Museum of Innocence- Novel and Museum

Museum of Innocence- Novel and Museum

Museum of Innocence

As we all know, Istanbul has many different tourist attractions. As locals, we all like to explore secret places (you know, this is our motto!). Museum of Innocence may not be such a secret place and can be classified a bit popular, however, this is different than the other museums in Istanbul.

This post is intended to express how much we like the museum and recommend people both reading the novel and visiting the museum who are planning to visit Istanbul sooner or later. We will be talking about generic things from the novel and the museum without spoilers. Believe us there is no exaggeration, both of them are fantastic and the idea of combining novel and museum is great. Great job, Mr. Pamuk!

Orhan Pamuk- Nobel laureate novelist has written many great books up to today and the Museum of Innocence is one of them. For your information, this is a novel and also a museum. Everybody likes the idea behind it and we are lucky to have such a fantastic museum located in Istanbul.

Who is Orhan Pamuk?

Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul in 1952. He grew up in an upper-class family while you can understand this in his books. He left studying architecture after three years and graduated from the Institute of Journalism in 1976 and in this period he started writing regularly. Moreover, he spent three years in the United States where he was a visiting researcher at Columbia University. He spent most of his life in Istanbul– Turkey. Our personal opinion is that Pamuk is our favorite author when the topic is about Istanbul.

He has many famous novels. Pamuk’s important novels:

  • Cevdet Bey and His Sons
  • Silent House
  • The White Castle
  • The Black Book
  • My Name is Red
  • Snow
  • The Museum of Innocence
  • The Red-Haired Woman

In 2006, he was awarded Nobel on literature and this can be the biggest achievement of his entire life. However, he has many awards except the Nobel. [1,2,3]

Orhan Pamuk’s Manifesto

The Museum of Innocence has been constructed with this manifesto. Pamuk explained every single detail on this link [4], in conclusion, it can be said that we need smaller, cheaper, more individualistic museums having stories rather than the museums large, expensive museums having histories.

The museum of innocence- Orhan Pamuk's Manifesto
The Modest Manifesto in the Museum

Since we like both of them- stories and histories, we believe more on the diverse distribution of small and big museums. Additionally, it is also obvious that we need more museums supporting Pamuk’s manifesto.

Museum of Innocence- Novel

This is a section without having any spoilers, trust us! 🙂 Kemal– a businessman and one of the sons of a rich family is the main character who was about to be engaged with Sibel and saw the beautiful Fusun who is a distant relative. And, the things get started between Kemal and Fusun.

The novel is generally about Kemal’s big love (can be named as addiction) as well, however, we really like Orhan Pamuk’s depictions about:

  • Old Istanbul (the 70s, 80s)
  • The male dominant public in the old times
  • The chaotic condition of Turkey (the coup) and reflections of Istanbul in these days
  • Society’s luxurious life vs. public
  • Tesvikiye Mosque
  • Yesilcam and Turkish movies
  • Kemal’s father secret and the way that he tells this secret to his son- Kemal
  • Anadoluhisari and Rumelihisari
  • Kadikoy ferries and seagulls
  • Smoke like a Turkish!: I spent 6 months in Europe as an exchange student, and I was explaining how much Italians love these words. Glad to hear that Pamuk also expressed his feelings about “Smoke like a Turkish” that would support my idea in the future about this definition 🙂

There are many things we want to talk about the novel, however, when you visit the museum, you will definitely understand Kemal’s big love to Fusun (or addiction).

If you read this book especially Pamuk’s last words, you will also learn that Orhan Pamuk is Kemal or not? 🙂 Additionally, the book answers it is a true story or not? As promised, no more spoiler here.

Museum of Innocence- Our favorite Quotes

Please note that the translations below may differ in the official English book.

