Whether you’re traveling to Istanbul for business or pleasure, you should take the time to visit the Topkapi Palace. Considered one of the top tourist destinations in the Old City, it’s located near marvelous resorts and convenient transportation. It has incredible views inside and out, and you can easily spend several hours to an entire day simply touring the rooms and taking in the marvel of this impressive structure.
Once the royal residence to the Ottoman sultans, it also served as the location for royal gatherings, entertainment and state occasions. It was used by the sultans from about 1465 to 1856, but it’s now a museum that’s visited by people from all around the world.
What to Expect
The palace actually encompasses a series of buildings. While the Harem is one of the most well-known features, the palace also has a series of smaller buildings and extends some distance along the shoreline. At one time it was home to more than 4,000 people, which is why it also has mosques, bakeries, a mint and even a hospital. The palace has undergone different changes over the years as it’s been expanded. It also underwent major renovations after an earthquake in 1509 and a fire in 1665. Throughout the building, you’ll find many wonderful examples of Ottoman architecture as well as collections of shields, weapons, robes, armor, art and jewelry.
Include the Harem
Visitors to the palace often make a point of visiting the Harem. This part of the palace requires an additional fee to enter, but visitors insist that it’s worth the extra charge. You may have to take a guided tour to enter the private living area of the royal family, but you’ll get more out of the visit as the tour. The full Harem consists of more than 300 exquisite rooms that are connected by fountain gardens and lush courtyards. Only a handful of these rooms are open to the public, but visitors are still able to get a feel for the marvelous architecture and beauty of this space. The tour includes the Gate of Carts, Dome of Cupboards, Harem baths, Apartments of the Queen Mother, Baths of the Sultan and the Queen Mother, and the Imperial Hall.
While tours run throughout the year, there are also special events that take place in the palace, including festivals and a Baklava Day. Before planning your visit to Istanbul, check with the official website to see if you can catch any special events at the palace. This is an easy way to make the most of your visit, and you just might discover that there’s something truly amazing going on at the palace while you’re in the city.
Stay at Hotel Büyük Keban
There is always so much to see and do in Istanbul, but when your feet start to ache and your belly starts to rumble, you’re going to want to stop somewhere you can find rest, some delicious Turkish cuisine, and world-class service. Hotel Buyuk Keban is located in the heart of the Old City and is only a short distance away from Topkapi Palace. Book your room now or contact us and ask about our accommodations and amenities.