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7 expert recommendations
The Dolmabahçe (“dol-ma-bah-chey”) Palace is European through and through. Full review →
Often overlooked by visitors, this is one of Istanbul's most lavish and extravagant attractions.
The name Dolmabahçe means "filled-in garden," from the fact that Sultan Ahmet I (ruled 1603–17) had an imperial garden planted here on land reclaimed from the sea. Full review →
The extravagant collection of objets d'art represents just a small percentage of items presented to the occupants of the palace over the years. Full review →
Leading the old, broke, “sick man of Europe” in the latter half of the 1800s, Sultan Abdülmecid I tried to save face and commissioned the building of Dolmabahçe Palace in 1856 to replace... Full review →
These days it’s fashionable for architects and critics influenced by the less-is-more aesthetic of the Bauhaus masters to sneer at buildings such as Dolmabahçe. Full review →
Generously deployed pomp and riches... provide a certain cohesion, in which it's possible to conjure up the decadent life of a sultan. Full review →