Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace | Exploring Turkey's largest palace

The 19th-century Dolmabahce Palace was the Ottoman Empire's administrative center for over 50 years. With lavish rooms decorated with glass, crystals, and gold, it is a masterpiece of Ottoman, Baroque, and Neoclassical architecture, embodying Ista...

Founded On


Founded By

Garabet Balyan

Dolmabahçe PalaceDolmabahce Palace

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3 hours






2+ hours (Peak), 30-60 mins (Off Peak)


0-30 mins (Peak), 0-30 mins (Off Peak)

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Did you know?

The construction of Dolmabahce Palace cost 5 million Ottoman gold lira, or 35 tonnes of gold. This is equivalent to nearly $2 billion in today’s times. 14 tonnes of gold was used for gilding the palace ceilings.

“Dolmabahce” means “filled-in garden” in Turkish. The palace is located in what was originally a shallow bay of the Bosphorus. The shore was reclaimed in the late 17th century, filled in, and converted into an imperial garden.

The Bohemian crystal chandelier in the Ceremonial Hall of Dolmabahce Palace is the largest in the world. It weighs a massive 4.5 tonnes and has 750 lamps.

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Dolmabahce Palace highlights

Clock Tower at the Dolmabahce Palace
Harems at the Dolmabahce Palace
Dolmabahce Mosque

Dolmabahce Mosque

Dolmabahçe Mosque, situated in Istanbul, Turkey, is a remarkable architectural gem within the Dolmabahçe Palace complex. Completed in 1855, it showcases a fusion of Ottoman and Baroque styles, boasting an impressive facade, intricate interiors, and a unique historical significance.

Dolmabahce Museum
Medhal Hall at Dolmabahce Palace

Medhal Hall

The Medhal Hall was used as a reception area for the sultan's guests and dignitaries. It features a beautiful crystal chandelier, one of the largest in the palace, and intricate frescoes and carvings along the walls and ceiling. 

Mabeyn-i Humayun at Dolmabahce Palace

Mabeyn-i Humayun

When you enter this hall, you get a sense of the power and prestige of the Ottoman Empire and experience the grandeur of a bygone era. It was used as a place of reception for ambassadors and foreign dignitaries visiting the palace. 

Muayede at Dolmabahce Palace


Muayede Hall was used for the grandest ceremonies of the Ottoman Empire, including the coronation of Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1876. The hall features an impressive dome, which is adorned with stunning frescoes and intricate gold leaf decorations. 

Zulvecheyn Hall at the Dolmabahce Palace

Zulvecheyn Hall

The Zulvecheyn Hall is renowned for its impressive size and stunning crystal chandeliers, which are among the largest in the world, weighing over 4 tons each. You will also find ornate gold leaf decorations and intricate carvings on its walls. 

Library at the Dolmabahce Palace


The library contains over 25,000 books in several languages, including Turkish, Arabic, and Persian, with the oldest book dating back to the 9th century. It also has many rare manuscripts, including one of the last handwritten copies of the Quran from the 19th century. 

Palace Gates at the Dolmabahce Palace

Palace Gates

The gates are made from wrought iron and are adorned with intricate patterns and motifs. They served as the entrance to the palace during the Ottoman Empire and witnessed several crucial moments in Turkish history. 

History of Dolmabahce Palace

History of Dolmabahce Palace

Who built Dolmabahce Palace?

Dolmabahce Palace was built by the Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid I in the mid-19th century to replace Topkapi Palace as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire. Armenian architect Garabet Balyan along with his son Nigogayos Balyan ideated the design and construction of the Palace in 1843. It took about 13 years to complete the construction of the Palace. 

Architecture & design of Dolmabahce Palace

Architecture of Dolmabahce Palace

Frequently asked questions about Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul

What is Dolmabahce Palace?

Built in the mid-19th century, Dolmabahce Palace served as the primary administrative center of the Ottoman Empire. It features both European and Ottoman architectural elements. The palace is renowned for its opulent interiors adorned with exquisite chandeliers, grand staircases, and extravagant artwork. 

Why is Dolmabahce Palace famous?

Dolmabahce Palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdulmecid I, the 31st Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Thousands of tourists visit the palace every year because of its opulent interiors and historical significance. It served as the primary administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and features a combination of European and Ottoman elements. 

How much are Dolmabahce Palace tickets?

Dolmabahce Palace tickets start from €29. There are different experiences to choose from, including skip-the-line tickets, guided tours, and combo tours. Audio guides are also available for a more informative experience.

What can I do at Dolmabahce Palace?

When visiting Dolmabahce Palace, look out for its magnificent halls and opulent interiors. The Crystal Staircase, Medhal Hall, and the Ceremonial Hall of the Valide Sultan are some popular rooms that you must check out. Also, make sure to walk around in the palace gardens and enjoy beautiful views of the Bosphorus River and the Eastern side of Istanbul. 

Who designed Dolmabahce Palace?

Dolmabahce Palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdulmecid I. It was designed and constructed by Armenian architect Garabet Balyan, along with his son Nigogayos Balyan. 

When was Dolmabahce Palace built?

The construction of Dolmabahce Palace began in 1843 and took around 13 years to complete. The architect Garabet Balyan along with his son Nigogayos Balyan ideated the construction, blending traditional Ottoman elements with European styles.

What is the main purpose of Dolmabahce Palace?

In 1843, Sultan Abdulmecid I commissioned Dolmabahce Palace to serve as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire, taking over from Topkapi Palace. The blend of European and Ottoman architectural elements showcases the transcultural influences and is an attempt to modernize the administrative center. 

Where is Dolmabahce Palace located?

Dolmabahce Palace is located on Visnezade, Dolmabahce Cd., 34357 Besiktas in Istanbul, Turkey.  

How can I get to Dolmabahce Palace?

The most economical way to reach Dolmabahce Palace is to get on the Marmaray (Atakoy to Pendik) or the Marmaray (Halkali to Gebze) train or take the M2 metro or the T1 tram. Dolmabahce Palace is an 8-minute walk from the Sultanahmet station.

What are Dolmabahce Palace's timings?

Dolmabahce Palace is open from 9 AM to 6 PM every Tuesday to Sunday. It remains closed on Mondays. 

How many entrances does Dolmabahce Palace have?

Dolmabahce Palace has two entrances- the main entrance with wheelchair-accessible ramps and elevators, also known as the Imperial Gate, and the side entrance or the Gate of Treasury. 

How long should I spend at Dolmabahce Palace?

You should expect to spend around 2 hours in fully exploring the ceremonial halls, grand interiors, and vast gardens of Dolmabahce Palace. 

Is Dolmabahce Palace worth visiting?

Yes, if you love history and art, you must visit Dolmabahce Palace. It served as the official administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from the mid-19th century and has borne witness to several crucial events in Turkish history. The palace is also known for its grand interiors, crystal staircase, and well-manicured gardens.