Istanbul Museum Pass Cost, List, Map 2020

Istanbul Museum Pass is a useful card for those who want to visit museums in Istanbul. There are long queues in front of museums during Istanbul’s tourist season. Museum Pass Istanbul saves you from waiting in front of the ticket offices. In addition, it provides discounts on entries.

3 Ways of Fast Entry to Istanbul Museums

The most crowded times of Istanbul Museums are April, May, June, September and October. There are three ways to get fast access to museums during Istanbul’s tourist season. You can review these options, including Museum Pass.


1st option: To see the museums in a short time, with reduced admission fees and no waiting in the lines, you may consider buying a Museum Pass Istanbul.


2nd option: You may also hire a private tour guide to get inside the museums quickly. If you are interested in private guided tours, you may check my HALF DAY and FULL DAY Old City Tours.


3rd option: You can also consider skip-the-line tickets. These online tickets are a bit more expensive than the original ticket but it offers a guided group tour.

Easy cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance


Istanbul Museum Pass Tourist Card

In the following lines, I answered all the questions about Istanbul Museum Pass under 12 headings. As I am a tourist guide, I know well what foreign tourists visiting Istanbul are curious about. If you cannot find what you are looking for in the article, you can write in the comments. I reply to comments within a reasonable timeframe.

Istanbul Museum Pass Tourist Card

Museum Pass Istanbul 2020

1. Istanbul Museum Pass Worth The Price?

If you are going to visit Istanbul museums in detail, Istanbul Museum Pass is definitely worth the money. However, do not forget that you should visit at least 4-5 museums with all sections. Especially Topkapı Palace has three separate sections and Museum Pass is valid in all of them. Even in this museum alone, you will get most of your money back.

In my opinion, Museum Pass Istanbul is worth buying even just not to wait in the queue in front of the ticket office. The pleasure of the trip disappears after hours of waiting at the ticket offices. In these cases, I recommend that you take the Istanbul Museum Card to benefit from fast access.


2. What is the Cost of Museum Pass Istanbul in 2020

Istanbul Museum Pass cost is 325 Turkish Lira as of 2020. Children under the age of eight do not need it. Most of the museums in Istanbul are free for little kids.

Considerations for Children

However you still need to get to ticket office to obtain free entry ticket. Passport copy is required as a proof of the children’s age. If you do not want to get stuck in long queue, perhaps you might want to buy the pass for kids too.

If the child’s age is obviously smaller than age of 8, the attendants let him/her pass with you from the museum entrances. (It works especially at the busy places like Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia)


3. How to Use the Museum Card

Once the Istanbul Museum Pass is activated, you can use it for 5 days, or 120 hours. The museum card is valid in all Istanbul museums that I have listed below. The museum card is a plastic card just like a credit card and it is very easy to carry. You can activate it in turnstiles at museum entrances.


4. List of the Places Included in Istanbul Museum Pass

One of the most important issues about the Istanbul Museum Pass is what is included in the price. Below you can find a list of places included in Istanbul with Museum Pass.

Since Hagia Sophia has been converted into a mosque, the entrance fee is no longer charged. However, I still keep it on the list. Because if you click on the headings below, it will go to more detailed blog posts. You can find the visiting hours of Hagia Sophia and other museums in those articles.


5. Museum Card vs Entrance Fees Cost Comparison

Here I will describe how you will compensate the money you pay for the Istanbul Museum Pass in a day or two. The Museum Pass gives you an advantage when compared to Istanbul museum entrance fees.

For example, Topkapı Palace is a complex consisting of three parts. A separate fee is charged for each section. The main building of Topkapı Palace is 100 Turkish Liras, the Harem is 70 TL and the Hagia Eirene Church is 60 TL. You will visit these three sections on the same day, and most of the money you will pay for the museum card will be covered.

You have received 230 TL of 325 liras so far. If you would add Istanbul Archaeology Museums (50 TL) and Turkish Islamic Art Museum (50  TL) to your itinerary that would cover the price of the museum pass. Total cost of these three museums will be 330 Turkish Lira which is more expensive than the museum card itself.

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Topkapi Palace


6. Additional Discounts for the Museum Card

Istanbul Museum Card provides you some discounts at other museums and attractions. They are listed below. I recommend you to check the Museum Pass advantages from their official websites.

  • Istanbul Sehir Hatlari Ferries (Official Bosphorus Cruise Tour Company)
  • Museum of Innocence (Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk’s museum)
  • Istanbul Military Museum (Located in Besiktas area by Bosphorus)
  • Pera Museum (Located next to Istiklal Street At Beyoglu)
  • Rahmi Koc Museum (Located in Golden Horn shores)
  • Sakip Sabanci Museum (Located at the Bosphorus at Emirgan)
  • Sadberk Hanim Museum (Located further up the Bosphorus at Sariyer)

7. Benefits of the Museum Card

Istanbul Museum Card allows you to avoid waiting in the ticket buying lines at each museum. However you are still obliged to wait for security-check line, so you will have to spend some time waiting in line (considerably shorter time). Do not forget this while you plan your visit to these sights.

