Our visit to - and subsequent blog posts about - Topkapı Palace were long overdue for this blog. It should have been a presence many moons ago. However, all that is now put right (we do get round to these things eventually) with the mini series we did to try and give you a flavour of what to expect if you do visit.
Part 1 of our series was a walk around the grounds of Topkapı Palace. Centuries old palace buildings, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn as a backdrop and gardens of ancient trees; it all makes for a pleasant amble, and that's before you've even gone inside.
In Part 2, we took you inside Topkapı Palace to have a look at the decor, the furniture and the rooms where the Imperial Council deliberated, planned and plotted. Many rooms where displays are on show don't allow photography so you can visit for yourself to gaze at the jewels, clocks, daggers and other artefacts.
And Part 3, well we couldn't not go for a little exploration of the Topkapı Palace Harem. Lots of photos taken and the slideshow below is a little 2-minute summary of our visit in photos, complete with two or three photos that didn't make the blog posts.
Topkapı Palace - Useful Information
- Topkapı Palace is open every day except Tuesday. On Mondays, nearby Aya Sofya is closed so if you're planning an Istanbul trip, visit Topkapı Palace on Monday and Aya Sofya on Tuesday as there are *slightly* thinner crowds.
- Autumn and winter are also less crowded. We visited in late autumn and were rewarded with beautiful garden scenery.
- Visitor hours for summer season are from 09:00 - 18:45 (April 15th - Nov 1st)
- Visitor hours for winter season are from 09:00 - 16:45 (Nov 1st - April 15th)
- According to the official website, Hagia Irene is now also open to visitors with a separate entrance fee.
- Clothing: Be aware that there is a section of the palace housing very important sacred Islamic relics. You need to wear appropriate clothing - no shorts, mini skirts, strapless tops. Basically, make sure your legs and shoulders are covered.
- If you have a Müze Kart, entrance to Topkapı Palace is free but there is a fee for entrance to the Harem.
- If you're in Istanbul to tour all the sights, it's worth you investing in a Museum Pass to save money. These can be bought from mobile booths in Sultanahmet or from museums which are part of the scheme.