Topkapi Palace Museum Guided Tour with Harem & Hagia Irene Including Entrance Tickets

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Explore The Magnificent Topkapi Palace

Are you ready to explore the magnificent history of Topkapi Palace Museum? Sultans, ambitious courtiers, beautiful concubines, and scheming eunuchs lived here for almost 400 years! Visiting the palace's ornate corridors, jewel-filled architecture, the famous Harem, and legendary rooms give you a fascinating glimpse into their lives.

Exploring Istanbul Topkapı Palace in the best way is so easy with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®! You will enjoy hearing the hidden stories, architecture, and history of Topkapı Palace with Istanbul Tourist Pass® guides!

Take a breathtaking tour of history with the magnificent Topkapi Palace tour including the famous Harem Section!

About The Topkapi Palace Museum Guided Tour with Harem & Hagia Irene Including Entrance Tickets

Mobile ticketing - No need for printed voucher, we're digital!

Skip the ticket line - Avoid queues!

Duration - 60 Minutes  Check Time table to see the starting times

Instant confirmation - Please reserve your spot in advance using your App or 'Manage My Pass' section on the website. 

Guide - English

 

Highlights

See the great architecture of the Istanbul Topkapi Palace

Learn the magnificent history of Topkapi Palace Museum 

Be amazed by walking through the amazing Harem Section of the Palace

See breathtaking views of Istanbul over the Golden Horn and Bosphorus

Discover the second biggest church of Istanbul Hagia Irene


Includes

Guided Entry to Istanbul Topkapi Palace

Entry to the famous Harem Section of Topkapi Palace

Entrance into the legendary Hagia Irene 

Professional English-speaking tour guide


A Glimpse of Life and Luxury during the Ottoman Empire

In the 1600s, Evliya Çelebi, a famous Ottoman author and traveler, said of Topkapı Palace: "Never hath a more delightful residence been erected by the art of man." 

See it for yourself and get the most out of your visit to Topkapı Palace, the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for nearly 400 years.

Topkapı Palace has many unique collections on display including weapons of the Ottoman Army, beautiful fabrics, jewels, and art, as well as an amazing collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain.

There is even a Holy Relics Chamber which contains personal items of the Prophet Muhammad, the staff of Moses, and the sword of David, to name only a few. What a collection!

The Harem at Topkapi Palace served as the private residence for Ottoman Dynasty members and elite women for centuries. Access was restricted to Sultans, their families, and select personnel. With over 300 rooms, nine baths, and two mosques adorned with exquisite tiles, the Harem showcases Ottoman opulence from the 16th to the 19th century. Key structures include the Privy Chamber of Murad III and the Twin Kiosk/Apartments of the Crown Prince. The Main Entrance, Court of the Concubines, and Imperial Hall are also notable. Explore this historical and architectural gem with your Istanbul Tourist Pass®.

Hagia Irene, located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace, is the oldest church of the Eastern Roman Empire and the second-largest in Istanbul after Hagia Sophia. Throughout the Ottoman Empire era, it served as a loot and gun depot, eventually becoming the country's first official museum, Müze-i Hümayun. Today, Hagia Irene remains a testament to its rich history and architectural significance.

The most visited museum in Turkey, Topkapı Palace is an absolute must-see while you're in Istanbul so add it to your itinerary now!

Less queuing, more viewing!

For this amazing experience and more, Buy Your Pass Now! Istanbul Tourist Pass® is here to make your Istanbul trip an unforgettable experience! 

Hours & Meeting

Please visit time table for tour hours 

How To Get There?

Take the T1 Bağılar - Kabataş tram and get off at Gulhane station. Fountain Sultan Ahmed III is an easy 5-10 minute walk away.

Meet your guide in front of the Fountain Sultan Ahmed III (3. Ahmed Çeşmesi), outside the palace. The guide will be holding a flag with the logo of Istanbul Tourist Pass.

Get Directions

Important Information

The guided tours are performed in English.

The tour starts in front of the Fountain Sultan Ahmed III. Click "Get Directions" above to find the location on Google Maps.

