Top 9 Free Museums & Art Galleries in Istanbul

Experience and enjoy these top free museums in Istanbul and admire the culture and art of the city with many free exhibitions that this beautiful city has to offer. While you can find several free museums, you can also visit several private museums for free during their once a week free museum days offers.

Free Istanbul Museums

Note that majority of the Istanbul museums open six days a week, and majority of them are closed on Mondays.

1. Private Sakip Sabancı Fine Arts Museum 

free every Tuesdays

Location: Emirgan

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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.

Sakip Sabanci Museum is renowned for its rich collection of Turkish calligraphy and paintings. Housed in the historic Atlı Köşk (Horse Mansion) along the Bosphorus, the museum not only showcases the impressive art collection of the late Sakip Sabanci but also provides a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Ottoman era. The museum’s unique location, diverse exhibitions, and commitment to promoting Turkish art and culture contribute to its fame as a cultural hub in Istanbul.

Free admission is available on Tuesdays between 10:00 and 18:00.

Wanna learn more about Sakip Sabanci Museum?

2. Private Pera Museum

free between 18.00-22.00 every Fridays

Location: 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.

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Pera Museum is renowned for its diverse collection of art, spanning from Anatolian and Orientalist paintings to Turkish ceramics and contemporary works. The museum, located in the vibrant Beyoğlu district, is celebrated for its commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Turkey and its dedication to promoting various forms of artistic expression. Notable exhibitions and a dynamic cultural program contribute to its fame, attracting art enthusiasts and visitors keen on exploring the multifaceted aspects of Turkish art.

  • Pera Museum generally charges an admission fee for visitors. However, certain promotions, discounts, or free entry days may be available.
  • Friends of Pera Museum, handicapped individuals and one companion, and children aged 12 or below can enjoy the wonders of art with waived admission charges. ICOM Cardholders, representing the International Council of Museums, also receive complimentary access.
  • Members of the press can dive into the world of art without worrying about entry fees.
  • Explore freely during Long Fridays, with doors open to all from 18:00 to 22:00.
  • Wednesdays are dedicated to empowering students, offering free admission to both Pera Museum and Pera Film screenings—an enriching midweek cultural treat for the young minds of tomorrow.

Wanna learn more about Pera Museum?

3. Istanbul Modern Art Museum

free every Thursdays for Turkey residents

Location: Beyoglu

A museum of modern and contemporary art, permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a photography gallery, cinema, restaurant, design store and library.

The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art is celebrated for its remarkable collection of contemporary Turkish art, showcasing works from distinguished artists that mirror the vibrant and diverse cultural landscape of Turkey. Housed in the newly built Galataport along the Bosphorus, the museum is not only a testament to modern architecture but also serves as a dynamic cultural center.

The museum is free of charge for children aged 12 and younger who are accompanied by an adult.

But the museum opens its doors to all visitors free of charge every Thursday between 10.00-14.00. It is called “Your Thursday” and valid for visitors residing in Turkey.

All young people between the ages of 18-25 can experience Istanbul Modern free of charge every Tuesday between 10.00-14.00. It is called “Young Tuesday” and valid for visitors residing in Turkey.

Wanna learn more about Istanbul Modern Art Museum?

4. Turkey Is Bank Museum

Location: Eminonu

The Turkey Is Bank Museum is a free museum taking its visitors back to its establishment period. You’ll see many works developed by the bank and related to the history of the bank.

Visiting hours: open daily between 10:00-18:00 except Mondays.

5. Sirkeci Orient Express Museum

Location: Sirkeci

The museum dates back to 2005 and serves within an area of 45.5 square meters. You can experience and enjoy the wide range of railway devices used by the Republic of Turkey State Railways since its establishment, communication devices, various photographs that witness the history and many other items.

Visiting hours: open daily between 09:00-17:00 except Sundays & Mondays.

6. Galatasaray Museum

Location: Istiklal Street, Taksim

The museum belongs to the world famous Turhish football team Galatasaray. You’ll witness the more than 2,000 cups and many exhibits.

Visiting hours: open daily between 10:00-18:00 except Mondays.
Address: Huseyinaga Mah., Istiklal Str. No:90, Taksim, Beyoglu

7. Yapi Kredi Culture & Art

Location: Istiklal Street, Taksim

This a lovely art gallery belongs to the Yapi Kredi Bank and situated along the famous Istiklal Street. You’ll find variety of great art exhibitions and events for free.

Address: Istiklal Str. No:161, Taksim, Beyoglu

8. SALT Galata & Ottoman Bank Museum

Location: Karakoy

Salt Galata is a lovely art and culture center where you’ll find several exhibitions and events during the year. There is also the Ottoman Bank Museum inside the building where you’ll find great collections of official archives of the Ottoman era. Visitors may experience the Ottoman banknotes, orders of the palace officers and the photographs of the bank branches.

Visiting hours: open daily between 11:00-17:00 except Mondays.
Address: Bankalar Str. No: 11, Karakoy, Beyoglu

9. Mehmet Arsay Classic Automobile Museum

free every Saturday and Sunday

Location: Halkali

The museum opened in the Halkali district within the 12 years of big efforts of Meryem and Mehmet Arsay. You’ll enjoy a total of 50 classic cars produced between the years 1920 and 1970 at the museum.

Address: Ataturk Mah. Ikitelli Str. No:178, Halkali

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