Dolmabahce Palace is among the most visited museums in Istanbul. In this article, you can find updated information about the Dolmabahce Palace entry fee and opening hours. In addition, the history of the Dolmabahce Palace is also briefly noted.
During the high tourist season, it is possible to enter the Dolmabahce Palace with online tickets. You can join the guided Dolmabahce Palace tour by purchasing a skip-the-line ticket from this link.
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History of the Dolmabahce Palace
The history of Dolmabahce Palace goes back 150 years. However, to properly tell the history of the palace, we need to rewind a little and go to the 15th century. The first palaces built after 1453, the year the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, were very different from Dolmabahce.
1. First Ottoman Palaces in Istanbul
The first Ottoman palaces in Istanbul were built in the 15th century. Sultan Mehmed II, the first Ottoman sultan who set foot in Istanbul, first built a palace in Beyazit (near the Grand Bazaar). He lived in this palace during the construction of Topkapi Palace in Sultanahmet.
The Topkapi Palace was designed by the Sultan as a meeting center where governmental affairs could be discussed and a school for future bureaucrats. Topkapi Palace, which consists of four large courtyards, reflected the traces of the Central Asian tradition of the Turks.
During the period when the Ottoman Empire was at its peak, the Ottoman sultans, who were mentioned most in history, lived in this palace. At the request of Hurrem Sultan, the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Harem in the Old Palace in Beyazıt was moved to the Topkapi Palace.
When the sultan’s mother, sisters and wives moved to the Topkapi Palace, the classical palace expanded to the shores of the Marmara Sea with new buildings. During this period, life was limited to Historic Peninsula of Istanbul.
2. Bosphorus Coast Becomes Popular
By the 18th century, the Ottoman sultans began to stay in the coastal district of Besiktas, so the Bosphorus shores became more popular. Life, which was limited to the Historic Peninsula in the early period, began to spread towards the Bosphorus during this period. Especially districts like Beyoglu and Besiktas were developing rapidly.
The first Ottoman ruler, who never lived in Topkapi Palace after he became Sultan, was Mahmud II. The janissary rebellion, which resulted in the death of his predecessor Selim III, left unpleasant memories in the mind of the young sultan.
Mahmud II paved the way for reform and westernization in the Ottoman Empire. The Janissary army (Ottoman elite troops), which had lost its function, was removed and replaced by an army in the western order. Clothes and lifestyle were adapted to the modern world.
3. Who Built the Dolmabahce Palace?
The son of Sultan Mahmud II, Sultan Abdulmecid, received a modern education. Abdulmecid, who ascended the throne at a time when the Ottoman Empire was in a great change, was closely following the developments in the world.
Financial developments in the world have found their response in Istanbul and banks and insurance companies were opened one after the other. Investments made by Western businessmen in Istanbul were supported by Ottoman citizens, especially non-Muslims.
In the last century of the Ottoman Empire, the prominent figures of the capital sent their children to Paris for education. During this period of rapid westernization of the lifestyle, French became the second language.
Ottoman citizens studying in Paris carried the western architectural style to Istanbul. The Balyan family, who had been a palace architect for a period in the 19th century, was brought up in the same way.
In the 1850s, Sultan Abdulmecid decided to build Dolmabahce Palace. Nikogos Balyan and Garabet Balyan built a structure using Neo-Classical and Baroque architectural styles. They also crowned the architecture of the building with Ottoman decoration elements.
4. Interior Decoration of the Palace
The most popular objects of the period were used for the interior decoration of the palace. In order to crown these mostly imported objects with Ottoman style, workshops producing royal Turkish carpets were established in Hereke.
The furniture used inside the Dolmabahce Palace was imported from France. The magnificent crystal chandeliers were brought from England. Talented masters and painters from Italy also decorated the walls of the palace. The infrastructure of the palace was equipped with the latest techniques of the 19th century.
Dolmabahce Palace Entry Fee 2023
Dolmabahce Palace entry fee is 650 Turkish Liras as of 2023. This ticket covers all three parts of the palace. These are the main building of the palace, the Harem rooms and the painting museum. The ticket includes the audio guide. The information on the ticket price was last updated on November 14, 2023.
Dolmabahce Palace Tickets Online
You can enter the palace faster if you buy tickets for Dolmabahce Palace online. These tickets are slightly more expensive than standard palace tickets but allow you to take a guided group tour. Thus, you skip the ticket lines in front of the Dolmabahce Palace entrance during the tourist season.
You may browse Skip The Line Dolmabahce Palace Tickets from here which is really reasonable! Tickets are sold under the guarantee of GetYourGuide, an international company. Easy cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance.
Dolmabahce Palace Opening Hours 2023
Dolmabahce Palace opening hours are between 09:00 in the morning and 17:00 in the evening. Please note that The Palace is closed on Mondays. Information on visiting hours was last updated on November 14, 2023.
There may be changes in the entrance hours of the museums in Istanbul. Before going to the museum, I recommend you to visit the official website of the palace and review the latest situation.
How to Get to Dolmabahce Palace?
Tourists visiting Istanbul mostly stay in Sultanahmet or Taksim. If you want to get to Dolmabahce Palace from Sultanahmet, the best way is by tram. Tram T1 goes from Sultanahmet to Kabatas. From Kabatas, the last stop, you can walk to Dolmabahce Palace in 10 minutes.
When you get off the tram in Kabatas, you will see a large stadium. This is the Vodafone Arena stadium that belongs to the Besiktas Football Club. If you walk in the direction of the stadium, you will also see the Dolmabahce Palace by the sea.
In order to get to Dolmabahce Palace from Taksim Square, you can use the F1 coded funicular. Funicular is a public transportation vehicle with one stop and serves between Taksim and Kabatas. Once you get out of the subway station in Kabatas, you can walk in the direction of the stadium.
If you need instructions for using public transportation in Istanbul, you can also check Istanbul Metro Maps post. This article contains information and maps about Istanbul’s main transportation vehicles such as metro, tramway and Marmaray.
Written by Serhat Engul