The tour doesn't require a reservation in advance.

Istanbul Tourist Pass holders do not pay admission at the Topkapı Palace Museum.

Children will be asked to present their passports at the entrance to confirm their age.

The Harem Section is included in the Pass.

The museum is only open for half a day on the first day of Ramadan and the Sacrifice Festivals.

It is mandatory for guests to use a headset during the Topkapi Palace Tour. For this reason, be sure to bring your ID card with you when you come to the tour. ID cards will be taken during the use of the headset and will be returned at the end of the tour.

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Guided Topkapi Palace Museum Tour & Harem Entrance is Included in Istanbul Tourist Pass®️

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All About Topkapi Palace Museum Guided Tour with Harem & Hagia Irene Including Entrance Tickets

Topkapı Palace, one of the largest and most eye-catching structures of the Ottoman period, contains historical elements in abundance. This building, which has managed to preserve its splendor until today, is open to visitors as a museum. The Topkapı Palace Museum is divided into different sections and each section is believed to have a different function, hosting millions of visitors throughout the year. When it comes to the size of the palace, it is not possible for all parts of it to be open to visitors. However, a large part of the palace is available for visitation.

Topkapi Palace with its Unique Architecture

Topkapi Palace Museum is among the best places to visit in Istanbul. It amazes its visitors with its impressive history. This palace, which was built by the famous Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror right after the conquest of Istanbul, hosted dozens of Ottoman Sultans and powerful personalities of history.

Its construction was started in 1460 and completed in 1478. It was built on a land of 700,000 square meters. Being located in Sarayburnu, at the tip of the Istanbul peninsula between the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, Topkapi Palace can be seen from almost anywhere in Istanbul.

Four hundred years of the empire, especially during the era of Fatih Sultan Mehmet and Sultan Abdülmecid; Topkapı Palace, has managed to maintain its importance since the day it was built. This structure can also be considered as the center of education, administration, and art.

The Topkapı Palace museum, which was opened to the public as a museum after the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey, has an interior space of 400,000 square meters. At the same time, this palace is the first museum of the Republic of Turkey. Topkapı Palace has collections and approximately 300,000 archive documents. It is one of the largest palace museums in the world. The palace, which has many different works under its roof, is flooded by both local and foreign visitors every year.

Surrounded by gardens and squares, the palace has four interlocking courtyards. Each courtyard has a different purpose. For example, the courtyard used by the statesmen was not the same as the courtyard used by Sultan's concubines. At the same time, Sultan's family members used a completely different part of the Palace.

Topkapı Palace museum, which combines aesthetic appearance with baroque architecture, perfectly reflects the magnificent Ottoman culture and lifestyle. In addition to the showiness of the palace, there are also special corners, as the Sultan and his family loved.

It is possible to find traces of history in this building, where the plain walls are decorated with fine details. The precious jewels in the palace, clothes belonging to the Sultan and his family, items of religious importance and historical furniture attract attention.

The Topkapı Palace museum, which receives thousands of visitors throughout the year, is known for being constantly busy and crowded. You can visit this museum, with the privilege of the Istanbul Tourist Pass. In addition to that, you can turn your next route to the Madam Tussauds museum to see the wax statues of the Ottoman Sultans who lived in Topkapı Palace back in the day.

What does Topkapi Palace contain?

Topkapi Palace is really big, covering an area of about 700,000 square meters. What to see in Topkapi Palace? When visiting Topkapi, you can see the palace, which consists of two basic organizations: the outer and inner palaces and the Harem. Topkapi has several separate rooms that have been used by rulers for various purposes for centuries. There are private rooms, pavilions, rooms for soldiers, barracks, a large kitchen, a large library, loggias, offices, and prison rooms. Before passing the first section, called the Imperial Gate, be sure to look at the beautifully decorated stone fountain in the outer square. It is a small rectangular structure with five smaller domes made in the rococo style of 1728.Topkapi Palace paintings present a collection of imperial portraits housed in the Sultan's chambers. The painted portraits depict all Ottoman sultans.

