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8 expert recommendations
Topkapi Palace was where the Sultans lived for most of their 600 year rule over the Ottoman Empire. The Harem of the palace was home to the Sultan's mother, his concubines, wives,... Full review →If you go, don't miss the exquisite collection of jewels in the Treasury.
If you're stuck for time, limit yourself to the main palace and the harem, the most intimate and personal rooms used by the sultans and their many, many women.Avoid going on weekends or during peak periods of the day so you miss the busloads of people who move in flocks around the grounds in a veritable babel of chattering languages.
Few other royal residences match this hilltop compound when it comes to mystery, intrigue, and the lavish intricacies of court life. Full review →
Topkapi Palace should be at the top of the list for anyone interested in the vast and exotic world behind the seraglio walls. Full review →
Puppy-guarding its perch on the tip of the European peninsula, Topkapı served as the official residence for Ottoman sultans (and all their women—except the daughters who were locked up... Full review →Hagia Irene only open to groups of 30+ by request.
This opulent palace complex is the subject of more colourful stories than most of the world's royal residences put together. Full review →
In the harem of Topkapi Palace visitors are plunged into a mythical Orient of a thousand and one treasures and as many fantasies. Full review →Visit the unmissable Treasury and its masterpiece: a 250kg solid gold throne encrusted with diamonds and emeralds.
Though it served as the royal residence and seat of the Ottoman Empire for nearly four centuries, this palace isn’t the mighty pleasure dome that many visitors expect. Full review →