Any traveller, travelling to a new city, would certainly spare time for a visit to a museum to have a general understanding of the culture he is experiencing. Istanbul holds a worldwide fame for its historical sites as well as its museums, which offer extensive knowledge about the archaic civilizations as well as the works of contemporary artists. Visitors coming to Istanbul are delighted by the wide-range of options as they can travel in time or catch a glimpse of the national and international contemporary artists. Most museums are located in the busy districts of the city and it is also really worth visiting those areas. Here, are the museums you need to spare time for:
This historical museum complex brings you the most important artifacts from Anatolian history. There are three sections at the complex. Archeology Museum has precious examples of the Anatolian history including the Alexander Sarcophagus, Mourning Women Sarcophagus and Sidamara Sarcophagus. The Museum of the Ancient Orient highlights the history of the pre-Ottoman period and exhibits the ancient artifacts. The beautiful tile works from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods are waiting for you at the Tiled Pavilion and you will be amazed by the details and colors of this special artwork. This museum complex stands in the outer gardens of Topkapı Palace in Sultanahmet. The historical sites in this area are also unmissable, as Sultanahmet is home to many examples of Ottoman architecture as well as several boutique hotels, authentic Istanbul properties and many restaurants for a delicious lunch.
It is one of the historically important museums, where you will find exquisite products of Islamic calligraphy and tiles as well as a notable antique rug collection and ethnographic examples of Turkish daily life. The museum is located in Ibrahim Pasha Palace close to the Sultanahmet Square. Take your grand tour of the area, travel through time in Ottoman and Byzantine history.
It is one of the recent museums, which was opened in 2008, presenting the gorgeous history of the conquest of Istanbul. Being the first panoramic museum of Turkey, it was completed by eight artists and enriched by sound effects to ensure a real 3D experience of the conquest. The museum stands in Topkapı Park, in front of the historical Byzantine walls, where the Ottoman soldiers first entered the city. Don’t forget to visit this historic area, as the region is also rapidly transforming due to increasing interest in the Istanbul real estate market.
Pera Museum is one of the most popular museums for its orientalist painting, Anatolian Weights and Measures, Kütahya tiles and ceramics collections as well as temporary exhibitions of the international contemporary artists. Its central location in Tepebaşı, a parallel avenue to the famous Istiklal Avenue, makes it even more attractive for locals as well as tourists. Istiklal Street and Tepebaşı deserve at least one whole day for a visit with their authentic Istanbul apartments, luxury restaurants, cafes, bars and varied shopping opportunities. Don’t forget to include Pera Museum to your to-do list.
Istanbul Modern is the most famous contemporary art museum, featuring mainly the works of Turkish artists. You can also find many beautiful international paintings as well as contemporary video works. The museum is located next to the gorgeous Bosphorus Strait in Tophane. You can have your lunch at the restaurant of the museum and take your tour of area, as Tophane is also facing a great transformation due to its popularity for designer shops, galleries, nargileh cafes and relatively affordable Istanbul flats.