First Gate and Courtyard

Surrounded by tall walls, the first courtyard functioned as an outdoor area or park and is the largest of all the palace courtyards. Some historic structures of the First Courtyard no longer exist. When you pass through the imperial door on the right, you will see a space known as the former Ministry of Finance. There are two niches on the door and an inscription of the Qur'an. To the left of it is the Byzantine Church of Hagia Eirene.

Second Gate and Courtyard

The second gate was built in 1468, during the time of Mehmed II the Conqueror, and was restored during the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, similar to European construction styles. The premises behind this second gate served, in present terms, as the logistics and administration division, for affairs concerning the administration of the empire. To the right of this second gate you can see the large kitchen. Next to the kitchen on the right are barracks and pantries, and further along the trail you will find the imperial barn and the Besir Age mosque. On the left, there is the Topkapi Palace tower of justice. A panel of officials met there to discuss state issues and the Sultan, often hidden behind a gold screen high up in the wall, would tap on the screen if he disagreed with their decisions.

Harem

These were imperial chambers and every detail of life in the Harem was characterized by tradition, obligation and ceremony. The word 'harem' literally means 'forbidden' or 'private'. Topkapi Palace’s Harem was the private haven of the Ottoman Sultan and his extended family at Topkapi Palace. Here, the word ‘harem’ also referred to the physical space in which he and his family members lived. The first Harem was deliberately built by Murat III in 1574 and later upgraded by the Sultans. Apart from the Sultans, the only ones in the Harem were the eunuchs who guarded him. You will have the opportunity to see beautifully decorated rooms, with canopies, marble fireplaces, flower tiles on floors and small fountains. 

Third Courtyard

Topkapi Palace Gate of Felicity is the entrance to the third courtyard, which consists of a private and residential part of the palace. No one could walk through this door without the Sultan's approval. The gate was built in the late 15th century. Under the vault of this third courtyard is the "Preston Hall" from the period of Mehmed the Conqueror, which is where he met with foreign MPs and viziers. Behind this hall is the library of Ahmet III, made in 1719. The most valuable of the entire Topkapi complex is the royal treasury, which contains the most valuable pieces of jewelry, weapons, diamonds and emeralds, with ruler's uniforms, kaftans, sultan uniforms and dresses.

Fourth Courtyard

Here you will be amazed by the beautiful tulip garden. On the edge of the terrace is a raised tower, once a pharmacy of the imperial palace, and a little further is a pavilion of Mustafa pastures. To the left of the garden is a small terrace with a swimming pool. At the end of the terrace there is a view of the Golden Horn Bay and the Bosphorus. You’ll also find the most beautiful pavilion of Topkapi Palace there, "Baghdad Pavilion", built in 1638 in honor of the occupation of Baghdad. The walls of the pavilion are lined with ceramic tiles and the inside of the dome is made of deer leather and gold. The windows are of ivory and pearl.

Hagia Irene

Hagia Irene, situated in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace, stands as the oldest church of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) and the second-largest church in Istanbul after Hagia Sophia. Initially constructed in 330 on the site of an older wooden temple, Hagia Irene suffered damage during the Nika Revolt in 532 and was subsequently rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Justinianus. The three-nave basilica, consisting of naos, narthex, and atrium, is the sole surviving example of a Byzantine church with a standing atrium. Renovations during the Iconoclastic era by Leo III and Constantine Copronymus altered its original decoration. Notably, the church served various purposes during the Ottoman Empire era, functioning as a loot and gun depot, later becoming the country's first official museum named Müze-i Hümayun. Today, Hagia Irene continues to showcase its rich history and architectural significance. Explore this historic gem with your Istanbul Tourist Pass®.

Highlights of Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace, which has hosted 400 years of the 600-year-old Ottoman period, took its place among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1985.

The kitchen, harem, and the supply room of the palace, which was severely damaged due to a fire in 1574, were restored by Mimar Sinan upon II. Selim's order.

Topkapı Palace, which combines European Baroque architecture with traditional Ottoman architecture, continues to serve only some parts of which are open to visitors these days.

