Istanbul is a city famous for its historic fabric and diverse culture. Having witnessed several countries as well as empires through its long history, Istanbul now houses countless museums shedding light on the historical, cultural, and artistic aspects of the city. The list we have prepared here is going to acquaint you with some of the most famous and interesting museums in the city.
Istanbul Toy Museum
Housing a rather impressive collection of toys from over 40 countries, Istanbul Toy Museum was established by the famous Turkish poet and author Sunay Akın on 23 April 2003, the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey. The museum is located in the Göztepe neighborhood of Kadıköy.
Istanbul Toy Museum offers an amazing experience for people of all ages. One of the most important features of the museum is that even three generations of the same family can spend great time together here. They will all find something taking them back to their childhood. Therefore, the museum is a must see for an amazing journey through the history of toys.
Istanbul Archeological Museums
Located in Sultanahmet, right in the middle of Gülhane Park and Topkapı Palace, Istanbul Archaeological Museums are made up of three different museums under the same administration. These are the Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum, and the Tiled Kiosk Museum. The archaeological museum is among the 10 most important world-class museums in that it houses an outstanding collection of artefacts dating back to the archaic age.
Istanbul Crystal Museum
Istanbul Crystal Museum houses 16 dazzling historical artefacts, all of which are among the landmarks of Istanbul. These artefacts are processed inside a very special crystal glass in 3D by using laser technology. The museum is located inside Miniaturk, in a separate room with a dim environment. The crystals are supported with LED lights to reflect the artefacts in a way that would do them justice. The silent motor system deployed at the bottom of the works makes sure the figures change colours every five seconds, turning the room to a visual feast.
Topkapı Palace Museum
One of the most impressive palaces of the Ottoman era, Topkapı Palace was the residence of the Sultans for approximately four centuries. It is one of the most significant tourist attractions in Istanbul. Topkapı Palace became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
Currently, Topkapı Palace is also a museum, housing holy relics of the Muslim world, including Prophet Muhammed’s cloak and sword along with many other significant collections of Ottoman porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armor, and jewelry.
Panorama 1453 History Museum
Panorama 1453 History Museum is a panorama painting depicting the conquest of Istanbul. Located on an area of 2,350 square meters near Topkapı-Edirnekapı ramparts, Panorama 1453 History Museum is certainly not to be missed by history enhusiasts, as it sheds light on one of the most important events in the Ottoman history.
Florence Nightingale Museum
Florence Nightingale Museum is where Florence Nightingale, also known as the Lady of the Lamp, actually worked and saved so many lives during the Crimean War. Selimiye Army Barracks in Üsküdar were allocated to the British to be used as a hospital during the war. In 1954, a part of the barracks was turned into Florence Nightingale Museum where the personal belongings of Florence Nightingale, and her medals can be seen. Her lamp, which she always kept by her side, and her bracelet, which was a gift from the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid, are among these personal belongings.
Rahmi Koç Museum
Founded by Rahmi Koç in 1991, it is a private museum focusing on the history of transport, industry and communications. Housing both permanent and temporary exhibitions, the museum is open to public every day except Mondays. It is located in Hasköy, on the north shore of the Golden Horn.
Sakıp Sabancı Museum
Founded by Sakıp Sabancı in 2002, the museum is dedicated to fine arts. Among the collections of the museum are the finest examples of Ottoman calligraphic art, religious and state documents dating back to the Ottoman era, as well as valuable paintings. The recent temporary exhibitions of the museum included the works of Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin, contributing to its popularity.
Yıldız Palace Museum
Located on the Yıldız hill in Beşiktaş, Yıldız Palace can be considered as the last architectural example of Turkish Ottoman palace. The museum part is a rather large gallery which was opened in 1994. The collection exhibited in Yıldız Palace Museum includes art works, personal belongings of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, and his carpenter tools. The museum is open every day, and in addition to the museum itself, Cihannüma Kiosk and Yıldız Palace Theater can be seen.
Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam
Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam, extending over 3,500 square meters, is located in Gülhane Park. The museum provides a unique insight into the Islamic scientific tradition, especially focusing on the scientific and technical achievements from the ninth to the seventeenth centuries. Emphasizing the place of Istanbul as a bridge between the East and the West, the museum exhibits an impressive collection of objects from astronomy, geography, nautics, time measurement, geometry, optics, medicine, chemistry, mineralogy, physics, technics, architecture and military techniques in Islamic civilization.