In this article, we intend to introduce you the museum pass for Turkish museums and their fees as of the year 2017. First of all, there are different kinds of museums in terms of administration. Public museums administered by the Ministry, the National Palaces and Museums of the Grand National Assembly, museums affiliated with municipalities and private ones.
What is the Museum Pass Card?
It is the card entry system started for the economical price and fast entry to the entities connected to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. There are different Museum Card applications that apply to citizens of the Republic of Turkey, foreign guests and regional museums. The museum card is personal, so no one else can use your card. Museum Card validity begins on the day of receipt and lasts for 365 days, the card has an expiry date on it. Museum Pass cards have varying usage times as stated below.
Short reminder about museums and museology
- Fees paid at museum entrances are made in Turkish Lira (TL). Foreign currency (euro, dollar, etc.) is not acceptable.
- At the entrance of some major museums, you can pay the entry fee with a credit card.
- Entrance fees to the museums are the same for both natives and foreign people.
- Inside the museums, even in the garden, you can not walk around with food and beverages. Smoking is prohibited.
How and Where to Get a Museum Pass in Turkey?
You can have your Museum Card from the ticket offices of major museums. To get the museum card, you need to provide your ID and pay for it. Then, sales assistants scan your ID card and give your card within a minute. If you want to get a museum pass online, click here.
Note: Large museums like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi, Ephesus ruins, Goreme Open House Museum, Pamukkale Hierapolis, Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum, Museum of Anatolian Civilizations are crowded and the waiting time for getting a card may take up to 1 hour. Before or while going on a trip, consider purchasing the Museum Card in a non-crowded museum.
Closing Days of Some of the Museums
- Istanbul Topkapi Palace Museum – closed on Tuesdays – open on the first day of religious holidays after lunch
- Istanbul Kariye Museum – closed on Wednesdays – open after lunch on the first day of religious holidays
- Istanbul Fethiye Museum – closed on Wednesdays – open after lunch on the first day of religious holidays
- Istanbul Rumeli Hisari Museum – closed on Wednesdays – open after lunch on the first day of religious holidays
- Istanbul Yildiz Palace Museum – closed on Tuesdays – open after lunch on the first day of religious holidays
- Istanbul the History of Science and Technology in Islam Museum – closed on Tuesdays – open after lunch on the first day of religious holidays
- Museums which are connected to the Grand National Assembly is closed on Mondays, Thursdays and on the first day of religious festivals. Those are Beylerbeyi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Maslak Cisterns, Aynalikavak Pavilion, Kucuksu Pavilion, Ihlamur Pavilion, Florya Ataturk Mansion and Yalova Ataturk Mansion.
Which days of the week are the museums open?
- 99% of the public museums are closed on Mondays.
- The museums administered by the National Palaces are closed on Tuesdays. Mansions and pavillions are not accessible on Mondays and Thursdays, and the “Factories” sections of National Palaces are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Some of the municipal museums are closed on Sunday, others closed on Monday.
- Private museums are usually closed on Mondays.
In this case, the best day is Friday, no museum is closed on Fridays. However, it’s better to call the museum before hitting the road to check whether it is open or closed.
Visiting Hours of the Museums in Summer and Winter Season
Museums apply “summer” and “winter” visiting hours. But the starting and ending dates of this regulation can vary depending on the intensity of the museum, the structural conditions of the museum and its geographical characteristics. Summer season practice for museums usually starts at the beginning of the Tourism Week and lasts until the end of September.
In 2017, summer season for the museums was planned between April 15, 2017 and October 2, 2017. Museum visiting hours in summer are generally 08.30 – 19.00. Some of the museums in the East are 08.00 – 18.00 and some in the Mediterranean are 08.00 – 19.00.
Accordingly, winter time will be applied starting from October 3, 2017. During the winter period museums are usually open between 09.00 – 17.00. Fortunately, the museums in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya extend closing time half an hour, 09.00 – 17.30.
Let us remind you one thing. Whatever museum is, whatever the closing time of the museum is, they quit accepting visitors half hour ago before closing time. Furthermore, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi and Ephesus ruins do not take visitors within 1 hour of closing time.
Turkish Museum Passes for Non-Turkish Citizens
These cards enable a limited number of free admission to certain museums and historical sites of the Ministry within a specific time (3 days, 5 days, 7 days, 15 days from the time of first pass), as well as discounts on certain cultural and art institutions and events in the province or region.
