The Most Famous Museums in Istanbul Turkey

In terms of history, culture, and art, Istanbul is renowned as one of the best cities in the world. More than 80 museums, spanning from archaeological and history museums to modern and fine art museums, along with themed museums, are located in Istanbul. Whether you’re seeking for outstanding museums that were formerly a palace/church/mosque, as well as those dedicated to history, classic painters, contemporary, fine and modern art, photography, or transient and permanent exhibitions, the most visited and famous museums in Istanbul are listed below.

Basilica Cistern Museum

Basilica Cistern Museum

The Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan in Turkish, which implies “sinking to the ground”), which today serves as a museum, is one of the most beautiful mystical structures and famous museums in Istanbul, as well as one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. One of the city’s most stunning and magical structures. The two Medusa Heads, which serve as supports beneath the two columns at the cistern’s northwest side, are the most interesting and draw the most attention.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia museum

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya in Turkish) is one of the most visited sites and famous museums in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia is a former church and museum that has been designated as one of the world’s greatest architectural achievements and is regarded as the world’s eighth wonder. Constructed as a church in 325, Hagia Sophia was renovated in 537 and transformed to a mosque in 1453 by Fatih Sultan Mehmet following the conquest of Istanbul.

After Turkey’s administrative court reversed a 1934 judgement that paved the way for Hagia Sophia’s usage as a museum, a decree on the 10th of July 2020 to legally classify the Hagia Sophia as a mosque was issued.

Topkapi Palace Museum

Topkapi Palace Museum

Topkapi Palace, one of the top museums in Istanbul, might be regarded the best and most visited sights in Istanbul. It is a spectacular oriental palace and one of the best architectural works, located on a triangular promontory overlooking the Bosphorus and Golden Horn.

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Istanbul Archaeology Museums

Istanbul Archaeology Museums

One of the world’s best archaeology museums, with a tremendous set of prehistoric, Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman antiquities, sculptures, and sarcophagi, and one of the best museums in Istanbul, with an enormous gathering go back to the earliest civilizations and realize how far humans have come, and see the gathering of prehistoric, Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, Hellenistic,

Dolmabahce Palace Museum

Dolmabahce Palace Museum

Dolmabahce Palace Museum, one of the famous museums in Istanbul, is a majestic structure located on the banks of the Bosphorus in Besiktas. It was the home of the final six Ottoman Sultans, as well as Ataturk, the Turkish Republic’s founder. The Dolmabahce palace is built in white marble and has a basic European baroque style with an exotic feel.

On the shores of the Bosphorus in Besiktas, one of the most magnificent palaces. The entire palace complex is breathtaking. Over 50,000 artefacts are housed in the palace’s hundreds of chambers. The palace’s interior is designed in the style of wealthy European palaces and depicts the era’s grandeur.

Istanbul Museum of Modern Art

Istanbul Museum of Modern Art famous museums in Istanbul


Istanbul Modern, also known as the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, was Turkey’s first private museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art. One of Istanbul’s top museums, particularly for fans of modern art. Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, one of the top museums in Istanbul, opened in 2004 on an 8,000-square-meter property in Karakoy, near the Bosphorus. The museum has recently risen to prominence as Turkey’s most famous and prestigious modern art museum.

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts famous museums in Istanbul

The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts is enlisted in famous museums in Istanbul that exhibits both Turkish and Islamic art. It is located in Sultanahmet, at the Ibrahim Pasha Palace (one of the most famous buildings of Ottoman civil architecture in the 16th century). The museum was the last to open during the Ottoman Empire, and it houses about 40,000 objects in its carpet, manuscript, wood, glass-metal-ceramic, and ethnographic divisions.

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Chora Museum Istanbul

Chora Museum Istanbul famous museums in Istanbul

The Chora Mosque (previously Church-Museum), Kariye in Turkish, is one of Istanbul’s most magnificent heritage landmarks. It is part of a monastery that dates back to the 6th century. Chora is home to some of the most stunning Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. Nowadays, it enjoys the reputation of being the best museums in Istanbul.

Private Sakip Sabancı Fine Arts Museum

Private Sakip Sabancı Fine Arts Museum famous museums in Istanbul

The Sakip Sabanci Museum, enlisted in the most famous museums in Istanbul, is a private fine arts museum that has exceptional Ottoman treasures and provides visitors with a museological experience. The museum, which is housed in a lovely white home on the Bosphorus shore in Emirgan neighborhood, was founded in 2002 to honor the memory of the great Turkish businessman Sakip Sabanci (1933-2004). The museum features displays of Ottoman calligraphy, religious and governmental documents, Ottoman paintings, archaeology and stone works, and a woodwork and modern art collection.

Miniature Turkey Museum

Miniature Turkey Museum famous museums in Istanbul

A magnificent open-air museum that displays miniature versions of Turkey’s most famous sights and architectural masterpieces. You’ll witness small versions of Turkey’s most famous landmarks and structures, scaled down to 1/25 of their actual sizes. The Istanbul Crystal Museum and the Panorama Victory Museum are both located within the museum.

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