Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace located in Besiktas, is one of the most famous attractions in Istanbul. The palace was opened in 1856 and until 1924 has been serving as a home to Ottoman sultans. With the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy and the birth of the Turkish Republic, it had became an administrative center. From 1927 until his death, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the secular and modern Turkish Republic, stayed there during his visits to Istanbul. In Dolmabahce, all of clocks are stopped at 09:05, the moment at which Mustafa Kemal Ataturk died in on 10 November 1938 at this palace.

The changes in Turkey in the 19th and 20th centuries can be clearly seen in this building. While its baroque, roccoco and empire architecture style is very European, there are also some structures which reflect Turkish traditions such as harem. This amazing structure includes 285 rooms, 44 living rooms and 6 Turkish baths and gardens. In addition to its architecture, Dolmabahce is also famous for its Crystal Staircase and 4000 kg chandelier. This chandlier in the royal reception hall was used for ceremonies and is the largest in the world.

There are two tours offered inside the palace: Selamlik and Harem. Selamlik tour includes the main palace rooms and ceremonial halls. Harem tour, on the other hand, contains special places the sultan's family lived and the bedroom of Ataturk where he stayed during his final days. You can buy a ticket of Selamlik tour costs 15tl(~7euro), Harem tour costs 10tl(~5euro) or for both of them costs 20tl(~10euro). For students the ticket is only 1tl. Guided tours in English and French are also available.

Dolmabahce Palace is open from 8.30am to 4.30pm except Monday and Thursday. Please note that, the number of daily visitors is limited to 3.000. Therefore, you should go early. Also note that, you have to pay 6tl(~3euro) for your camera in order to take photos inside the palace.

After your visit, you can rest at the cafe in the beautiful gardens right on the Bosphorus and have a drink enjoying amazing Bosphorus view.


Transportation: there are a lot of buses from Taksim and Besiktas. You can take one of them and get off in front of the Dolmabahce Palace. Also there is a tram that passes through Sultanahmet and stops at Kabatas end stop. And you can walk from Kabatas, about 800 meters from the palace.

Dolmabahce Palace on Istanbul Map