Dolmabahce Palace

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Dolmabahce Palace: Our most recommended tours and activities

Istanbul: Dolmabahçe Palace Admission and Guided Tour

1. Istanbul: Dolmabahçe Palace Admission and Guided Tour

Explore Dolmabahçe Palace - the biggest royal residence of the sultans and the imperial family of the Ottoman Empire. Meet your licensed English-speaking guide outside the monument and enter with your skip-the-line admission ticket. Begin a guided tour of the stunning interiors. Learn about how the palace was built by the orders of Sultan Abdülmecid I and opened in 1856. Admire the greatest collection of Baccarat and Bohemian chandeliers on the planet, including the biggest Bohemian chandelier ever. Marvel at the vast collection of gold inside, specifically on the ornate ceilings.  As you continue the tour, learn about the distinct differences between the Dolmabahçe Palace and the Topkapı Palace - for example, the architectural style and the way that the furniture was used. Find out how the Dolmabahçe Palace was the last headquarters of the empire and was served until 1922. At the end of your tour, you can explore Imperial Harem on your own freely, without a guide.

Istanbul: Dinner Cruise & Entertainment with Private Table

2. Istanbul: Dinner Cruise & Entertainment with Private Table

Climb aboard a pleasure boat for a luxurious cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, while dining from a 3-course menu of Turkish meze and local drinks. Sail past some of Istanbul's greatest monuments, while watching traditional entertainment along the way. Following a pick-up from your hotel, transfer to the yacht for the start of your journey. Get a welcome cocktail on deck as you begin to sail as far as the Black Sea. Cruise between Europe and Asia, passing under the Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmed Bridge. See the summer palaces of the Ottoman sultans, such as Dolmabahçe Palace, Çırağan Palace, and Beylerbeyi Palace. Admire the grand Ottoman fortifications of Rumeli Castle and Anatolian Castle. Soak up some of Istanbul’s legendary nightlife as you pass famous nightclubs, such as Reina and Sortie. Marvel at the waterside mansions and villas that line the European and Asian coasts. As you feast on a meal of typical meze dishes and mains, watch live folk dances from different regions of Turkey. Be seduced by the sensual moves of a belly dancer, and relax to international music by the on-board DJ. Back on dry land, enjoy a free shuttle transfer back to your hotel.

Istanbul: 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour with Commentary

3. Istanbul: 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour with Commentary

Explore the beautiful city of Istanbul at your own pace with this hop-on-hop-off bus ticket including audio commentary in 8 languages. Your ticket is valid for 1 day and will let you spend more time discovering the highlights that most interest you. Jump aboard your double decker bus and enjoy a tour designed for those who want flexibility during their sightseeing exploration of Istanbul. With additional commentary from your audioguide, you will learn interesting facts about key sights whilst savoring delicious complimentary snacks on board. During the route you can stop at locations like Sultanahmet Square, Eminönü, Karaköy, Galataport, Dolmabahçe Palace, Naval Museum, Beylerbeyi Palace, Taksim Square, Beşiktaş Bazaar, Şişhane, and Egyptian Spice Bazaar.

Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private City Guided Tour

4. Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private City Guided Tour

Discover the best of Istanbul on this 1, 2, or 3-day private tour that covers the major attractions, such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the iconic Blue Mosque, the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, and the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. A few of the possible attraction you'll visit on your tour include: The Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome, and the Duomo in Florence. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. The Blue Mosque, more officially known as the "Sultanahmet" Mosque has striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years. Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. The Hippodrome is the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handcraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there. The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of Bosphorus. There are also magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them. Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name — in Turkish, Dolma means "filled" or "stuffed," and bahce means "garden". Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars, and from there, it's an interesting and scenic 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area. See this and more depending on which length tour option you select. Possible Itinerary for each day of the tour: Day 1: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome Day 2: Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal, Galata Tower Day 3: Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Church, Fener/Balat Districts, Pierre Loti Hill

Dolmabahce Palace: Skip-the-Line Ticket and Audio Guide

5. Dolmabahce Palace: Skip-the-Line Ticket and Audio Guide

Meet your guide at the main entrance of the Dolmbahce Palace, skip the long ticket lines and enter the world's most luxurious Palace the shortest way. Save up to 2 hours by not standing in the famous ticket lines. Follow your guide through a 10-minute tour inside the garden of Dolmbahce Palace. Learn about the highlights inside the Dolmabahce Palace and find out where the best spots are to capture the most amazing pictures. Afterwards, receive your audio guide so you can explore the inside of the Palace at your own pace. Spend the whole day inside or just have a quick glance at its impressive beauty. Gaze in awe at the palace's beautiful location on the Bosphorus and its more than $1.5 billion worth of luxury decoration.

