- City: Istanbul
- Duration: 3hrs
- Start Time: 10AM
- Skip long lines to gain immediate access to Topkapi Palace & Harem. Explore the best sites of the Palace including the Sultan’s controversial harem, learning the history of the great Ottoman Empire – and of the sultans, concubines & eunuchs that resided here for 400 years.
- This original itinerary explores newly opened areas not usually covered on Topkapi Palace tours, including the kitchens, the (surprisingly luxurious) foot soldiers’ barracks and the hidden heart of the palace; the harem, where crown princes, wives, mistresses and the Sultan’s many children lived.
- With pre-reserved Topkapi Palace tickets you'll save time otherwise wasted in line, including additional tickets to the Harem. Meanwhile, having an expert local tour guide means you’ll get so much more from the experience - truly understanding the sites you visit.
EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION
GIVE TOPKAPI PALACE THE ATTENTION IT DESERVES ON AN EXTENDED TOUR, PLUS AREAS PREVIOUSLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC!
Three hours is enough to see the best of Topkapi Palace – but only if you plan it well. We’ve carefully devised an itinerary to be sure that you get the most from your time with us. Traveling with an expert local tour guide (a fluent English speaker), you’ll experience the best of the palace’s history, architecture and art but most importantly, with the help of our guides you’ll understand it!
Visit areas previously closed to the public, like the palace kitchens where a staff of 800 made up to 6,000 meals per day; enter the military corps barracks to discover surprising luxury in their hammam, pipe room and prayer room (and see the appeal of joining the Sultan’s army!); and see the Sultan’s Audience Chamber – where ministers were either showered with gifts and promotions or strangled by deaf, mute eunuchs.
VISIT THE PALACE HAREM FOR A GLIMPSE OF THE SULTAN’S COMPLICATED PRIVATE LIFE.
The highlight of our Topkapi Palace tour is a visit to the Harem. This, after all, is where you’ll find all the best gossip - not to mention the most stunning decorations. Consisted of 400 rooms, this is the inner heart of Topkapi Palace, home to the Sultan’s mother, his wives, concubines and children, the crown princes, and the servants and eunuchs that served them all.
The living quarters here offer a great insight into life in the palace; the sumptuous interiors of the Sultan’s mother’s chambers clearly state her position at the top of the food chain. Your guide will point out secret spots of the palace, like the Sultan’s secret door to the Imperial Hall, concealed by a mirror. They’ll show you the concubine chambers and the official ‘Favorite’s Apartment’. You’ll also see the Crown Prince Apartment and learn how princes spent their time at the palace in seclusion, learning the discipline of the harem from eunuchs.
WITH YOUR OWN DEDICATED TOUR GUIDE (HANDPICKED BY WALKS) YOU’LL GET MORE FROM YOUR VISIT.
We know our guides are the most important part of this (or any) tour, so we’ve handpicked only the best, most fluent, fun and friendly tour leaders to join our team - expert storytellers who can take you back in time, to the golden age of Topkapi Palace.
Throughout your tour you’ll travel in small groups of 15 people or fewer so you’ll find it easier to hear and interact with your guide. Our carefully crafted route takes you to a mixture of iconic sites but also quieter spots where you’ll have space and time to talk. After your tour, your guide will leave you inside to visit the busiest areas on your own. They’ll give you the information you need to enjoy relics like the cloak and sword of Muhammed, but won’t waste your time together waiting in lines that often stretch for an hour (not to mention the fact that guides can’t even speak inside afterwards!)
With no external affiliations, you can rest assured that our guides will never take you to any carpet shops or pressure you in any way, while all-inclusive pricing with pre-purchased Topkapi Palace tickets and reservation fees covered, means you could even leave your wallet at home.
5-stars from over 31 Customer Reviews
Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements
Please note that guides are not allowed to give explanations inside some of the rooms of Topkapi Palace, such as the Imperial Treasury, for example. In these cases the guide will give you the information from outside and let you explore the room at your own pace. The guide will however remain with you throughout the rest of the tour.