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“Amazing” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Istanbul Archaeological Museums

Istanbul Archaeological Museums
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$243.14*
and up
Ancient City of Ephesus House of Mother Mary Archeology Museum Basilica of St...
Ranked #19 of 1,033 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Besides its importance as the first Turkish museum, it remains one of the world's largest museums with over one million works. Opened to the public in 1891, it houses a collection of Greek, Roman and Byzantine artifacts.
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
233 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2013

It is very magical place.. Everyone who visits istanbul must visit there and feel the history ... Amazing

Visited January 2013
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1 Thank Selin_88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
487 reviews
316 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 455 helpful votes
“Relics of Another Time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2013

Like all of the major museums we visited in Turkey, this was a model of how valuable artifacts should be displayed and annotated: crisp and interesting descriptions in English as well as Turkish supported by lucid explanatory maps and diagrams. The collection itself, as well as the three major buildings that house them, are of the highest order. The largest is the original museum, initiated in 1881. It contains a stunning collection of Greek and Roman sculptural art focused predominantly on row after row of Sarcophagi ------ large, richly decorated, and superlatively carved down to the tiniest detail. Look out for the Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great ( now known to have nothing to do with the great conqueror), and those of the Crying Women and the Satrap. On the other side of the hall you will find many of the greatest examples of Greek statuary that have survived theft and destruction, notably full-length versions of Alexander, Cybele, and Valentinian ll (Roman), as well as brilliant busts of Alexander and Zeus. A lot of space is given to the archaeological development of Istanbul that turns out to be a nice way of getting to know the details of its complex history. A small section of artifacts from Troy is also tucked away.
Opposite this building is the Museum of the Ancient Orient. Started in 1883, it contains a
collection of remarkable items from the Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations, including fascinating steles, cuneiform tablets, and huge tiled pictorial animals that originally adorned the famous gate of Ishtar. Examples of Egyptian and Byzantine art are also to be found. Alongside it is the absolute gem called the Tiled Kiosk. It represents an aristocratic Islamic home, and is decorated throughout with tiles, mosaics, ceramics, calligraphy, and sparkling multi-coloured stained-glass windows, and is worth the price of admission alone. This is only 10 TL, but remember that Monday is closing day.

Visited October 2013
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Thank davidgoldberg1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hyderabad, India
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“My top rating in Istanbul goes to this archaelogy museum.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2013

If you are interested in ancient civilisations you can not afford to miss this place. One of the star attractions include Alexanders sarcophagus. There is an entry fee of 15 euros.

Visited October 2013
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Thank dkrao57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
110 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Plenty to make Ozymandias despair”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2013

One of my favourites in last weeks visit. If you are interested in history and the development of both Istanbul and civilisation in the wider area this is a must see. Spread over a rambling site so make sure you visit all three buildings. Used my Eyewitness guide to cherry-pick key exhibits - although audio-tours are readily available. All panels have English as well as Turkish explanations in enough detail to get to grips with content. We found this easy to find having got off the tram at Gulhane, followed the walls back up hill for 50 yards and then turned left into side entrance. We also bought our Museum pass at the entrance (there was no queue) which was worth the money to gain direct access to nearby Topkapi and Hagia Sophia which by contrast were crowded.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank eddie51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“So glad we went”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2013

Blown away by this place. Didn't come near to finishing the exhibits before I had to leave. Get the audio guide, it's very well done. Can't believe that I saw parts of the gates of Babylon.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Midwesterner2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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