Topkapi Palace

It is the palace in Istanbul Sarayburnu, where the Ottoman sultans lived and was used as the administrative center of the state for 400 years of the 600-year history of the Ottoman Empire. Close to 4,000 people once lived in it. Topkapi Palace was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmed in 1478, and it was the administrative center of the state and the official residence of the Ottoman sultans for approximately 380 years until Abdülmecid had the Dolmabahçe Palace built. The palace, which was located on an area of approximately 700,000 square meters during the foundation years, is 80,000 square meters today. Topkapi Palace was evacuated when the people of the palace started living in Dolmabahçe Palace, Yıldız Palace and other palaces. Topkapi Palace, where many officials lived after it was abandoned by the sultans, has never lost its importance. The palace has been repaired from time to time. A special importance was given to the annual maintenance of the Hırka-i Saadet Department, where the Sacred Relics were visited by the sultan and his family during the month of Ramadan. The opening of Topkapı Palace to visitors like a museum for the first time came across the reign of Abdülmecid. The belongings in the Topkapi Palace Treasury were shown to the British ambassador of that period. After that, it became a tradition to show the antiquities in the Topkapi Palace Treasury to foreigners, and during the time of Abdulaziz, showcases were built in empire style, and the antiquities in the treasury began to be shown to foreigners in these showcases. Although it was thought that Topkapı Palace Treasury-i Hümâyûn was opened to the public on Sundays and Tuesdays during the dethronement of Abdülhamid II, this could not be realized.


Topkapi Palace Museum is located in the Fatih district of Istanbul, in Sarayburnu at the tip of the historical Istanbul peninsula between the Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. The fastest way to get to Topkapi Palace Museum is to use the Kabataş – Bağcılar tram line. After getting off the tram at the Sultanahmet stop, you can reach the Topkapi Palace Museum by passing in front of the Hagia Sophia Museum and Hürrem Sultan Bath.

Those coming from the direction of Atatürk Airport can come to Aksaray, by the Atatürk Airport – Aksaray metro line  and join the Kabataş – Bağcılar tram line from Yusufpaşa station here.

Those coming from the Anatolian side can go to Eminönü or Kabataş by ferry or motor from Kadıköy or Üsküdar, from here they can get off at the Sultanahmet stop by using the Kabataş – Bağcılar tram line and reach the Topkapi Palace Museum.

Enes Sahin

Hello, I am Enes, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out! You can contact me via e-mail

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