Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul

4 out of 5 stars 102 Reviews

Visnezade Mh., Beskitas district +90 212 236 9000

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • The Dolmabahçe Palace
    The Dolmabahçe Palace
    by ValbyDK
  • The Dolmabahçe Palace
    The Dolmabahçe Palace
    by ValbyDK
  • Dolmabahçe Palace Clock Tower
    Dolmabahçe Palace Clock Tower
    by ValbyDK
  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    Dolmabahce Sarayi

    by muratkorman Updated May 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dolmabahce Palace was built between 1843 and 1856. This beautiful palace hosted some Sultans as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1922, apart from 1889-1909 interval in which the Yildiz Palace was used. It is located on European side of Bosphorus between Besiktas and Kabatas. It is decorated with a 4.5 ton weighing crystal chandelier on the main hall. This Bohemian chandelier was given to Ottoman Sultan as a present from Queen Victoria. The staircase on the main hall is also from crystal. Another important part of this palace is the room of Atatürk, founder of Turkish Republic. He spent his last days in this room and died here. There is a clock tower in the main entrance which is also spectacular. Dolmabahçe Palace Museum is open to public on weekdays from 9:00 to 15:00, except Mondays and Thursdays.

    Crystal chandelier and staircase Dolmabahce Palace view from Bosphorus Bed of Atat��rk Clock Tower Change of guards
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Dolmabahçe Palace

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Dolmabahçe Palace located at the European side of the Bosporus. It served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1853 to 1922, apart from a twenty-year interval (1889-1909) in which the Yildiz Palace was used.

    The palace is composed of three parts; the Mabeyn-i Hümâyûn (or Selamlik, the quarters reserved for the men), Muayede Salonu (the ceremonial halls) and the Harem-i Hümayun (the Harem, the apartments of the family of the Sultan). The palace has an area of 45,000 m2 (11.2 acres), and contains 285 rooms, 44 halls, 6 baths (hamam) and 68 toilets.

    Dolmabah��e Palace Dolmabah��e Palace Dolmabah��e Palace
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    Dolmabahce Palace

    by mikelisaanna Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dohlmabahce Palace was built in the 1850s and succeeded Topkapi Palace complex as the official home of the Ottoman Sultans and their families. The palace is large and lavish, and definitely worth touring. There are two tours of the palace that you can take. The best and longest one is the tour of the state rooms, which takes you through the large and ornate rooms where the Sultan entertained his guests. The second tour available is of the harem, which is the rooms where the Sultan's family, his concubines, and their servants lived. While still attractive, the harem's rooms are not as spectacular as the state rooms. You can, however, buy a ticket for both tours, and do the two tours back-to-back. You can only tour the palace as part of one of the two tours. Self-guided tours are not available.

    One of the large reception rooms in the palace The main gate to the Dolmabahce Palace
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    DOLMABAHCE PALACE GARDENS

    by balhannah Updated Mar 9, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When entering the Palace, you first encounter beautiful French styled Gardens. There a lovely fountains, and statues as well as the 30mtr high Clock tower which was built in the 1890's.

    The Palace's name actually means Dolma (Stuffed).... Because its on reclaimed land ....... and Bahce (Gardens) = Dolmabahce

    The palace was originally a bay, it was filled to become an imperial garden later. The Ottoman sultans liked their gardens. On my wander around, I came across an Aviary and quite a few Roosters and Hens, Ducks and Guinea Fowl roaming around.

    The ceremonial and harem quarters of the main palace have separate back gardens protected by tall walls, the former garden has a glass kiosk and bird houses built by Mehmed IV along the landwall while the latter contains the inner treasury, a plant nursery. The Palace of the Crown Prince has a large back garden that has two wooden houses known as the departure kiosks, the quarters of the Chief Eunuch, a Hereke carpet workshop and a sunhouse.

    Two monumental gates, the Treasury Gate and the Imperial Gate lead into the gardens of the administrative quarters to the west while seven small portals along the landwalls open into the back gardens of the different sections. Have a look at these! The iron fence along the shore has five large gates for arrivals from the water.

