01-02-2021 - History

14 Must-Visit Palaces and Mansions of Istanbul: A Guide

Throughout history, Istanbul acted as the capital of many empires because of its unique location between two continents. Because of this, there are still countless historical sites in the city, particularly palaces and mansions from the Ottoman Empire. If you want to learn about these luxurious accommodations and/or visit them, here are the **best palaces and mansions in Istanbul*.


  • Topkapi Palace: As it is one of the most known places in Istanbul, Topkapi Palace gathers hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Built in the eastern side of the Fatih district, this palace overlooks both the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Since it is easily the most important palace in the Ottoman history, you will find many interesting and significant Ottoman relics inside, such as weapons, armors, paintings and engravings.
  • Yildiz Palace: Built in the year 1880, Yildiz Palace was the last Ottoman Palace that was ever built. It was used by Sultan Abdulhamid II and was converted into a luxury casino after the foundation of Republic of Turkey. It later became a guest house for statesmen. Today, it is a museum complex with multiple parts. Inside, you can find the state apartments, the Sale Kiosk, Malta Kiosk, Cadir Kiosk, Yildiz Theatre, Opera House and the Imperial Porcelain Factory.
  • Dolmabahce Palace: After the Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace is the second most famous historical Ottoman palace in Istanbul. Built in the late Ottoman era, this place is one of the most luxurious buildings you can see. The palace has 285 rooms and 46 halls, 6 baths and 68 toilets. It was established on an area of 110,000 square meters. Plus, the interior is made out of very expensive materials like crystal and gold. In its period, it was one of the most important **Ottoman palaces in Istanbul**.
  • Ciragan Palace: Located between the shores of Besiktas and Ortakoy, Ciragan Palace was once an Ottoman palace that was taken down and rebuilt many times. The one we know today was completed during Sultan Abdulaziz’s reign in 1871. Like many other Ottoman palaces, the materials used in Ciragan Palace are rare and expensive, like porphyry, marble and mother-of-pearl. Today, it is one of the most luxurious hotels in Istanbul under Kempinski.
  • Beylerbeyi Palace: As one of the few Ottoman palaces that was built in the Asian side of Istanbul, Beylerbeyi Palace has a significant place in the Turkish history. Built in the year of 1865 by the famous Armenian architect Sarkis Balyan, this magnificent place was used to host foreign statesmen, like Serbian Prince, King of Montenegro, Shah of Iran, French Empress, mainly in the summer years. After he was dethroned, Sultan Abdulhamid II was held here until his death in 1918. While it is less known than other imperial palaces, it is definitely one of the most significant **historical palaces of Istanbul**.
  • Choose Your Pass

    Choose from one of Istanbul Tourist Pass® options below providing Free access to 100+ Top Attractions, Tours and essential Local Services with over 80% savings.

    5 Day Pass


    €330 €230


    €265 €185
    7 Day Pass


    €360 €250


    €280 €195
    10 Day Pass


    €415 €290


    €320 €225
    1 Day Pass


    €200 €140


    €155 €110
    2 Day Pass


    €235 €165


    €185 €130
    3 Day Pass


    €280 €195


    €220 €155
    4 Day Pass


    €310 €215


    €245 €170
    2 Days Pass




    Order Summery
    Sale Discount

    Order Total



  • Tiled Pavilion Museum: Tiled Pavilion is the first building Mehmet the Conqueror built inside the Topkapi Palace complex. Completed in the 1472 according to the inscription on the entrance, it was mainly used by the sultans for pleasure. It takes its name from the special Iznik tiles it was made from. Inside, you can get a closer look of the many Islamic relics that were decorated with the same Iznik monochrome art style. It is definitely one of the top attractions in Istanbul.
  • Adile Sultan Pavilion: This pavilion was built in 1858 by Sarkis Balyan as a gift to the Sultan Abdulmecid’s sister Adile Sultan. But the after seeing that the original building sustained a lot of damage, Sultan Abdulaziz rebuilt the pavilion and the building we know today was created. Its Oval Hall has a capacity of 500 people. Plus, it has a meeting room for 200 people, 17 seminars rooms for 30 to 50 people, a cocktail area of 1300 m2 and a garden with a capacity of 1000 people.
  • Ihlamur Pavilion: Made from cut stone by Nigogos Balyan during the reign of Sultan Abdulmecit, Ihlamur Palace is one of the two buildings in the area. It is also known as the Merasim Pavilion. The other building, the Maiyet Pavilion, has a much simpler design. Today, you can tour the magnificent garden of this place and enjoy a great Turkish breakfast inside, for a surprisingly cheap price.
  • Tophane Pavilion: Located in the Tophane neighborhood near the Nusretiye Mosque, this pavilion was also built by Sultan Abdulmecid. It was designed by the English architect William James Smith. Its parallel location to the sea, decorations on its exterior, the penwork ceiling decorations and the marble fireplaces are amongst its most attractive characteristics.
  • Malta Kiosk: This luxurious kiosk is inside the Yildiz Park where you can find the Yildiz Palace. It was built in 1871 by Sultan Abdulaziz in the backyard of the Ciragan Palace. Its most striking feature is the large room with a marble pool adorned by a fountain with a swan motif in front of the sea. The windows of the rooms, which are accessed by stairs on both sides of the pool room, are made of yellow, red, blue and white glasses.

