Art trip : the archaeological museum, Istanbul

Visiting the Archaeological Museum isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when visiting Istanbul. Those who do – and who are a bit curious about architecture – are in for a good surprise.

First there’s the vast courtyard, with mismatched columns and statues scattered in a rather majestic way. Then, there’s the impressive neo-classic façade of the building itself, and the immense hall with its beautiful staircase, all in subtle shades of white and grey. And finally, after wandering through the numerous museum rooms, you arrive in a more modern part of the building. It’s a mid-century modern vibe, but with an ottoman touch: think white marble, dark woods, deep browns and golden details. There’s not a single tourist there, probably because this part hosts a rather boring and extremely extensive collection of potteries, but the decor is surprisingly chic.

Let’s be fair though, for those actually interested in archaeology, the museum’s collection alone is worth the visit, the collection of sarcophagus in particular, which is displayed on the ground floor in a surprisingly moody light.



Archaeological museum
Cankurtaran Mh., Alemdar Cad, 34122 İstanbul


  • Reply September 3, 2013

    Miss Moss : The Voyageur

    […] that another does not. Pauline has visited some interesting places, i did not even know about the archaeological museum in Istanbul, but that is now top of my list if we ever go there. her photography is also absolutely exquisite, […]

  • […] I’m always sensitive to museums that offer either a great display, an interesting setting or a particularly good selection. Here  it’s pretty much a homerun. That’s not a […]

  • Reply August 21, 2014

    Seth Wilson

    This wonderful place literally saved me from collapsing during my visit to Istanbul this July. My friend found this article and we took a whole day off the city heat to traverse the exhibitions there and in Beylerbeyi. One would think that a place like this in the middle of Sultanahmet located gets visited a lot, but it seems it is still a bit of an insider tip =)

    • Reply August 21, 2014

      The Voyageur

      @seth Wow, I’m glad you liked it! Didn’t know Beylerbeyi but this looks gorgeous!

Leave a Reply