    Also in the grounds is the Cafe where you can enjoy the setting under Umbrellas in the garden. I did this, as I needed a rest. The Roses were in bloom while I was visiting and it was very pretty.
    Gorgeous, well maintained gardens!

    Guinea fowl at the Palace gardens
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    DOLMABAHCE PALACE

    by balhannah Updated Jan 31, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    IF YOU WANT TO SEE A PALACE FULL OF OPULENCE, THEN COME HERE!
    The people in my Tour group were in awe of this beautiful Palace, I think we all walked around with mouths and eyes open wide!

    Until the 17th century this area where Dolmabahce Palace stands today was a natural harbour providing anchorage for the Ottoman fleet and for traditional naval ceremonies.
    From the 17th century the bay was gradually filled in and became one of the imperial parks on the Bosphourus known as Dolmabahce, meaning “FILLED GARDEN"
    A series of imperial Mansions and Pavillions were built here, eventually growing into a palace complex known as Besiktas Waterfront Palace. This Palace was demolished in 1843, and Dolmabahce Palace was built in its place.

    The new Palace was built by an American Architect so that it resembled a European style. It was completed in 1856. LUXURIOUS it is, has 46 reception rooms & galleries, an extreme amount of gold and crystal, (even a crystal staircase) and a 41/2 ton chandelier, just to name a few of the extravagances.
    It was this extravagance that helped end the empire with the last Emporer fleeing to exile in 1922.

    The main features are its gates, Waterfront facade, Ceremonial Hall, Harem, State Rooms, Ataturk rooms, Crystal staircase, Sultan's bathrooms, Clock Tower and Gardens.
    It is just beautiful, and probably my favorite destination in Istanbul.

    As from June 1st, 2009 entry has changed...............

    YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED CAMERA'S OR VIDEO CAMERAS INSIDE THE PALACE - NO PHOTOGRAPHY OF ANY KIND INSIDE. (There are guards and cameras everywhere watching you!)
    You are ALLOWED photography in the Palace grounds

    LOCATION.... On Dolmabahce Caddesi. The Tram takes you to Kabatas (tram terminal) then its on a 5min walk to the Palace

    ADMISSION IN 2009 was 20t/l

    OPENING HOURS 9 - 4pm daily CLOSED .......Mondays & Thursdays

    TOURS....You can only visit inside the Palace with a tour, and these depart regularly every 15mins. They have English & other nationality tours. My guide was very good and informative.
    Other parts of the Palace you can visit without a guide.
    ESTIMATED TIME HERE....Probably about 21/2 - 3 hours.

    The Palace Guard Dolmabahce Palace
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Dolmabahçe Sarayı

    by MM212 Updated Feb 22, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the most opulent palaces in Istanbul, Dolmabahçe Sarayı was built on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait in 1856 as the new imperial residence. During the time of the Empire's decline, Sultan Abdülmecit commissioned two architects from the Armenian Balyan family to design the extravagant palace and financed it with expensive loans from Europe. No wonder the Ottoman Empire did not survive much longer. This did leave us, however, with a splendid palace to admire today. Dolmabahçe Palace and its gardens are open to visitors as a museum and are definitely worth a tour.

    The gardens of Dolmabah��e palace - Aug 04 Interior of Dolmabah��e Palace - Aug 04 The grand entrance - Aug 04 A gateway - Aug 04 A pavilion - Aug 04
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    Dolmabahce Palace

    by Tom_Fields Written Feb 12, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In 1839, Sultan Abdulmecid built Dolmabahce Palace. In contrast to the traditional Eastern style of Topkapi Palace, the newer one exhibits strong Western elements. It would seem more at home in Venice, Florence, or Paris than in Istanbul.

    Garabet and Nikogos Balyan designed this palace and its huge gates. They spared no expense, creating something resembling to a Turkish Versailles. The palace contains 285 rooms, 43 halls, six terraces, and six Turkish baths. It is so elaborate that even the Sultan thought it was a bit much. By this time, the Ottoman Empire was facing a revenue shortfall, and times were getting tougher.

