Things to do in Istanbul

7 Tried and Tested Ways to Skip the Lines at the Topkapi Palace

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In Turkey's capital, Istanbul, is the glorious Topkapi Palace. Once the seat of power for the Ottoman Empire, it was converted into a museum in 1924, and is now known for its rich history and grand architecture, drawing millions of visitors from across the world.

The Topkapi Palace in Istanbul remains packed all year long and getting a ticket can take hours. If you are planning a tour of the palace, we recommend you book a skip-the-line ticket and save yourself time by avoiding slow-moving queues.

Wait Time - What to Expect at the Topkapi Palace?

Long lines are ever-present at the Topkapi Palace meaning that the waiting time depends on the crowd and when you arrive at the. During peak season, the ticket line can take up to 2-3 hours to get to the front.. And on less busy days, slow days, you may have to wait at least 40 minutes. To avoid all of this, it’s best to buy your ticket online, in advance. Or get yourself and your group a Skip-The-Line ticket.

7 ways to Skip the Line at the Topkapi Palace

1. Book your tickets in advance

Booking your tickets online well in advance saves you from the hassle of waiting in queues; so you can head straight to the security check and enter the palace gates without wasting time. Purchasing your tickets online in advance also comes with discounts!

2. Early noon and off-season

The Topkapi Palace is a popular landmark in Istanbul with millions of people coming from all over the world to marvel at it. The Ottoman Imperial Harem and the treasury of the sultan are among the most visited attractions within the premises, and can get crowded. If you want to avoid the crowds, then visiting the Topkapi Palace earlier in the morning ensures you can wander through the place without bumping shoulders, at your own pace.

3. Choose a guided tour

Given that the Topkapi Palace is teeming with history, we recommend you have a guide to tell you all the little details of the palace. With guided tours of the Topkapi palace, you will get insight into the lifestyle and politics of the Ottomans. Most of these guided tours come with audio guides with multiple language options that provide abundant information on the stories behind these palace walls.

4. The Skip the Line Access

You can skip the never-ending lines at Topkapi Palace by simply booking skip-the-line tickets in advance. Enter this 15th-century marvel with ease by booking your tickets early and enjoying the many benefits that come with it. All you have to do is choose a preferred date and time for your visit! With these tickets, you just need to go through the security check and you can have hassle-free entry into the palace!

5. Get the Istanbul Welcome & Tourist Pass

Another alternative to skip-the-lines at Topkapi Palace is to purchase the Istanbul Welcome Card or the Tourist Card. By using a Welcome Card, you can save time and money and enjoy the many perks that are attached to it, including access to 75 attractions in Istanbul. By displaying your card, you can skip the hassle of individual redemption at many of the top attractions in Istanbul. Immerse yourself in the country’s rich cultural heritage by going on guided tours of popular attractions like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and more. This card is valid for 3, 5 or 7 days from first use, depending on which option you pick. The pass expires one year from the date of purchase.

6. Take Tours with Smaller Groups

By opting for tours with smaller groups of not more than 12 guests at a time, you can enjoy skip-the-line access. Soak up the charm and beauty of Istanbul and the Golden horn, and marvel at the enormous architectural feat as you pick up facts from your expert tour guide. Going in a small tour group with fewer people guarantees a hassle-free and interactive session with your tour guide. The best part? Stroll into the Topkapi Palace without having to wait in long lines as you get fast-access entry for this this guided tour through the palace.

7. Get combo deals

Enjoy combo deals like Istanbul in a Day Tour where you can have a full-day tour of Istanbul’s finest landmarks. This is suitable for visitors who have limited time, but want to squeeze in all the main attractions of Istanbul within their tight schedule. Get a fast entry into old town sites like Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace, along with a guided tour.

You can choose to visit the sites on a single day or on separate days, depending on the flexibility of the ticket. Feel free to explore the museums after the guided tour or with the help of the audio guides, available in 9-10 different languages.

Are Guided Tours a Good Way to Skip the Lines at the Topkapi Palace?

Purchasing Skip The Line Topkapi Palace Tickets online allows you to choose a specific date and time slot that ensures entry into the palace in under 30 minutes. These tickets are valid only for a specific time frame, on a specific date.

Another option is the Topkapi Palace Skip The Line Guided Tour, where you will be with a small group. Not only will you avoid waiting in lines, but you will also be following a well-informed tour guide as they explain the many facets of the Topkapi Palace.

Skip the Line at the Topkapi Palace - Deconstructed

Skip the Line Topkapi Palace

A skip-the-line tour experience at the Topkapi Palace allows you to have a hassle-free vacation and you can wander through the many courtyards and rooms of the palace at your own pace.

You can learn all about the history, priceless jewels, beautiful architecture of the place, in a language of your choice with the multilingual audio guide. After the skip-the-line guided tour ends, you can stick around and continue to explore the Topkapi Palace on your own.

Recommended Skip the Line Topkapi Palace Tickets

Best Time to Visit the Topkapi Palace

The best time in the year to visit the Topkapi Palace and avoid large crowds is during the low seasons in Turkey the winter monthsBut avoid visiting on Christmas and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

On weekends and holidays, the average wait time to get inside the palace is 40 minutes. The Topkapi Palace opens every day at 9 AM, so to avoid major crowds, reach the palace closer to its opening time.

The crowds tend to thicken during late mornings and start to taper after 3 PM. It is ideal to either visit the attraction early in the morning, or late in the afternoon.

Topkapi Palace Handy Tips

  • Buy skip-the-line Topkapi Palace tickets online, well in advance.
  • There is no need to carry a hard copy of your tickets, you can just show them at the entrance on your smartphone.
  • Pick your ideal date and time slot while booking the fast-track tickets online.
  • Book your stay close to tram stations for quick access to the Sultanahmet Square.
  • Istanbul is famous for its food, so make sure you try some!

Topkapi Palace - Essential Information

Getting There

It is best if you take the tram to visit the Topkapi Palace. The closest tram stop is at Guhane istasyonu, ‘Sultanahmet’, which is a 10-minute walk from the palace. You could also book a taxi that will drop you off right in front of the palace..

By Tram: Take the tram to Sultanahmet stop, on the T1 line.

By Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Istanbul. They don't go by fare rules for tourists so you should be able to bargain to get the price down!

Opening Hours

The Topkapi Palace is open for its visitors on all days of the week, except Tuesdays, from 9 AM to 6 PM in the summer and 9 AM to 4:45 PM in the winter.


Can you skip the line at the Topkapi Palace?

Yes, you can book your skip-the-line tickets to the Topkapi Palace to gain direct access to the palace. However, a security check is mandatory for all folks.

Are The Topkapi Palace Skip the Line tickets worth it?

The Topkapi Palace is a popular tourist attraction and tends to get extremely crowded with long waiting lines to buy tickets. By purchasing the skip-the-line tickets, you can save yourself a couple of hours and spend more time exploring the palace instead. 

What is the starting price for Skip the Line Topkapi Palace tickets?

The cost of the skip-the-line tickets for the Topkapi Palace depends on the kind of tickets you opt for. The starting price of the ticket is €38.

How long are the queues at the Topkapi Palace usually?

The queues at the Topkapi Palace usually depend on the day you are visiting. The palace has long queues with an average wait time of 40 minutes on weekends and holidays. Wednesdays and Fridays are quite crowded, so avoid visiting the palace on those days if you wish to skip the chaotic long lines.

Skip the Lines: The Topkapi Palace