You will fall in love with Dolmabahce Palace at the first second you see it. It is hard to believe that a person lived like this. Definitely, one of the most gorgeous palace around the world with its outstanding grand hall, jaw-dropping design, elegant furnishings and breath taking Bosphorus views.
It was built in 1853 under the direction of Sultan Abdul Mecit who give an unlimited budget option to the famous architect Balian to create a greatest place in the world. The result is a mix of architectural styles: Hindu, Turksih, and European.
When you step inside, you will be surrounded by extravagant furnishings such as mirrors, marble floors, crystal chandeliers, silk curtains and engirding. The palace has 285 rooms, 46 lounges and 68 toilets. It is beautifully situated on the European shore of the Bosphorus.
Dolmabahce was built during the Ottoman era, financed by foreign loans. After the Turkish Republic was established in 1923, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk kept a room at the palace for use during his visits to Istanbul. He would later die in the palace on November 10, 1938 at 9:05 a.m. and all of the clocks in the palace are stopped at this time.
You have to visit the palace on a guided tour which is definitely a negative. The tour runs about an hour and fifteen minutes. Even though you only see a small portion of the palace, there is so much to see that you feel really rushed through.
The Imperial Gate is now the main entrance to the palace. Once through the gate you’ll come to the Imperial Garden with the Swan Fountain and have your first view of the palace. The almost plainish exterior belies the opulence inside. Of course, when viewed from out on the Bosphorus, you can really appreciate the size of the palace.
The tour passes through just over 20 rooms including the Entrance Hall, Secreteriat’s Rooms, Mescid & Resting Room, Ambassador’s Hall, Rooms of the Crown Prince, Study Room, Passageway to the Harem, and Sultan’s Room in the Harem. But the highlights are definitely the Crystal Staircase and the Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Hall).
The horseshoe-shaped Crystal Staircase leads from the entry gate to the upper levels of the palace. It is so named because it is made from Baccarat crystal and brass. The rail is a highly polished, rich mohogany . Overhead is one of the amazing Baccarat chandeliers.
After the tour you can spend time walking the gardens around the palace, it is truly beautiful experience.
Admission with guided tour is 15 TL
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday – Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (last tour at 4:00 p.m.)
October – February last tour is at 3:00 p.m.
The palace is closed on Mondays and Thursdays