Museum Pass Istanbul- Worth It? (Updates in 2020)

Museum Pass Istanbul- Worth It? (Updates in 2020)

What is Museum Pass?

Istanbul has a lot of great museums where you can enjoy and feel the history. The Museum Pass is a card that is being used to enter the number of museums in Istanbul. It is important to be careful about two terms, “Museum Pass” and “Museum Card”. The museum card can only be purchased by Turkish citizens which gives access to over 300 museums in Turkey for a year. Per 2020, the price is 60 Turkish Lira for a museum card and the discounted price for Turkish students is only 30 Turkish Lira. However, if you are coming from other countries and you are not a Turkish citizen, you should consider the pass option only.

So, let’s get back to this important question. Does it make sense to buy the Istanbul museum pass? Before going further, there are many types such as Museum Pass Istanbul, Museum Pass the Aegean, Museum Pass Mediterranean, Museum Pass Cappadocia and Museum Pass Turkey. We will focus on Istanbul pass, but you can also think Museum Pass Turkey if you will visit many locations within Turkey.

As a reminder, there are also some special discounts you can get. We will also be talking about these discounts.

We would like to mention that 325 Turkish Lira is not a big deal. You can pay this amount for breakfast or for dinner. However, we also believe that there are many travelers just want to enjoy a city with minimum consumption. Also, earning money is not an easy thing, so why should we pay extra money?

Museum Pass Istanbul

What are the
Advantages of Museum Pass?

It is easy to use. Especially, standing in the long queues can be challenging starting from March till October, so you can skip those lines. However, you should still wait in the security check lines. If you are a really museum addict, you can definitely spend less money if you cover more than a normal person does :).

What does Museum Pass Include?

Here is the list of Istanbul museums where you can use the Museum Pass. As you can see, there are good options which are authorized by Tourism&Culture of Ministry but still a few are missing, right :)? Unfortunately, please note that you can’t use the pass for Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Galata Tower, and Basilica Cistern. We would have been happier if this pass would be valid for these places. Still thinking that Beylerbeyi palace is “nice to see”, but others are definitely “must-see” places.

  • Hagia Sophia Museum
  • Topkapi Palace and Harem
  • Hagia Irene
  • Istanbul Archaeological Museums
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
  • Istanbul Mosaic Museum
  • Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam
  • Chora Museum
  • Fethiye Museum
  • Galata Mevlevi House
  • Rumeli Hisar Museum
  • Yildiz Palace

Where to Buy Museum Pass Istanbul?

When you check this official site [1], you can see that it is available to order online. In the past, it was required to provide a physical address in Turkey. So, as a tourist, you should have given the address where you would stay, hotel or apartment. So, it was a nightmare to arrange every detail and that was time-consuming. You would check with the hotel, receptionists, you should have arranged all the things before going to your hotel. Really didn’t worth it.

Nowadays, they created the Mobile option that you can buy the pass by the web-site. However, we are still not sure you should do this before your visit. If you think that you should buy this pass, you can still buy near the museum you are planning to visit. You can try box offices or you can also use vending machines. Moreover, there are also some hotels providing the pass to its customers, you can still check with your hotel, but definitely do not pay an extra cost.

Museum Pass Istanbul- Validity

The pass is valid for 5 days or in other words it is valid for 120 hours. So, when you enter the first valid museum, the countdown begins. You have 120 hours before it expires.

Tips

You can enter just for once for each museum. Museums can be closed without prior notice for necessary maintenance works. The museums are generally closed on Monday or Tuesday. So, try to start your first entry on Wednesday, if this is possible. Because, you have only 120 hours, nobody cares the museum is closed or open. If you have a child obviously smaller than 8, the responsible person at the entrance would directly let him/her in. Otherwise, they might want to give you a free ticket after checking your child’s passport. If you don’t want to spend time on these procedures, you might want to buy your child a pass too.

It would be good to cover some museums together during your visit. For instance, they are mostly on the European side, and it looks like we don’t have many options on the Anatolian side such as Kadikoy.

Summer periods are better since the museum openings are longer. Check out this post to find out the best time to visit Istanbul.

Is it Worth it?

You can buy the Istanbul Museum Pass by paying 325 TL. See the graph below which lists all museums you can get access to this card. 1

Additional Discounts

Regardless of these museums, there are additional discounts for some key and important activities as follows. Please check this reference for the full list. 1

  • Harbiye Military Museum: 20% discount for adult tickets
  • Historical Galatasaray Hamam: 25% for all services
  • Istanbul Archaeological Museums Shop & Cafe: 10% discount at the shop & cafe
  • Istanbul City Lines: 25% discount for short Bosphorus tour & 20% discount for full Bosphorus tour
  • Maiden’s Tower: 25% discount for an adult ticket
  • Pera Museum: Only one free entrance per year
  • Sakip Sabanci Museum: Ticket is 10 Turkish Lira if you have the pass.
  • Rahmi Koc Museum: 20% discount for adult tickets

Conclusion

We agree that it is not all about Maths, there are some parameters here, but numbers do not lie. If you are a museum addict, it is definitely worth it. If you are not a museum addict, but we still believe that you will just visit the top ones. So, buying the pass may not make sense since the museum pass cost is higher compared to the single entries for only “must-do” museums. Or, another point is you might not stay 5 days in this fascinating city. Let’s consider you have only 2 days. In both conditions, by purchasing the museum pass, you will not regret it. At least you will have an advantage of no standing in the long lines. You know time is money 😉

Moreover, you can get more advantages such as discounts if you plan to do more activities mentioned in the “additional discounts” section. However, if you don’t care about wasting time in the queues and if you only plan to visit top places, the pass is not really required.

In conclusion, we recommend you to evaluate this option and decide to buy or not to buy depending on your museum interest.

References

  1. https://muze.gov.tr/

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!