Close this search box.

Topkapi Palace Museum & Harem

Topkapi Palace Museum & Harem

About Topkapi Palace Museum & Harem

The Topkapi Palace Museum is a historic landmark that has been an integral part of Istanbul’s rich history. Built as the second palace after the city’s conquest by the Turks, the Topkapi Palace served as the residence of Ottoman sultans, their courts, and harem, making it the center of the Ottoman Empire for over four centuries. The opulent palace is now home to one of the world’s most spectacular museums, preserving Turkey’s rich heritage and attracting tourists from around the globe. Though the palace was replaced by Dolmabahçe Palace as the official residence of the sultans in the mid-19th century, Topkapi Palace remained a significant location for state ceremonies and the preservation of the Holy Relics of the Prophet Muhammad. Today, visitors can explore the Palace and its maze of buildings, learning about its rich history and its evolution over the centuries.

The history of topkapi palace

Popkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey

Built in 1465 by Sultan Mehmed II, Topkapi Palace was the official residence of the Ottoman sultans for almost four centuries, from the 15th century until the mid-19th century. The palace was expanded and renovated numerous times over the centuries to accommodate the growing needs of the empire and the changing architectural styles.

The palace complex spans over an area of 70 hectares and includes a maze of buildings, gardens, fountains, and courtyards. It was the center of political and social life during the Ottoman Empire, and the place where the sultans conducted official state affairs, hosted royal ceremonies, and entertained guests.

The Harem

Topkapi Palace Harem

One of the most fascinating parts of the Topkapi Palace is the Harem, which served as the private residence of the sultan and his family. The Harem was home to the sultan’s mother, wives, concubines, children, and female servants.

The Harem was designed as a separate world within the palace, with its own quarters, gardens, and fountains. It was a place of strict rules and protocols, where the women of the palace lived a life of luxury and seclusion.

Visiting the Topkapi Palace Museum & Harem

Ancient gallery-in Topkapi-garden
Ancient gallery-in Topkapi-garden

Today, the Topkapi Palace Museum is open to visitors as a museum, allowing tourists to explore the palace complex and learn about the history of the Ottoman Empire. The museum offers a unique glimpse into the lifestyle and culture of the Ottoman dynasty, with its impressive collection of artifacts, including clothing, weapons, art, and jewelry.

Visitors can also tour the Harem, which is a separate section of the museum. The Harem tour takes visitors through the private chambers of the sultan and his family, including the queen mother’s apartments, the imperial hall, the circumcision room, and the sultan’s private chambers.

To visit the Topkapi Palace Museum & Harem, visitors must purchase a ticket, which includes access to all the exhibits, the Harem, and the palace gardens. The museum is open every day of the week, except Tuesdays, from 9 am to 6 pm.

Topkapi palace entrance fee (Tickets)

View of Topkapi Palace gardens

The entrance fee for Topkapi Palace Museum is 200 Turkish Lira per person (approximately $10.5 USD) for adults and 50 Turkish lira (approximately $6 USD) for students. The admission fee includes access to the palace’s various sections, including the Harem, the Treasury, and the Weaponry sections. Visitors can purchase their tickets at the palace entrance, and it is recommended to arrive early to avoid long lines. Additionally, some visitors may qualify for free admission, such as children under the age of 8 and disabled visitors. It is always advisable to check the official website or contact the museum directly for updated information on entrance fees and any special offers.

The fees for topkapi palace tickets
may vary at any time, if you want to confirm or have more details, you can Contact us

How to get to Topkapi palace museum?

Topkapi Palace Museum is located in Istanbul’s historic peninsula, in the district of Fatih.

There are several ways to get to Topkapi Palace Museum:

Public Transportation:
You can take the tram line T1 and get off at the “Gulhane” station. From there, it’s a short walk to the palace. Alternatively, you can take the bus to the “Sultanahmet” stop.

You can take a taxi from anywhere in Istanbul to the palace. Taxis are widely available and relatively affordable in Istanbul.

Private Tour:
You can also book a private tour that includes transportation to and from the palace. This is a convenient option if you prefer a guided tour of the museum.

Regardless of the method of transportation you choose, it is recommended to check the traffic conditions beforehand, especially during peak hours.


Visit ancient Istanbul Topkapi palace

The Topkapi Palace Museum & Harem is a fascinating journey into Ottoman history and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in architecture, art, and culture. The palace complex is a testament to the grandeur and opulence of the Ottoman dynasty, and a reminder of the legacy of one of the most influential empires in world history.

Frequently Asked Questions About Topkapi Palace

A. Yes, it is safe to visit Topkapi Palace. It has many regulations in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19, like sanitisers in most places, social distancing norms, temperature checks, etc.

A. Yes, Topkapi Palace is now open for visits.

A. Topkapi Palace is mostly wheelchair accessible with ramps available at most locations. There are also wheelchair accessible toilets available at the venue. 

Sight's info



10 AM - 4 PM All Week


From $12


+90 212 458 44 68


Video for Topkapi Palace Museum & Harem

Location of Topkapi Palace Museum & Harem

More Sights & Attractions