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Shore Excursions: Istanbul Topkapi Palace and Harem Guided Tour

Everyone's talking about the Topkapi Palace and its Harem!

Tour Highlights:

  • Hassle-free pickup and drop-off from your cruise port
  • Small-group tour or private tour
  • Led by expert local guides
  • Choice of morning or afternoon tour to suit your schedule
Adult (Ages 10+)
Child (Ages 3-9)
Infant (Ages 0-2)
Private Starts with min 2 people

Shore Excursions: Istanbul Topkapi Palace and Harem Guided Tour with Tickets

Meet your local, expert guide at the port right after your ship has docked. Join your small group or private tour to see the top site in Istanbul.  There’s a short tram ride from the dock to the Old Town of Sultanahmet. Take advantage of your walking tour instead of sitting on a bus in traffic and maximize your time.

Start your tour in Sultanahmet Square and enjoy a scenic stroll around and witness the local life with a professional guide.

Continue your journey to Topkapi Palace. Avoid the very long line with your skip-the-line tickets.
Walk the palace grounds, gardens, and courtyards of Topkapi on a guided tour to witness the glory of the Ottomans.

Visit the Palace complex of low buildings and pavilions, kiosks, and courtyards. Enjoy walking the outer terraced gardens, where flowerbeds blaze with tulips of many colors, and climb the high terrace to admire the view over the Golden Horn, too.

Harem in Topkapı Palace

The very seat of the Ottoman Sultan’s power in Topkapı Palace lies within the deepest reaches of the Harem, inside the famous house of the Monarchy.

The Harem in Topkapı Palace was ruled by the Queen Mother, who wielded both domestic and political power (there was no queen in the Ottoman Court).

The Harem housed hundreds of women, mostly prisoners of war, family members, and hundreds more eunuchs who performed a range of administrative and personal duties. We pass first through the sections where the eunuchs lived and were educated. Then we move down the hallway to the courtyard of the concubines and the Queen Mother’s rooms.

Take a moment to spot the cupboard doors inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell. Our walk through the Harem is also the only way to see the very early, exceptionally-crafted Iznik tiles decorated with floral designs and verses from the Quran.

You can get to know this extraordinary palace and the royal Ottoman family on a private tour, or share the experience with a small group.

Choose to spend free time on the palace grounds or follow your guide back to the ship.