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.
Ephesus Archaeological Museum
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.
Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Atatürk Mahallesi, Atatürk Mah, Uğur Mumcu Sevgi Yolu, Selçuk, Turkey, +90 232 892 60 10
Sakıp Sabancı Museum
Zeugma Mosaic Museum
Zeugma Mosaic Museum
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.
Zeugma Mosaic Museum, Mithatpaşa Mahallesi, Hacı Sani Konukoğlu Bulvarı, Şehitkamil/Gaziantep, Turkey, +90 342 325 27 27
Gypsy Girl | © Feride Yalav
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).
Mevlana Museum, Aziziye Mah., Mevlana Cd. No:1, Karatay, Konya, Turkey, +90 332 351 12 15
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.
Topkapı Palace, Cankurtaran Mahallesi, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 512 04 80
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.
Pera Museum, Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:65, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 334 99 00