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Ciragan Palace Kempinski

Local Attractions: 
    Ciragan Palace Kempinski
 in IstanbulLocal Attractions: 
    Ciragan Palace Kempinski
 in Istanbul

Local Attractions

Istanbul is filled with fascinating cityscapes, famous historical landmarks, and stunning sights. The Old City, Prince's Islands, mansions on the Bosphorus, and imperial Ottoman Palaces are only a few offerings of the magical city of Istanbul.

Topkapı Palace Museum
One of the most impressive monuments in Istanbul is the Topkapı Palace, with its maze-like layout and truly unique architectural structure that melds Turkic, Islamic, and Byzantine styles. Popular highlights include the world-renowned Archaeology Museum, Hagia Irene Museum, the Gate of Felicity, and the impressive collection of clothes, porcelain, and silverware.

Dolmabahçe Palace Museum
The Dolmabahçe Palace used to serve as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire. The most popular room in the palace is Atatürk’s room. The founder and first president of Turkey, Atatürk spent his last days in the room while his health deteriorated. In fact, all the clocks in the palace used to be set to 9:05AM, the hour Atatürk is said to have passed away.

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art
This museum, located in the Hippodrome (Old City District), displays valuable and historically important artworks of Turkey and Islam throughout the years. Objects on display include stonework, ceramics, metalwork, silver, brass, wood objects and ornaments, calligraphy, and carpets. The time periods that items span across are from the Ummayids, Abbasids, Mamluks, Seljuks, Beyliks, and Ottomans.

Hagia Sophia Museum
Istanbul’s most famous monument, the former cathedral and later mosque of Hagia Sophia (meaning "Divine Wisdom") was originally built in 537 A.D., under the rule of Emperor Justinian, and later converted to a mosque after the conquest of the city by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1453. The interior is truly awe-inspiring, particularly the main chamber, roofed by its fabulous dome, 30m (98ft) in diameter.

Archaeology Museum
The collection of classical antiquities displayed here is world-class, well lit, and comprehensively labeled. Sitting within the grounds of the Topkapı Palace, the museum was founded in the mid-19th century in an attempt to stanch the flow of antiquities being spirited out of the country by foreigners to fill the museums of Europe. Starting with the pre-classical world, the museum covers 5,000 years of history, with artifacts gathered from all over Turkey and the Near East, grouped thematically.

The Chora Museum
The Chora Museum (Kariye Müzesi) located in Edirnekapı, Fatih is one of the most beautiful Byzantine churches in the city. Though it was originally a church, the property was converted into a mosque and later into a secular museum in 1948. Though smaller in size than other museums, the Chora Museum’s interior features brilliant frescoes and mosaics.

Hagia Irene
Located in the courtyard of Topkapı Palace, Aya Irini, or Hagia Irene, is a former Eastern Orthodox Church that now stands as a museum. Due to its impressive acoustics and atmosphere, the venue is now used primarily for concerts. As of 1980, the Istanbul International Music Festival has been held here every summer.

The Basilica Cistern
The Basilica Cistern is truly impressive. The largest of several hundred ancient underground cisterns, the Basilica Cistern features two giant upside-down medusa heads that are favorites among visitors. Rumor has it, the heads are upside-down to negate the power of the Medusa’s gaze. Fun fact: the cistern was one of the locations for the 1963 James Bond film, From Russia with Love.

Istanbul Modern
The city has finally got its own modern art museum, complete with a permanent collection and impressive exhibitions such as Juan Munoz, Anish Kapoor, William Kentridge, Design Cities, and the Istanbul Biennial. The building itself, a converted warehouse that now features a sleek industrial design with state-of-the-art technology, including a library, cinema, and flat-screen telveisions featuring video art is definitely worth a visit. The Istanbul Modern Café is also a big hit with excellent food and a great view.

The Rahmi Koç Museum
This private museum is dedicated to the history of transport, industry, and communications. Founded in 1991 by one of the members of Turkey’s wealthiest dynasty, the museum has been in operation since 1994. It's been told that founder Rahmi M. Koç was inspired to create the museum after visiting the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

Sakıp Sabancı Museum
This magnificent villa was converted into an art museum by one of Turkey’s wealthiest families, the Sabancıs. It’s brought over some excellent exhibitions so far, including Picasso, Rodin, and Dali. Take a browse before enjoying some lunch at the exceptional Müzedechanga Restaurant on the museum grounds.

Istanbul’s newest cultural center and museum space is a power plant that’s been transformed with the initiative of Istanbul Bilgi University. Located in Silahtarağa, Santralistanbul hosts modern art and design exhibitions, a museum of the old power plant, library, conferences and seminars, festivals, and concerts. It also features one of the city’s best new nightlife venues, Ottosantral.

Pera Museum
Founded by the Suna and Inan Kıraç Foundation in 2005, this relatively new museum is known for its three permanent collections of Anatolian weights and measures, Kütahya tiles and ceramics, and Oriental art. The pieces all date back to the 17th century. The museum itself is in a historical building, built by architect Achille Manoussos in 1893.

Sadberk Hanım Museum
This museum was established by the Vehbi Koç Foundation in honor of the late Sadberk Koç, Vehbi Koç’s wife. Named after the wooden crossed mouldings along the exterior of the museum, it was nicknamed ‘Threaded Yalı’, yalı meaning waterside residence. The museum contains a gift shop, small tearoom, and attic used for storage , though many prefer the Sevgi Gönül Wing of the museum, which was added in 1983 to house the Hüseyin Kocabaş art collection.

Doğançay Museum
Dedicated to the work of the prominent Turkish painter, Burhan Doğançay, Doğançay Museum includes his works from the 1950s to the present day. Paintings of ribbons, cones, and other urban wall series alongside Burhan Doğançay photographs can be viewed on four floors, with a separate section dedicated to the works of his late father, Adil Doğançay.

The Florence Nightingale Museum
The Florence Nightingale Museum is so exclusive that in order to gain entry, visitors must fax passport details, time of arrival, and contact number to the army, as the museum is located in the Selimiye Barracks, the headquarters of the Turkish First Army.This museum is where Florence Nightingale originally cared for the wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War.


International Numbers

Austria 08000706176
Belgium 080081830
France 805542721
Germany 8007241217
Ireland 1800995320
Italy 800979444
Netherlands 08000200956
Norway 80054304
Spain 900814719
Switzerland 0800001798
UK 8009179622
Book by Phone: +1 866 670 3764
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