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“Two uninspiring museums”
Review of Ethnography Museum

Ethnography Museum
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$50.00*
and up
Small-Group Half Day Sightseeing Tour from Izmir
Ranked #44 of 169 things to do in Izmir
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Owner description: A collection of folkloric artifacts, including a fine collection of Bergama and Gordes carpets, traditional costumes and camel bridles can be found in this history museum.
Reviewed May 16, 2017

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.

1  Thank simonwjohns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3 - 7 of 38 reviews

Reviewed June 18, 2016

Set in a wonderful old building in the Konak section of the city, the Ethnography Museum is a bit-dated but interesting glimpse at many of the features of Izmir's and Turkey's past. The displays include furniture, clothing, and practical utensils of daily life, including a number of examples of weaving and needlepoint.

Thank GreekProf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2015

I accidentally found this place. The building itself is beatiful. When I saw it, I knew it is some kind of a museum or something. And I was right. The view from this place and the building is great. However, there is not much to see inside. I didn't like the inside. But it is free.

Thank Kukiliku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2015

Worth visiting if one has already come to visit Archeology museum next door (first visit Etnography museum as it closes at 5 PM, then Archeology one which closes at 7 PM). Free entrance. The building that houses the museum (former hospital) attracts more attention than the collection itself, similar to many others seen in local museums all over Turkey and presented in an old fashioned way.

Thank Carbo1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 18, 2013

There are only so many places with "old rocks" and museums full of old pottery that you can visit with children - or another person who isn't an antiquities fan - before they start rebelling. That's why I was very excited to visit this museum.

The museum has rooms recreating the first pharmacy in Izmir, showing how glassblowers made evil eyes, and rooms of a house depicting a married couple and their son as he grows among other things. We also got some pictures and explanation of camel wrestling. (Yes, camel wrestling! Which is camel vs camel and not camel vs man as I first thought when I heard about it)

This is not the best ethnography museums we've visited, but it was one of the best places we visited while in Izmir. The adults, as well as the children, thought it was much more interesting than the Archaeological Museum next door.

If you do go, ask when buying your tickets if they have any booklets available in English. We were offered a really nice one with great explanations and pictures of some of the exhibits. Even if they only have it in Turkish, it is still worth it for the pictures, as it covers the Archaeological Museum and other historical sights in Izmir.

2  Thank OhioMomof3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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