Istanbul can be considered as one of the best cities in the world by means of history, culture and art. Istanbul hosts more than 80 museums ranging from archeological, history museums to modern and fine art museums, as well as themed museum. You may enjoy temporary and permanent exhibitions on most of the museums. Most of the must see museums in Istanbul are situated in the tourist district of Sultanahmet. Other popular ones are located in the Galata, Taksim and Besiktas districts.
Istanbul Archaeology Museums, Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace Museum, Chora Museum and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts are amongst the the most visited museums in Istanbul as for history and culture, as well as the most beautiful landmarks. Except Chora Museum (in Edirnekapi), all are located in the Sultanahmet within easy reach from the Sultanahmet Square.
Istanbul Modern and Pera Museum in the Galata, Sakip Sabanci Museum in Emirgan are the most visited modern art and fine art museums in Istanbul. Rahmi Koc Transport Museum in the Eyup along Golden Horn and Naval Museum in the Besiktas are the most visited themed museums in Istanbul.
Below you may see all the popular museums in Istanbul and read more by visiting our detailed pages.
Istanbul Archaeology Museums in Sultanahmet
Consists of three museums (museum of Archaeology, the ancient Orient and the Tiled Pavillion) on one site, an immense collection of the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine works and items including sculptures and sarcophagi.
Hagia Sophia Museum in Sultanahmet
Former church and mosque, now a museum, one of the world’s greatest architectural works and accepted as the 8th wonder of the world, experience the history in the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires.
Topkapi Palace Museum in Sultanahmet
One of world’s richest museums, the former residence of the Ottoman emperors, three courtyards, terraces with astonishing views, as well as precious collections, one of the top tourist attractions.
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Sultanahmet
Housed in the Ibrahim Pasha Palace, displays illuminated Qurans, miniatures, antique carpets and more.
Istanbul Modern in Karakoy, Galata
A museum of modern and contemporary art, permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a photography gallery, cinema, restaurant, design store and library…
Chora Museum in Edirnekapi
Part of a monastery from the 6th century, former mosque, now a museum, hosts beautiful examples of Byzantine mosaics and frescos as well as Islamic symbols…
Sakip Sabanci Museum in Emirgan
Private fine arts museum, hosts collections of Ottoman Calligraphic Art, religious and state documents, paintings of the Ottoman era, archaeological and stone works, furniture and decorative arts…
Rahmi Koc Museum in Haskoy, Golden Horn
Housed in a former anchor foundry, a science and technology museum, a trove of machines, vintage cars, trains and submarines…
Pera Museum in Istiklal Avenue, Taksim
A private museum, permanent collections of orientalist paintings, anatolian weights and measures and Kutahya Tiles and Ceramics, temporary exhibitions, publications, audio-visual events, educational activities.
Naval Museum in Besiktas
A collection of more than 20,000 pieces related with the Turkish Maritime history. The ornamented Ottoman Sultans’ boats take the most interest…
Guided Museum Tours
You may experience the Istanbul 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 registeredtour agents in Istanbul and offer skip-the-line access, 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 museums tours below.
All-in-one Cards for Istanbul Museums
There are three types of Istanbul passes & cards that you may buy and have access to variety of Istanbul attractions including museums with fixed price and save a lot. We recommend those cards for the travellers that has long stay in Istanbul at least from 3 to 7 days.
Istanbul 5-Day Guided Museum Pass
Offers guided tours and fast track entry to 5 Istanbul museums including Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Hagia Irene and Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum.
Istanbul Welcome Card
Offers guided tours and fast track entry to 12 Istanbul museums including Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace Museum and Harem, Chora Museum, Fethiye Museum, Galata Mevlevi House, Hagia Irene Museum, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Istanbul Mosaic Museum, Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, and the Rumeli Hisar Museum with professional guides. Plus; a cruise on the Bosphorus and card loaded with 10 tickets for public transport.
A 3 day (€115), 5 day (€135) or 7-Day (for €140) City Pass
The card allows you to choose from 20+ Istanbul attractions so you can pack as much into your stay as possible for a single set price. The card offers guided tours and fast track entry to 8 Istanbul museums including Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace Museum, Basilica Cistern, Chora Museum, Hagia Irene Museum, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and Pera Museum. Plus; BigBus Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour, Bosphorus Dinner Cruise, Whirling Dervishes Show, Bosphorus Boat Trip, Sea Life Aquarium, Princes’ Islands Boat Trip, Hop-on Hop-off Bosphorus Boat Tour, Legoland Discovery Centre, Dialogue in the Dark/Silence, Xtrem Aventures, one way Airport Transfer and Unlimited Mobile Internet Access (3 days).
You may read more and buy those cards and passes with the cheapest price guaranteed from below.