Istanbul: Private Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Yacht Cruise

6. Istanbul: Private Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Yacht Cruise

Experience the incomparable opportunity to see two continents at once private yacht tour along the Bosphorus Strait, which runs between the beautiful shorelines of Europe and Asia. You'll also get to see the city of Istanbul from the water, gliding by some of the most famous sights and monuments. Take your time to unwind with your group of friends as you sit back and take in the most unforgettable views from your personal sundeck. Enjoy the trip as the friendly crew looks after the rest. Navigate past the waterfront palaces of Sultans and their Pasha’s villas. From the European Side, discover the Dolmabahçe Palace, Çirağan Palace, Rumeli Fortress, and the Bosphorus Bridge. Meanwhile, from the Asian Side, get a glimpse of the Anadolu Fortress, Beylerbeyi Palace, and more.

Istanbul Highlights: Two Continents Half-Day Tour

7. Istanbul Highlights: Two Continents Half-Day Tour

Tell your friends you’ve been to Asia and Europe in one day by joining us on a guided tour of Istanbul’s most historic sites. Led by an expert guide, you’ll visit the impressive Dolmabahçe Palace, the official home of Ottoman Sultans. Built by two famous Ottoman architects, the palace houses a museum-worthy collection of European furniture, art and antiquities. Then it’s off to the Bosphorus Bridge, which straddles the narrow waterway that separates Europe and Asia. Once you’ve crossed the bridge it’s time to head to Camlica HIll, which offers dramatic, panoramic views of the city from almost 300 meters above sea level. Please note, on Mondays and Thursdays the palace is closed, so the tour will make three different stops: Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Tomb, Pierre Loti Coffee House and Miniatürk park.

Istanbul: 5-Day Guided Museum Pass

8. Istanbul: 5-Day Guided Museum Pass

Enjoy a pass that will take the hassle out of visiting all the must-see sights of Istanbul. This 5-day pass will grant you skip the line access to the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Dolmabahçe Palace, Hagia Irene, and Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. As you sightsee through these culturally and historically significant locations your pass will also ensure your very own English speaking guide, maximizing your visit to all of these spectacular places.  Experience Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument both for the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. Once a church, later a mosque, and now a museum at the Turkish Republic, find out why the Hagia Sophia has always been a precious building.  Discover the Topkapi Palace and how it was built between 1466 - 1478 and served for over 400-years as the residency and administrative headquarter of the Ottoman Sultans.  Visit the Basilica Cistern, built in the 4th-century and enlarged in 532 AD, used as water storage during Byzantine times. Listen to your guide as they explain the mystery of the Medusa heads from Greek mythology. Enjoy a totally unique art experience with a ticket and guided tour package of the Ibrahim Paşa Palace. This unique building, currently housing the largest selection of Turkish and Islamic artworks is a stone structure just as beautiful as the artwork it houses. During your guided tour of the Museum, you will have access to the building's ceremony room and second court, where the collections are held. Visit the second largest church of the Eastern Roman Empire, following Hagia Sophia located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace with your experienced guide. It ranks as the first church completed in Constantinople, before Hagia Sophia. Your 5-day pass allows you to visit these sites on the following schedule: Monday: 10:00 AM - Hagia Sophia (60 mins) (B) 11:30 AM - Topkapı Palace and Hagia Irene (75 mins) (T) 2:30 PM - Blue Mosque (20 mins) (B) 3:30 PM - Hagia Sophia (60 mins) (B) 4:45 PM - Grand Bazaar (30 mins) (B) Tuesday: 9:00 AM- Hagia Sophia (60 mins) (B) 10:15 AM - Hagia Sophia (60 mins) (B) 11:30 AM - Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum (45 mins) (B) 2:00 PM- Blue Mosque (20 mins) (B) 3:30 PM - Dolmabahce Palace (60 mins) (D) Wednesday to Sunday: 9:00 AM - Grand Bazaar (30 mins) (B) 9:00 AM -(Except Sundays) - Blue Mosque (20 mins) (B) 10:00 AM (Except Fridays) Hagia Sophia (60 mins) (B) 10:15 AM, 10:45 AM, 3:30 PM Topkapi Palace and Hagia Irene (75 mins) (T) 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM - Dolmabahce Palace (60 mins) (D) Guided tours begin at the (B) Bigbus Bus Stop in front of the Hagia Sophia Museum, unless otherwise noted. (D) Meeting point for this tour is in front of the door of the clock tower of the Dolmabahçe Palace. (T) The meeting point for this tour is the entrance of the Carpet Museum (Halı Müzesi), outside the Topkapı Palace.

Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

9. Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

Explore Istanbul on a guided tour. Choose from a 1-day tour to top attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, or a 2-day tour with a cruise on the Bosphorus straight and a visit to the Dolmabahce Palace and Istiklal Street. Pick from a walking tour or a driving tour.  Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar Explore the highlights of Istanbul on this private full-day walking tour that covers the major attractions, from the Hagia Sophia Museum to the iconic Blue Mosque, to the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, to the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The excursion starts with a pick-up from your Istanbul hotel and a walk through the lively streets of Turkey’s largest city to visit the dramatic former basilica of the Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still holds the position for the 4th largest dome. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Move on to the Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. The mosque’s striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Continue to Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years.  Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop into the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. Visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. See the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column, the 3 remaining monuments from the original building. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Complete your day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handicraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. Day 2 – Spice Bazaar, Bosphorus cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Istiklal Street, Taksim The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because, during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there.  The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus and there are magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them. Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name, in Turkish, Dolma means 'filled' or 'stuffed,' and bahce means 'garden'. Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars. From there, it is a 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area.

Bosphorus Cruise and Dolmabahçe Palace Tour Full Day

10. Bosphorus Cruise and Dolmabahçe Palace Tour Full Day

Embark on a journey of historical discovery with this one-day tour of Bosphorus and Dolmabahce Place. Experience the majesty of one of the grandest palaces on earth, as well as first-hand history and culture of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire. Start your tour with a narrated walk through the Spice Bazaar of Istanbul. Then take a leisurely 90-minute cruise, fully narrated by a professional tour guide. From here you can see the city from the unique point of view of the Bosphorus and get perfect photo opportunities with such landmarks as Leanders Tower and Rumell Hisari Fortress. After a relaxing lunch, you will move on to Dolmabahce Palace. With 285 rooms, 6 baths (hamam), 68 toilets and a ceiling made of 14 tons of gold, this is truly a sight to behold. With strong French influences as well as the richness of the East, this is a must-see on any tour. Expert guides will take you through the most fascinating aspects of the palace, and answer any questions you may have on 19th century Ottoman history. Enjoy a journey of discovery through the stories, myths and great works of art related to this special place. Including religious sites such as Dolmabahce Mosque, this one day tour covers the full range of culture, history, and art of Istanbul in a relaxed, informative environment.

Planning Your Visit

  • Bosphorus Bridge

    If you plan to drive across the bridge, bear in mind that there's a toll to cross from Europe to Asia, but not vice versa

  • October Marathon

    If you want to walk between the continents, there's a chance to do that once a year during the marathon!

  • Sun protection

    In the southern European heat, staying adequately protected from the sun is essential! Make sure you stay in the shade around midday, and reapply sunscreen.

  • Visa

    To enter Turkey as a US passport holder, you need to pay $30 for a 90-day visa. You can pay on arrival or easily purchase it online before your trip. Other nationalities may need to check beforehand for entry conditions.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open 9:00AM - 4:00PM. Ticket office might close early if maximum number of daily visitors is reached.
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult general admission starts at 30 lira. Harem entrance is additional 10 lira.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Individuals are not allowed to explore without a guide. Many guided tours, also in English, are led throughout the day.
  • How to get there
    Located just short walk from Kabatas tram stop.
  • Additional information

    • Please note that within the Palace you are not allowed to take pictures but can still capture the impressive views and gardens surrounding the palace to share with friends and family.

    • The changing of the guard outside the palace is a sight in itself! Pick a spot and wait to see this ancient tradition.

Other Sightseeing Options in Dolmabahce Palace

Want to discover all there is to do in Dolmabahce Palace? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Dolmabahce Palace

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,867 reviews

amazing my guide was professional explained everything had a smile always. inside the palace is breathtaking every room every detail and the audio explaining the history is just amazing.

My guide was entertaining and easy to get along with. He did an outstanding job explaining the history and cultural aspects of Istanbul.

was very informative..hazal was our guide.she is so friendly we felt like we were with family member.was very nice experience

It was a very nice tour, great food, nice show, everything was great, I can only recommend it.

great and interesting guide to know about the history of the historical Istanbul