What is the Museum Pass Istanbul?

The Museum Pass Istanbul, 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 Istanbul costs  85 TL and allows easy access to twelve of Istanbul’s most popular museums, without having to endure the long queues.  The pass is valid for 120 hours starting with your first museum visit.  You can purchase the Museum Pass Istanbul from various outlets, including many Istanbul hotels.

Which museums can I visit with the Museum Pass Istanbul?

Following museums are included in the Museum Pass Istanbul:

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

Chora Museum

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

Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam

Has Ahırlar Binaları, Gülhane Parkı, Sirkeci/Eminönü, Istanbul

Tel. +90 (212) 528 8065

Istanbul Mosaic Museum

Hacimimi Mahallesi, Luleciler Arastasi Sokak (Street), 80200, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey

Tel. +90 (212) 518 1205

Hagia Irene Museum

Sultanahmet Meydanı, Topkapi Sarayi 1. Avlusu, Fatih, Istanbul

Tel. +90 (212) 512 0480

Rumeli Hisar Museum

Yahya Kemal Caddesi No. 42, Rumelihisari, Sariyer, Istanbul

Tel. +90 (212) 263 5305

Yildiz Palace Museum

Barbaros Bulvari, Yildiz Parki, Besiktas, Istanbul

Tel.  +90 (212) 258 3080

Galata Mevlevi House Museum

Galip Dede Caddesi No: 15, Tunel, Istanbul

Tel. +90 (212) 245 4141

Fethiye Museum (Pammakaristos)

Fethiye Caddesi, Carsamba – Fatih, Istanbul

Tel. +90 (212) 635 1273

What are the advantages of purchasing the Museum Pass İstanbul?

Cost.  You can save quite a bit of money with the Museum Pass Istanbul compared to buying separate tickets for each museum.  Recently the individual ticket prices have increased, so the Museum Pass Istanbul 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 purchase a museum pass.

The individual ticket prices for the museums as of November 2014 are listed below:

Hagia Sophia Museum– 30 TL

Topkapi Palace Museum– 30 TL

Topkapi Palace Museum Harem Apartments – 15 TL

Chora Museum– 15 TL

Istanbul Archaeological Museums – 15 TL

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts – 20 TL (Currently closed due to renovations)

Istanbul Mosaic Museum– 10 TL

Total cost with individual tickets: 135 TL

Time.  You can bypass hours of frustrating queues with the Museum Pass Istanbul, 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 Istanbul, entrance takes only 30 seconds.

Additional Discounts.  In addition to museum entrance, Museum Pass Istanbul 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 benefit from Museum Pass Istanbul advantages at the locations listed here.

I heard that the Museum Pass Istanbul 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 Istanbul, 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 Istanbul 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 120 hours start?

The 120 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 Istanbul. The card is activated at the first entrance when it is put through the electronic scanner at the gate, and remains valid for 120 hours after that time. You can visit the museums for 120 hours following your first entrance. So if you plan accordingly, your card can be good for six calendar days. (i.e. if you enter a museum on the sixth day before the 120 hours is over, you still have the whole day to visit the museum.)

What should I do if the Museum Pass Istanbul 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 Istanbul back to where you purchased it and you will receive a refund.

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 Istanbul, you will be able to see more in a limited time frame. 

Where can I purchase Museum Pass Istanbul?

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 purchase the Museum Pass Istanbul.

You can also purchase the Museum Pass Istanbul 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 Istanbul can be purchased over the internet. Is that true?

Yes. But this is another 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 hand, as Whichcontent Limited (TR) distributes the Museum Pass Istanbul 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 museumpassistanbul@whichcontent.com

Do I have to visit the Museum Pass Istanbul advantage locations during the 120-hour period in order to benefit from the discounts?

No, anyone in possession of the Museum Pass Istanbul can benefit from the discounts at any time. The 120 hours expire for the twelve museum entrances, but the discounts at the private museums, shops and event venues never expire. Just show your Museum Pass Istanbul 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 Istanbul 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 A.Ş. (TR)*[1] is the exclusive hotel distributor for the Museum Pass Istanbul.

[1] * Whichcontent Turizm Yayıncılık Ticaret A.Ş.

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