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How to Enjoy Arts in Istanbul

When you're feeling artsy and creative, Istanbul's cosmopolitan city will provide you with a plethora of choices. If you've seen all of Istanbul's historical sites and want to get a sense of the city's spirit, there are more galleries, exhibits, and museums to enjoy with your family and friends. If you want to see what the historical city has to offer in terms of entertainment, heritage, and art, here are the best museums to enjoy arts in Istanbul, all included with Istanbul Tourist Pass!

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum houses the world's largest carpet collection, which includes rare carpets from the Seljuk Empire, Iran, and the Caucasus, as well as collections of hand-drawn calligraphy, imperial edicts, ancient Qurans, and other written works. Admire the exhibition of works by artists from former Islamic regions in wood, glass, clay, and stone.

The museum was initially housed in the Süleymaniye Mosque complex's soup kitchen before being moved to its present site in the Ibrahim Paşa Palace, next to the Blue Mosque. The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is divided into many parts. With their many different objects, each section contains enough artifacts to be a museum in its own right. You can see them all on your visit to the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, but there are a few that stand out from the others due to their appearance and past.

Pera Museum in Istanbul

Pera Museum has delivered a range of internationally acclaimed art pieces in Istanbul through collaborations with leading international museums, galleries, and foundations. The goal of the Pera Museum is to spread not only the artistic appeal of its three collections, "Orientalist Paintings," "Anatolian Weights and Measures," and "Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics," but also to create historical sites in Istanbul.

The Orientalist Painting Collection at the museum includes works by European and Ottoman - Turkish artists, including The Tortoise Trainer by Osman Hamdi Bey. Among the vibrant and beautiful colors and beautifully informative sketches, this set will open the doors to Ottoman history in Istanbul for you. Today is the perfect day to have an Istanbul tour to see some of the most beautiful Ottoman paintings in the Pera Museum!

Sakip Sabanci Museum Istanbul

The Sakip Sabanci Museum's Painting Collection contains early Turkish paintings as well as works by foreign artists who worked in Istanbul during the Ottoman Empire's final years. Sakıp Sabanci's series, which began in the 1970s, is a cultural gem that includes valuable hints about the early stages of Turkish painting, proving to be a historic continuity of the SSM's The Arts of the Book and Calligraphy Collection. The collection is mostly made up of paintings created between 1850 and 1950, with a few pieces by local artists tossed in for good measure. If you want to see the finest works of old local artists during your Istanbul vacation, go to this museum. These artworks should not be considered separate from the city, as they are also a part of Istanbul's heritage.

The Istanbul Biennal

The Istanbul Biennial has been held by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts since 1987. The biennial's aim is to draw together artists from different backgrounds as well as the general public in Istanbul's field of visual art. The fifteen biennials in Istanbul that have been organized to date have promoted the establishment of an international cultural network between local and international art circles, writers, curators, and art critics by bringing together new trends in contemporary art every two years.

Travel Istanbul with Istanbul Tourist Pass!

Istanbul Tourist Pass grants access to all of these museums above besides the Biennal, and also access to more than 40 attractions in Istanbul!  You can buy your Istanbul Tourist Pass to save a huge amount of money and skip museum lines. Learn more on our website about the advantages of the Istanbul Tourist Pass!