Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum (Guided Tour)
#10 in Istanbul
Visit the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum and see the world's largest carpet collection including rare carpets from the Seljuk Empire, Iranian and Caucasian regions, collections of hand-written calligraphy, imperial edicts, ancient Qurans and many other written works. Admire the collections of wooden, glass, ceramic and stone articles by artists from former Islamic regions on display.
The museum was originally located in the soup kitchen of the Süleymaniye Mosque complex and later relocated to its current location in the İbrahim Paşa Palace, next to the Blue Mosque.
An amazing skip-the-line guided tour where you will be able to visit the magnificent museum and former palace.
Hours & Schedule
- Monday: NO TOURS - the museum is closed
- Tuesday to Sunday: 12:00
The approximate duration is 45 minutesView Timetable
How To Get There?
Where to meet
The tour starts at the main bus stop for the Big Bus Tour Company at Sultanahmet Square. Look out for the dark red double-decker buses. It's about 20 metres (65 ft) in front of the Hagia Sophia Museum.
To get to Sultanahmet Square, take the T1 Bağılar - Kabataş tram and get off at Sultanahmet station. Walk towards Hagia Sophia and keep an eye out for the Big Bus stop.
- The guided tours are performed in English.
- The tour starts at the meeting point which is the Big Bus Company bus stop in Sultanahmet. 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 Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts.
- Children will be asked to present their passport at the entrance to confirm their age.
- Please note that this attraction cannot be accessed directly by presenting the digital Pass at the museum. You need to enter with the tour guide.
- The museum is only open for half a day on the first day of Ramadan and the Sacrifice Festivals.
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and Islamic Arts Museum is one of the most significant historical centers in
all of Istanbul as it is the primary Turkish exhibition hall presenting many of
the important examples of Turkish and Islamic art together. If you are keen on
history, and/or doing an old city tour in Istanbul, don't miss this one and
visit it during your time in Istanbul. To learn everything you need to know
about the place, here are the history and some facts about Turkish and Islamic
of Turkish And Islamic Arts Museum
building the museum is in today was built back in the 15th or 16th century
during the reign of Bayezid II. When exactly it was constructed is unknown, but
it is known that it was given to Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha by Suleiman the Magnificent,
who was his second grand vizier. The place was named Ibrahim Pasha Palace and
following the Ibrahim Pasha’s passing, the palace retained its name and became
a government asset for the next 250 years. It was given to various government
officials who were married into the royal family. Ibrahim Pasha Palace is the
only private palace from the Ottomans that has survived until today except for some
sultan palaces, so you can say building that houses Turkish and Islamic Arts
Museum is a historical artifact in itself.
Originally, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum was opened to visitors in the Suleymaniye Mosque’s social complex in 1913. It received its current name after the restoration work to transform the Ibrahim Pasha Palace to a museum. These restorations started in 1966 and lasted until 1981. In 1983, it officially opened its doors to visitors as Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum and has been open to this date.
Artifacts in Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
are many different sections in Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. Each section has
enough artifacts to be a museum by itself with their many various artifacts. You
should see all of them during your visit of the museum, but there are a couple
of artifacts that stand out from the rest with their looks and/or their
of the earliest examples of the Islamic Art, these are important historical and
religious documents. Various Qur’an parchments, documents about Damascus’
history, Qur’an roll manuscripts and documents on different Islamic arts are
some of the highlights.
Door of the Cizre Ulu Camii (Great Mosque)
from the Great Mosque in Cizre, this double wing door is believed to have
belonged to Artuqids. It is covered with bronze plates and has a wooden
skeleton. Its ornaments are made from brass sticks and plaques. There are 3
medallions that symbolize infinity with a twelve-armed star on the center on
each wing of the door. On the middle of the both wings, you can see the door
handles that have two dragons with a lion head on the middle. The epitaph that
sits on top of the door is written in the thuluth font.
and Rugs Section
of the most striking sections is the carpets and rugs of varying sizes
displayed in the huge saloons with display windows. Huge hand-woven Ottoman
carpets are truly impressive and have unbelievable details. There are also
carpets from Seljuk Turks displayed here, which are the only Seljuk carpets
that survived until today. This collection that’s made of 13th to 20th century Ottoman
and Seljuk carpets is one of the world’s best collections of hand-woven
carpets. With enough observation, you can tell the fantastic stylistic differences
between Ottoman and Seljuk carpets and rugs.
see some of the rarest artifacts regarding Islamic history, visit the religious
relics section in Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. There are many different religious manuscripts,
Qur’ans and epitaphs. This section also hosts the striking fragments of Prophet
Muhammad’s beard and one of his footsteps, which draws a lot of Muslims from
around the world.
you wish to witness the wooden arts of the 9-10th century Anatolia,
visit the wooden relics segment. There are a wide range of examples of wooden craftsmanship
from Anatolian Seljuks, Period of Principalities and Ottomans. There are wooden
relics with inscriptions on them, different Qur'an parts, various Ottoman furniture
like foot stools and drawers, some examples of marquetry and more.
Century Ethnography Exhibition
museum’s ethnography part displays some of the important elements of the 19th
century Istanbul such as traditional Ottoman clothes, Turkish baths, coffee
houses, picnic areas and Karagoz & Hacivat shows.
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum Entrance Fee and Visiting Hours
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum visiting hours are different depending on which season you visit in. During winter time which is between 1 October and 1 April, it is open to visit every day except Mondays from 9 AM to 5 PM. During summer time between 1 April and 1 October, it is open every day except Mondays from 9 AM to 6 PM. Since it gets a lot of attraction from both the locals and the tourists, we recommend you to visit it earlier in the day to skip the crowds.
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum’s entrance fee is 42 Turkish Liras for adults and there isn’t any discount for students. However, Istanbul Museum Pass is accepted, so if you are planning on going to a lot of museums tours in Istanbul, it is recommended that you get one. You can buy a Museum Pass in Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. If you do not want a Museum Pass, you can get your Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum tickets from the ticket booth at the entrance or book a Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum guided tour and skip the line.
museum is in Sultan Ahmet Square, very close to the Blue Mosque, which is in the Fatih
district of Istanbul. It is a very common place for both tourists and locals,
so transportation is quite simple. The most common method is using the Kabatas
– Bagcilar tramway and getting off at the Sultanahmet station. From there, it
is a 5-minute walk.
to Get to Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
To get to the Kabatas – Bagcilar tramway from the Asian side, you can use the ferries to Eminonu from Kadikoy or Uskudar.