A note we want to add here: Free museums are free to visit for both natives and foreigners.
Types of Museum Passes
Museum Pass Turkey – 15 Days
It provides one-time access to more than 300 Museums / Ruins for foreign visitors. It will be valid for 15 days from the date of first use. In 2017, the 15-day Museum Pass Turkey card fee is 185 TL. You can purchase this card in all museums or online at www.muze.gov.tr/en
It offers foreign visitors one-time access to museums in Istanbul for 5 days. In 2017, the Museum Pass Istanbul card price is 85 TL. Card’s validity will start with your first entrance and end after 5 days.
Museums in Istanbul accessible free of charge with Museum Pass Istanbul
Hagia Sophia Museum
Topkapi Palace and Harem
Istanbul Archaeological Museums
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Istanbul Mosaic Museum
Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam
Galata Mevlevi House
Rumeli Hisar Museum
Museum Pass Aegean – 7 Days
Foreign guests have the opportunity to visit the museum in the Aegean Region free of charge within 7 days. In 2017, Museum Pass Aegean card (Aegean museum) fee is 75 TL.
Museums in Aegean accessible free of charge with Museum Pass Aegean
Ephesus, Ephesus Ruins, Ephesus Museum, St. Jean Monument, Pergamon Acropolis Ruins, Asklepion Ruins, Basilica Ruins, Pergamon Ruins, Agora Ruins, Cesme Ruins, Izmir History and Art Museum, Izmir Archeology Museum, Klaros Ruins, Afrodisias Ruins, Didim Ruins, Milet Museum, Milet Ruins, Aydin Museum, Priene Ruins, Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum, Mausoleion Ruins, Zeki Müren Art House, Becin Castle and Ruins, Marmaris Museum, Sedir Island, Knidos Ruins, Kaunos Ruins, Kayakoy Ruins, Tloss Ruins, Letoon Ruins and Xanthos Ruins.
Museum Pass Cappadocia – 3 Days
This card offers foreign visitors a one-time free visit to the museums in Cappadocia. The 3-day Museum Pass Cappadocia card fee is 45 TL in 2017.
Museums in Cappadocia accessible free of charge with Museum Pass Cappadocia
Derinkuyu Underground City
Goreme Open House Museum
Goreme Dark Church
Kaymakli Underground City
Ozkonak Underground City
Gulsehir Open Palace Ruins
Museum Pass Mediterranean – 7 Days
Museum Pass Mediterranean 7 Days provides free access to all the museums and historical sites in Antalya, Mersin and Adana provinces in the Mediterranean region for foreign guests. Pass is valid for 7 days from the date of first use. In 2017, the Museum Pass Mediterranean card fee is 60 TL.
Museums in Istanbul accessible free of charge with Museum Pass Mediterranean
Adana Archaeological Museum, St. Paul Well, St. Paul Monument Museum, Kanli Divane, Kiz Kalesi, Heaven-Hell Ruins, Asim Cave, Anamurium Ruins, Magical Ruins, Alanya Castle, Alanya Museum, Side Museum, Side Ruins, Aspendos Ruins, Perge Ruins , Antalya Museum, Termessos Ruins, Karain Cave, Phaselis Ruins, Olympos Ruins, Arykanda Ruins, Myra Ruins, St.Nicholas Ruins, Simena Ruins, Patara Ruins, Xanthos Ruins, Letoon Ruins.
Museums that cannot be accessed with the Museum Pass?
Museum Pass card is out of use to access museums that are operated by Local Authorities. However, some of the private museums can be accessed with a museum card at a discount or free of charge.
99% of the museums affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism accept Museum Pass. But there are also a small number of museums that are accessed at an extra cost. If the exhibition area of the museum is small, very few people can stand in the same place, or if the works in that spot are very valuable, they’re organized as “museum in a museum”. Thus, at an additional cost, it is aimed to both cuts the wear and tear of the work, to prevent the swarming of visitors and to earn more income. In fact, there are many examples of this in the world.
4 museums that ask an additional fee to get access to private areas. Harem District in Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Irene Monument Museum within Topkapi Palace, Yamac Evler (Slope Houses) section located within the Ephesus ruins; The Dark Church at the Goreme Open Air Museum.
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