Those with an interest in Islamic art will find plenty to marvel at in Istanbul's Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, home to a remarkable collection of Middle Eastern treasures and artifacts, spanning the 8th to the 19th century.
Inside, visitors can admire one of the world's finest carpet collections, including prayer rugs, rare Seljuk carpets, and hand-woven Uşak Anatolian varieties; learn about Anatolian life in the ethnography exhibit; and browse the extensive exhibits of art, which feature stone art, porcelain. metal work, ceramics, and handicrafts. Additional highlights include a magnificent collection of Islamic calligraphy, a door taken from the Great Mosque in Cizre, and a collection of Yörük (Turkish nomads) tents.
The museum is also impressive from the outside, housed in the lavish İbrahim Paşa Palace, which was built in 1524 and reopened as a museum in the late 19th century.
Insider's Tip: To make the most of your visit, allow at least two hours to tour the museum's vast exhibits.
The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is located in Sultanahmet, opposite the Blue Mosque, and is open daily from 9am to 5pm in winter and from 9am to 7pm in summer. Adult admission costs 25 Turkish lira, while children under 12 enter for free. The site is easily accessible by foot from the Sultanahmet tram stop. If you need a break during your exploration of the museum, check out the courtyard coffee shop with tables overlooking the square.