Naval Museum
Naval Museum
4.5
About
This museum, located in Dolmabahce Palace, contains over 4000 items relating to Turkish naval history.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Neighborhood: Besiktas
In Besiktas, skyscrapers compete with palaces for space in an upscale vista replete with hilly green parkland filling in the margins. Step into this rather wealthy neighborhood and discover a rich mix of opportunities to shop, dine, and be entertained. For folks in search of urban buzz, not to mention a constant reminder of just how important Istanbul’s waterways are to its rich history, there's the frenetic Besiktas ferry terminal or the city’s most vibrant fish market to explore. For a timeout of metropolitan proportions, head to the bucolic Yildiz Park or the chic Bosphorus-side fishing village of Ortakoy. Attractions such as the grandiose Dolmabahce Palace and a bevy of other stately residences await admiration. To be sure, this large and not overly touristy swath of Istanbul yields plenty of pleasure for all.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles202 reviews
Excellent
124
Very good
53
Average
20
Poor
2
Terrible
3

BJSINV
Inverness, United Kingdom67 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Friends
I've walked past this building many times (it's a 10 minute walk from Kabatas pas the Dolmabahace Palace) but only ventured in recently. It's definitely worth a visit although it isn't what you'd expect from a naval museum which can be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view! I'd argue that the Turks have a proud naval history but while there is a leaflet summarising some notable historic events, this is largely missing from the museum itself. For example the Ottoman standard captured at Lepanto and returned by Pope Paul is on display but seems rather out of place in terms of the other exhibits. It's main focus is to showcase the imperial caliques (barges). These are interesting and unique vessels in themselves and while mostly from the 19th century, the exhibition does contain the world's oldest galley. It also contains vessels which are important in Turkey's fight for independence following the First World War as well as some small boats used by Ataturk. The contrast between those used by him and the sultans is marked. As far as the other exhibits go, there are numerous pieces of art showing the changing views of Istanbul including an interesting panoramic from the Galata Tower. All in all well worth a look, although naval buffs might be a bit disappointed.
Written March 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

COYDRCOY
Izmir, Türkiye110 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Couples
Next door to Beşiktaş port which is on Bosphorus,3 flat museum,lots of paintings and uniforms, models of warships up to 500 years old,lots of naval equipment,a wall full of personal weapons,a very rich museum shop,most famous piece is the huge flag of Barbarossa which contains unexpectedly several different religious amblems from 16th century and presented in a horizantal glass box where can easily be missed in the kaos of the museum.The museum has a book of itself but where were the 14 real boats of the sultans ?????
Written July 2, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GEARS J
San Francisco, CA53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
This museum is for all ages. Not huge just the right size to visit and finish within a few hours and give you a general idea about Ottoman Naval History and bring you to 20th century… All “kayaks” are refurbished to their original states, gold gilded & painted. I call this museum a must.
Written November 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jaseaton
Silver Spring, MD2,634 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Couples
As you enter the Naval Museum, it seems that the exhibit area will be small, but when you get downstairs, the Sultan's caique you can see opens onto a virtual armada of these sumptuous river caiques (large oared triremes that the Ottoman royals and heir consorts) used to sail along the Bosphorus. They're stunning, beautiful and resonant of a life-style that has vanished. It's quite an experience!
Written March 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EvieL
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
This place is huge so be prepared for a long but interesting walk throughout the Turkish naval history and heritage. Those interested in ottoman navy, naval uniforms, Ataturk & his love for sea and history of scuba diving equipment should check this place out.
Written September 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

4historyandculture
Charlotte, NC1,543 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
This is a two story museum about the beginning and the development of the Ottoman navy in a chronological order. Ground level has the royal row boats for the sultans and smaller ones for the residents of his Harem. Second level has the replica of the famous warships and a huge display about how the Byzantine emperor built a wall of heavy chains in water to block the entrance to the city from the sea, and how Mehmet II moved his ships from land into the Halic.
The museum is very beautiful and very big, there is a lot of walking, a nice gift shop, and even nicer restaurant to eat a delicious meal.
Written May 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BevG2
Cape Town Central, South Africa31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Situated in a beautiful building on the shores and with views of the Bosphorus this museum is a wonderful lens through which one can enter Ottoman and Turkish history. The exquisitely crafted and restored caiques are breathtaking and very special. Some etchings and paintings of Istanbul over the ages supplement the maritime objects. The ones by Henry Aston Barker I found exquisite and worth "walking through" . Downstairs is an exhibition area which had examples of intricately carved objects . A lovely gift shop is also in the complex. One strange design faux pas is that the reception area has only one women's toilet.
Written January 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HenryWorthing
Worthing, UK1,483 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Couples
Just a few minutes walk past the Dolmabahce Palace, this modern building now houses the fascinating Naval Museum. A sensational array of historic boats and informative displays about Turkey's maritime history. Plenty of information on Barbarossa who was renowned in Turkey as a great Admiral and to the rest of the world as an infamous pirate (I'm with the Turks on this one). His statue and turbe is just next to the museum and worth a visit.
A very pleasant afternoon can be spent here. Surprisingly, the gift shop has some interesting, reasonably priced and tasteful gifts if you are looking for something a little different
Written July 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JPBary001
New York City, NY145 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2012 • Friends
This is a quirky but fascinating collection of artifacts that showcase the development of Ottoman and modern Turkish naval power. It is located in the Ortakoy district, a few miles up the Bosphorus from the more crowded and well-known sites of Sultan-Ahmet. But it is another one of those rare gems that makes it worthwhile to get off the beaten path and spend more than a few days in Istanbul. Sailors and scholars of history will find the exhibits particularly fascinating, but there are quite a few things here that will stimulate anyone's imagination. One of my favorites is the lovingly preserved stateroom from Attaturk's private yatch, complete with his original maps of Gallipoli, but I also found the display of deep sea diving equipment strangely moving and my imagination also curiously engaged by the display of various naval weapons, including primitive hand thrown grenades and other reminders of an era not so long ago when naval warfare was a more intimate affair than it is today. There is a fine collection of uniforms and scale models of everything from the caiques of the sultans to the submarines used by the Turkish navy, as well as portraits and busts of important historical figures such as Barbarossa, whose tomb is across the street from the museum. Only a few minutes by taxi from the Galata Bridge, the museum is also accessible by ferry from various locations if you are fit enough for a short walk from the Beşiktaş termnal. I recommend walking in the area before or after your visit as it, like each of Istanbul's neighborhoods, has its own special rhythm and character. Having lunch at the upscale Kempinsky or Four Seasons Hotels will give you access to the waterfront and the adjoining palaces, but there are many interesting restaurants in the area with good reviews on Trip Advisor. If you can, plan to spend a relaxing late afternoon at the museum followed by dinner and return to your hotel by ferry when the sun is setting behind the Blue Mosque.
Written August 6, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amir
Istanbul, Türkiye7 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
Ticket start from 10TL.
Its important to see the downstairs befor exit, The submarine section. U can reach the musume with bus or metro line. Its close to taksim sq.

Written March 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Naval Museum, Istanbul

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