    The Ceremonial Hall occupies the center, with the Mabeyn-i Humayun and Harem-i Humayun on either side. The former served as the administrative seat of the Empire, and only men were allowed in. Its most striking feature is the Crystal Staircase. The Harem was the private residence of the Sultan and his family.

    In 1924, Ataturk established the modern Turkish Republic. He died here in 1938. The old palaces became state property, and are now museums.

    Dolmabahce Palace The Clock Tower The Imperial Gate The Imperial Gardens The Crystal Staircase
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • iaint's Profile Photo

    Got there at last...

    by iaint Updated Jan 30, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On my 4th visit to the city, I finally went round the palace.

    15 ytl to get in (August 08) plus 6 ytl to use your camera. That is just for the Semalık tour (the state rooms and the ceremonial hall). You pay extra for a tour of the Harem, or to see the clock collection and the crystal staircase. A tour is compulsory for the Harem and the Semalık - in other words you can't just wander round in your own time. It's closed on Thursday.

    Go early especially in summer - it's cooler and quieter.

    The lavishness is impressive, especially when you remember the Empire was almost bankrupt by the time it was built. My favourite was the ceremonial hall - still used to receive foreign leaders on state occasions.

    Well worth 2-3 hours to visit.

    Gardens at entrance Swan fountain
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    The Dolmabahçe Palace

    by mvtouring Written Oct 9, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The beautiful Dolmabahçe Palace is located at the European side of the Bosporus and it served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1853 to 1922, apart from a twenty-year interval (1889-1909) in which the Yýldýz Palace was used.

    Dolmabahçe was built between 1843 and 1856 by Armenian architect Garabet Balyan and commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid I, the 31st Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The palace design and décor reflects the increasing influence of European cultural standards on Ottoman culture. Neo-Classic, Baroque, Rococo and Ottoman styles all blend together into glittering opulence and grandeur. The 45,000 square metre palace cost a mere five million Ottoman gold pounds, the equivalent of 35 tonnes of gold— 14 tonnes of which went into the decoration alone.

    Previously, the Sultan and his family lived at Topkapý Sarayý, but as Topkapý was lacking in contemporary luxury and style, Abdülmecid decided to build Dolmabahçe. Topkapý has exquisite examples of Iznik tiles and Ottoman carving, compared to Dolmabahçe, which has lots of gold and crystal.

    The only way to see the inside of Dolmabahçe is with a guided tour, but be sure that you get there early as they only allow a certain amount of visitors per day. The tour last approx 1 hour and if you want to see the harem as well, you have to pay for that too and that is also done per guided tour which also last approx 1 hour.

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    DOLMABAHCE PALACE & ATATURK

    by balhannah Written Aug 2, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder and first president of Turkey, spent his last days in the palace as his health deteriorated.

    Ataturk had the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, formerly a main residence of the sultans, refurbished and spent more time there in his later years.
    Always a heavy drinker who ate little, he began to decline in health. His illness, cirrhosis of the liver, was not diagnosed until too late. On November 10th, 1938, he died at 9:05 am in Dolmabahce. His state funeral was an occasion for enormous outpourings of grief from the Turkish people. His body was transported through Istanbul and from there to Ankara.

    His bedroom is now part of the museum.
    All the clocks in the palace were set to that time at 9:05 a.m. However, this has changed recently and clocks are set on different times around the palace. The clock in the room is still pointing to 9:05 a.m.

    Ataturk's Bedroom
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    3 F's - Fireplaces, Floors, and Furniture

    by nicolaitan Updated Apr 19, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Every inch of Dolmabahce is extravagant. The abundant tiled FIREPLACES are Czech in origin, many surmounted with very expensive crystal or large mirrors (images 1,2 ) expressly designed for the view of foreign potentates.
    The FLOORS are in particular worthy of note. Most are covered with silk or wool Hereke carpets, but all are parquet. Three woods are used throughout - rosewood, mahogany, and ebony - all inlaid by hand without nails. The intricate designs are different in each room. Image 3 is from the Privy Chamber.
    Throughout, each room contains amazing furniture. Apart from chairs and tables, the walls of some rooms are lined with assorted pieces included Sevre vases.
    Many of the images selected for Travelogue 3 will be illustrative of decor.