Museum Pass Istanbul Worth It

Ticket Lines in Istanbul Museums


8. How to Plan Your Museum Visits in Istanbul

In order to plan your museum visits in Istanbul, you need to take into account the days the museums are closed. Istanbul museums are closed one day a week. In the list below I have noted the days when the most important museums are closed.

  • Hagia Sophia Mosque: Open Everyday
  • Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum: Monday
  • Grand Palace Mosaic Museum: Monday
  • Topkapi Palace: Tuesday
  • Kariye Museum (Chora Church): Wednesday
  • Great Palace Mosaic Museum: Wednesday
  • Fethiye Museum: Wednesday

9. Places Not Valid for Istanbul Museum Pass

Unfortunately, Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid in some of Istanbul’s popular museums. Because those museums are operated by different official institutions. The Basilica Cistern, Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace and Galata Tower are among the museums where Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid.

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Galata Tower


10. Where to Buy the Museum Pass?

You can buy the Istanbul Museum Pass from the museums listed below. You don’t need a passport when buying a card. However, do not forget to carry the passport copies of your little children with free entrance to the museums. Children under 8 years old can enter the museums free of charge. However, you will be asked to prove the kid’s age with the passport.

  • Topkapi Palace Museum
  • Hagia Sophia Museum
  • Chora Museum
  • Istanbul Mosaic Museum
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
  • Istanbul Archaeological Museums

11. How To Buy Istanbul Museum Pass Online?

Istanbul Museum Pass can be obtained online from the official site. You can access the link to Museum Pass’s original website by clicking here.

You may also consider Istanbul Tourist Pass as an alternative product. It has 3, 5 and 7 day options. It provides airport transfer, Bosphorus cruise, hop-on/hop-off Bus tickets and guided museum visits. You can check the details from this link.


12. Istanbul Museum Pass Map

You can find the map showing the locations of the museums you can visit when you get the Museum Pass. I did not load it in full screen to avoid slowing down the page opening speed. To reach the full resolution of the Istanbul Museum Pass map, you can click the link noted below the image and get a 4k image.


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Written by Serhat Engul

Licensed Tour Guide in Istanbul, Turkey

10 Comments
  • Avatar

    Maria Carolina

    Reply

    Thank tou so much for this article!!!

    • Serhat Engül

      Serhat Engül

      Hi Maria, you are welcome. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Avatar

    Grine

    Reply

    There is no discount for Bosphorus Cruise, updated Jan 2, 2020.

    • Serhat Engül

      Serhat Engül

      Hi Grine, thanks for your contribution. I will confirm and update. Sometimes there are changes that we are not aware of, and unfortunately the Museum Pass’s official website is not informative enough.

  • Avatar

    Lilian

    Reply

    Hi Serhat,

    Do you have a brasilian discount for students ?
    What the best pass or card for Brasilian Studentes
    How Much this card for May 2020?

    Thanks Lili

    • Serhat Engül

      Serhat Engül

      Hi Lilian, I do not sell this product. I just explained the details about it. The places that you can buy the card and its current price is noted in the article. I do not think there is any discount for foreign students.

  • Avatar

    olfa

    Reply

    Hi Serhat
    I just had a look here (https://millisaraylar.gov.tr/en/visiting-information) to check the fees for some palaces and it’s quite confusing: it says that the museum pass is valid in all palaces affiliated to the national directorate of palaces, but it says also says that the museum card is not valid for the harem in topkapi palace. Do you have any explanation?
    thanks for your help

    • Serhat Engül

      Serhat Engül

      Hello Olfa, there is a product called Muzekart for Turks. According to the latest change, Muzekart is now valid in Dolmabahce Palace. However, I do not think that the Museum Pass card designed for foreign visitors is valid at Dolmabahce Palace. Someone copied the English version of the change, which was noted on the Turkish page there, but the details have nothing to do with the Museum Pass. The Museum Pass is already valid in the Harem section of Topkapi Palace and Hagia Eirene. However, the Muzekart given to the Turks is not valid. the contradiction within the article itself stems from this. I will update the post if there will be a change for Museum Pass.

  • Avatar

    Sultan

    Reply

    Hi Serhat

    I have read all the posts and your informative replies. Just to clear myself. Do we have to pay any ticket or entry fee for the listed places once we buy the Istanbul Museum Pass?

    This pass includes the entry/ticket fee Plus refraining ourselves from standing in lines. Correct ?

    • Serhat Engül

      Serhat Engül

      Hi Sultan, this post is written to answer this question. The answer is “YES” with some considerations and they are noted in the post.

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