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“Don't miss Dolmabahce Palace!”
Review of Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace
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Dolmabahce Palace Tour in Istanbul
Ranked #12 of 1,162 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.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

My husband and I recently visited the Dolmabahce Palace at the end of June. We considered taking a small group tour. All tour companies grossly overcharge for this visit. It is so easy to do independently. With the money you will save, you can buy yourself a nice souvenir. We took the tramway to Kabatas. Taking the tram is so easy and it is air conditioned.We walked along the water with the Bosphorus to our right. After about 5 minutes you will pass a mosque with very slender minarets. You have just about arrived! So easy. Plan on getting there prior to opening at 9:30 a.m. to avoid the crowds. You cannot tour the palace or the harem on your own-you have to take one of their tours. You will be amazed. The gardens are incredibly lovely. We had lunch nearby with a gorgeous Bosphorus view.

4  Thank carefree-travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,733 - 2,737 of 6,433 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2013

True this is European style and in contrast to Ottoman architecture. But if you have been to Versailles in France, Windsor in UK or any imperial palace across the world than you can give this a skip. The entry ticket is ridiculously high for what it has to offer. There are some good views of Bosphorous but again nothing new if you have already taken the Bosphorous cruise. The gardens are nothing to talk about. Not sure why other reviewers are raving about it. On a hot afternoon the visit can be treacherous as the palace has no air-conditioning installed.

3  Thank fromvirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

It was great to see this European-style palace, especially after seeing Topkapi Palace. The rooms were spectacular, and our guides for bot the main palace and the Harem were extremely knowledgeable. The grounds are lovely, as well, and it's spectacularly situated on the Bosphorus. The only reason why I'm giving this a 4 instead of a 5 is that, while it's supposed to be open until 6, we arrived not too long after 4 and it was already closed due to a high number of visitors, so we had to go back the next day. I would recommend going in the morning to be sure you won't be shut out. Also, it is not self-guided, you must be with a group, so if you just miss one you will have to wait around for the next tour. I don't think it's a long wait, but we really didn't know that. Aside from that, it's good value for money, as the place is rather large and you get to see quite a bit of it, especially if you choose the combined selamlik/haremlik ticket, which I recommend.

2  Thank UrbanTeacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Entrance fees are somewhat different in that a man and women pay less than 2 men or two women. Pay the extra to see the Harem Quarters (for 2 total 80!lira). When you walk into the court yard the beautiful architecture, magnificent grounds along with a beautiful oceanic view immediately hit you. Everything is immaculate and by the time you leave you will understand the fee structure to get in. You cannot wander around the inside of the palace by yourself. Tours are conducted in both Turkish and English. The tour of the main palace takes 45 minutes and the Harem 30 mins. Sounds quite a long time but the palace is massive and the tours were quite hurried. Beautiful furnishings inside along with amazing murals on the ceilings (68 bathrooms all of which have hole in the floor - yes even for his highness). Would have appreciated if a bit more time was spent explaining the furniture rather than the people. Make sure you set aside maybe 20 mins to walk around the grounds . There also is a rather beautiful crystal room which you can visit yourself ( we came across by accident). A overall a great experience.

1  Thank martin e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 20, 2013

This is a beautiful palace in Istanbul, and it is interesting to visit as it is built in a very different style than Topkapi and the other main tourist attractions. This palace was built much later than other places and has been done in a much more European style. You can visit both the harem and the business area of the palace, but it has to be done as part of a guided tour. Unfortunately, I very much disliked the tour. The guides were not well trained (in particular, they were very difficult to hear), and the tours were very rushed. You can't take pictures inside the building, so being rushed is doubly annoying because you don't have time to take in the grandeur of the rooms. The grounds are very pretty, and you can get some great pictures of the view from the sea gate along the river.

If you have time after visiting all of the other main tourist attractions, I would still recommend visiting here, but I wouldn't come here at the expense of places like Topkapi, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, etc. Also, if possible, come on a day that is NOT Friday or Saturday as those seem to be the days with the most tourists (I think that's when cruise lines tend to dock in Istanbul) so the tour may be smaller.

3  Thank TouristVisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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