Museum Pass Istanbul

Features

The Museum Pass Istanbul is a card provided by the government for tourists who want to visit some of the state museums. The Museum Pass is valid for 120 hours (5 days), which start counting after you use it for the first time. With the card you can access each museum only once. 1 card is valid for 1 person only.

Museum Pass Price

The price of the Museum Pass is 165.00 Turkish Liras (24.00€ / USD $28.00 since October 2018). Children under the age of 12 don’t need to pay to enter the museums, so you don’t need to buy a card for them.

The price of the card would be good if you are planning to visit more than 4 of the top museums included with the card. Unfortunately, although all the museums included have something interesting, not all of them are very popular or visited by most tourists and some of them are located in slightly remote areas.

Is it worth buying the Museum Pass Istanbul?

Although the Museum Pass Istanbul includes access to 12 museums for a relatively good price, most tourists who buy the card don't visit most of the museums included. Moreover, Istanbul is more than only museums. There are many more attractions and experiences that are part of the history, culture and tradition of the civilizations which inhabited the area; these attractions and experiences are not included in the Museum Pass, but are included in the Istanbul Tourist Pass! For that reason, if you really want to experience Istanbul, you should purchase the Istanbul Tourist Pass and enjoy your trip.

Line to buy tickets at the Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul on March, 2017
Take into account that if you decide to buy the card at the ticketing counter, you may have to wait in a long queue like the one you see in this photo (the photo was taken on May 2017), or even longer. Hence, if you mind waiting in the line under the unforgiving summer sun, the blistering winter cold, the rain, before the counter is closed, or simply don’t want to waste your time, you may consider buying an Istanbul Tourist Pass.

Where can you buy the card?

You can choose one of the following two options to get your self a Museum Pass.

  • 1. You can buy it online but you need to get it delivered to a location in Turkey and it will take 1 week to get delivered.
  • 2. At the ticketing counters located in the entrance of all of the museums included in the card. Beware of long waiting lines.

Not Included in the Pass

The Museum Pass Istanbul is not included in the Istanbul Tourist Pass.
However, access tickets to the top 2 museums included in the Museum Pass Istanbul are included in the Istanbul Tourist Pass.

Buy a Pass

When to use?

The Museum Pass Istanbul is valid for 5 days which start counting the moment you visit the first museum.

Where to use?

Scroll down to see a list of all the museums included with the Museum Pass Istanbul as well as a little information about each museum.

What Museums Are Included with the Museum Pass Istanbul?

1. Topkapi Palace Museum and Harem

This palace was one of the most magnificent residences of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire and their families. It was also the center of the government during 600 years.

2. Hagia Sophia Museum

The majestic Hagia Sophia was the largest church in the world during close to a millennium. Nowadays you can see its magnificence as well as its internal beauty as a museum.

3. Archaeology Museum

The Archaeology Museum of Istanbul could be as well the Wikipedia of the ancient world. More than 8,000 years of history of the civilizations that inhabited these lands are on constant display at the museum.

4. Hagia Irene

Hagia Irene or Holy Peace, is a Greek Eastern Orthodox church and the first church built in Constantinople. It served as the church of the Patriarchate until the Hagia Sophia basilica was built.

5. Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

The museum hosts an exhibition of rugs woven during the time of the Seljuk Empire, islamic artifacts such as handwritten Qurans and more.

6. Chora Museum

Like may churches of its time, the Chora Church was converted to a mosque and later to a museum. Today you can see the unbelievable original mosaics and frescoes painted on the walls and roofs many centuries ago.

7. Mosaics Museum

The Mosaics Museum houses a collection of well preserved mosaics remnant from the Byzantine Grand Palace.

8. Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam

More than 9 centuries of technological and scientific advances made by Islamic scholars in areas such as astronomy, nautics, time measurement, medicine, military techniques and more, grouped in a single place.

9. Galata Mevlevi House Museum

This museum which is the first Mevlevi house built in Istanbul, depicts the life, culture, music and traditions of a very important branch of the Islamic Sufism, the Dervishes.

10. Yildiz Palace Museum

Little known by foreigners, this palace served as the fourth official seat of the Ottoman Empire. The palace was turned into a luxury casino after the end of the empire, later a guest house for heads of state and royalty. Now it’s a museum.

11. Rumeli Hisari Museum

This fortress is located in one of the best places overlooking the Bosphorus, therefor it was very important for the Ottoman forces in order to conquer Constantinople.

12. Fethiye Museum

Another treasure for history lovers. This monastery-turned-mosque-turned-museum was once the house of the Orthodox patriarchate. Nonetheless, it still amazes visitors with its well preserved frescoes.

All 12 museums are included for free with the Museum Pass Istanbul.

The Dolmabahçe Palace and Basilica Cistern are not included in the Museum Pass Istanbul.

Remember

The Museum Pass Istanbul is NOT included with the Istanbul Tourist Pass.