    Was this review helpful?

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    The Little Jewels

    by nicolaitan Written Apr 19, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The group tours move quickly through hallways lined with oils allegedly by relatively renowned painters of the 19th C, many from Russia. Along the way, small lavishly decorated rooms are also passed with little audible commentary as the group is strung out along the hallway. Unobstrusive signs identify a few. Some of these rooms are exquisitely dressed with luxurious furniture, glorious carpets, and crystal chandeliers and worth passing attention.
    IMAGE 1 - the Study Room
    IMAGE 2 - the Harem Entrance Room -
    IMAGE 3 - the Abdulmecid II Library - sultans from the time of Mehmet the Conquerer were avid collectors of manuscripts and books.
    IMAGE 4 - the Head Maid's Room
    IMAGE 5 - the Sultan's Harem Room

    Study Room Harem Entrance Hall Abdulmecid II Library Head Maid's Room Sultan's Harem Room

    Was this review helpful?

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    The Treasury

    by nicolaitan Written Apr 19, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Dolmabahce Palace was the nominal central palace for only 6 sultans, of whom three spent most of their time living in other palaces like the Beyleberi and Yildiz. So, after the treasury at the Topkapi, this collection seems relatively small and without any "star attractions". Most of the finest pieces have been removed either to museums or the Topkapi display. On tour, one files quickly and without explanation by the guide through a small room which was used as a pantry and storage room with the objects of art in glass cases without identification.
    The highlight are the porcelain banquet sets and bowls with lace design bearing the initials of Sultan Abdulhamid II.

    Was this review helpful?

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    The Crystal Staircase

    by nicolaitan Updated Apr 19, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Dolmabahce Palace has the world's largest collection of Bavarian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers, seemingly massive examples in most major rooms. But the crystal highlight is the double horseshoe crystal staircase staircase connecting the administrative rooms on the lower level with the ceremonial halls on the upper. The balustrade is made of mahogany and brass with the balusters of Baccarat crystal. Light comes from an immense chandelier in the center as well as several smaller chandeliers on the arcade overlooking the staircase with the highly decorated ceiling supported by massive marble columns ( images 4,5 ).

    TRAVELOGUES - The fast moving tour with often inaudible commentary leaves one to take images of rooms, halls, chandeliers, ornate fireplaces with crystal backdrops, and furniture without often knowing their names and provenance. Please visit the several travelogues to see images of the exterior and interior of the palace, containing some striking material.

    Was this review helpful?

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    Ceremonial Hall

    by nicolaitan Updated Apr 18, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The highest, largest, and most magnificent room in the palace is the muayede or ceremonial hall used for the most important religious and state functions presided over by the sultan. Over 2000 sq yards in size, with a 36 yd high ceiling supported by 56 columns, the centerpiece is a 4.5 ton crystal chandelier gifted by Queen Victoria. Until recently this was the largest chandelier in the world, with the largest now in Jordan. The floor is covered by a hugh Hereke carpet. The walls are pushed out to create narrow aisles. All the domes are exquisitely painted and decorated.

    Of note, the current exit from the palace for tourists is to the waterside quay, which was the preferred entrance in Ottoman times. For the special events, the sultan's golden throne was carried from the Topkapi palace even when the palace was otherwise not used.
    Much is made of the heating system, heated air supplied through vents at the bases of the massive columns. Since hot air rises, it took up to 3 days to completely heat the hall.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Istanbul

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

25 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Dolmabahce Palace
3.5 out of 5 stars
0.4 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
0.4 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.5 miles away
Show Prices

View all Istanbul hotels