The Best Museums in Turkeyairport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

The Best Museums in Turkey

Chora Church | © Guillén Pérez / Flickr
Chora Church | © Guillén Pérez / Flickr
With its rich history that spans the ages and empires, Turkey’s museums are full of stunning artifacts as well as art. From Istanbul’s renowned museums to the lesser-known yet equally important museums around the country, Culture Trip rounded up the most essential.

Chora Church

This medieval Byzantine Greek Orthodox church dates back to around the early 4th century and possesses some of the most stunning Byzantine frescoes and mosaics. Converted into a mosque in the Ottoman era in the 16th century, Chora Church became a museum in 1948.

Chora Church, Dervişali Mahallesi, Kariye Cami Sk. No:8, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 631 92 41

Ephesus Archaeological Museum

Museum
Save
Ephesus Archeological Museum
Ephesus Archeological Museum | © Carole Raddato/Wikimedia Commons
After you’ve experienced the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, make sure to visit the Ephesus Museum, where more artifacts are on display. You’ll find remnants of the Temple of Artemis, sculptures from the fountains, coins, and much more.
More Info
Sun:
8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Mon:
8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Tue:
8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Wed:
8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Thu:
8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Fri:
8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Sat:
8:00 am - 6:30 pm

Sakıp Sabancı Museum

Museum, University
Save
Sakip Sabanci Museum in Sariyer, Istanbul
Sakip Sabanci Museum in Sariyer, Istanbul | © Hackenberg-Photo-Cologne / Alamy Stock Photo
Located in a beautiful mansion—which used to belong to the famous Sabancı family—overlooking the Bosphorus, the Sakıp Sabancı Museum hosts some of Istanbul’s most well-regarded art exhibitions. Past art shows have included works by Rodin, Picasso, Monet, and Anish Kapoor.
More Info
Sun:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Zeugma Mosaic Museum

Museum
Save
Gypsy Girl
Gypsy Girl | © Feride Yalav
The world’s largest mosaic museum, Zeugma has 1,700 square meters (18,299 square feet) of beautiful and well-preserved mosaics. Located in the city of Gaziantep, the museum’s exhibitions stem from the ancient city of Zeugma, which was in danger of being flooded by a dam project in 2000. The museum’s “Gypsy Girl” mosaic, displayed in a dark room, is one of the most popular pieces.
More Info
Sun:
9:00 am - 6:30 pm
Mon:
9:00 am - 6:30 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 6:30 pm
Wed:
9:00 am - 6:30 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 6:30 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 6:30 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 6:30 pm

Istanbul Modern

Museum
Save
Istanbul Modern Art Museum, Turkey
Istanbul Modern Art Museum, Turkey | © Kate Hockenhull / Alamy Stock Photo
Istanbul’s hub for contemporary art is one of its most important museums and always features excellent exhibitions from local and international talent. Istanbul Modern’s sculpture garden and Bosphorus-facing café are also local favorites.
More Info
Sun:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Mevlana Museum

Museum
Save
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum | © Niels Elgaard Larsen/Wikimedia Commons
The mausoleum of the Persian poet and Sufi mystic Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi is one of the main reasons to visit the Turkish city of Konya. The beautiful structure, which stands out with its turquoise dome, also once served as a tekke (a whirling dervish lodge).
More Info
Sun:
9:00 am - 4:40 pm
Mon:
10:00 am - 4:40 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 4:40 pm
Wed:
9:00 am - 4:40 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 4:40 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 4:40 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 4:40 pm

Topkapı Palace

Museum
Save
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey | © Jochen Tack / Alamy Stock Photo
The overtly lavish residence of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years, the Topkapı Palace, built in 1453, is a true wonder and a must-see sight while in Istanbul. The sultan’s ostentatious lifestyle is thoroughly exemplified in beautiful pavilions, a treasury full of jewels, and harem.
More Info

CerModern

Built within a renovated train depot, CerModern is not only a stunning work of architecture but also the main destination for art in Turkey’s capital. Engaging exhibitions, as well as workshops from art history to yoga, make CerModern a profoundly engaging museum.

CerModern, Anafartalar Mahallesi, Altınsoy Cad. No:3, Altındağ, Ankara, Turkey, +90 312 310 00 00

Courtesy of CerModern

Hagia Sophia

Cathedral
Save
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey | © dbimages / Alamy Stock Photo
Once a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica, the Hagia Sophia was declared a museum in 1935 and is one of Istanbul’s icons. From the grand fading red façade to the stunning interior with frescoes and mosaics, the former church is one of the world’s most unique museums.
More Info
Sun:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mon:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Pera Museum

Museum
Save
Pera Museum
Pera Museum | © Tatiana Matlina/Wikimedia Commons
Located in a beautiful neo-classical building that used to be the famous Bristol Hotel, the Pera Museum has been hosting important art exhibitions and events since its establishment in 2005. Past featured names have included Rembrandt, Joan Miró, Frida Kahlo, and Goya, among many others.
More Info
Sun:
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm