Topkapi Palace, located in Sultanahmet Square, is one of Istanbul’s premier attractions. Discover the sights of Topkapi Palace on a trip to the city and enjoy a glimpse into the past lives of Turkey’s Ottoman rulers.
Exploring Topkapi Palace
Nestled amidst the attractions of the Old City, Topkapi Palace was built in the mid-15th century, shortly after the Ottoman conquest of Turkey. For 400 years, it was the main home of the Ottoman Empire’s rulers, until Dolmabahce Palace was built in the district of Galata in Istanbul.
Topkapi Palace is a colossal attraction, so visitors should plan to spend between half a day to a whole day exploring its many rooms. Enter the grand imperial gate and explore the palace’s First Court, also known as the Court of the Janissaries. Haghia Irene is another highlight inside the palace, the only pre-Ottoman church never to have been turned into a mosque.
One of the most popular attractions in Topkapi Palace is its harem, which can only been seen on a guided tour. The State Treasury displays exhibits of Ottoman era armour, while the Imperial Treasury showcases more valuable arms and jewelled items. Of Topkapi Palace’s four courts, its Fourth Court is its most charming, with beautiful gardens and enchanting pavilions offering stunning views of the Bosphorous.
Attractions near Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace is situated in the old district of Sultanahmet, home to many historic attractions in Istanbul. Nearby is the Haghia Sophia, an impressive Byzantine church that became a mosque after the Ottoman conquest. The Basilica Cistern and stunning Blue Mosque are also located near Topkapi Palace.