Is an Istanbul Museum Pass worth buying?

Incase you arrived on this page looking for the cost and a link to purchase: An Istanbul Museum Pass costs: 85TL and click here to buy! What is the Istanbul Museum Pass or tourist card? The Istanbul Museum Pass is quite simply a card which you can order online or purchase at a number of […]

Incase you arrived on this page looking for the cost and a link to purchase: An Istanbul Museum Pass costs: 85TL and click here to buy!

What is the Istanbul Museum Pass or tourist card?

The Istanbul Museum Pass is quite simply a card which you can order online or purchase at a number of sales points in Istanbul to get into 11 Museums for the price of two of the most popular.

Istanbul Museum Pass Istanbul Tourist Card
Istanbul Museum Pass

The Museum Pass provides you with one time only access for one person to each of the museums listed below. And you have 5 days to use it.

  • Hagia Sophia, Cost40TL
  • Topkapı Palace Museum 40TL
  • İstanbul Archaeological Museum 20TL
  • İstanbul Mosaic Museum
  • Museum of Turkish and İslamic Arts 20TL
  • Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam
  • Chora Museum 30TL
  • Galata Mevlevi House Museum
  • Yıldız Palace
  • Rumeli Hisar Museum
  • Fethiye Museum

As you can see, if you wanted to see the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Istanbul Archaeological Museum you would have saved money already!

What are the benefits of the Istanbul Museum Pass?

Firstly, as detailed above it can be used to get access to the museums listed with no extra cost by showing your pass. This is good for two reasons, you can save a bit of money but also you do not have to queue for your individual tickets.

The card also entitles you to 25% of the full Bosphorus tour and 20% off the short Bosphorus Tour given by the municipality. You can find route information by clicking on this link, prices are given by looking here. For a double way or return, it costs around 25TL without discount which with the 25% discount would give you a saving of around 6 Lyra.

Where should I purchase the Istanbul museum pass?

There are two options for this:

  1. Order online using this link: Museum Pass Purchase which takes you to the official website. However you can only have the card delivered in Turkey which means you would have to ask the hotel where you are staying if they are happy with you using their address and have it arrive before you did. I have seen a couple of sites suggest this which just seems ridiculous to me.
  2. Go to any of the locations listed below and queue up to buy one. (My preferred option)
    1. Hagia Sophia Museum
    2. İstanbul Archaeological Museums
    3. Museum of  Turkish and Islamic Arts
    4. İstanbul Mosaic Museum
    5. Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam
    6. Chora Museum
    7. Galata Mevlevi House
    8. Rumeli Hisar Museum

The below photos were Taken at the entrance of Hagia Sophia. You could use the vending machine to purchase a Museum Pass (no queue was present) or queue up to the window to buy a single ticket or museum pass. When I went on three occasions within two weeks in September, the queue never took more than 10 minutes.

Would I personally recommend you purchase a card?

Well.. Maybe. If you plan on visiting a couple of the museums then it may well be worth it, but I wouldn’t purchase it purely to skip queues as I haven’t seen this to be much of a problem whilst I have visited Istanbul.

If you are planning on following my One Day in Istanbul travel guide, then I recommend that you do not purchase this card as it can only be used for the Hagia Sophia in my guide. As a reminder, the Hagia Sophia cost is 40TL so it is not worth purchasing the card solely for this.

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