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Topkapi Palace – tickets, prices, timings, what to expect, FAQs


Topkapi Palace in Istanbul is a must-visit place if you’re interested in history and art.

The Palace boasts impressive architecture, lovely gardens, and a wide collection of ancient artifacts, such as a cloak and sword that once belonged to Prophet Muhammad.

It is like a gigantic museum that gives you a glimpse into the luxurious and powerful lives of the Ottoman rulers and the empire’s grandeur. 

The Palace served as the administrative center and residence of the Ottoman Empire for almost 400 years, from the 15th to the 19th century. 

The architecture is a stunning showcase of Islamic art, featuring detailed tile work, calligraphy, and luxurious ornamentation that reflect the Ottoman era’s artistic excellence. 

This article covers everything you must know before booking tickets for the Topkapi Palace.

Topkapi Palace

What to expect


The Topkapi Palace is mostly divided into four main courtyards and several smaller buildings. Visitors enter through the imperial gate (Bab-ı Hümayun) into the first courtyard, which leads to the gate of salutation (Bab-us Selam), the Palace’s inner chambers entrance.

It is a complex of more than 400 rooms, courtyards, and baths that showcase detailed tile work and architecture.

The Palace houses an incredible collection of treasures, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond and the Topkapi Dagger. 

The Treasury exhibits the wealth and power of the Ottoman Empire through its collection of precious gems, jewelry, and other valuables.

The Palace offers stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait, especially from the fourth courtyard. The strategic importance of the location, overlooking the Marmara Sea and the Golden Horn, becomes evident.

Various sections of the attraction have been converted into museums, displaying costumes, weapons, manuscripts, and other artifacts that provide insight into the daily life and culture of the Ottoman era.

Activity Cost
Topkapı Palace Museum ₺2042 (€62)
Topkapi & Harem Museums ₺1713 (€52)
Blue Mosque, Palace + Basilica Cistern ₺2269 (€68)

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Where to book tickets

You can purchase tickets for Topkapi Palace online or offline.

Online prices tend to be cheaper than offline tickets.

When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the ticket counters.

When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot.

Because some tours sell a limited number of tickets, they may sell out during peak days. Booking early helps avoid last-minute disappointments.

How do online tickets work

Visit the Topkapi Palace ticket booking page, select your preferred date, time slot, and number of tickets, and buy the tickets right away.

Once you purchase the guided tour tickets, they get delivered to your email address.

There is no need to get printouts. 

You can show the e-ticket on your smartphone when you visit the attraction.

Ticket prices

Topkapi Palace Guided Tour ticket is priced at ₺2042 (€62) for visitors aged 19 to 64.

Turkish visitors aged 18 and below with IDs, senior citizens aged 65 and above, foreign children under six, disabled visitors with carers, veterans with spouses, and parents with children get free entry.

Admission for the Palace & Harem Museums costs ₺1713 (€52) for visitors aged six and above.

Children aged six and below can enter for free with an appropriate photo ID or passport.

Blue Mosque, Topkapı, and Basilica Cistern combo ticket costs ₺2269 (€68) for visitors aged seven and above.

Children aged six and below can enter for free.

Topkapi Palace tickets

You can explore the Palace in different ways.

Tourists can book the Guided Tour, a tour of the Palace & Harem Museums or a combo ticket for Blue Mosque, Palace, and Basilica Cistern.

Guided tour of Topkapi Palace

Guided tour of Topkapi Palace
Image: Topkapipalace.gen.tr

With this skip-the-line ticket, you can enter Topkapi Palace and access all the exhibits without waiting in line.

During this walking tour, you will be accompanied by a tour guide who will provide you with exciting information in English about the development of Turkish civilization, from its humble beginnings to becoming an empire.

You will receive an audio guide app that offers detailed information on your exploration. Remember to bring your headphones, as they are not included.

Ticket Prices

Adult (19 to 64 years): ₺2042 (€62)
Child (up to 18 years): Free 
Senior (65+ years): Free 

Topkapi & Harem Museums tickets

Harem Museums tickets
Image: Millisaraylar.gov.tr

This ticket provides fast-track admission to the Topkapi Museum and the Harem Section. 

You’ll be able to explore a vast collection of art, furniture, and historic artifacts spanning over 400 years inside Topkapi Palace. 

Additionally, you can download an audio guide app in English, Arabic, Russian, German, French, and Spanish to enhance your experience. 

You can spend as much time as you like in either attraction and use the audio guide at your convenience. 

As part of this ticket, you’ll also receive a complimentary Turkish tea at the meeting point.

Ticket Prices

Adult (7+ years): ₺1713 (€52)
Child (up to 6 years): Free 

Blue Mosque, Topkapı + Basilica Cistern tickets

Basilica Cistern istanbul
Image: Hurriyetdailynews.com

With this ticket, you can visit the Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace, and Basilica Cistern with an official tour guide who speaks English. 