Seaside Mansions

  • Recaizade Mahmut Ekrem Mansion: Recaizade Mahmut Ekrem is one of the most significant authors of Turkish literature. This is the mansion he grew up and got married in. Even though it became a corn oil factory in the 1950s, it was restored to its earlier form in 1988.
  • Deli Fuad Pasha Mansion: This mansion is located in Istinye Cove and gets its name from the Fuat Pasha, an Ottoman soldier. He had the “Deli” (mad) title because of his brave actions during battles. He bought the mansion after he returned to Istanbul from his exile in Damascus and was the fourth owner of the mansion.
  • Mediha Sultan Mansion: Built by Mustafa Reşit Pasha in 1830, this mansion was used as shelter by Damat Ferit Pasha when he allied with the invader forces during the War of Independence. Today, its harem section is used as a hospital while the part for the men is a social facility for Istanbul University.
  • Yusuf Ziya Pasha Mansion: Famously known as “The Haunted Mansion” among Turkish people, this building was built by Yusuf Ziya Pasa, an Ottoman statesman. According to rumors, Yusuf Ziya Pasha wanted to impress the woman he loved and keep her away from other people’s sights. After its construction came to a halt during WW1, its 2nd and 3rd floors remained empty for decades. After Yusuf Ziya Pasha passed away, people believed that both Yusuf Ziya Pasha’s and his lover’s souls were still living inside the mansion. Some workers even say that they saw a female ghost in the mirror of the woman’s room. Today, it is owned by Borusan as both an office and a museum, and one of the greatest **mansions in Istanbul**.

Travel around Istanbul freely with Public Transportation Card Buy your unlimited Istanbul Public Transportation Card now. We deliver it your hotel before you arrive.
Specialy designed for tourists
Unlimited Public Transportation
Delivered Directly to Your Hotel
Save 40% with Istanbul Tourist Pass®
with FREE Digital Public Transportation Guide

Latest Posts


Nightlife in Istanbul: Best Nightclubs, Unique Places, and More in 2023

Istanbul is a surprising city full of wonders. Some of them are historical, some are natural but all of them are unique. This amazing cosmopolitan city has vibrant and rich nightlife as well! So it is fair to say that you're in luck if you appreciate...


Most Popular Historic Mosques You Must Visit in Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the most culturally rich and diverse cities in the world thanks to its deep history which is comprised of many empires, cultures, and religions. Because of this, you can find numerous historically significant sites here, from churc...


A Brief History of Galata Tower

Galata Tower, an architectural gem standing tall in Istanbul, proudly overlooks the bustling neighborhoods of "Beyoglu" and "Karakoy" from its strategic location. Its captivating allure, especially when illuminated by colorful lights at night, has ma...


Where to go in Istanbul with family

Where to go in Istanbul with family If you booked your flight and soon are coming to Istanbul with your children and wondering where to go in the city, we would like to let you know beforehand that there are plenty of great places to visit. Moreover...


August in Istanbul

What to do in August Dear guest, Istanbul lover-to-be! You finally arrived in one of the most popular cities around the world, we hope you throughly enjoy it! Whilst you just arrived, we have few recommendations and tips for making your experience e...


Where to Stay in Istanbul with Family

Where to stay in Istanbul with family You finally booked your flight, and are eager to see the beauty of Istanbul within days from your flight. For your trip here, you rightfully want to stay at one of the best hotels in Istanbul for families that w...


4 Best Indian restaurants in Istanbul

Indian cuisine is widely loved across the globe for its rich ingredients, intoxicating aromas, and fresh blend of spices. Its historic staple diet consisting of whole-wheat flour, rice, and vegetables makes it unique and flavoursome. Travellers, espe...


3 Best Nightclubs in Istanbul

Istanbul, a city full of zest, has so much to offer to its visitors from across the globe. Whether you're interested in its historic architecture, deep-rooted culture & heritage, delicious food, or the city's flashy nightlife, there's something f...


Istanbul Branches of World-Famous Eateries

If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.  Alphonse de Lamartine   Istanbul is full of surprises in every corner. The city can surprise you with its colours, sounds, and amazing views as well as t...


Restaurants in Istanbul: Where to Eat in Istanbul Old Town

Istanbul is not only the meeting point of cultures but also of cuisines! There are various options to taste delicious food from all over the world in the city. While visiting the magnificent Hagia Sophia or taking great Instagram photo...

4.8 out of 5 stars

Istanbul Tourist Pass® has an average rating of 4.8 /5 from 1418 reviews

Read all traveler reviews →
Attractions Prices
Plan Save