Istanbul Museums Entry Fees and Hours

Istanbul Museums

Istanbul Museums Entry Fees, Opening Hours and Working Days

Entrance fees and opening-closing times of museums in Istanbul change almost every year. Updated every six months, this article provides you with up-to-date information on the most visited museums in istanbul. This entry was last updated on November 25, 2019. The information in the text is valid for the year 2020.

Istanbul Museums Entry Fees and Hours

  • Hagia Sophia Museum

The Hagia Sophia is located in Sultanahmet, which is considered the old city of Istanbul. Hagia Sophia is the most important tourist attraction in Istanbul and welcomes approximately 3 million visitors a year.

The Hagia Sophia was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian and was completed in only 5 years and 10 months. Given the technology of the 6th century, it is difficult to believe how it was finished so quickly.

Since it will be difficult to grasp the history of Hagia Sophia on a single visit, it is recommended to visit with a qualified tour guide. If you want to visit Hagia Sophia with a guide who knows the Byzantine history well, you can visit the Hagia Sophia tour guide web page.

Hagia Sophia Museum Working Days

The Hagia Sophia is open every day from April 1 to October 31, which is considered the high season. However, it is closed on Mondays during the winter season, which is visited by fewer tourists. The winter season, called the low season, starts on November 1 and continues until 31 March.

Hagia Sophia Museum Opening Hours

The Hagia Sophia Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 19:00 in the evening between 1 April and 31 October. This is the summer season, which is considered the high season.

The Hagia Sophia Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 17:00 in the evening between 1st of November and 31 March. This is the winter season, which is considered the low season.

Please note that the ticket office will be closed 1 hour prior to closing times. In addition, the entrance to the galleries on the upper floor of the Hagia Sophia ends 45 minutes before the museum closing time.

Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee

The entrance fee to the Hagia Sophia Museum is 72 Turkish Liras. Admission is free for children under 8 years. If you buy an Istanbul Museum Pass before visiting the museum, you can visit the other important museums in the vicinity with the same card.

Most Popular Museums of Istanbul

Istanbul Museum Admission Fees
Hagia Sophia Museum
  • Topkapi Palace Museum

Topkapi Palace is located in Sultanahmet, just like the Hagia Sophia. Topkapi Palace, between 1461 and 1856 was the place where 25 Ottoman sultans lived. It is one of the most important works of classical Ottoman architecture. You can visit the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, located very close to each other, in a day and learn a lot about Ottoman history.

Ottoman sultans moved to Dolmabahce Palace, which was located on the shores of the Bosphorus since 1856. Although Topkapi Palace was not used after this date, it was well preserved and turned into a museum during the republican period.

Topkapi Palace is a complex consisting of many buildings. A standard visit to the Topkapi Palace does not include other museums within the same complex as the Harem, Hagia Irene and Istanbul Archeology Museums. separate tickets are required for each of these sections. However, if you buy Istanbul Museum Card, you can visit all parts of the museum with a single card.

Topkapı Palace Working Days


The Topkapi Palace is closed for visits on Tuesdays during the year. Since the closing days of Istanbul museums are different, you can consider visiting other museums such as Dolmabahce Palace when the topkapi palace is closed.

Topkapı Palace Opening Hours

The Topkapi Palace Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 18:45 in the evening between 1st Of April and 1st of October. This is the summer season, which is considered the high season.

The Topkapi Palace Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 16:45 in the evening between 2nd of October and 31st of March. This is the winter season, which is considered the low season.

Please note that the ticket office will be closed 45 minutes prior to closing times.

Topkapi Palace Entrance Fee

Admission fee is 72 Turkish Lira for the entrance. This payment is for a standart palace visit which would probably take at least 2 hours. If you plan to see the Harem Rooms additional ticket costs 42 Turkish Lira. Istanbul Museum Pass is valid for this museum.

Must-See Museums of Istanbul

Istanbul Museum Opening Hours
Topkapi Palace
  • Basilica Cistern

There are many cisterns from the Byzantine period in the old city of Istanbul. The largest of them is the museum called Basilica Cistern. The Basilica Cistern and the Hagia Sophia are contemporary buildings built in the same period. Both were built in the 6th century by the famous Byzantine emperor Justinian.

Theodosius Cistern, which is only a few blocks away, has recently been opened to visitors and is free for now. Apart from these two, the Sarnic Restaurant, which has emerged with the transformation of a 1500-year-old cistern into a restaurant, also has a beautiful ambience.

Basilica Cistern Working Days

Basilica Cistern and Blue Mosque are two places that are open to visitors every day. If you come to the days when the Hagia Sophia or Topkapi Palace is closed, you can visit the Blue Mosque or Basilica Cistern, which are close to both.

Basilica Cistern Opening Hours

The Hagia Sophia Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 18:30 in the evening between 1st of April and 1st of November. These hours are valid during the spring and summer months when the museum attracts many visitors.

The Hagia Sophia Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 17:30 in the evening between 1st of November and 1st of April. These times are valid in autumn and winter, when the museum is less frequently visited.

Basilica Cistern Entrance Fee

Admission fee is 20 Turkish Lira per person for the entrance. Children under the age of 8 free of charge. Basilica Cistern is located within walking distance from Hagia Sophia. Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid for Basilica Cistern.