You will also receive an audio guide app, which provides detailed information about your exploration in seven languages. 

Please note that headphones are not included, so remember to bring your own.

Ticket Prices

Adult (7+ years): ₺2269 (€68)
Child (up to 6 years): Free 

Save time and money! Explore Istanbul’s top attractions with ease and save money by booking a 2-, 3-, 5-, or 7-day E-Pass. Get access to over 40 popular attractions and guided tours, including the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and Bosphorus cruise.

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How to reach the Palace

Topkapi Palace is a short distance from Istanbul Archaeological Museums.

Address: Cankurtaran, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye. Get Directions

You can reach the attraction via public and private transport. 

By Bus

Bus stops Akbıyık (bus no: BN1) and Sultanahmet (bus no: 121CS) are within a 5-minute walking distance from the Palace.

The Istanbul Bus Station (bus no: ArdaTur) is a 10-minute walk from the attraction.

By Train

Sırkecı (Train: 81) train station is a 10-minute walk from the Palace.

By Car

If you’re traveling by car, turn on your Google Maps and get started. 

There are ample parking garages around the attraction. 

Palace opening hours

Topkapi Palace is open throughout the year from Wednesday to Monday. It is closed on Tuesdays.

During the summer season, from 1 April to 1 October, it is open from 9 am to 6.45 pm. 

The last admission during summer is at 5.30 pm.

Meanwhile, during winter (1 October to 1 April), the Palace is open from 9 am to 5 pm. 

The last admission during winter is at 4 pm.

How long does the tour take

How long does the Topkapi Palace tour take
Image: TheIstanbulInsider.com

A complete tour of Topkapi Palace, including the Harem, takes around 4 to 6 hours.

Visitors spend at least half a day exploring the place thoroughly. 

Since the tickets have no time limit, you can easily spend a full day admiring its beauty and historical depth.  

Best time to visit Topkapi Palace

The best time to visit the Palace is at 9 am in the morning, right after it opens.

The second best time to explore the attraction is late afternoon, around 3 pm.

The crowds start to thin out as the day progresses, leaving you with a quieter experience.

The attraction can get very crowded during the peak tourist season. Arriving early allows you to explore the Palace in a quieter atmosphere before most tourists arrive.

Consider visiting on a weekday as weekends attract more visitors, making the islands more crowded.


Topkapi Palace is a highly-rated tourist attraction. 

Check out three reviews we selected from Tripadvisor, which give you an idea of what to expect at this attraction.


Topkapi Palace lives up to the hype. It will appeal to those interested in the historical period and more casual tourists. The harem costs extra to visit but is well worth it – this is probably the most interesting section of the whole Palace. It is best to visit early in the morning to avoid long lines. You can easily spend the entire day here, so plan your visit accordingly.

Edward A, Tripadvisor

Many interesting things to see at the Palace

There are so many different rooms to visit here in the various courtyards of the Palace. We took the free audio guide around. On the farthest side, there are stunning views across the Bosphorus. I loved the library and the Pavilions in the final courtyard. There are shady spots where you walk around to stop and rest and a few drinks places. 

Ellieitalia, Tripadvisor

Royal splendor

It is a captivating journey for us. The lush courtyards, richly adorned chambers, and the Harem unveil tales of power and luxury. The panoramic views of the Bosphorus are a majestic bonus. It is a must-visit to immerse yourself in Istanbul’s regal history. Harem is worth it.

Joseph O, Tripadvisor

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FAQs about Topkapi Palace

FAQs about Topkapi Palace
Image: Travelweekly.com

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Palace.

Are there any guided tours available?

Yes, guided tours of Topkapi Palace are available. Guided tours can enhance your trip with enormous historical context, stories, and intricate details. 

Is the ‘Harem’ part of the standard ticket?

Yes, the Harem is a part of the Topkapi Palace standard ticket. Visiting the Harem is highly recommended as it provides interesting insights into the lives of the sultans and their families.

What can I see at Topkapi Palace?

Visitors can explore numerous sections, including the Imperial Council, the Harem, the Treasury, the Courtyards, and various exhibitions that showcase imperial collections of artifacts, including clothing, weapons, armor, miniatures, religious relics, and much more.

Can I take photos inside the Topkapi Palace?

Photography for personal use is allowed within Topkapi Palace. Flash photography and the use of tripods may be prohibited in certain sections, such as the Treasury and Sacred Relics exhibition. 

Are there any dress code requirements?

There is no strict dress code to enter Topkapi Palace, but modest dress is recommended as a sign of respect, especially when visiting the mosques or sacred relics.

Is the Topkapi Palace accessible for visitors with disabilities?

The Palace is partially accessible to visitors with mobility issues. Some areas may be challenging to navigate due to uneven surfaces and stairs.

Are there dining or rest facilities within the Topkapi Palace?

Yes, there are cafes and restaurants within the grounds where visitors can enjoy refreshments and meals with a view of the Bosphorus.

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This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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