Istanbul’s Top 5 Visited Museums
Istanbul has a very rich history as a result of being a capital of empires and having a perfect geographical location. Hereby there are lots of museums to find in this big city.
Istanbul Modern Art Museum
Istanbul Modern Art Museum, shortly Istanbul Modern, is a contemporary art museum and was opened on December 11, 2004. The museum is located in Beyoglu, Istanbul on the sea coast. This museum is ran by the Eczacibasi family, who are a very wealthy, Turkish ancestry. The building consists of two floors. The temporary exhibitions of works by Turkish painters and artists take place on the lower floor (some non-Turkish artists’ works are also exhibited). On the top floor there is a shop and restaurant. The museum is open except Monday from 10 am to 6 pm and on thursdays it is free for all Turkish citizens. Entrance for children under 12 is also free.
The Pera Museum
Pera Museum is an art museum and it is especially about Orientalism in the 19th century. There are paintings from the famous painters Osman Hamdi Bey and Jan-Baptiste van Mour . The most famous one is ‘The Tortoise Trainer’ by Osman Hamdi Bey. There are not only paintings but also ceramics from Kutahya, a province in Turkey famous for its ceramics. The museum was founded in 2005 by the Suna & Kirac Foundation. The building itself is interesting because it is a former hotel.
Istanbul Archaeology Museums
The Istanbul Archaeology Museums are three archaeological museums, which are; Archaeological Museum,Museum of the Ancient Orient, Museum of Islamic Art. The most visited and well known one is the Archaeological Museum. The founder of the museums is the famous archaeologist and artist Osman Hamdi Bey. They were founded in 1881 and you can visit there after you see the Topkapi Palace, because these museums are next to the palace.
Rahmi M. Koc Museum
As you can understand from the name, the museum was built by the Koc Family, the wealthiest family in Turkey. This museum shows the industrial history of Turkey and was founded in 1991 by Rahmi Mustafa Koc, son of the founder of the Koc Holding, Vehbi Koc. Rahmi Koc was inspired by the Henry Ford Museum he visited in Michigan. Most of the items in the museum are his private properties. If you are interested in vintage cars and locomotives and vessels you will love this museum.
SantralIstanbul, also called Energy Museum was the Silahtaraga Power Plant from the Ottoman Empire, which was the first urban power plant of that time. The museum was founded as a project of the Bilgi University and for that reason counted as a modern art museum. Don’t think that you can’t have fun in a museum full of engines. I went there expecting nothing, but when I saw the inside I said: WOW. It seems more interesting once you enter the building. You will feel like you are visiting the old and historical version of the CERN laboratory. The visit is free for everyone and the museum is open everyday from 9am to 6 pm except the public or religious holidays. You can arrange tours that last 40 minutes if you want and it costs only 25 Liras for adults. For the university students the price is even lower: 15 Liras
There are many museums I can offer you. There are even some museums that will attract your interest more than these museums above but these were the most visited ones for the tourists. If you like to visit museums and have time here are the museums I suggest:
- SALT Galata
- Museum of Innocence ( Museum of the Nobel Prize Winner Turkish Novelist Orhan Pamuk)
- Sakip Sabanci Museum
- Rezan Has Museum ( Kadir Has Foundation)
- and -of course- city itself is like a museum, when you take a ten minute walk in the city you can see that all the buildings are like a historical reminders of the city; Rumeli Hisari, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Yildiz Palace, Hagia Sophia and many more.