Museums

Istanbul is home to quite a number of museums, covering subjects such as archeology, modern art and historical artifacts.

Archeological Museum

Inarguably, the Istanbul Archeological Museum stands as one of the most important showcases of archeology.  Its collection boasts of more than a million artifacts that cover a lot of ground in the area of world history.   Here, you will find the Alexander Sarcophagus, as well as the Sarcophagus of the Mourning Women and some Byzantine emperors.
istanbul archeology museum
The Museum actually has three major parts: the Archeological Museum (in the main building), the Tiled Kiosk or the Museum of Islamic Art and the Museum of the Ancient Orient.  It sits in what used to be the gardens of the Topkapi Palace.  First begun on 1891, its collection grew as members of the empire sent any artifacts they found to Istanbul.  The Main building houses the Snake’s heads that were broken off from the Serpentine Column, the Ephebos statue, an astounding collection of Ottoman medals, adornments and coins, a tablet of the Treaty of Kadesh (there are only three!) and pieces of ruins of the temple dedicated to Athena at Assos. The Museum of the Ancient Orient started as a school of Fine Arts, until it was turned into a museum.  You will also find an extensive collection of artifacts from the Babylonian, Greek Anatolian, Ancient Egyptian, Pre-Islamic, Sumerian and Assyrian cultures.  Meanwhile, showcasing what is one of the finest and oldest specimens of Ottoman civil architecture is the Tiled Kiosk.

Opening Hours:  9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays
Address: Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu, Gulhane, Eminonu

Hagia Sophia

This magnificent landmark also is a museum.  People used to argue about whose church it was, since it was an old Byzantine church, then turned into a mosque.  Now, as a museum, it is open to everyone.  Aside from the awe-inspiring dome, you will find a massive collection of Islamic and Christian art and Byzantine mosaics as well.

Opening Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays
Address: Sultanahmet Meydani, Eminonu

Ataturk Museum
ataturk museum
Get a glimpse of the life and times of one of the respected leaders of Turkey – Ataturk.  If this house could talk, you will see the struggles and the triumphs before the War of Independence.  Here, you will see pieces of his life – his personal belongings, works of art, even his clothes.

Opening Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Everyday, except Sundays and Thursdays
Address:  Halaskargazi Caddesi No. 250, Sisli

Pammakaristos Church/Fethiye Mosque Museum
pammakaristos
You will find the burial corridor (parekleison) where again, great examples of 14th century frescoes and mosaics are displayed.

Opening Hours: 930 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursdays to Tuesdays
Address: Fethiye Camii, Carsamba – Fatih

Chora Church Museum
chora church museum
If you still haven’t got your fill of Byzantine frescoes and mosques after your tour of the Hagia Sophia, this is the next place to go.  Have a great time poring over the mosaics and spend some time exploring the surroundings – the wooden Ottoman houses are worth the stroll.

Opening Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursdays to Tuesdays
Address: Edimekapi, Fatih

Other Museums to visit include:
mosaics museum
–    Mosaics Museum (Opens from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays, Eminonu)
–    Asiyan Museum (House of Tevfik Fikret, a famed Turkish poet). 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Tuesdays to Saturdays, Bebek
–    Sadberk Hanim Museum (an Ottoman house that features Anatolian art). opens from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursdays to Tuesdays, Buyukdere – Sariyer
–    Modern Arts Museum: Explore and see the finest examples of the modern art scene in Turkey. opens from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays, Karakoy
–    Calligraphy Museum (see samples of how Turkish artisans practiced calligraphy – in miniatures, imperial seals, written descriptions of Allah), 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesdays to Saturdays.
–    Caricature Museum (opens from 10:00 p.m. to 600 p.m., Fatih)
–    Painting and Sculpture Museum (opens from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., Wednesdays to Sundays, Besiktas)
–    City Museum (outlines the life of Istanbul as a city; opens from 900 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Yildiz)
–    Carpet and Kilim Museum (Ottoman kilims and carpets galore! Opens from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesdays to Saturdays, Eminonu)
–    Divan Literature Museum (Opens from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays, Beyoglu)
–    Tanzimat Museum (Opens from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays, Eminonu)
–    Press Museum (Opens from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays, Eminonu)
–    Turkish and Islamic Art Museum (Opens from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays, Eminonu)
–    Santralistanbul Energy and Arts Museum (Opens from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays, Eyup)
–    Islamic Sciences and Technology History Museum (Opens from 9:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays, Eminonu)
–    Rahmi Koc Industrial Museum (Opens from 8:30 to 5:00 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays, Beyoglu)
–    Pera Museum (Opens from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from Tuesdays to Saturdays and 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays, Beyoglu)
–    Ottoman Bank Museum (Open during weekdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Karakoy)
–    Huseyin Rahmi Gurpinar Museum (Opens from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays, Heybeliada)
–    Rezan Has Museum (Opens from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., daily, Cibali)
–    Sakip Sabanci Museum (Opens from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from Tuesdays to Sundays, Sariyer)
–    Toy Museum (some 4000 toys, truly a kid’s wonderland, Opens from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays, Goztepe)
–    Ismet Inonu Museum (Opens from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., from April to November, Heybeliada)
–    Miniaturk (Turkey in small scale – over 100 models with scaled at 1:25, opens from 9:00 a.m. to 500 p.m., Daily, Beyoglu)
–    The Florence Nightingale Museum (Opens from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during weekdays, Uskudar)
–    Naval Museum (Opens from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays, Besiktas)
–    Military Museum (Opens from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays, Harbiye – Sisli)
–    Aviation Museum (Opens from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays, Yesilurt)