Topkapi Palace

Another must see in Istanbul is the Topkapi Palace.

It was the main residence of the sultans of the Ottoman empire.

I also recommend this one first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. I got here early but a little later than opening and crowds consistently built as the morning went on.

The whole museum is great but the two highlights are the privy chamber and the harem.

Privy Chamber

The privy chamber is the museum of sacred relics.

Security is tight in this portion and females must be covered for modesty.

I am not allowed to take photos in this section but it contains some pretty interesting Islamic relics. Here you will find a Mohammed tooth and beard in containers in very beautiful rooms. There are magnificent tile patterns and prayer chants running through speakers. I wear a stole to cover my knees for modesty. Other things here include Keys to Kaaba, old sword and soil from Medina and Mecca.

Harem

The harem is another must see. There is a separate ticket to this section but it is totally worth it. Not only does it have the best looking tile work and decor but also the crowds are much thinner in this section.

Below are some of the other parts of the palace.

Lastly you get to tour the kitchens and other museums. There is a great exhibit on tea and coffee and how it is served in the palace. Plus the room had very good AC.

This whole museum was worth the price of admission.

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