Istanbul Modern Art Museum is one of the most visited museums in Istanbul with its eye-catching artworks and excellent location. You can find information about the history and collections of the museum in this article. In addition, Istanbul Modern Art Museum entrance fee and opening hours are also noted.
Istanbul Modern Art Museum is located in Karakoy neighborhood. Karakoy, which is home to Istanbul Cruise Port (Galataport), is very close to important tourist attractions such as Taksim Square and Galata Tower. It is possible to reach Karakoy in 10 minutes by tram from Sultanahmet, where Hagia Sophia is located.
Istanbul Modern fascinates its visitors with its art collections and offers a magnificent view of the Bosphorus with its restaurant. For this reason, it is among the must-see places for those who come to Istanbul for 2 or 3 days.
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History of the Istanbul Modern
The history of the Istanbul Modern Art Museum goes back to 2004. Although it is a relatively new museum, Istanbul Modern has managed to become one of the most popular museums in the city in a short time.
The building that housed the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art was originally a warehouse in the harbor. This first building, which was converted into a museum with a successful restoration, served between 2004 and 2015. The museum was in the heart of the old cruise port.
It was decided that the Istanbul Cruise Port would be rebuilt in 2015 and this new complex would be named Galataport. For this reason, the museum was temporarily moved to a historical apartment located on Mesrutiyet Street in Beyoglu.
Known as the former Union Française building, this nostalgic apartment was adjacent to the famous Pera Palace hotel and housed the Museum of Modern Art for nearly 7 years.
Meanwhile, the new museum designed by famous architect Renzo Piano was under construction at the Galataport. With the completion of this construction in 2022, Istanbul Modern moved to its new building.
The Museum of Modern Art now provides service in its new building within the Galataport (Istanbul Cruise Port) in Karakoy. You can see the picture of the building at the top, which has a wonderful modern architectural design.
Istanbul Modern was founded by the Eczacibasi group, one of Turkey’s leading families. The family, who founded a cultural initiative called IKSV, has organized many arts-related organizations for many years.
The annual events such as Filmekimi (Film Festival in October) and the Istanbul Biennial are organized by the IKSV. In addition, major art events such as Contemporary Istanbul are also organized by IKSV.
What to See at Istanbul Modern Art Museum?
There are temporary and permanent exhibitions to be seen at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum. In addition, the false ceiling designed by Richard Wentworth is among the most famous works of the museum.
1. The Permanent Collection
The permanent collection is located on the ground floor of the museum. The permanent exhibition hall spreads over a wide area and promises a comfortable visit. Works of art produced in Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century until today, can be seen along with descriptive texts and videos.
Visitors are literally witnessing the transformation of Turkey’s modern and contemporary art up to the present from the past. In this section, it is possible to see the works of some painters from the late Ottoman period.
2. The Temporary Exhibitions
The Temporary Exhibitions are an important reason to visit Istanbul Modern more than once. Because modern art is newly discovered in Turkey and it is possible to experience the latest works of this trend in the museum’s short-term exhibitions.
Since the short-term exhibitions and the photo gallery are located on the same floor, you can visit them one after the other. In the Photo Gallery, the development of photography in the world over time is on display. In addition, exhibitions organized by local and foreign photographers take place in this part of the museum.
3. The False Ceiling
The False Ceiling is one of the most interesting works of Istanbul Modern. You can see the False Ceiling, designed by Richard Wentworth, as you move from the short-term exhibition hall to the library.
This artwork, which was created by hanging hundreds of books on the ceiling, was exhibited at the 4th Istanbul Biennial in 1995 and attracted great attention. When switching between the museum’s exhibitions, you may encounter many surprises like this one designed for art lovers.
4. Istanbul Modern Cafe & Restaurant
Istanbul Modern Cafe & Restaurant is located within the museum. It is possible to say that the restaurant, which has a view of the Bosphorus, has quite delicious dishes. You can also enjoy a gastronomic experience in this art-filled atmosphere.
Istanbul Modern Art Museum Entrance Fee 2023
Istanbul Modern Art Museum entrance fee is 300 Turkish Lira per person as of 2023. Museum tickets are sold at a discounted price of 200 Lira for students and visitors over the age of 65. The information on the ticket price was last updated on May 26, 2023.
It should also be noted that the Museum Pass Istanbul, which is valid in many state museums in Istanbul, is not valid in Istanbul Modern, which is a private museum.
Istanbul Modern Art Museum Opening Hours 2023
Istanbul Modern Art Museum opening hours are between 10:00 in the morning and 18:00 in the evening. On Fridays it is open until 20:00 in the late evening. The museum is closed on Mondays. Information on visiting hours was last updated on May 26, 2023.
Visiting hours of museums in Istanbul may change due to various national holidays, restorations and organizations. For this reason, I recommend you to visit the official site of the museum before you go.
How to Get to Istanbul Modern?
In order to get to Istanbul Modern Art Museum from Taksim Square, you can take Funicular F1 to Kabatas. The museum is located only a 15-minute walk from Kabatas Tram Station. If you want to arrive faster, you can also take the tram. You will need to leave the tram at Tophane Tram Station.
You can take the Tram T1 tram to go to Istanbul Modern Art Museum from Sultanahmet. After getting on the tram that goes in the direction of Kabatas, you can get off at Tophane Tram Station and you can easily reach the museum in a few minutes on foot.
Although Istanbul Modern is one of the relatively young museums in Istanbul, it has earned a solid place among the best museums in Istanbul thanks to its excellent art collections and easy location.
If you visit this one and like it, I recommend other museums in the same category. Among them, Pera Museum (near Taksim Square), Rahmi Koc Museum in Haskoy (Golden Horn shores), Sakip Sabanci Museum in Emirgan (Bosphorus shores) are particularly recommended.
If you want to learn more about the museums in Istanbul, you can find dozens of similar articles in the Museums of Istanbul category of this site. Nearly 40 museums are introduced under this category.
Written by Serhat Engul