Topkapi Palace/Harem--Open later in summer?

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#1
Oakville, ON
829 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Hi all

We're scheduled to arrive in Istanbul on Monday, July 23d, at 4:00pm, departing Tuesday, at 5:00pm. It's just our luck that Topkapi Palace/Harem are closed Tuesday. Although I understand that ship's tours may visit, that would be my last choice. The websites (Topkapi/Turkish government, et cetera) are not very good....most say closing time is 5pm, but one site says the palace is open until 7:00pm in the summer. That would be great, as we could rush over as soon as we arrive on Monday afternoon.

Does anybody know for sure?

Thanks!
#2
19,690 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I know that there are summer hours for most of the major sites. I was in Turkey on a visit a couple of years ago in April and they were changing over from winter to summer hours. Unfortunately I cannot recall exact times, but it sounds right to me that they were open a couple of hours later (e.g., changed from 5pm to 7pm), at least at Haghia Sophia. I didn't visit Topkapi on that trip, having been there previously.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
#3
Oakville, ON
829 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by cruisemom42
I know that there are summer hours for most of the major sites. I was in Turkey on a visit a couple of years ago in April and they were changing over from winter to summer hours. Unfortunately I cannot recall exact times, but it sounds right to me that they were open a couple of hours later (e.g., changed from 5pm to 7pm), at least at Haghia Sophia. I didn't visit Topkapi on that trip, having been there previously.

Thanks for your help! We're sure hoping that's the case!

Kevin
#4
New Cumberland,PA, USA
26,107 Posts
Joined May 2000
We wish you good luck with the opening times (we have no clue). As to ship's tours, for many years they do allow certain official tours (like cruise tours) to enter on Tuesday. However, on those Tuesday tours they are somewhat limited in what they can see. For example, a few years ago we were on a Princess cruise that had Tuesday tours but they were not permitted to visit the Harem (which was locked up). However, if you cannot get there on Monday then the ship's tour is probably your only option. Keep in mind that if your ship does dock at 4 as scheduled, you would not possibly be able to get to Topkapi much before 5 given the time for the ship to get cleared and transportation time during the afternoon rush hour.

Hank
#6
Corpus Christi Texas
9,535 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I, too, am not sure about the later hours in the summer......

but I do know that they do not sell tickets (or allow you to enter) up until closing time either.

On our first trip to Istanbul, we were there mid May in 2010. Headed to Topkapi last since we were working our way back to the ship...... still a good hour + before closing. We knew we would only be able to just scratch the surface with that time frame.....but hey, we figured we would never get back to Istanbul so we were "cramming" it all in.

Anyway, it was a no-go. Got to the ticket booth and they said yes it closed in an hour but no entry that late.

* well, we did go back last November so we made sure to do Topkapi on our last day IN THE MORNING
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#7
19,690 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I found a post on Tripadvisor that confirms summer hours for Topkapi are generally until 7pm (last entry at 6pm). You can read more details about winter and summer hours (and holiday closings) on this thread:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...-Istanbul.html

(See post #39 for the info on summer hours at Topkapi and other major tourist sites.)
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)