Istanbul boasts world-class museums and art galleries.
Visit Istanbul Modern, Pera Museum, Rahmi Koç Museum and the Sabancı Museum …
All await for you to discover.
The city has finally got its own modern art museum, complete with a permanent collection and impressive exhibitions such as Juan Munoz, Anish Kapoor, William Kentridge, Design Cities and the Istanbul Biennial to name but a few. The building itself is worth seeing in its own right: a converted warehouse that now features sleek industrial design with state-of-the-art technology, including a library, a cinema and flat-screen TVs featuring video art. The Istanbul Modern Café is also a big hit, with excellent food and a great view (when there isn’t a big cruise ship moored outside).
The Rahmi Koç Museum
This private museum is dedicated to the history of transport, industry and communication. Founded in 1991 by one of the members of Turkey’s wealthiest dynasty, the museum has been in operation since 1994. Rumour has it that founder Rahmi M. Koç was inspired to create the museum after visiting the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.
Sakıp Sabancı Museum
This magnificent villa was converted into an art museum by one of Turkey’s wealthiest families, the Sabancıs. It’s brought over some excellent exhibitions so far, including Picasso, Rodin and Dali. Take a browse before enjoying some lunch at the exceptional Müzedechanga restaurant on the museum’s grounds.
Istanbul’s newest cultural centre and museum space is a power plant that’s been transformed by Istanbul Bilgi University. Located in Silahtarağa, Santralistanbul hosts modern art and design exhibitions, a museum of the old power plant, a library, conferences and seminars, festivals, concerts and more. It also features one of the city’s best new nightlife venues, Ottosantral.
Founded by the Suna and Inan Kıraç Foundation in 2005, this relatively new museum is known for its three permanent collections of Anatolian weights and measures, Kütahya tiles and ceramics and Oriental art. The pieces all date back to the 17th century. The museum itself is in a historical building, built by architect Achille Manoussos in 1893.
Sadberk Hanım Museum
This museum was established by the Vehbi Koç Foundation in honour of the late Sadberk Koç, Vehbi Koç’s wife. Owing to the wooden crossed mouldings along the exterior of the museum, it was nicknamed ‘Threaded Yalı’ (“yalı” meaning waterside residence). The museum contains a gift shop, a small tearoom, an attic used for storage and more, though many prefer the Sevgi Gönül Wing of the museum which was added in 1983 to house the Hüseyin Kocabaş art collection.
This museum is dedicated to the work of the prominent Turkish painter Burhan Doğançay, and includes his works from the 1950s to the present day. Paintings of ribbons, cones and other urban wall series can be viewed alongside his photographs on four floors, with a separate section dedicated to the works of his late father, Adil Doğançay.
The Florence Nightingale Museum
First things first: in order to visit this museum, you will have to fax your passport details, time of arrival and contact number to the army, as the museum is located in the Selimiye Barracks, the headquarters of the Turkish First Army. However, if you make it in, it’s worth it, as this museum is where Florence Nightingale originally cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War..