Dolmabahce Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul, Turkey. The palace was built in the 19th century and was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly fifty years. Today, it is open to the public as a museum. Visitors can explore the lavish rooms and gardens, and learn about the history of the Ottoman Empire. The palace is an impressive example of both Islamic and Western architecture, and it is worth a visit if you are interested in history or architecture. Remember that there are often long lines to get into the palace, so it is best to arrive early.
Don’t forget to read this Dolmabahce Palace guided tour before you visit Turkey. Read this article to find out more about Dolmabahce Palace tickets and more!
Advantages of a Dolmabahce Palace Guided Tour
Fast Track Entry
The Dolmabahce Palace guided tour offers a different way of experiencing this historic building. It allows visitors to see what they usually can't see on their own or don't have time for during their visit. Moreover, it provides a fast-track entry to the visitors who can enjoy their time revisiting the history of the palace without waiting in long lines. It also gives you the advantage of choosing your time slot.
Personalized Attention From A Local Guide
The Dolmabahce Palace tour ensures personalized attention from a local guide. The guides are trained to answer any questions that the visitors might have about the palace and its history. They also provide information about the palace’s current events and exhibitions, as well as help with booking tickets for special events in the palace.
Free Audio Guide
Dolmabahce Palace tickets include a free audio guide that provides information on the history, architecture, and art of this historical palace. It helps you navigate through the palace and its gardens. The audio guide is available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish languages.
This tour includes a flexible schedule that allows you to explore the palace at any time that you prefer. This is essential to plan your day out in Istanbul with a set itinerary for yourself!
The Best Dolmabahce Palace Guided Tours
Combo Guided Tours
Choosing the Best Dolmabahce Palace Guided Tour
Before choosing your tour, take a look at the main features of each type of tour and then make an informed decision. Here’s a list of all your Dolmabahce Palace tour options and their highlights.
1Guided Tour with Priority Entrance
Dolmabahce Palace guided tour ticket includes an exploration of the most luxurious and posh neighborhoods of Istanbul. Moreover, you will be accompanied by an experienced guide who will help you out with all the small historic details of the palace. This is the best way to experience the awe-striking combination of modern architecture and the historic Ottoman empire.
2VIP Guided Tour with Audio Guide
With the help of an audio guide, visitors can learn about the history of Dolmabahce Palace and its architecture. The audio guide is available in English, French, and Turkish. You will learn about the history of this palace, its architecture, and its impressive collections of paintings and sculptures.
3Istanbul Day Tour
This Istanbul Day Tour includes your entry to The Dolmabahce Palace. On this day tour, you will visit the Dolmabahce Palace and see its beautiful interior and surrounding areas. You can even enjoy your lunch in a local restaurant while enjoying the scenic view of Istanbul.
Dolmabahce Palace Tours Deconstructed - A Typical Guided Tour Experience
There is a lot more to Dolmabahce Palace than it meets the eye. The palace's design is heavily influenced by Islamic architecture with some Byzantine influences and marks a departure from classical Ottoman architecture which had been used for most of its history up to that point. Some of the popular and must-visit attractions in the Dolmabahce Palace are:
The Dolmabahçe Mosque is a building that has been the center of Turkish history for decades. It has witnessed many significant events, including the Ottoman Empire’s founding and its fall, as well as World War I and II. The Dolmabahçe Mosque symbolizes the Ottoman Empire and is a true architectural masterpiece.
The Clock Tower in Dolmabahce Palace is one of the most famous landmarks in Istanbul. It was built by Abdülhamid II and is an example of Ottoman architecture. The Clock Tower was designed to function as a sundial, with the sun shining through the four windows on each face. The Clock Tower has a spiral staircase leading up to the roof where four other small domes can be seen from above.
The gates (Treasury Gate and Imperial Gate)
The Treasury Gate is the entrance to the palace. The Treasury Gate is a portal that leads to a small square with a fountain and four columns. It features an inscription of verses from the Quran on its walls, along with two coats of arms. The Imperial Gate is the entrance to the imperial building that sports impeccable architecture that one has never seen before.
Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Salonu)
The Ceremonial Hall in Dolmabahce Palace is a place where the Ottoman sultans used to receive guests and foreign ambassadors. The hall has been restored and is now on display for visitors. The walls are covered with paintings of Ottoman sultans, along with their coats of arms, while the ceiling features stellar architecture which gives a peek into Ottoman history and culture.
It is one of the most famous parts of the palace and has been called "the jewel in its crown." The Harem was a place for women to live and entertain men. It was not just a building, but an entire complex that included several buildings, gardens, and courtyards. The harem had its security guards who protected each section of the palace and were isolated from the rest of the palace and its occupants.
