Topkapi Palace & Istanbul Archaeological Museum
Trip Start Jun 11, 2010
23Trip End Jul 22, 2010
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The Topkapi Palace complex houses the Harem, where the sultan kept his wives, favorites & concubines, and the palace itself, where the sultan lived. There were lot of people during my visit & it was unbearably hot & humid, so I decided to tick off Harem from my list first before heading into the palace. The Harem costs 15TL and has several rooms - there was a room assigned for the sultan's mother, his senior wife (wife #1), and his concubines. This is an interesting section of the complex and should not be missed.
The Topkapi Palace would have been an amazing site for me to explore if it weren't for the throngs of people competing to check out the different exhibits. Highlights were the various gems owned by the sultan, and the famous Topkapi Dagger. At the back of the complex, you'll be offered with sweeping views of the Bosphorus and Asia! There's a restaurant in the complex, but don't eat there! It was ridiculously expensive.
After lunch, I quickly headed straight to the Istanbul Archaelogical Museum (A MUST DO!). This is a 3-minute short walk away from Topkapi Palace. There were so many highlights in this museum, but the unforgettable relics were located in the Sarcophagi Collection. The main star of the entire museum was the Alexander Sarcophagi. Seeing this well preserved artifact was more than worth the entrance to this museum. Viewing it before my very eyes was definitely the highlight of my second day in Istanbul.
I went straight home via the tram back to my hostel, but got sidetracked in one of the underground passageways in downtown Istanbul. Locals were watching FIFA & I just had to partake with this cultural phenomenon that I enjoyed immensely in Central Europe.
After dinner, I walked to the Istanbul gay area and went dancing!