Topkapı Palace

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Topkapı Palace HISTORY

Topkapı Palace (Topkapi Sarayi) was the seat and residence of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire.

Construction of Topkapı Palace began in 1459 under the orders of Sultan Mehmed II following the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Built in a traditional Ottoman style, Topkapi Palace measured a staggering 700,000 metres squared in volume upon its construction, made up of a series of courtyards, the main palace and several ancillary buildings. The Palace was a focal point of Istanbul’s social and political life and once housed over four thousand people as well as a hospital, mosques and a mint.

Due to a series of fires and earthquakes, Topkapi Palace has undergone several reconstructions and renovations, but its historical origins are still visible throughout. It remained the court of Ottoman Sultans until 1853, when Sultan Abdül Mecid I moved it to Dolmabahçe Palace and it finally became a museum in 1924, which it has remained since.

Today, it is a popular tourist destination, with visitors flocking to see its Ottoman architecture, courtyards and Muslim and Christian relics, even including the belongings of the Prophet Mohammed. The Harem is also quite popular, but costs extra. Audio tours are available. This impressive site features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Turkey.


DIRECTIONS TO Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace is near Gülhane and Sultanahmet tram stations.




Topkapı Palace Museum is open daily except Tuesdays, 9am-7pm (5pm winter). Closed on religious holidays, New Years’ Day, 23 April, 19 May, 30 August, 29 September, 29 October and 7 December. Open from 1pm on the first day of religious holidays. Entry costs 25 Lira and an extra 15 Lira to enter the Harem.


NAME: Topkapı Palace
Alt Name: Topkapı Sarayı
Country: Turkey
Period: Ottoman Empire
Sub-Region: -
Date: 1400AD - 1499AD
City/Town: Istanbul
Figure:  -
Resorts: Istanbul,


Topkapı Palace ADDRESS

Topkapı Sarayı, Cankurtaran, İstanbul 34122, Turkey

Topkapı Palace PHONE NUMBER

(0212) 512 04 80

Topkapı Palace EMAIL

Empress :
France Lacoursiere
King :
Dan Carpenter
Prince :
Duke :
Lord :

Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Topkapı Palace is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or e-mail us.

User Comments

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Dan Carpenter 06 Mar, 2015

On the walk up the hill to Topkapi Palace from the streetcar, make sure to stop by the Archeology Museum. It has some of the best Mesopotamian artifacts in the world. Also, an excellent smattering of Greco/Roman and other civilizations from the Anatolian heartland.

France Lacoursiere 04 Feb, 2014

Topkapi is more a complex than a Palace. It is vast, irregular, asymmetric, and private at the same time, with the usual courtyards, alcoves, garden,etc. But the Sultans also worked there, welcomed guests, had hearings and ruled from Topkapi.