Dolmabahce Palace

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Dolmabahce Palace and Other Sights on the Bosphorus Strait

Dolmabahce Palace sits imposingly on the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, and is a stunning example of Ottoman architecture. To get the fuller context of Istanbul's multi-layered history, here are other sights and experiences you should incorporate into your visit there.

  • Dolmabahce Museum

    1. Dolmabahce Museum

    The palace itself serves as a museum, bringing Istanbul's story to life. View the rooms where Ataturk spent his last days, as well as a whole host of antique furniture and art.

  • Bosphorus Strait

    2. Bosphorus Strait

    How many times have you been on two continents in one day? Every year, people rise to the challenge of swimming across the Bosphorus Strait. If you don't want to get your feet wet, you can simply take a ferry!

  • Rumeli Castle

    3. Rumeli Castle

    Sultan Mehmed II built Rumeli Castle in 1451, back when Istanbul was still known as Constantinople. It has retained its rustic charm, which can be viewed from the Bosphorus Strait!

  • Byzantine Quarter

    4. Byzantine Quarter

    In addition to its Islamic heritage, Istanbul has also been home to Jewish and Christian communities over the centuries. Walk the deep, turreted city walls which were built under Roman Emperor Constantine in order to guard against sea and land attacks.

  • Camlica HIll

    5. Camlica HIll

    Panoramic views and cultivated gardens characterize Camlica Hill, where you can spend an afternoon away from Istanbul's hustle and bustle but still take in the astounding beauty of the region.

Planning Your Visit

  • Bosphorus Bridge

    If you plan to drive across the bridge, bear in mind that there's a toll to cross from Europe to Asia, but not vice versa

  • October Marathon

    If you want to walk between the continents, there's a chance to do that once a year during the marathon!

  • Sun protection

    In the southern European heat, staying adequately protected from the sun is essential! Make sure you stay in the shade around midday, and reapply sunscreen.

  • Visa

    To enter Turkey as a US passport holder, you need to pay $30 for a 90-day visa. You can pay on arrival or easily purchase it online before your trip. Other nationalities may need to check beforehand for entry conditions.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open 9:00AM - 4:00PM. Ticket office might close early if maximum number of daily visitors is reached.
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult general admission starts at 30 lira. Harem entrance is additional 10 lira.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Individuals are not allowed to explore without a guide. Many guided tours, also in English, are led throughout the day.
  • How to get there
    Located just short walk from Kabatas tram stop.
  • Additional information

    • Please note that within the Palace you are not allowed to take pictures but can still capture the impressive views and gardens surrounding the palace to share with friends and family.

    • The changing of the guard outside the palace is a sight in itself! Pick a spot and wait to see this ancient tradition.

What people are saying about Dolmabahce Palace

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,349 reviews

It was so nice, interesting and impressive, visiting Dolmabahçe Palace. All of this made much more interesting the simple, quite and detailed explanations of our guide (Ozy). We thank him very much! I recommend this kind of reservation, everything was perfect. The guide was waiting for us with a white flag in hand. just show the res. nr. and is him who would deal with everything. You just enjoy your visiting around under the live guide.

We had a great tour with Ozzie! After being scammed earlier in the day visiting some other sites, it was a relief to meet Ozzie and have a in depth and peaceful tour of the palace. He shared with us a lot of history about Turkey and all the details of the palace. It is a stunning building inside and out with some incredible details! Definitely worth a visit and we enjoyed having Ozzie guide us through with all his knowledge!

Just amazing!!! Thanks to our guide Furkan’s great insights we were able to grasp the history behind the palace and the history chaging events took place here. A knowledgeable guide is needed in order to understand the importance of Dolmabahce Palace in Ottoman Empire and Turkish history. We have all enjoyed it immensely.

I always find the hop-on hop-off a great way to get to know a city. Unfortunately there was a lot of repetitive music and we almost missed one of the buses due to a change in their published times but overall it was good.

Our tour guide was Mr Furkan Sari. We was an excellent guide who explained to us about Turkey’s history pretty well. We really enjoyed our tour with him