Both the ethnographic and archaeology museums are typical Turkish state-run institutions: drab, un-engaging and underfunded. If the Culture Ministry had used the money it spent tarting up the entrance plaza on the exhibits themselves, the museums would be fractionally better.
The archaeology museum is a run-of-the-mill gallery of statuary, find-filled vitrines and badly translated text boards. No context, no other display technology and nothing interactive to stimulate kids' attention; all housed in a badly-lit modernist carbuncle from the 1970s. The highlights are a life-sized bronze statue of an Olympic athlete and the coin room (no pictures allowed).
The ethnographic museum is housed in a much more interesting building on the outside but is just even shabbier and poorly presented on the inside. The walls are peeling, the place smells like damp then lighting is dreadful.
Again, while the artefacts are interesting, the presentation is not. And of course, there are a few miserable mannequins dressed in period costume dotted around the vignettes. The highlights are the bridal room, the carpets and building's exterior.
While I am sympathetic to the limited budget they have to play with, the museum's directors have a lack of imagination and creativity with what they do have. At least the text boards are fairly well translated, which is rare.
10 lira (roughly £2.20 in May 2017) gets you into both museums and it takes about an hour to traipse around them. Parking is an absolute nightmare, so consider walking or public transport, but even this is a pain.
However, your money would be better spent on an ice cream and a wander round the neighbourhood down the hill to look at some real life and more interesting architecture.
It's a shame a city of this size is so underserved. But there's always Ephesus just down the road, which is spectacular.
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