Istanbul Archaeology Museums (the Archaeology Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient & the Tiled Pavilion)
The Istanbul Archaeology Museums, also known as Istanbul Archaeological Museum, are one of the richest archaelogy museums in the world, in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Fatih district, along the Osman Hamdi Bey ramp, on the site close to Hagia Sophia Museum and Topkapi Palace. Istanbul Archaeology Museums consist of three seperate museums on the site that include the Archaeology Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient and the Tiled Pavilion. That’s why it’s called plural.
Dating back to 1869, the Istanbul Archaeology Museums was first founded as the Imperial Museum with the archaeological items collected from the nearby Hagia Irene Church.
Afterwards, as the museum building was inadequate to display the remnants during the excavation works and diggings on the site of the newly revealed Necropolis of Sydon in 1887-1888, the museum moved to the main building (the Archaeology Museum) that was designed by the renowned architect Alexandre Vallaury, and took it’s today’s form with the construction of the auxiliary units that were built in 1903 and 1907. And all those developments administrated by Osman Hamdi Bey, manager of the Imperial Museum and a renowned painter well known for its “Tortoise Trainer” painting which is exhibited at the Pera Museum today.
The Museum of the Ancient Orient building was also designed by the renowned architect Alexandre Vallaury, again by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1883.
And the third museum of the complex, the Tiled Pavilion was constructed by the order of Fatih Sultan Mehmed, in 1472. It has a Seljucks style architecture which is the only one in Istanbul.
Istanbul Archaeology Museums houses over one million immense collection from various civilizations such as Assyrian, Hittite, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations that had deep effect throughout the history.
Istanbul Archaeology Museums are also listed on the top 10 museums in the world that was designed, established and serving as a museum building, as well as the first one in Turkey. The site of the Istanbul Archaeology Museums has very peaceful and beautiful courtyard and gardens. The museums’ buildings and architectures are also very impressive.
The Archaeology Museum houses very impressive pieces from the excavation of Necropolis of Sydon such as the Sarcophagies of Alexander the Great and King Tabnit, the Lycian Sarcophagus and the Mourning Women Sarcophagus are amongst the most valuable pieces in the museum. The exhibition of “Istanbul Through the Ages” is also worth a see.
The Museum of the Ancient Orient great pieces from the pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Anatolia. The Treaty of Kadesh, (signed in 1274), which is the oldest peace treaty in the world that is revealed in Hattusa, the Hittite capital; and a Love Poem from the 8th century ancient Babylonian era, are one of the most popular pieces at the museum.
The Tiled Pavilion, also known as “Islamic Art Museum”, houses about 2,000 pieces belonging to Seljucks and Ottomans era.
You may explore the Istanbul Archaeology Museums via daily tours made by the local travel agents with professional guides. It is a very good option if you don’t want to go through the hassle of making all the arrangements including the tickets, waiting at the queue and 2-ways transportation by your own and feel like you may have troubles with them.
We recommend the two world brands GetYourGuide or Viator tours, made by the best reputed and registered tour agents in Istanbul and offer comfortable, safe and the cheapest tours with 2-ways transportation from your hotel or meeting point, professional guides, insurance and easy cancellation. You may find the top selling guided Istanbul Archaeology Museums tours below.
Open every day except Mondays from 09:00-19:00 (from 15 April to 02 October), 09:00-17:00 (from 02 October to 15 April)
Ticket counters close 1 hour before the museum closing time.
Not available for visiting in the first days of Ramadan and Sacrifice Festivals for half time.
The Istanbul Archaeology Museums is situated inside the Topkapi Palace (in the 1st courtyard), in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Fatih district, in the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul. Getting to Istanbul Archaeology Museums is very easy and there are several trasnportation options.
How to Get There?
- For the ones who stay in the Sultanahmet hotels, they can get to Istanbul Archaeology Museums by walking.
- From Taksim, you may take the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line) from the Kabatas stop or the other stops along the Galata Bridge. To get to tram stops; from the Taksim Square, you may take the Taksim-Kabatas funicular (F1 line), get to Kabatas tram stop and take the tram for Sultanahmet. And from the end of the Istiklal Avenue, on the Tunel Square, you may walk downwards or take the Tunel-Karakoy funicular (F2 line) to get to Karakoy tram stop and take the tram for Sultanahmet.
- From Kadikoy or Uskudar, on the Asian side, you may take the ferries operating to Kabatas, Karakoy or Eminonu and from there you may take the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line) for Sultanahmet.
- Check the Istanbul Railway Network Map for the Tram stops and Istanbul Ferry Lines Map for ferries.
- Also note that the Sultanahmet Square and most of the connecting roads are closed for vehicle traffic except tram and tour busses. Getting to Sultanahmet by your private car is not recommended. You’ll need to leave your car far away.
Address: Alemdar Str., Osman Hamdi Bey ramp, Gulhane, Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 520 77 40
Fax: +90 212 527 43 00