It is forbidden to enter the museum sections with strollers.
  • It is forbidden to take photos inside the museum.
  • It is required to enter the holy relics section with appropriate clothes.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the museum.
Topkapi Palace Pictures

Where is Topkapi Palace 

The palace is located in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul province and Fatih district.

Telephone for Communication: (0212) 512 0480

How to Go to Topkapi Palace?

To go to Topkapı Palace by Metrobus, you will get off at the Cevizlibağ stop after taking the Metrobus. From this point, pass to the Cevizlibağ tram stop, take the tram to Kabataş and get off at Sultanahmet stop. After this point, you can reach the palace in a short time on foot.

Transportation Map and Location

You can find the map and transportation alternatives for the palace in the location information section.

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