  • “It was the happiest moment of my life, though I didn’t know it.”
  • “The most important thing in this life is to be happy.”
  • “You don’t watch this kind of movie, of course. Ekrem Guclu plays Prophet Abraham. All family members attended, we cried as much as we want. We also cried when Prophet took the knife and stared at this son. Moreover, we also cried when son- Ismael told such as written in Qur’an “Father, do what God’s command is”. We also cried when the sacrificial lamb came” This section might not be so heartbreaking at first glance, however just wanted to let you know we liked it 🙂
  • “All love stories with happy endings don’t deserve more than a couple of sentences.”
  • “Let everyone know, I lived a very happy life.”

Design of the Museum

The novel also talks about how it was converted to a museum. Outside of the building well represents the district.

The Museum of Innocence- Outside vies
Outside of the Museum

When you enter the museum, the glamour ground floor welcomes you including Pamuk’s manifesto, cigarette stubs.

Going upper, you will be seeing a lot of details about different sections regarding Kemal, his family, and Fusun and her family. And, finally Kemal’s bed from Merhamet (Mercy in English) Apartment or Penthouse room.

Inside of the Museum

Lastly, there is also a shop in the museum even you can purchase Fusun’s earrings. Quick info, you can purchase some items from the website as well.

What we most like about the Museum?

Of course, our favorite is the cigarette stubs section.. It is interesting how Pamuk created the story behind it and put every single date of these cigarettes had been smoked. This section can be the heart of the museum, we felt that this is the section that you can expect more and more about this museum. After this, you know the last words are always rememberable. So, the last floor of the museum is pretty good.

Cigarette Stubs Section

But, simply, you will enjoy from beginning till end. The museum contains every detail regarding the novel.

Museum of Innocence- the penthouse room
The Penthouse

Museum of Innocence- More Information

What is the official website?

Definitely check this site before going to the museum . It has great information as follows:

  • How to enter the museum with the novel? You would need this info. Basically, just take the book with you and show the page consisting of the ticket
  • Orhan Pamuk’s Manifesto
  • The latest and greatest info regarding the ticket prices
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the museum and the novel
  • Map, audio guide and more on

To reach out the museum, you can use the info below.

Phone: +90 212 252 97 38


Museum of Innocence- Visiting hours

Per the official reference [5];

-You can visit the museum from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Mondays.

Please be aware that the box office is closed 30 minutes before the museum closure.
The museum is closed on Mondays, January 1st and on the first days of Ramadan feast and Festival of Sacrifice.

Tickets (Entrance fee)

Ticket price is 60 TL for adults and 35 TL for students. And, audio guide is just 10 TL. We recommend you to take an audio guide and make the connection for each sections.

Dress Code

There is no specific code, however, you will take lovely photos so get ready for that 🙂

Where is the Museum of Innocence?

Address: Cukurcuma Cad., Dalgic Cikmazi, 2, 34425, Beyoglu, Istanbul

How to reach the museum?

The Museum of Innocence is close to top tourist attractions. We will not be explaining so many details here, we recommend you to walk around these streets and reach the museum.

So, we would focus on the square or tower and walk a little bit. If you are around Sultanahmet Square, Hagia Sophia or Topkapi Palace, you can directly catch a taxi if you are in a hurry or don’t want to lose time. It is only 4 km away.

From Kadikoy, you can catch a ferry and reach Karakoy first and then you know what to do.

By the way, before going to the museum, you can enjoy a great Turkish breakfast at Namli Karakoy and then enjoy the Karakoy back streets.

Innocence of Memories

The Innocence of Memories is a British documentary directed by Grant Gee and inspired by Pamuk’s novel. You can also consider watching the documentary, the way of the documentary is another perspective, we liked it. Here is another option for you 🙂


We like Pamuk’s Manifesto about museums. In the meantime, we always like the combination of having the option to visit such big museums like Topkapi Palace and Dolmabahce Palace and such museums as the Museum of Innocence. It also depends on the expectation and we kinda agree about this manifesto.

Istanbul serves many options and we feel lucky to see a museum that was well presented by a novel. So, don’t miss this chance when you are in Istanbul.

So, as the last words, you might be curious about it. “Visiting the museum before or after reading the novel?” Both options are OK, but we liked the 2nd option more and it made more sense and was more pleased visiting the museum after totally understanding Kemal’s big love who is the main character.


Istanbul Fantasy