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“Somebody actually lived here?”
Review of Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace
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$45.48*
and up
Dolmabahce Palace Tour in Istanbul
Ranked #10 of 1,051 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: This palace was built in the mid 1800s to replace an earlier structure that was made of wood. The new palace incorporated sixteen separate buildings with stables, a flour mill and a clock tower among them.
McLean, Virginia
Level Contributor
353 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Somebody actually lived here?”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

The second most impressive palace in Istanbul, and that is saying something. The chandeliers range between one ton and four tons, and are mind-boggling, as are the carpets. But it is the location along the Bosporus that kept surprising me: many of the "small" rooms have open windows and views along the water. Wow. There are two separate tours. If you can, take both tours (only one tour is allowed after 3pm because of time restraints). The ceremonial side is probably a bit better than the harem tour, but both are worth the time. It took us about 2 hours for both tours. The grounds are beautiful as well.

Visited May 2013
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Thank Bruce M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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athens
Level Contributor
172 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“One more must see in Istanbul”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

Absolutely must see. A bit to the expensive side but worth it. Very close to the Kabatas tram stop. Have a chay afterwards at the cafe in the garden. Beautiful view of the Bosporus.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank ulisan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Palace with a view”
Reviewed June 11, 2013

If you stay in the old city, you simply take tram no. 2 to the end of the line and from there walk about 10 minutes and there it is. Make sure you go there on a beautiful day, so that you enjoy to the max the garden and surroundings. The palace is right by the sea, and if you took that trip on the Bosphorus already, then you know how big and attractive this palace is.
It's certainly very adorned and opulent, it is meant to impress. And the oppulance starts from the entrance. You will most certainly like it, so take half a day to go there.
It is a very popular TA and the tickets are fairly expensive. For the whole thing, official rooms plus harem, you pay about 60 TL. It's way cheaper if you have ISIC card. The official rooms are really somptuous, while the harem rooms are much simpler. You get a glimpse into the everyday life though, but if you want to save up money, just go to the official rooms and don't worry about missing anything out at the harem wing.
Queues get rather long, b/c there's a tour every 20 - 30 minutes (one in Turkish, one in English) and you need to wait if you missed the previous tour. So be prepared to stand on your feet a lot or simply look for the plate that announces the tour hours: they're very rigurous about it.
At the ticket office there's a sign saying the palace might close gates earlier to visitors if the visitor limit is reached earlier than posted opening hours.
Enjoy!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank crisstaline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Truly magnificent!”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

I'm glad I went to Dolmabahce Palace because it was one of the highlights of my trip. The tickets are slightly pricey and the queue is massive but it is definitely worth it! The tickets for Harem and Selamlik are separate. I would recommend visiting Harem instead of both. Harem offers free tour guide but the only downside of Harem is that if you need the toilet, you would not be able to join back the tour. Instead, you would need to wait for the next tour, which would mean waiting for another hour or so.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank JustAnotherTourist14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
99 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“So beautiful but crazy line process”
Reviewed June 8, 2013

You should really go as soon as it opens in the morning to avoid the many long lines, unless you are with a tour group that seems to get to skip the lines. Lines for security, the ticket window, the entrance gate, the palace itself... You can only go into the palace with a guide, which was great so you can really understand the history. It's so beautiful, but it's a shame you are not allowed to take any pictures inside.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank spf701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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