Former residence of the Ottoman Sultans (from 1465 to 1853), the Topkapi Palace is a major building in Istanbul’s landscape. Located in a wooded area on the west part of the old city, it covers 700,000 square meters.
It is an extensive complex of buildings constructed around courtyards and interconnected with galleries and passages. The palace, now a museum is one of the main tourist attractions.
The palace includes many fine examples of Ottoman architecture. It contains large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armor, Islamic manuscripts and miniatures, murals, as well as a display of Ottoman treasures and jewelry.
The queues at the ticket office are common, so plan to get there early as soon as it opens and check that no ship has docked in the morning or the day before as this means thousands of additional visitors.
Allow a minimum of three hours for the visit.
Website : www.topkapisarayi.gov.tr
How to get there : Tram station : Sultanahmet (black line 3TL the way).