Last Updated on March 28, 2021
In Istanbul, there are two types of Museum Pass that you can buy for your Istanbul museums visits. One of them is owned and offered by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other one is offered by the authorized travel agents.
Ministry’s Museum Pass Istanbul Mobile
This Museum Pass offers access to 10 museums in Istanbul, that only belong to Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which also means State Museums. (see below)
- Topkapi Palace Museum
- Topkapi Palace Museum Harem Apartments
- Hagia Irene Museum
- Museum of Turkish & Islamic Arts
- Istanbul Archaeology Museums
- Chora Museum
- Great Palace Mosaics Museum
- Museum of History of Science and Technology in Islam
- Galata Mevlevi Lodge Museum
- Rumeli Fortress Museum
Pricing & Validity
Valid for 5 days starting from your first visit.
Price is 325 TL. (about € 37)
How to Buy?
You can buy this museum pass online from the official Museum Pass Istanbul Mobile website. Alternatively, you can directly buy the Istanbul Museum Pass (with your ID card) at the ticket windows at the museums.
Important Notice : You’ll see or read elsewhere another Museum Pass named Müzekart+, which gives access to unlimited visits to more than 300 museums and archaeological sites in Turkey, valid for 1 year and with a price of 60 TL.
Note that this museum card is only for Turkish citizens and foreign residents in Turkey having “ID Number”.
Alternative Istanbul Museum Passes
These types of Museum Passes are offered bu authorized sellers. They are like similar ones of the above Museum Pass Mobile offered by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism. They differ with the number of museums included and price. We recommend the below ones as you will save a lot.
Istanbul Museum Pass (RECOMMENDED)
Istanbul Museum Pass is offered by Istanbul Welcome Card. It offers 9 Museums, while Ministry’s Museum Pass offers 10 Museums. We recommend this as it covers the most popular museums and offers great value for money.
Topkapi Palace, Harem, Galata Mevlevi Lodge Museum, Great Palace Mosaics Museum, Hagia Irene, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, Rumeli Fortress, Museum of Science and Technology in Islam
Pros: Save 45% at Museums , Fast track access to Museums, no waiting in the lines
Valid for 5 days starting from your first visit.
How it Works: After your order you will receive a confirmation with the pick up point picture at the Hagia Sophia.
You can pick up your Pass without waiting in the line daily between 09:00 and 15:00 at the kiosk across the Hagia Sophia.
You’ll just need to show the confirmation to your Istanbul Welcome Card guides waiting for you at the Hagia Sophia entrance.
Guided Museum Passes Istanbul
These types of Passes are offered bu authorized sellers and a good option for the ones who want to see the most visited Museums in Istanbul with a guide. Typical passes include the 5-12 most visited museums plus 3-5 of them with guide.
Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe
This is a travel discount card that is delivered to your hotel for FREE upon your purchase online, and will be ready to use at your arrival. You can also receive it from its stand in both two Istanbul Airports. Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe comes with Skip-the Line Pass for 9 Museums, 3 Tours by Historian Guide, 20 Rides with IstanbulKart (Public Transport), Bosphorus Cruise, Digital Guide Book and Map.
- Topkapi Palace, Harem, Galata Mevlevi Lodge Museum, Great Palace Mosaics Museum, Hagia Irene, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, Rumeli Fortress, Museum of Science and Technology in Islam, and Bonus Basilica Cistern
You’ll have guided tour for Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, Harem and the Basilica Cistern with one of the few Historian Guides in Istanbul.
Daily available times (except Mondays and Tuesdays):
- Hagia Sophia; Tour duration: 60 minutes, Daily except Tuesdays at 10:30
- Topkapi Palace & Harem; Tour duration: 90 minutes, Daily except Tuesdays at 11:30
- Basilica Cistern; Tour duration: 30 minutes , Daily except Tuesdays at 15:30
Valid for 7 days starting from your first visit.
Notice: Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official page.
Ministry’s Museum Pass vs Others
We can see that you may get confused about which museum pass you should buy. Let us guide you through this and give you our recommendations.
Comparison of the Museum Passes
* We used to recommend the Ministry’s Museum Pass (10 State Museums), but since the price has risen about 3x in the last two years, about 35% in January 2020, 10% in March 2020, and now it costs 325 TL (about €37), we find it NOT ECONOMIC.
* The Istanbul Museum Pass, offered by Istanbul Welcome Card is about €4 EXPENSIVE than the Ministry’s Museum Pass. About the same price. It includes 9 museums while Ministry’s has 10 museums. Regarding the service quality, we recommend this one.
Review for other Passes & Guided Museum Tours
* The Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe (€ 85) that we mention above has 9 museums plus bonus Basilica Cistern, and with skip-the-line 3 tours with a historian Guide (Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Harem, Basilica Cistern ). It also includes 90 min. Bosphorus Cruise plus Public Transportation Card with 20 Rides, Istanbul Guide Book and Map and Audio Guides for Istanbul. This is a Istanbul sightseeing pass and if you plan to buy this, than you will not need to buy separate museum pass. This is a better deal for you.
* We can say that, majority of the tourists visit only Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Harem and Basilica Cistern during their stay in Istanbul. Because they also take other shore excursions, attractions and neighborhood visits within a limited time of stay.
* Also guided tours are mostly preferred by the tourists as they want to learn more about the history of the place they visit from a professional guide, especially when we speak about Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern.
* Skip-the-line-access is also a great choice because you’ll see a long queue at Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Museums in almost every season and queues are always a mass.
* Majority of the tourists take some other must-do attractions during their Istanbul visit, like each of us do when we visit a tourist. It can be cruises, specific shows, theme parks, and some other city sightseeing tours. And IWC offers both attractions plus museums.
|Museum Pass Istanbul Mobile by Ministry, 10 museums||–||€37|
|Istanbul Museum Pass by IWC, 9 museums||–||€41|
|Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe by IWC, 9 museums||30 mins Guided Tour for 3 Museums, Bonus Basilica Cistern, 20 Rides with IstanbulKart, Bosphorus Cruise, Digital Guide Book and Map, Free Delivery to your Hotel||€99|