Topkapi Palace, is flooded with visitors from all over the world, it also attracts the attention of local tourists.

This palace, which was used as the home of not only important statesmen and clergy, but also the Sultan and his family, hosted thousands of servants.

Topkapı Palace Museum Istanbul Turkey is famous for its entertainment and feasts. In the palace, food enough for thousands of people was cooked. The palace also hosted a different event every week back in the day. 

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By having the Istanbul Tourist Pass®, you can visit more than 100+ attractions in Istanbul. You can save huge amount of time and money by not waiting in the long queues or paying fees at the entrances of the museums or for other facilities and activities. You can buy the Istanbul Tourist Pass®️ for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 days. So many attractions are available with Istanbul Tourist Pass®️ such as Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, Dolmabahçe Palace, Sapanca Lake daily tour, Dinner on the Bosphorus, Istanbul Airport Shuttle etc. included in the pass. For more details and updated attractions available with the pass can be found on website.

Topkapi Palace Museum Guided Tour with Harem & Hagia Irene Including Entrance Tickets Frequently Asked Questions

Is Harem included in the guided tour?

Yes, the famous and breathtaking Harem section is included in your itinerary.

Can I Visit Topkapı Palace Without a guide?

No, this attraction cannot be accessed directly by presenting the digital Pass at the museum. You need to enter with the tour guide.

Is the Harem in Topkapi Palace worth it?

Yes, the Harem in Topkapi Palace is definitely worth visiting for its historical significance, architectural beauty, and rich cultural insights.

What is the Historical Significance of Topkapi Palace?

Topkapı Palace is one of the important structures that was built during the Ottoman Empire and has managed to preserve its historical importance until today. It is one of the most visited historical places in Turkey as well.

What is inside Topkapi Palace?

Inside the magnificent building, you will find imperial collections from the iconic Ottoman Empire. You will also explore a vast collection of books and manuscripts in the Topkapi library.

Who Lived in the Topkapi Palace?

Throughout the reign of the Ottoman empire, many ottoman sultans lived in Topkapi Palace. It was the imperial residence for many sultans.

Is Topkapi Palace Worth Visiting?

Yes! We think Topkapi Palace is one of the best attractions included in Istanbul Tourist Pass, besides the other 100+ attractions. It was home to many Ottoman sultans for centuries, and now holds a huge amount of history.

Is topkapi palace open today?

Topkapi Palace Summer Period Hours: 1 April - 1 October Opening time: 09:00 Closing time: 18:00. Museum is closed on Tuesdays.

What is Harem section Topkapi Palace?

The Harem section in Topkapi Palace is the private dwelling of the Ottoman Dynasty members and elite women, showcasing over 300 rooms, nine baths, and two mosques.

How much is Topkapı Harem?

The admission cost for Topkapı Harem is 500 TL in 2024, but with your Pass the entrance is free with your guided tour.

What is the famous Harem in Istanbul?

The most famous Harem in Istanbul is the Imperial Harem at Topkapi Palace, known for its historical importance, opulent architecture, and restricted access to select individuals, including Sultans and their families.

What is the difference between Hagia Irene and Hagia Sophia?

Hagia Irene is the oldest church of the Eastern Roman Empire, located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace. It is the second-largest church in Istanbul after Hagia Sophia. While both are Byzantine structures, Hagia Sophia is larger and more renowned,

Is Hagia Irene worth a visit?

Absolutely, Hagia Irene is worth a visit for its historical significance as the oldest church in Byzantine history, its architectural beauty, and its unique status as the birthplace of Turkish museology.

What is the purpose of the Hagia Irene?

Initially a church, Hagia Irene has served various purposes throughout history, including being a loot and gun depot during the Ottoman Empire era. It later became the country's first official museum, showcasing a collection of early munitions & artifacts

How old is Hagia Irene?

Hagia Irene was originally built in 330, making it over 1,690 years old as of the present day. It has undergone renovations and repairs over the centuries, preserving its historical charm.

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