What is the Museum Pass İstanbul?
The Museum Pass İstanbul, sold to anyone who does not reside in Turkey, is a time-limited card that allows those who want to see Istanbul’s most treasured museums to do so easily and economically.
How does the system work?
The Museum Pass İstanbul costs 85 TL and allows you free entrance to six of Istanbul’s most popular museums, without having to endure the long queues. The pass is valid for 72 hours beginning with your first museum visit. You can purchase the Museum Pass İstanbul from various outlets, including many Istanbul hotels.
Which museums can I visit with the Museum Pass İstanbul?
The Museum Pass İstanbul is valid for the following museums:
Hagia Sophia Museum
Yerebatan Caddesi (Avenue), Sultanahmet Meydani (Square), Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel. +90 (212) 528 4500
Topkapi Palace Museum
Cankurtaran Mahallesi, 34122, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel. +90 (212) 512 0480
Topkapi Palace Museum Harem Apartments
Avcibey Mahallesi, Kariye Turbesi Sokak (Street) No.16, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel. +90 (212) 631 9241
Istanbul Archaeological Museums
Cankurtaran Mahallesi, 34122, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel. +90 (212) 520 7742
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Ibrahim Pasa Sarayi, At Meydani (Square), Sultanahmet, Eminonu, Istanbul
Tel. +90 (212) 518 1805
Istanbul Mosaic Museum
Hacimimi Mahallesi, Luleciler Arastasi Sokak (Street), 80200, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel. +90 (212) 518 1205
The Istanbul Mosaic Museum is closed until the end of June 2012, due to necessary renovations as a result of a flood in November 2011.
What are the advantages of purchasing the Museum Pass İstanbul?
Cost. You can save quite a bit of money with the Museum Pass İstanbul compared to buying separate tickets for each museum. Recently the individual ticket prices have increased, so the Museum Pass İstanbul is more beneficial than ever. At the current ticket rate, even if you only visited Topkapi Palace with the Harem, Hagia Sophia and the Archaeological Museums, you would already be paying more in separate tickets than what it would cost to get a museum pass.
The individual ticket prices for the museums as of 15 April 2012 are listed below:
Hagia Sophia Museum– 25 TL
Topkapi Palace Museum– 25 TL
Topkapi Palace Museum Harem Apartments – 15 TL
Chora Museum– 15 TL
Istanbul Archaeological Museums – 10 TL
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts – 10 TL
Istanbul Mosaic Museum– 8 TL
Total cost with individual tickets: 108 TL
Time. You can save hours of frustrating queues with the Museum Pass İstanbul, as it allows you direct entry to the museums without having to queue up. Depending on the day of the week, the queues can be up to 90 minutes long. With Museum Pass İstanbul, entrance takes only 30 seconds.
Additional Discounts. In addition to museum entrance, Museum Pass İstanbul gives you additional discounts from 10% to 30% at elite private museums, more than twenty arts and entertainment venues, museum shops and GES Shops. You can get Museum Pass İstanbul advantages at the locations listed here.
I heard that the Museum Pass İstanbul is only available for Turkish citizens. Is that true?
No, that is not true. It is important to distinguish between the Müzekart, which is a museum access card with one-year validity available to Turkish citizens and foreigners who reside in Turkey, and the Museum Pass İstanbul, which is available to everyone regardless of citizenship as long as they do not reside in Turkey.
Is it possible to use the Museum Pass İstanbul for multiple entrance to the museums?
No, one card gives you the right to enter each museum once. One museum pass gives access to only one person.
We are travelling with our children. Do we have to buy a museum pass for them as well?
All museum entrances in Istanbul are free to children under 12 years of age. Other than that, each person has to hold a separate museum pass.
When does the 72 hours start?
The 72 hours starts once the card is read at the gate of the first museum you visit. It does not start immediately when you purchase the card, therefore you do not have to worry about losing hours after you buy the Museum Pass İstanbul. The card is activated at the first entrance when it is put through the electronic scanner at the gate, and remains valid for 72 hours after that time. You can visit the museums for 72 hours following your first entrance. So if you plan accordingly, your card can be good for four calendar days. (i.e. if you enter a museum on the fourth day before the 72 hours is over, you still have the whole day to visit the museum.)
What should I do if the Museum Pass İstanbul does not work?
This is an electronic card, and the chances of it not working correctly are extremely low. In the unlikely case that the card does malfunction, you should take the Museum Pass İstanbul back to where you purchased it and you will get your money back.
The museum I wanted to visit was closed. Will the card’s validity period be extended?
Unfortunately this is not possible. The specific opening days and hours of each museum are listed here, and you should plan your visits with those opening times in mind. But as you will not have to queue up at the gates with the Museum Pass İstanbul, you will be able to see more in a limited time frame.
Where can I get a museum pass?
There are four different ways to obtain a valid museum pass. We believe the most convenient way is purchasing the card from the concierge desk at one of the many hotels around the city, listed here. You do not have to be a guest at these hotels in order to get the Museum Pass İstanbul.
You can also purchase the Museum Pass İstanbul from the ticket gates at Topkapi Palace Museum, Hagia Sophia Museum, Chora Museum, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, www.muze.gov.tr and Mobile Sales Stations.
I heard that the Museum Pass İstanbul can be purchased on the internet. Is that true?
Yes. But this is a whole other process. You can purchase the card online from www.muze.gov.tr but you still need to pick your card up from one of the hotels. A printout from the internet saying you have paid for the card is not sufficient and you must present an actual card at the museum gates. For further information on this process please visit https://www.muze.gov.tr/buy_museum_pass
On the other side as Whichcontent Limited (TR) distributes the Museum Pass İstanbul through the hotel concierge desks, we believe this is the most convenient method of purchase, since museum passes are perpetually on sale throughout many hotels around the city. If you have any questions contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I have to visit the Museum Pass İstanbul advantage locations during the 72-hour period in order to benefit from the discounts?
No, anyone in possession of the Museum Pass İstanbul can benefit from the discounts at any time. The 72 hours expire for the six museum entrances, but the discounts at the private museums, shops and event venues never expire. Just show your Museum Pass İstanbul whenever you visit the advantage points, even during your next visit to Istanbul.
Who is behind this project?
The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB), in collaboration with MTM, was awarded the contract for the modernisation of ticket booths and management of museums and historical sites by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. TURSAB-MTM, which gained the operational responsibility of 48 museums, plans to put its signature under a series of new initiatives in the field of cultural tourism, in anticipation of an increase in the number of people who visit the treasures Turkey has to offer. The Museum Pass İstanbul was introduced by TURSAB-MTM as part of the modernisation project of museums, under the supervision of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Central Directorate of Revolving Funds (DÖSİMM). Whichcontent Limited (TR)* is the exclusive hotel distributor for the Museum Pass İstanbul.
 * Whichcontent Turizm Yayıncılık Bilişim Reklam ve Danışmanlık Hiz. Ltd. Şti.