If you are a tourist willing not to miss even one significant and popular place to visit in İstanbul, İstanbul Tourist Pass is the one what you are looking for.
Where are you able to buy this pass helping you access to Istanbul’s Most Popular Attractions, Museums and Tours with Airport Transfer, Mobile Internet, Fast-Track Access and Personal Guidance in a cheap way.
To purchase İstanbul Tourist Pass, just one click online is enough. You can even make it transfer your hotel before arriving there.
On the other hand, the other options such as İstanbul Museum Card and İstanbul Card for public transportation are options that you can buy from some places such as kiosks and some points of sales such as Topkapi Palace and Harem.
To learn more points to buy and see the advantages of these cards, let’s keep reading together!
What Is Istanbul Tourist Pass?
İstanbul Tourist Pass provides free access to many top places and attractions in İstanbul as a digital city pass. It includes some activities for children, during the days you choose.
The advantage of this one is to help you save money, and explore Istanbul at your own pace.
By having this, you can also skip the ticketing lines, which would make your travel more enjoyable and faster.
In other words, this city pass let you enjoy many attractions and experiences İstanbul has to offer in a simple, convenient, and inexpensive way.
This pass also gives you great opportunity to access chat during available hours with professional guides from Istanbul Tourist Pass over WhatsApp.
Choose Your Pass Online
By selecting the best choice for you, you can have İstanbul Tourist pass online.
Here are four categories for you to choose:
2 Day Pass: It costs €95 total for 1 adult(s) & 0 children. If you have some children, it is 45 EUR/child. Regardless of any discount code, 0-5 years are always free.
3 Day Pass: It costs €115 for total for 1 adult(s) & 0 children. If you have some children, it is 45 EUR/child. Regardless of any discount code, 0-5 years are always free.
5 Day Pass: It costs €135 for total for 1 adult(s) & 0 children. If you have some children, it is 45 EUR/child. Regardless of any discount code, 0-5 years are always free.
7 Day Pass: It costs €145 for total for 1 adult(s) & 0 children. If you have some children, it is 45 EUR/child. Regardless of any discount code, 0-5 years are always free.
While İstanbul Tourist Pass includes many things such as museums like High Sophia Museum and Topkapi Palace, attractions like dinner cruise, whirling dervishes, and services like airport transfer and mobile Internet, there is another card named Museum Pass İstanbul.
Here are the places listed below cost the price just near of the name an easy calculation to see how advantageous this card for you:
Hagia Sophia Museum (Guided Tour) €15
Topkapi Palace Museum (Guided Tour) €15
Basilica Cistern (Guided Tour) €9
BigBus Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour (24 hours) €35
Bosphorus Dinner Cruise With Turkish Shows€50
Whirling Dervishes Show €18
Maiden’s Tower €4
Istanbul Airport Transfer (Shared) €30
Unlimited Mobile Internet Access (3 days) €27
Bosphorus Cruise €4
Madame Tussauds İstanbul €13
Sea Life Aquarium Istanbul €15
Princes’ Islands Boat Trip (round-trip) €4
Hop-on Hop-off Bosphorus Boat Tour €3
Legoland Discovery Centre İstanbul €10
Xtrem Aventures İstanbul €10
Pera Museum €4
Sakip Sabancı Museum €5
Dialogue in the Dark €9
Dialogue in the Silence €9
Hagia Irene Museum (Guided Tour) €10
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum (Guided Tour) €11
Although all above costs you €310 without İstanbul Tourist Pass, you can have all just paying €95.
Apart from this you will have Whatsapp Traveler Support online as other advantage of Istanbul Tourist Pass. In short, you can save over €200 with Istanbul Tourist Pass.
What Is Whatsapp Traveler Support ?
This card gives you an opportunity to have one to one guiding advice via Whatsapp.
As long as you have an Internet connection, you can contact your personal online local guide.
You can have it aanytime between 10.00am to 18.30 so that you can ask for help, or whatever you want like directions and recommendations of places to eat or visit.
In fact, if i is your first time to visit this big and crowded country, it is very handy to take some advice or solve your problems if you get confused when roaming.
It is very advantageous and inexpensive since if you hire a private guide, it can cost approximately 20 euros an hour or more.
What Is Museum Pass Istanbul?
Museum Pass İstanbul is one of the museum card served by Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It enables you to get a pass to visit Istanbul’s top museums comfortably.
If you want to be able to visit the historical and cultural treasures of İstanbul, the capital city of three empires, whose history dates back over more than 9 thousand years, this card is suitable for you.
This card is valid for 120 hours and costs 185 TL.
There is one point where you should not get confused. There is a card in Turkey named as MüzeKart that is valid for 300+ museums nationwide.
However, only Turkish nationals and foreigners with a residence permit can obtain it.
When it comes to the Museum Pass Istanbul is for tourists visiting the metropolitan, hence providing access to a limited amount of venues.
In fact, the Museum Pass is the one and only card you can apply for if you are a foreigner in this city.
Where to buy Istanbul Museum Pass?
You can order it online before your visit. Therefore you can have this card delivered to your hotel, waiting for you and ready to use upon your arrival.
Needless to say, you should be very sure about the address of your hotel before ordering so that you will not face any unexpected problems when you arrive at your hotel.
Besides online buying, there are many sales points in İstanbul to buy this card.
Museum Pass Points of Sales
Here is the list of sales points with some informational parts about the places where to buy İstanbul Museum Pass.
Hagia Sophia Museum
Although Hagia Sophia was used as a church for 916 years, it was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed.
After being a mosque for 482 years, this situation has changed under the order of Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers, and Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935. Today it is still visited by many tourists as a museum.
