All About Istanbul
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Latest News

New openings in 2024

The St. Saviour in Chora (Kariye) is re-opened after years of restorations as a mosque and a museum.

Entrance fees in 2024

As of 1st of March 2024, many State museums' fees are set in Euros, to be paid its equivalent in Turkish Liras.

Museum Pass

You can buy the "Museum Pass" for foreigners which is valid for 5 days in various museums of Istanbul.

Museums open 7 days

Many State museums in Istanbul operate 7 days a week, except Topkapi Palace.

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Palaces in Istanbul

Istanbul has been the capital city of some of the most powerful nations and empires of the history since it's foundation; capital Byzantium of the King Byzas' colonies, capital Constantinople of the Byzantine Empire, and capital Istambul of the Ottoman Empire. Therefore one can find many palaces in Istanbul belonging to these empires who left they remarks in this magnificent city.

Most of the palaces in Istanbul are from the Ottoman period because earlier palaces were either destroyed or built on top after the Conquest of Constantinople, but some of them were also damaged by the destructive earthquakes throughout the centuries.

After the proclamation of the Republic by Atatürk, all Ottoman palaces were inherited to the Turkish people thus to the Parliament by the Law of 1924. These palaces were restored and opened to the public as a museum. Only the Dolmabahçe Palace continued to serve as a presidential palace until the death of Mustafa Kemal than it was opened to the visitors.

Some of the most important palaces and pavilions or kiosks in Istanbul are:

From Byzantine period:

  • Great Palace: Most important and largest Byzantine palace built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century in the city center, todays Sultanahmet neighborhood. Its floor mosaics can be seen at the Mosaics Museum just behind the Blue Mosque.
  • Constantine Porphyrogenetus Palace: Known as Tekfur palace today, it's located at Kariye neighborhood attached to the city walls, near the Chora church museum. Click Here for more info.
  • Blakherna Palace: It was a summer residence built on the city walls near the Golden Horn, from which today exists only the Anemas Dungeons and Tekfur palace. Click Here for more info.
  • Bryas Palace: A summer residence built in the 9th century on the Asian side of the city, probabily in todays Kucukyali neighborhood or a little bit further east at Dragos - Cevizli area. Only few remainings left.
  • Manganoi (Mangana) Palace: Located inside the Topkapi Palace walls and between Sirkeci - Cankurtaran train stations. Only few remainings left.
  • Rhegion Palace: A summer palace built by Theodosius I and is located at the entrance of Kucukcekmece district, on the ancient Via Egnazia road to Rome. Only few remainings left.
  • Iukundianae Palace: A summer palace which was located between Yenimahalle - Bakirkoy area along the Sea of Marmara. Nothing much survived until today.
  • Magnaura Palace: Another summer palace located between Yenimahalle - Bakirkoy area along the shore. Nothing much survived until today.
  • Myrelaion Palace: A summer residence located between Aksaray and Laleli districts. Very few remains were found during the excavations.
  • Boukoleon Palace: A summer residence near Catladikapi neigborhood, between Sirkeci and Florya on the shore line. It was built on the city walls.
  • Damatrys Palace: A summer residence and hunting pavillion built in Samandira neighborhood near Yakacik district. Nothing much left today.
  • Others: There were many other Byzantine palaces that we know from ancient inscriptions, but none of them have survived until our days. Some of them were Hagios Agathonis Palace to the southeast of Forum Tauri, Forum Tauri Palace of Leon I, Kosmas and Damianos Palace near Sophia pier, Basilica Palace built by Emperess Aelia Verina near Sophia pier, Bonus Palace built by Romanos I near todays Karagumruk Stadium in Edirnekapi, Helenianae Palace built by the mother of Constantine the Great probabily in Kserolophos (todays Cerrahpasa neighborhood), and another palace of Emperess Irene in Vlanga (todays Aksaray - Yenikapi neighborhoods). There were many other palaces or pavillions outside the city walls too, these were especially summer residences of royalty; Pigi Palace near todays Silivrikapi neighborhood, Aretai (or Aretas) Palace probabily near todays Maltepe district, Hydralis Palace near todays Kagithane neighborhood, Philopation Palace probabily in todays Rami or Eyup district, Damianu Palace near todays Ortaköy neighborhood, Therapia (todays Tarabya neighborhood) Palace, Khalkedon (todays Kadiköy district) Palace, Hieria Palace in todays Fenerbahce neighborhood, Rufinianai Palace in todays Caddebostan neighborhood, and so on.

From Ottoman period:

From Republic period:

  • Ataturk Florya Kiosk: The Sea Pavilion was built in 1935 on the shores of the Sea of Marmara, in Florya neighborhood. It served as a summer residence for former Turkish presidents, beginning with Atatürk. The pavillion was converted into a museum in 1988 with some objects and photos belonging to our great leader. Today, it's open to the public during the weekdays except on Mondays and Thursdays (Phone: 212 4265151).

Hope to see you soon in Istanbul.