Dolmabahçe Palace

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Istanbul, Turkey
(0212) 236 3577

Dolmabahçe Palace Istanbul Reviews

Pali Pali
7 reviews
Beautiful Garden Sep 29, 2011
This is one of the nicest places i have seen in Istanbul even if you don't like palaces , it is worth the visit. There are usually tours that involve visiting this place. A must see in Istanbul. Make sure you go in the day light to get a glimpse of the nice landscape.
The front View of the palace.
One of the entrances of the palace.
A fountain in the garden
Outside the main gate.
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JRube51 JRube51
3 reviews
Must see palace! May 31, 2011
A must see if visiting Turkey! The architecture is amazing and the inside is beautiful! The tour given is very informative and interesting, just make sure you get in line for an English tour, and not a Turkish or Arabic tour. Unless of course you speak one of those languages. I have attached some pictures to give you an idea of what it looks like.
meersan meersan
6 reviews
Sep 25, 2005
Dolmabahçe Palace is one of the most popular attractions in Istanbul. The home of the Ottoman sultans from 1856 until the founding of the modern Turkish republic in 1923, Dolmabahçe Palace was the political and administrative center of the Ottoman Empire during a period of immense change. Its baroque and rococo style fully reflects the European influence on Turkey at the time, yet the presence of structures such as the harem and traditional Turkish baths means Dolmabahçe Palace epitomizes the melding of West and East which makes Istanbul so unique today.You may wish to arrive at Dolmabahçe Palace in the morning--due to the need to preserve the palace's furnishings from deterioration, only a set number of visitors are allowed entrance each day. There are two tours offered. The Selamlik tour includes the main palace rooms and ceremonial halls. A tour of the harem, the portion of the palace in which the sultan's family lived, is also available. I enjoyed seeing the harem but if you're pressed for time you may wish to skip it. When purchasing your admission ticket make sure to buy a ticket for your camera! You will not be allowed to take any photographs if you do not have one. (This is way too easy to miss and resulted in my group being required to check our cameras at the entrance.) Guided tours for groups of visitors are offered in English and French; you will not be allowed to enter the palace without joining one.The word "dolmabahçe" means "filled garden" in Turkish and comes from the palace's situation right on the banks of the Bosphorus. Once you're inside the palace grounds you can appreciate how serene and peaceful this makes Dolmabahçe Palace feel--just two or three steps lead right down into the water. This must have been very convenient in an age when travel by boat was often faster and more convenient than by rail or horse-drawn carriage. The palace gardens are in a French style. The large Swan Fountain at the visitors' entrance starts things off with appropriate élan.Dolmabahçe Palace is well-known for the quality of its rococo decoration, but it's famous for its Crystal Staircase, built of French baccarat crystal, brass and mahogany. On the Selamlik tour you'll get to traipse up these incredibly beautiful stairs, which made me feel like a heroine in a romance story. You'll also get to peek into the various sitting rooms and parlors once visited by ambassadors and important officials. The enormous reception hall, used for ceremonies and religious occasions, contains an awe-inspiring 4000 kg chandelier, the largest in the world. This really is a jaw-dropping sight.Dolmabahçe Palace continued to play an important role in Turkey even after the sultanate was abolished in 1922. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Republic, stayed at Dolmabahçe when he was in Istanbul and died here in 1938. You will be able to see his room if you take the harem tour. In the harem tour you will also get to see the Turkish baths used by the sultan and his family which are made entirely of marble. The nine separate suites of rooms for the sultan's wives were also a treat to see. There are many portraits and paintings through the palace, including the harem. One life-sized portrait of a young girl in traditional harem dress was painted in the early 20th century. According to our guide, the girl depicted is still alive (now an older lady, of course) and returned to visit the palace a few years ago. It's amazing to think of all the changes that have occurred to Dolmabahçe Palace during that time--to go from a sultan's harem to a president's mansion to a museum for curious visitors.A visit to Dolmabahçe Palace is a great way to see the changes in Turkey in the 19th and 20th centuries. I thought the contrast with Topkapi Palace was quite striking. I'm glad I had the good fortune to visit them both.
The clock tower
Entrance to Dolmabahçe Palace
Outside the grounds

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photo by: Memo