Best Museums in Istanbul Old City

Basilica Cistern
  • Galata Tower

Istanbul was the first port city in the west where silk fabrics from China and spices from India reached during the Middle Ages. These precious goods were exported to Europe by the Genoese and Venetian colonies located on the opposite bank of Constantinople.

The waterway separating Constantinople and Galata was called the Golden Horn. The Genoese, who wanted to control the sea trade in the Golden Horn, built the Galata Tower in 1348. Galata Tower is the most beautiful point where you can watch the old Istanbul and the Bosphorus.

Galata Tower Opening Hours

Galata Tower is open to visitors every day of the week between 09:00 in the morning and 19:00 in the evening. Galata Tower, which is also frequently visited by Istanbulites, becomes very crowded especially on weekends.

Galata Tower Entrance Fee

Entrance fee to Galata Tower is 35 Turkish Lira. Admission is free for children under 5 years. Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid for visit to Galata Tower.

most famous museums in Istanbul
Galata Tower
  • Kariye Museum (Chora Church)

According to many historians, the Monastery of Chora was built during the reign of Constantine the Great. Located outside the early walls of Constantinople, the Chora was a place of ascetic life. During Theodosius II, the city walls were expanded to the west and the Chora remained within the city.

The church was rebuilt by the Komnenos dynasty in the 11th century, and the mosaics of the church, which gained worldwide fame, were added in the 14th century. The person who added the magnificent Byzantine mosaics is Theodore Metochites who ruled the Byzantine treasury with the rank of Grand Logothete.

Chora was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman period. Chora, which was converted into a museum with Hagia Sophia during the republic period, is one of the best places to observe the Byzantine heritage in Istanbul.

Kariye Museum Working Days

The Chora Church is closed to visitors on Wednesdays. if you accidentally come here, you can visit the Palace of the Porphyrogenitus (locally known as Tekfur Sarayi) within walking distance of the Kariye Museum. This building, which was a palace from the Byzantine period, was opened to visitors as of 2019.

Kariye Museum (Chora Church) Opening Hours

The Kariye Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 19:00 in the evening between 1st of April and 31 October. This is the summer season, which is considered the high season.

The Kariye Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 17:00 in the evening between 1st of November and 31st of March. This is the winter season, which is considered the low season.

Please note that the ticket office will be closed 30 minutes prior to closing times.

Kariye Museum (Chora Church) Entrance Fee

Entrance fee for the Kariye Museum is 54 Turkish Lira as of 2020. Children under the age of 8 free of charge. Istanbul Museum Pass is valid for Kariye Museum which is also known as Chora Church.

Byzantine Museum in Istanbul

Istanbul Museum Working Days
Kariye Museum
  • Istanbul Archaeological Museum

The main building of the Istanbul Archeological Museum is a Neo-Classical structure built towards the end of 19th Century. It was built by the French architect Alexander Vallaury. This late-Ottoman building has been housing one of the largest archeological collections of the world.

The Egyptian–Hittite Peace Treaty (Kadesh Tablet) which is recognized as the oldest written treaty displayed in this marvelous museum. Renowned Alexander Sarcophagus and ancient Greek sculptures can be seen as well.

If you like to take a magical journey through the diverse history of Anatolia and Mesopotamia, regarded as the cradle of civilization, consider adding this museum to your travel itinerary.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum Working Days

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is closed on Mondays. nearby museums, open to visitors on Monday, are the Topkapi Palace and the Islamic Science and Technology Museum.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum Opening Hours

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 20:00 in the evening between 1st of April and 1st October.

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 17:00 in the evening between 2nd of October and 1st of April.

Please note that the ticket office will be closed 1 hour prior to closing times.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum Entrance Fee

Admission fee is 36 Turkish Lira per person for the entrance. Children under the age of 8 is free of charge. The museum is located within Topkapi Palace complex. Istanbul Museum Pass is valid for Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

Top Museums in Istanbul

Istanbul Archaeological Museum
  • Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts is located next to the Hippodrome, a Roman structure in Istanbul. The building was originally the palace of Ibrahim Pasha, one of the most important grand viziers in Ottoman history.

The palace, which was converted into a museum in the republican period, contains many historical monuments from the Islamic Caliphates. It is also a place where you can learn about the origins of Turks from Central Asia.

The museum exhibits a thousand-year-old carpets belonging to the Seljuk Turks, the first Turkish community to emigrate from Central Asia to the West. There are also important works of art from the Ottoman Empire, the heir of the Seljuk Turks.

Turkish and Islamic Art Museum Opening Hours

Turkish And Islamic Arts Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 19:00 in the evening between 1st of April and 1st October.

Turkish And Islamic Arts Museum is open to visitors between 09:00 in the morning and 17:00 in the evening between 1st October and 31st of March.

Please note that the ticket office will be closed 30 minutes prior to closing times. Please note that the museum is closed on Mondays.

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum Entrance Fee

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum entry fee is 42 Turkish Lira as of 2020. Children under the age of 8 is fee of charge. Istanbul Museum Pass is valid for the museum.

Most Famous Museums in Istanbul

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Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

Best Museums of Istanbul by Serhat Engul

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