Istanbul Museums

Archaeological Museum

Archaeological museumThis complex was build by the end of 19th century by the architect Vallaury thanks to great efforts of famous Turkish painter Osman Hamdi Bey. It includes the exquisite Tiled Kiosk and the Museum of the Ancient Orient and houses a large collection of artifacts and works of art belonging to ancient Greek, Roman and other Anatolian civilizations dating back to the 6th century BC. The Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, Sarcophagus of Mourning Ladies, and other ancient sarcophagi and various objects found in the Sidon excavation are among its most interesting pieces.

Ancient Eastern Archeological Museum was designed and open to service in 1917 by Halil Eldem Bey. The collection on displays comprised of about 15000 archeological pieces of Ancient Mesopotamia, Pre-Greek Anatolia, Assyrian, Sumerian, Acadian, Babylonian, Ancient Egyptian and Pre-Islamic Arabic culture.

Open daily between 09:30-16:30 except Mondays. 
Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu, Gulhane, Eminonu 
Tel: (212) 520 77 40 and 41 
Admission: 15 TL

Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya) Museum

Hagia Sophia (St.Sophia) churchThe ancient Byzantine church, built by Justinian I between 532-537 AD after the Nika Riot, was later converted to a mosque with the addition of minarets in mid-15th century. The remarkable structure with its 56m high immense dome is a museum today in which you can see both Christian and Islamic art. There are good examples of the Byzantine mosaics as well. For about 1000 years this was the largest church in the world, and glory of the Byzantine Empire.

Open daily between 09:30-16:30 except Mondays. 
Sultanahmet Meydani, Eminonu 
Tel: (212) 522 17 50 and 528 45 00 
Admission: 30 TL

St. Savior in Chora (Kariye) Museum

St. Savior in Chora churchAncient Byzantine church which was first built in the 6th century AD as a monastery and restored several times in the 9th, 11th and 12th centuries, and finally renovated in the 14th by Theodore Metochites, minister of the Byzantine Empire, from which we have the best of mosaics. It was converted into a mosque in the 15th century after the Conquest of the city. Today it's a museum of Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. The typical Ottoman neighborhood with wooden houses is also very interesting to stroll around.

Open daily between 09:30-16:00 except Wednesdays. 
Edirnekapi, Fatih 
Tel: (212) 631 92 41 
Admission: 15 TL

Fethiye Mosque (Pammakaristos Church) Museum

The Byzantine church was built in 1261 and dedicated to the Virgin "Pammakaristos", The Most Happy. After the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, it was used as a nunnery and it became the see of Christian Orthodox Patriarchate from 1455 until 1587, then converted into a mosque changing its name to Fethiye. Its parekleison (burial corridor) was opened as a museum recently where you can see beuatiful Byzantine mosaics and some frescoes from 14th century.

Open daily between 09:30-16:30 except Wednesdays. 
Fethiye Camii, Çarsamba - Fatih 
Admission: 5 TL

The Ataturk Museum

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - founder of modern TurkeyHouse where Ataturk lived and worked before the War of Independence during his stay in Istanbul between 1918 and 1919, originally was built in 1908 and restored by the Municipality of Istanbul in 1943, opening to the public in 1981. Top floor of this building was reserved to His mother Zubeyde Hanim and His sister Makbule, meanwhile Ataturk used middle floor for himself and lower floor for His loyal officer.

On display are photographs of Ataturk from his birth until his death, as well as some of his clothes, personal belongings and paintings.

Open daily between 09:30-16:00 except Thursdays and Sundays. 
Halaskargazi Caddesi No:250, Sisli 
Tel: (212) 240 63 19 

Asiyan Museum

This museum is the former residence of famous Turkish poet Tevfik Fikret (1867-1915) who constructed the building himself. In addition to an exhibit of the personal belongings of Fikret, there is a room devoted to the poet Nigar Hanim and displaying some of the belongings of Abdulhak Hamit. It's located in Asiyan neighborhood on the Bosphorus.

Open daily between 09:00-16:00 except Sundays and Mondays. 
Asiyan Yokusu, Bebek 
Tel: (212) 263 69 86

Calligraphy Museum

The Beyazid Medresse, which was used as the municipality library since 1945 was evacuated, restored and reorganized as the Turkish Calligraphic Arts Museum. It has interesting and valuable examples of the Turkish art of the pen, Korans, imperial seals, diplomas, Hilye-i serif (descriptions of the Prophet), equipment and apparatus for calligraphic writing, samples of bookbinding, holy relics and miniatures, especially from Ottoman and Seljuk periods.

