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"Turkiye in a nutshell" Archeology Museum Tip by Tijavi

Archeology Museum, Istanbul: 49 reviews and 146 photos

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  • Mighty Zeus - Istanbul
      Mighty Zeus
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  • Artifact from the Hittite period - Istanbul
      Artifact from the Hittite period
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  • Inside the sarcophagus hall - Istanbul
      Inside the sarcophagus hall
    by Tijavi
  • Another artifact in the sarcophagus hall - Istanbul
      Another artifact in the sarcophagus hall
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  • A Fenerbahce fan art student - Istanbul
      A Fenerbahce fan art student
    by Tijavi

This is one of the highlights of my visit to Istanbul, spending the whole afternoon here exploring the wondrous treasures exhibited in its various halls. You shouldn't miss this one for three reasons:

1) It's the country in a nutshell. As it's virtually impossible for regular travellers to visit every Turkish archeological site, the museum offers visitors a sample of what the country has to offer in terms of archeological treasures, from the prehistoric times to the Ottoman period. I really enjoyed the galleries of statues housing the classical sculptures that could rival those found in Italy and Greece.

Turkiye's Islamic traditions and roots are also well-represented in a separate building, which is a special treat for lovers of Islamic art. The pre-historic artifacts, also housed in a separate building, are also worth visiting.

2) It's a great place to interact with locals. The museum's relaxed environment, unlike those of the hurried pace in bazaars and in Istiklal, gives you a chance to chat with locals, and get to know more of the culture. In my case, I found myself learning a lot about Turkish football from art students who are just as keen to interact with the tourists and practice their English. Thanks to them (the students), now I know a lot more about Galatasaray, Besiktas, and Fenerbahce. The only hitch though, was I made the mistake of revealing that my favorite team was Galatasaray to a group of Fenerbahce die-hards!

3) It's a great place to recharge batteries. Tucked downhill from tourist-magnet Topkapi Palace, it's shaded parks, relaxed ambiance and less crowded halls give visitors a chance to take things on a more leisurely pace. The tea garden outside the museum is a great place to sit down, recharge your batteries and scribble your thoughts on your travel diary.

Address: Gulhane Park
Directions: From the Topkapi Palace's First Court, take the short walk downhill to the museum complex.
Phone: +90 212 520 7741

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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