Highlights of Istanbul itinerary completely and efficiently immerses you into Sultanahmet by visiting the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar and Topkapı Palace in a single day.
- Visit Topkapı Palace and Harem
- Witness the glory of the Ottomans in the Topkapı Palace in three hours.
- Join our tour to see the Treasury, Holy Relics, and Imperial Kitchens.
- See the Harem with your own eyes, as well as the private quarters and home of the Sultans.
- Enjoy the outer terraces with beautiful flowerbeds and views of the Golden Horn.
- Your Topkapı Palace and Harem tour can be private or with a small group.
- Led by local and professional tour guides who love Istanbul.
A Guided Tour of Topkapı Palace
Topkapı Palace in Istanbul is a place of opulence, complexity, and mystery that inspires awe. It was the home of the Ottomans for nearly 400 years and their most significant achievement as a dynasty.
Our guided tour of Topkapı Palace and its Harem is a fascinating immersion into the heart of the great Ottoman Empire, which was ruled by the Sultans. They lived in Topkapi’s hundreds of rooms with a vast family and servants.
Today, Topkapı Palace is a romantic scene with views of the Bosporus in Istanbul and with many sections open for visits; it takes a few hours to enjoy the palace and its Harem.
Topkapı is not a palace in the traditional European sense but a complex of low buildings and pavilions, kiosks, and courtyards. It’s a self-contained city that most of its inhabitants rarely left.
Our tour of the palace includes the outer terraced gardens (not included in any other tour), where flowerbeds blaze with tulips of many colors, and we climb the high terrace to admire the view over the Golden Horn.
As we walk, your guide filters myth from reality, stories from official archives. Our Topkapı Palace visit also includes the Holy Relics and Treasury sections.
Harem in Topkapı Palace
The very seat of the Ottoman Sultan’s power in Topkapı Palace lies within the deepest reaches of the Harem — 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 war captives — and family members as well as hundreds of eunuchs, who performed a whole range of administrative and personal duties. We walk through the sections where the eunuchs lived and were educated, then through the hallway to the courtyard of the concubines and the Queen Mother’s Rooms.
We see cupboard doors inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell. Our walk through the Harem is the only way you can see the very early, exceptional Iznik tiles with verses from the Kuran and beautiful floral designs.
You can choose to have a private tour or share the experience with a maximum of eight people. This Topkapı Palace Harem tour is a great way to get to understand the royal Ottoman family.
- Half-day guiding fee for a professional guide
- Admission fees to Topkapı Palace and the Harem
- Transport to Sultanahmet
We meet at the House of Medusa Restaurant in Sultanahmet
Two sessions every day, except Tuesdays:
- Morning session: 09:30 – 12:30
- Afternoon session: 13:30 – 16:30