Famous Museums in Istanbul

Istanbul has a wide variety of wonderful museums. Istanbul's galleries and showrooms are well known in the world of art and history. In addition, Istanbul is a very good city to have a unique museum experience.

Istanbul Archeology Museum 

The Main Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum, and the Enamel Kiosk Museum combine to form the Istanbul Archeology Museum. Nearly one million artifacts from almost all ages and civilizations of human history are in this museum.

The first level contains ancient artifacts, including pottery and terracotta sculptures. Alongside these are a wonderful collection of coins, medals, badges, and a huge library of 70,000 volumes.

In the lower room, there is a sarcophagus from the 4th century BC, as well as paintings, tombs, and sarcophagi. In addition to the Tabnit and Lycian sarcophagi, the two sarcophagi of the mourners are the most famous works. Beautiful sculptures such as the bust of Adonis with Tabnit and Alexander are also on display here.  

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is located in the Sultanahmet area, inside the Ibrahim Pasha Palace, near the old hippodrome.  

It is also within walking distance of other iconic attractions such as the Hagia Sophia Mosque. The museum has approximately 40,000 works of Islamic art dating from the ninth to the eighteenth centuries. There is an important area in the museum devoted to carpets and weaving looms from the Seljuk period in Anatolia from the 15th to the 17th centuries. The process of making carpets, including the plants used for coloring, is described in this area. 

Sakip Sabanci Museum

It is a private Fine Arts Museum located in the magnificent Emirgan Grove in the Bosphorus. 

Calligraphy, religious and state documents, and artifacts from the Ottoman period are exhibited in the museum. It was founded in June 2002 by Sakıp Sabancı (a wealthy businessman and an important philanthropist). In addition to permanent exhibitions, the museum organizes national and international temporary exhibitions and cultural events on weekends. The museum has recently gained international recognition by exhibiting paintings by Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin.  

Istanbul Toy Museum

Founded by Turkish poet Sunay Akın, the Istanbul Toy Museum is a great place for families and history buffs to view toys dating back to the 1700s. 

The museum takes visitors on an unexpected historical journey, from World War II to the present, through the various periods in which toys were made. Children's activities are held frequently in the museum located in Göztepe on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. Like other museums across the country, it is closed on Mondays. 

Istanbul Modern

Focusing on modern and contemporary art, Istanbul Modern has been a vital component of the city's art scene since 2004.

It is one of the best contemporary museums in Istanbul. Notable exhibitions in the past include Human Nature (2018-2019) by British sculptor Tony Cragg and Fantastic Machinery (2013), featuring artists such as Jean Dubuffet and Robert Rauschenberg. We recommend getting there early if you want to avoid the crowds.