Initially used as a hunting lodge for Ottoman sultans in the 19th century, Istanbul’s Yildiz Palace—aka the Star Palace—became a secure option when Sultan Abdulhamid II feared an attack on the seaside Dolmabahce Palace. Located in Istanbul’s Besiktas district, the current Yildiz Palace is the result of an expansion and serves as a museum.The Basics
The large Yildiz Palace Museum property contains lovely pavilions and gardens. The museum itself, housed in the former carpentry workshop section of the palace, contains exhibitions about Ottoman sultans and the governmental history of Turkey, and has a collection of objects from the palace.
Some private and small-group Istanbul tours visit the Yildiz Palace Museum. These tours usually also include Dolmabahce Palace, Topkapi Palace, Rumeli Fortress, Pierre Loti Hill, and a Bosphorus cruise.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Yildiz Palace Museum is a must-visit for history buffs.
- The museum is surrounded by extensive gardens that are a popular spot for picnics.
- Wear comfortable shoes to explore Yildiz Palace Museum and the surrounding grounds.
The Yildiz Palace Museum is most easily accessed by bus or minibus from Besiktas, or by taxi. You can reach Besiktas by ferry or bus, and the museum is a short walk from the end of the Kabatas tram line. For the most convenience, take a taxi to the museum or choose a tour that includes round-trip transportation.When to Get There
The Yildiz Palace Museum is open from 9am to 7pm between April 16 and October 31, and to 7pm from November 1 to April 15. Arrive early in the day on a weekday to beat the crowds.Other Ottoman Palaces in Istanbul
Yildiz Palace briefly became the center of Ottoman power when Sultan Abdulhamid II chose to move there, fearing a seaside attack. Before and after, Ottoman sultans resided at Dolmabahce, an elaborate 19th-century palace on the shores of the Bosphorus. Predating Dolmabahce Palace was Topkapi Palace, the 15th-century imperial residence on Istanbul’s historic peninsula.