Open daily between 09:00-16:00 except Sundays and Mondays. 
Beyazit Meydani, Eminonu 
Tel: (212) 527 58 51

Sadberk Hanim Museum

Founded by the Vehbi Koc Foundation in 1980 in the historical Azaryan residence along the Bosphorus, this museum is a beautiful three-story "yali" (old Ottoman house) and houses a rich collection of Anatolian-based works of art, antiques and relics dating from 6000 BC. It is the first private museum of Turkey opened by Koc family, the richest of Turkey.

Open daily between 10:00-17:00 except Wednesdays. 
Piyasa Caddesi No:27-29, Buyukdere - Sariyer 
Tel: (212) 242 38 13 and 14

Modern Arts Museum

Opened its doors in December 2004 thanks to Eczacibasi family, this is the first and only Modern Arts museum in Istanbul. It's housed at renovated old docks in Karaköy district facing Topkapi Palace, with a rich library, exhibitions, photograph gallery, sculpture courtyard, movie theater, cafe and souvenir shop. One can find in this private museum almost everything on modern Turkish Arts.

Open daily between 10:00-18:00 except Mondays. 
Meclisi Mebusan Cad. Liman Isletmeleri Antrepo 4, Karakoy 
Tel: (212) 334 73 00 
Admission: 15 TL

Painting & Sculpture Museum

The museum was opened in 1937 in the crown prince suites of Dolmabahce Palace by the order of Ataturk. It was the first art museum in Turkey and only one in Istanbul until recently. The permanent collection presents a panoramic view of the Turkish plastic arts and also includes works of world famous artists, an impressionist collection, sculptures and works of military painters in several halls and display rooms. Occasionally, there are also painting courses during the year.

Open daily between 12.00-16.00 except Mondays and Tuesdays. 
Dolmabahce Sarayi yani, Besiktas 
Tel: (212) 261 42 98 and 99

Caricature Museum

This museum was opened in 1975 in Tepebasi by the Istanbul Municipality through the efforts of the Caricaturists Association, then temporarily closed down in 1980 as the building where it was housed was torn down and later re-opened in its new site in Fatih district.

The Gazanfer Aga complex, which consists of an Ottoman medrese, a shrine and a fountain in Sarachanebasi, was restored for use as the new structure. Re-opened in 1989, the museum contains a rich collection of satirical works, written or drawn, and the exhibits are frequently changed.

Open daily between 10.00-18.00 
Ataturk Bulvari, Kovacilar Sokak No:12, Fatih 
Tel: (212) 521 12 64 or 249 95 65

Carpet & Kilim Museum

This museum is located in its new building just behind Hagia Sophia. The museum has unique pieces of old Ottoman prayer rugs and kilims.

Open daily between 09.00-16.00 except Sundays and Mondays. 
Ayasofya imareti, Sultanahmet 
Tel: (212) 518 13 30

Turkish & Islamic Art Museum (Ibrahim Pasha Palace)

Fine collection of art and ethnography in the lovely setting of Ibrahim Pasa Palace in the old Hippodrome area. It was built in the 16th century and donated to Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha by the great sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. He was the first counselor of the Sultan and married Suleyman’s sister as the sultan ascended the throne, thus occupying a very important place in the Ottoman palace hierarchy. After Ibrahim's death the palace was used as a military barracks for new recruits, and made a museum during the Republic. Click Here for more information on the Palace museum.

Open daily between 09:00-16:30 except Mondays. 
Sultanahmet Meydani, Eminonu 
Tel: (212) 518 18 05 and 06 
Admission: 20 TL

Islamic Sciences & Technology History Museum

One of the newest museums of Istanbul opened by the Metropolitan Municipality in May 2008 at Gulhane Park, near Topkapi Palace. There are plans, copies and replicas of several inventions of Muslim scientists and researches throughout the history of Islam, especially between 8th and 16th centuries AD.

Open daily between 09:00-16:30 except Tuesdays. 
Gulhane Parki, Has Ahirlar binasi, Eminonu 
Tel: (212) 528 80 65 
Admission: 5 TL

Santralistanbul Energy & Arts Museum

The building used to be an electric power plant built in 1914 at the tip of the Golden Horn, and known as Silahtaraga Electric Plant. It produced energy for Istanbul from Ottoman period until 1983 then it was shut down for being out of modern technology. The plants were taken by Istanbul Bilgi University and converted into a modern university campus, restoring the old power plant as well. Santralistanbul was opened as an energy museum displaying old industrial electric machines and for modern art exhibitions in September 2007. There are student guides to direct you inside the museum.

Open daily between 10:00-18:00 except Mondays. 
Eski Silahtaraga Elektrik Santrali, Eyup 
Tel: (212) 311 78 78 
Admission: 15 TL