The Topkapi Palace, a large palace on the banks of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, served as the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for around 400 years. Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, it has been converted to a museum and is now a major tourist attraction and worth a visit.
The highlightsThe Topkapi Palace, once the royal residence of the Sultans, is a fine example of Ottoman architecture that at its peak contained bakeries, a mint, mosques and a hospital within its walls. The palace contains many important holy relics from the Muslim world, including the cloak and sword of the Prophet Mohammed.
During your visit, you can view a large collection of weapons, robes, shields and armor that were used by the Ottomans and are now housed at the palace. The displays also include examples of Islamic calligraphic manuscripts, murals and Ottoman miniatures, as well as other treasures and jewelry. Specific exhibitions include Chinese and Japanese Porcelains, European Porcelains, the Imperial Treasury, Portraits of Sultans, the Pavilion of the Holy Mantle and Holy Relics. These are just some of the highlights that await you.
Practical InformationThe museum is open daily except Tuesdays and limited opening applies during the first day of religious festivals. To make your visit as educational as possible and to ensure you don't miss out on the fun details, collect an audio guide on arrival. There are several cafés and restaurants in the complex to stop at when hunger kicks in, and as you make your way through the palace, don't forget to browse the book and gift shops you pass along the way.
To get to Topkapi Palace, our receptionists at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Asia are on hand to assist with directions and public transport routes. Make sure you also visit some of the city's other attractions when in the area, including Hagia Sophia and Grand Bazaar.