Hagia Sophia Museum: Hagia Sophia with its innovative architecture, rich history, religious significance and extraordinary characteristics has been fighting against time for centuries, is the largest Eastern Roman Church in Istanbul. Constructed three times in the same location, it is the world’s oldest and fastest-completed cathedral. With its breathtaking domes that look like hanging in the air, monolithic marble columns and unparalleled mosaics, is one of the wonders of world’s architecture history.
Topkapı Palace Museum and Harem: Topkapı is the subject of more colourful stories than most of the world’s museums put together. Libidinous sultans, ambitious courtiers, beautiful concubines and scheming eunuchs lived and worked here between the 15th and 19th centuries when it was the court of the Ottoman empire. A visit to the palace’s opulent pavilions, jewel-filled Treasury and sprawling Harem gives a fascinating glimpse into their lives.
Hagia Irene Church Museum: Hagia Irene means “Divine Peace” in Greek, so it was a church dedicated to holly peace, not to a Saint Irene as it’s wrongly pronounced today. It’s beleived that the church was first built in the 4th century AD over the ruins of a pagan temple by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine I. The wooden construction was burned during the Nika Riot in 532 AD and it was renovated by Justinian I, rapresenting typical characteristics of early Byzantine architecture. During the following centuries the church was restored several times because of the earthquakes and some big fires.
Istanbul Archaeological Museums: Istanbul Archaeological Museums are a complex of museums consisting of three main units. The Archaeological Museum, The Museum of Ancient Oriental Works, The Tiled Kiosk Museum. Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the first museum in Turkey, has about a million artifacts from a variety of cultures, brought from the imperial lands.
Istanbul Mosaic Museum: The mosaics unearthed in excavations in the northeastern section of the cloister in Eastern Roman Grand Palace in 1935, are magnificent both in terms of artistic and in terms of the richness of depictions of the scenes. The works exhibited in the Great Palace Mosaics Museum, dated between 450-550 AD do not have religious content. The depictions taken from daily life, nature and mythology probably owe their vitality to the many experts under the leadership of the leading masters of the era.
Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam: Was opened in 2008 with a concept prepared by Prof. Dr. Fuat Sezgin, an Islamic science historian. Exhibiting works, devices and tools invented and developed by Islamic scientists between the 9th and 16th centuries, the museum consists of 12 sections including astronomy, clocks and marine, war technology, medicine, mining, physics, maths and geometry, architecture and city planning, chemistry and optics, geography and cinevision screening room.
Chora Church Museum: The Chora museum is renowned worldwide for its well-preserved mosaics and frescoes. It presents important and beautiful examples of East Roman painting in its last period. The idea of depth in mosaics and the moving style in figures are of outstanding artistic significance in the Middle Ages, foretelling the Renaissance period. The name “Kariye” originated from ancient Greek word “Khora “which means countryside and changed into a Turkish word because the old church and monastery remained outside the walls of Constantinople. Chora Museum, was built during the reign of Emperor Iustinianos in the 5th century. Repairs and additions have changed the original plan considerably. Today’s building is from the 14th century.
Galata Mevlevi House Museum: With its historical Main Door, Galata Mevlevi Lodge awaits you at one end of İstiklal Street of Beyoğlu, and to the left at the beginning of Galip Dede Street. This lodge would be referred to as Galata or Kulekapısı Mevlevi Lodge or Galip Dede Tekke, during the Ottoman era. It was established in 1491 and represents the most important Ottoman works in Beyoğlu along with Galata Palace School. In 1975, it was opened to visitors as Divan Literature Museum before it was reorganized as Galata Mevlevi Lodge Museum in 2011.
Rumeli Hisar Museum: The Fortress Museum incorporates Rumeli, Yedikule and Anadolu Fortresses. Among all, Rumeli Fortress however clearly stands out. The Fortress covering a 30-acre area in Sarıyer, also gives its name to the location. It was built in a short period of four months. By Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 before the conquest of Istanbul in order to prevent attacks and block aids from the north of Bosphorus. This monument is located opposite the Anadolu Fortress, built by Sultan I. Beyazıt in 1394, and is located in the narrowest part of the Bosphorus.
Turkish and Islamic Art Museum: Turkish and Islamic Art Museum is the first museum in our country to include Turkish – Islamic art works together. It opened its doors for the first time in 1914 in the imaret building of Suleymaniye Mosque Social Complex, one of the most important structures of Mimar Sinan (Sinan the Architect) by the name of “Evkaf-ı Islamiye Museum” (Islamic Foundations Museum). It was moved to Ibrahim Pasha Palace to the west of Blue Mosque Square, in 1983. Apart from the Sultan palaces, the museum building is one of the earliest surviving palace buildings to the present day, dates back to the late 15th century.
Fethiye Museum: Fethiye Mosque is located near Carsamba neighborhood of Fatih district. It was originally a Byzantine church, built on the fifth hill of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) in the beginning of 12th century and then rebuilt in the 13th century by Michael Glabas Ducas Tarchaniotes, nephew of the emperor Michael VIII Palaeologos. Glabas was buried in the parakkleison (side corridor) dedicated to Christ, which was added to the building in 1315 by his wife Maria in the memory of her husband. After her death, Maria was also buried in this funerary chapel.
Türbes Museum: The Hagia Sophia Museum is famous for its exterior as well as its interior. The mausoleums of Ottoman Sultans outside the building are among the first to visit. There are tombs of princes and mausoleums of Sultan Selim II, Sultan Murad III, Sultan Mehmed III, Sultan Mustafa I, and Sultan Ibrahim whose reigns followed one another. The four minarets of Hagia Sophia, known to be built by Mimar Sinan, the fountain of Sübyan (elementary) school, the clock room, the fountains, buttresses, the treasury building and the soup kitchen are also increasing the magnificence of the structure.
Adam Mickiewicz Museum: Poland’s greatest Romantic poet, Adam Mickiewicz was among the founders of a pro-Polish-independence student group and very active in the struggle for Polish independence. He was imprisoned in Vilnius and later exiled to central Russia where he spent five years. It is from this point that he started living out the rest of his life abroad. After living in several cities in Europe, he moved to Istanbul to organize Polish forces to fight Russia in the Crimean War. He settled in a three-storied house on Tatlı Badem Street in the Tarlabası neighbourhood. The Polish freedom poet spent the last days of his life in this house and died in 1855. In 1955, a hundred years after his death, the building was opened to serve as a museum dedicated to him.
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