State Rooms (Selamlık)
The State Rooms are the most important part of the palace. They are situated on the first floor and contain an impressive collection of furniture, paintings, and objets d'art. The State Rooms were designed to reflect the opulence of the Ottoman Empire and serve as a testament to its power. The rooms are decorated in different styles reflecting different periods of history such as Classical, Rococo, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque.
With 6 baths and 68 toilets, the Sultan’s bathrooms have walls that are tiled with a mosaic of colorful tiles and there are beautiful arches. The Sultan's Bathrooms are a part of one of the most famous and important buildings in Istanbul - Dolmabahce Palace. They are not just a part of history but also architecture.
The Ataturk’s Rooms are located in the north wing of the palace and were used by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk when he was staying there during his exile. The rooms are full of personal belongings and memorabilia from the time of Ataturk’s life.
Museum of Palace Collections
The museum is housed on the palace's ground floor and consists of four rooms displaying a collection of objects from the Ottoman court. The exhibits include crowns, sashes, swords, jewelry, coins, and other objects. The main attraction of the museum is a collection of Ottoman miniature paintings that have been collected and are displayed on three walls.
Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts houses a collection of about 135,000 works of art from various periods and cultures. The museum has a wide range of subjects like painting, sculpture, decorative arts, glassware, and ceramics. It also has an extensive library with over 30 thousand books on art and literature.
Are Dolmabahce Palace Tours Really Worth it?
The Dolmabahce Palace is the most popular tourist attraction in Istanbul. It is a must-visit for anyone who visits the city. The tours are worth it because they are not only interactive but also educational. The palace has a lot of interesting facts and stories to share with visitors. It is worth it to take a Dolmabahce Palace tour because it offers a lot of things that you can't find anywhere else - such as breathtaking architecture, history, and beauty. The tours are also affordable for most people and can be purchased online or at the entrance of the palace. The tours last about an hour and include an audio guide.
Dolmabahce Palace Practical Information
The Dolmabahce Palace is open every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm except on Mondays.
Getting to Dolmabahce Palace
- By Cruise:The Cruise port is 3km from the palace and you can hire a taxi to reach the Dolmabahce Palace.
- By Tram: Kabatas is the nearest stop where you can find a train and the palace is a walking distance away from Kabatas.
- By Taxi: There is no dearth of taxis that will take you straight to Dolmabahce Palace.
Although it is one of the newer additions to Istanbul's stable of tourist attractions, the Dolmabahce Palace is well worth a visit. Located on the European side of the city, the palace was built in the 19th century and served as the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans until the early 20th century. It is open to the public and offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Imperial court. Here are a few tips for making the most of your visit:
- Buy your tickets in advance. The Dolmabahce Palace is one of Istanbul's most popular attractions, so expect crowds. By purchasing your tickets online, you can avoid long lines at the ticket office.
- Allow plenty of time for your visit. There is a lot to see at the palace, so take your time exploring. If possible, try to visit during off-peak hours to avoid the largest crowds.
- Dress comfortably. Although there is no dress code at the palace, it is large and spread out over several floors. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing so that you can comfortably explore all of its nooks and crannies.
- You will have to pass through a security check before entering Dolmabahce Palace.
- There are no toilet facilities inside the palace but you can find restrooms nearby.
- There is no food served inside the museum, however, you can dine at a nearby local restaurant and taste the exotic flavors of Turkey.
- Make sure you start early and visit the palace early in the morning for an uninterrupted Dolmabahce Palace tour.
- You should also buy Dolmabahce Palace tickets online to ensure a hassle-free experience.
- Pack light so that you can catch up with tours to nearby places around Dolmabahce Palace.
- It is prohibited to take pictures inside the Selamlik and Harem.
Yes, visitors can click pictures of the majestic architecture of the Ottoman empire. However, there are certain areas like the Selamlik and Harem where it is prohibited to click pictures and one has to walk with plastic covers on their shoes.
There is a lot of experience inside the Dolmabahçe Palace and there are moments when one can’t get enough of the mesmerizing antique pieces and sculptures. A 1-hour Dolmabahçe Palace tour will be enough when accompanied by a guide or audio tour. Otherwise, it would take visitors at least 2 to 3 hours to look in and around the palace.
The best time to visit Dolmabahce Palace is during the day when it is open to visitors. If you want to enjoy its beauty in its full glory, try visiting before sunset or after sunrise. One should visit Istanbul from March to May and between September and November when the weather is moderate and best for a tour around the palace.
Visitors can look around Dolmabahce Palace and find places like Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) Mosque, Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıçı), Istanbul Archaeology Museum, Süleymaniye Mosque, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (Türk ve Islam Eserleri Müzesi), and more.
The palace is surrounded by gardens and has several courtyards and an inner walled garden. There are many things to do around the Dolmabahce Palace, such as visiting the Hagia Sophia Museum, checking out the Topkapi Palace Museum, or taking a walk through Istanbul's Grand Bazaar.
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