Three museums in one
The Istanbul Archaeology Museum is a group of three museums located in the Gülhane Park near the Topkapi Palace. It consists of the archaeological museum, the museum of the ancient Orient and the museum of Islamic art. It holds over one million objects from around the world that represent early civilisations. The museum was built in the 19th century as an attempt to modernize the Ottoman Empire by westernizing the city. Be sure to set aside a couple of hours for the museum as there is lots to learn about and lots to read.
Opening hours: April-October, daily 9am-6pm; November-April, daily 9am-4pm
Watch out for: the large amount of artefacts
Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 520 7740
The largest palace in Turkey
The Dolmabahçe Palace was built by Sultan Abdulmecid in 1856 and is divided into three parts: the imperial harem, the state apartments and the ceremonial hall. Facing the Bosphorus, this beautiful palace was built mainly for the anchorage of the Ottoman fleet. The imperial garden and the various small summer palaces ultimately turned this area into a palace complex. There is obvious Western influences in the style and decoration of the palace. Full of stunning chandeliers and fountains, this is one sight worth checking out.
Opening hours: Tues-Wed, Fri-Sun 9am-4pm
Watch out for: the huge ticket queues; book ahead if possible
TBMM Genel Sekreterliği, Dolmabahçe Sarayi, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 236 9000