Istanbul Museum Pass (2020 Price with Comparison of all the Museum Passes + Insider Advice)

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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

Istanbul Museum Pass (2020 Price with Comparison of all the Museum Passes + Insider Advice)This Museum Pass offers access to 14 museums in Istanbul, that only belong to Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which also means State Museums. (see below)

Museums included

  • Topkapi Palace Museum
  • Topkapi Palace Museum Harem Apartments
  • Hagia Sophia Museum
  • 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
  • Turbes (Tombs) Museum (117 tombs situated in several districts)
  • Galata Mevlevi Lodge Museum
  • Rumeli Fortress Museum
  • Fethiye Museum
  • Adam Mickiewicz Museum

Pricing & Validity

Valid for 5 days starting from your first visit.

Price is 325 TL. (about € 50)

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 at the 9 points of sales in Istanbul (with your ID card), at the ticket windows in:

  • Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Topkapi Palace Harem, Istanbul Archaeology Museums, Hagia Irene, Mosaics Museum, Chora Museum, Museum of Turkish & Islamic Arts and Rumeli Fortress Museum

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 (2020 Price with Comparison of all the Museum Passes + Insider Advice)Istanbul Museum Pass is offered by Istanbul Welcome Card. It offers 11 Museums, while Ministry’s Museum Pass offers 14 Museums. We recommend this as it covers the most popular museums and offers great value for money.

Museums included:

Topkapi Palace Museum, Topkapi Palace Museum Harem Apartments, Hagia Sophia Museum, 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

Museums NOT included:

Fethiye Museum, Adam Mickiewicz Museum, Turbes (Tombs) Museum

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 line daily, between 09:00 – 15:00 at 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.


Price: €52

Buy Your Istanbul Museum Pass + 5% discount


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 Museum Pass PLUS

Istanbul Museum Pass (2020 Price with Comparison of all the Museum Passes + Insider Advice)Istanbul Museum Pass PLUS is offered by Istanbul Welcome Card. It offers 11 Museums + Audio Guide Apps for Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Harem + 30-Min. Highligts Tour inside Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Archaeological Museum.

Ministry’s Museum Pass offers 14 Museums but has no guided tours and audio guide apps.

Istanbul Museum Pass PLUS is about the same price with Ministry’s Museum Pass and we recommend this as it offers great value for money.

Museums included:

Topkapi Palace Museum, Topkapi Palace Museum Harem Apartments, Hagia Sophia Museum, 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

Museums NOT included:

Fethiye Museum, Adam Mickiewicz Museum, Turbes (Tombs) Museum

Pros

  • Fast track access to Museums, no waiting in the lines
  • Audio Guide Apps for: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Harem
  • 30-Min. Highlights Tour inside Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Archaeological Museum

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 line daily, between 09:00 – 15:00 at 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.

Meetint times and days for the 30-Highlights Tours:

Hagia Sophia, except Mondays at: 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00

Topkapi Palace, except Tuesdays at: 09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30

Archaeology Museum, except Mondays and Tuesdays at: 09:15

Price: €69

Buy Your Istanbul Museum Pass PLUS + 5% discount


Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

Istanbul Museum Pass (2020 Price with Comparison of all the Museum Passes + Insider Advice)

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 12 Museums, 3 Tours by Historian Guide, 20 Rides with IstanbulKart (Public Transport), Bosphorus Cruise, Digital Guide Book and Map.

Museums include:
  • Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Harem, Chora Museum, Fethiye (Pammakristos) Museum, Galata Mevlevi Lodge Museum, Great Palace Mosaics Museum, Hagia Irene, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, Rumeli Fortress, Science and Technology in Islam, and Bonus Basilica Cistern
Guides include:
  • 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 at 10:00 – Tour duration: 60 minutes
    * Basilica Cistern at 11:30 – Tour duration: 20 minutes
    * Topkapi Palace and Harem at 12:30 – Tour duration: 90 minutes

Valid for 7 days starting from your first visit.

Price: €99

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.

Buy Your Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe


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 (14 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 €50), we find it NOT ECONOMIC.

* The Istanbul Museum Pass, offered by Istanbul Welcome Card is about €2 EXPENSIVE than the Ministry’s Museum Pass. About the same price. It includes 11 museums while Ministry’s has 14 museums. But the non included ones are not that must-see museums. Regarding the service quality, we recommend this one.

* The Istanbul Museum Pass PLUS, offered by Istanbul Welcome Card is about €19 EXPENSIVE than the Ministry’s Museum Pass, but not a big deal regarding the quality of service with bonuses. It includes 11 museums while Ministry’s has 14 museums, but it has pluses like Audio Guide Apps for Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Harem, 30 mins Highlights Tour inside Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Istanbul Archaeology Museums. If you want to visit the top museums with a GUIDE, than we definitely recommend this one which will be great value for money.

Review for other Passes & Guided Museum Tours

* The Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe (€ 99) that we mention above has 11 museums plus bonus Basilica Cistern, and with skip-the-line access guided tours to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Harem and Basilica Cistern. 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.

Comparison Chart

Pass Type Extras Price
Museum Pass Istanbul Mobile by Ministry, 14 museums €50

Buy Now

Istanbul Museum Pass by IWC, 11 museums €52

Buy Now

Istanbul Museum Pass PLUS by IWC, 11 museums Audio Guide Apps, 30 mins Highlights Tour for 3 Museums €69

Buy Now

Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe by IWC, 12 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

Buy Now

 


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, I am interested in the museum card plus, but wondering about the pick up point. It states the hagia sofia but as the hagia is closed on monday can you still pick up tickets on a monday (to explore the rest of the city)?

    • Hi Gavin, thanks, and no problem with that. The IWC guides wear red Polo and hold a sign with the inscription Istanbul Welcome Card, and they are there between 09:00-15:00. You can easily catch them in front of Hagia Sophia and take your Museum Pass. There’s nothing to do with Hagia Sophia’s being closed on Mondays.

  2. I ordered the IWC Museum Pass card online and the ordering process was really clear and smooth. The pickup in front of the Hagia Sophia also went really well, as there are multiple time slots to pick up the Istanbul Museum Pass within a day, along with helpful staff members to assist us. This pass really saves a lot of time when visiting Istanbul, as there are always a lot of tourists queuing up in front the most famous tourist attractions, such as Hagia Sophia or Topkapi Palace. Regarding its value, it’s also really worth it if more than 3 or 4 museums/sites are visited. Highly recommend this pass in terms of both time-wise and economic-wise.

  3. I ordered my card IWC Museum Pass online and was able to pick it up from a guide at Hagia Sofia. It was convenient since I could visit that right away. There are many other included museums and I think it’s a very economic option in monetary terms but mostly in time that is not spent on queueing anymore.

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