Topkapı Palace and Harem (which is a section inside the Topkapı Palace)
As a residence of the Ottoman Sultans, Topkapi Palace is such an important place for history in this country.
Yet, at the same time, this place has a value of the administrative and educational center of the state, which initially constructed between 1460 and 1478 by Sultan Mehmed II.
Also, Harem is a place were the sultans lived together with their families at Topkapi Palace. Especially for architectural history, this place has taken many visitors to analyze with its architectural styles ranging from the 16th century to the early 19th century.
Hagia Irene Museum
As a church dedicated to holly peace, Hagia Irene means ‘divine peace’ in Greek. There are some different beliefs about this museum.
One of them is that the church was first built in the 4th century AD over the ruins of a pagan temple by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine I. What the interesting part is that during the following centuries the church was restored several times because of the earthquakes and some big fires.
Istanbul Archaeological Museums
The Archaeology Museum consists of two separate buildings. They are the main building(old building) and additional building (new building).
However, the Istanbul Archaeology Museums consist of three museums. Those are Archaeology Museum, Old Eastern Works Museum, and Enameled Kiosk Museum.
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Turkish and Islamic Works Museum as the first Turkish museum covering the Turkish and Islamic artworks wholly have been started to work at the end of the 19th century.
It has been completed in 1913 and the museum has been opened for visiting in the soup kitchen building located in Süleymaniye Mosque complex, which is one of the most important works of famous architect Mimar Sinan in Ottoman times.
İstanbul Great Palace Mosaic Museum
The Museum of Great Palace Mosaics is located in Arasta Bazaar within the Sultanahmet Mosque compound, which constituted in such a way that containing the mosaic pavement partially intact in the northeast section of the arcaded yard of the Great Palace in East-Roman period.
Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam
Here is quite new when compared to other museums.
It was opened in May 2008 and located in the Gülhane Park (Rose Garden), in one of the most beautiful areas of Istanbul. The museum is such a big that extends over 3500 square meters along the old palace wall, on the former stables of the Sultan’s Has Ahirlar.
The museum located in the Edirnekapı neighborhood is a church building that constitutes the center of the Chora Monastery, which was a great building complex in the Eastern Roman Empire period.
Actually, it was dedicated to Jesus Christ but the building was called “Chora”, which means “in the country” or “outside of the city” in Greek because it stood outside of the city walls built by Constantine.
Fethiye Museum (Pammakaristos)
The church is in Çarşamba vicinity of Fatih county of İstanbul. Fethiye Museum Pammakaristos (very very happy) Monastery had been built in East-Roman period. However, the north church is used as a mosque today.
Galata Mevlevi House (Galata Mevlevihanesi)
The Galata Mevlevi Lodge (Galata Mevlevihanesi) was built in 1491 as a first Mawlawi house in Istanbul.
It ceased to function as dervish tekke (lodge) in 1925 and opened as a museum in 1975 and underwent a major refurbishment between 2005 and 2009 and now serves as a museum about the Mevlevi Sufi Islam sect.
Rumeli Hisar Museum
It locates within borders of Sarıyer district and gave its name to the location, covering 30.000 m² areas. There is a monument-art built in the narrowest part and flowing (600m) section of the Istanbul Bosphorus just opposite Anadoluhisarı.
You can visit here between 09.00-16.30 everyday except Wednesdays.
Yildiz Palace is located between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy, in the Yıldız Park.
The Yıldız Palace is complex which extends 500,000m2 and consists of several pavilions, palace buildings, and other service and management buildings. You can transfer here by bus and minibus from Beşiktaş to this palace.
Where Not to Use Istanbul Museum Pass?
To be able to use your museum pass in Istanbul, the museum you are planning to use should be operated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Some places managed by other bodies do not accept this card. For example, Dolmabahçe Palace or the Basilica Cistern are the places where the museum pass is invalid to use.
For some museum where museum pass valid, there are separately-ticketed areas within these sites, such as the Harem quarters and Hagia Irene church within the Topkapı Palace complex.
What Is Public Transportation Discount Card?
As a tourist, if you are not willing to take a taxi every time or if you do not intend to rent a car when traveling, you will need a transportation card to roam in İstanbul.
The system of public transportation can only be accessed by using electronic cards in İstanbul. You can purchase 1-ride, 5-ride cards or the Istanbulkart.
Where Can I Buy the Transportation Card?
In every station of the subway, trams, Metrobus, funiculars and some kiosks located near most stops of the public buses have a yellow vending machine. You can buy your transportation card from these places.
If you wonder about the price, here is the updated information for you:
As of February 2019, the cost of the card is only 6 Turkish Liras (TL) if you buy it from the machines but it is 7 TL to purchase from most kiosks.
How Do I Use the Transportation Card?
The card you will buy from the machine or kiosks does not have any credit so you need to credit money to your card for your rides.
Yet, there is no need to get worried; it is just easy as to have the card. From the yellow machines you buy the card, you can load your Istanbulkart.
Or as a second choice, you can loan it from the kiosks where you purchased the card, wait for the card to be scanned and deposit cash to load your Istanbulkart.
When you ride the public transportation machine, you will see a card reader. What you need to do is just to bring your card close once for each passenger you want to pay for.
And here is the last tip:
If you have a child under the age of 6, you do not have to use this card. It is just free for children under the age of 6.
You should load your card with the approximate money you need. You should calculate it more or less not to have any problem when traveling because not every station ( generally bus station) have kiosks to credit money.
The per person per ride cost 2019 will be as follows in Istanbul:
- Buses: 2.60 TRY
- Tram: 2.60 TRY
- Metro: 2.60 TRY
- Cable Car: 2.60 TRY
- Funicular: 2.60 TRY
- Boats: 2.60-4.00 TRY