First built by Mehmet the Conqueror in the 15th century, this glorious palace beside the Bosphorus is where sultans of the Ottoman Empire ruled over their dominions up until the 19th century. The vast complex is a dazzling display of Islamic art with opulent courtyards, lined with intricate hand-painted tile-work, linking a warren of sumptuously decorated rooms, all bounded by battlement walls and tower.
Of the many highlights here the most popular are: the Harem (where the sultan's many concubines and children would while away their days); the Second Court where you can walk through the vast Palace Kitchens and stand in awe at the dazzling interior of the Imperial Council Chamber; and the Third Court (which contained the sultan's private rooms) and home to the Imperial Treasur y where you're greeted with a cache of glittering gold objects and precious gems that will make your eyes water.
Official site: http://www.topkapisarayi.gov.tr/tr
Distance from Our Hotel: 3-5 minutes by walking
Visiting Hours: Winter Season: Between October 30th - April 15th (Museum, Harem and Hagia Irene can be visited between 9:00 AM - 4:45 PM)
Summer Season: Between April 15th - October 30th (Museum, Harem and Hagia Irene can be visited between 9:00 AM - 6:45 PM) (Museum is open everyday except Tuesdays.)
Entrance Fee: 40 TL, (Harem Part Extra 25 Turkish Lira)