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Discover coveted rooms that most visitors aren’t privy to on this skip-the-line tour of Topkapi Palace with a small-group in Istanbul. While most tours only grant patrons access to the palace’s trodden paths, this one allows you to venture off-the-beaten track within the palace itself, to lairs once used by Ottoman sultans such as the Imperial Harem. Plus, this tour allows you to maximize your time in Istanbul, by skipping the infamously long entrance line. Along the way, you’ll learn about the palace’s history in-depth. This tour is limited to 15 people to ensure a personal experience.


  • 3-hour Topkapi Palace tour in Istanbul, with skip-the-line access
  • Discover rooms not covered by other tours, like the palace kitchens and foot soldiers quarters
  • Enjoy visiting the Baths of the Royal Family, Imperial Hall, Mosque of the Ağas and other rooms in and around the palace
  • Explore the fascinating Imperial Harem and learn more about the palace from the knowledgeable guide
  • Learn about the Audience Chamber inside the palace
  • This is a small group tour limited to 15 people to ensure a high-quality experience

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

Pay close attention when you visit areas rarely open to the public, including the palace kitchen where up to 800 busy cooks used to serve 6,000 dishes a day!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line: Topkapi Palace Tour in Istanbul Including Imperial Harem

Visit the Imperial Harem and more on this palace tour

Your immersive skip-the-line Topkapi Palace experience begins by meeting your informative guide in the Sultanahmet district. Then head to Istanbul’s famous Topkapi Palace, where Ottoman sultans and royalty once lived, dined, indulged and entertained illustrious guests. Learn all about its storied history and see rooms that are off limits to travelers most of the time. Spend three hours strolling the grounds’ hallways, rooms and opulent courtyards.

Follow your guide to the foot soldiers barracks, pipe room, private baths and an opulent prayer room. Your guide will dish out enticing stories and historical backstories to all of the places you visit on your tour. Put yourself in the shoes of the sultan as you pass through the most coveted room in the palace, the Imperial Harem. Listen to tales of the concubines, children and eunuchs who guarded the wives who resided here.

Then, visit the illustrious Audience Chamber, where performing Viziers once frequented. Stroll the verdant gardens and courtyards, catching views of the Bosphorus Strait along the way. Admire the impressive kiosks other stunning works of art and architecture throughout the palace. But there is still much more here to see. At the end of the guided portion, your guide will present an overview of the rest of the grounds, which you can explore on your own at the end of the tour.

Customer Reviews

Linda A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This tour was excellent! Probably the best guide I had in Istanbul. I learned a great deal about the Topkapi Palace and was able to tour it comfortably. It is also a good first day in Istanbul tour. This was my favorite of the Istanbul tours.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

It was amazing experience really , we enjoyed every single minute of the tour , the palace is spectacular with its buildings and gardens and four courtyards and Harem area is fascinating really and the sea views from different locations of the palace is really amazing , and Also our tour guide KARAM was really really good and have a wonderful knowledge of all details of the history of the palace . we really recommend this trip for every one interested in history or even not interested in history for sure you will find something to fall in love with inside the palace .


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

The lady tour guide spoke wonderful English and Spanish by the way, she has a degree in tourism, has great knowledge and showed us absolutely everything worth seeing in the palace. She answered all questions beautifully and had great patience overall. We met her again by accident during another tour and she was as knowledgeable. This tour was the best decision we made.

Mary Patricia F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

our guide was incredible.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Jimmy, did a great job with the tour which we enjoyed immensely. We learned a lot about the harem and how the Sultan's mother played an important and powerful role in palace politics. The sights themselves were stunning. I would recommend the tour to anyone.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Excellent guide and tour


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Couldn't have been better. Our guide, Jimmy, was knowledgeable, charming, and provided insights which were invaluable in understanding Topkapi.

eman a

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

it was amazing

Joyce M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

We really enjoyed this tour. Guneysp our guide was very knowledgeable and passionate about history and he gave a wonderful overview before starting the tour. His presentation was interesting and fun. We saw everything very efficiently and had an opportunity for a break midway as well as time after the tour to see things we missed. I would highly recommend this tour.

Hannah L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great guide and very imformative! Not much extra than paying your two entry tickets and audio guides, and you get a real guide who is most helpful and happy to answer any questions you have!

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