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Museum Week Special: 20 Must-See Museums in Turkey

In order to protect the world cultural heritage and promote museology, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared May 18 as "Museums Day" worldwide. In our country, the days from May 18 to 24 have been celebrated as "Museums Week" since 1982.

Within the framework of "Museums Week", we have gathered for you some of the museums with different contents from different provinces of our country that house the millennia-old historical and cultural heritage of Anatolia.

According to the directive of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism regulating access to museums and archaeological sites, young people and children at or under 18 who are citizens of the Republic of Turkey, as well as teachers who belong to the Ministry of National Education, can visit museums and archaeological sites free of charge.

In addition, you can visit the museums we have compiled for you and many more online at on the website of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey and add new information to your cultural treasure.

Here are 20 museums and archaeological sites we recommend visiting.

Enjoy your reading.


The Istanbul Toy Museum was founded on April 23, 2005 by Belgin Akın and poet and writer Sunay Akın. The museum, which exhibits the most popular examples of toy history from the 1700s to the present, is located in a historic mansion. The Istanbul Toy Museum was founded with toys that Sunay Akın acquired in antique stores and auctions in more than 40 countries over the course of 20 years.

The museum's interior was designed by stage designer Ayhan Doğan with this in mind. The fact that the museum was opened by a poet and designed by a stage designer makes it unique in the world.

The Toy Museum was a pioneer in establishing an association of children's and toy museums in the world and has earned Istanbul the title of "Toy Museum Capital".

The museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00 on weekdays except Mondays and from 10:00 to 18:30 on weekends.

Ömerpaşa Caddesi, Dr. Zeki Zeren Sokağı No:17 Göztepe / ISTANBUL

For more information visit


The Haleplibahçe Mosaic Museum is the largest column-free structure in Turkey with a width of 6,000 m2 and a diameter of 82 meters. The Haleplibahçe Mosaic Museum exhibits the mosaics excavated in Haleplibahçe in situ.

The mosaics in the Haleplibahçe Mosaic Museum show hunting scenes with Amazon women, some animals and people. The mosaics depicting the warlike Amazon queens are considered one of the first examples in the world. Due to its mosaic technique, its art and the fact that it is made of the original stones of the Euphrates River in the size of 4 square millimeters, experts call it the most valuable mosaic in the world.

The museum is open daily, from 08:30 to 17:00.

Haleplibahçe 2372 Sokak 63200 Merkez Eyyübiye/Şanlıurfa


With the restoration work initiated by the Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism in order to better explain historical moments to the new generation and completed in 2018, Atatürk and Erzurum Congress Museum is opened to local and foreign tourists and ensures that what happened in the past is transferred to the future.

The museum, which is one of the three museum centers in the status of painting and sculpture gallery in Turkey, offers students the opportunity to both take lessons and experience the historical atmosphere.

In the museum, there is the presidential office where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk sat during the Erzurum Congress, tables with the names of 56 delegates from Trabzon, Erzurum, Sivas, Bitlis and Van who participated in the congress, and portraits depicting the lives of the delegates on the walls. A sample of Atatürk's identity card is also on display at the entrance of the museum.

The museum is open to visitors every day of the week.

Kongre Binası (23 Temmuz 1919), Alipaşa, Kongre Caddesi. No:44, Yakutiye/ Erzurum


Konya Tropical Butterfly Garden, Turkey's first butterfly garden and Europe's largest butterfly flight area, was opened to visitors in 2015. The Tropical Butterfly Garden has a 7,200 m2 usage area. Services are provided in two main sections, the Butterfly Flight Area and the Insect Museum, in a 3,500 m2 sightseeing area.

The garden was built in the form of butterflies in accordance with nature in order to instill a love of nature and animals in adults and especially children. In addition, it is aimed to leave a beautiful memory in the lives of visitors by allowing them to see different types of butterflies and other insects and plants that they may not encounter in their daily lives. In the garden, 20,000 live butterflies of 60 different species fly monthly.

Butterflies come to the garden from countries such as Costa Rica, Kenya, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Colombia and Panama in special boxes during the pupa stage, the third stage of butterfly life. The pupae that come to the garden are placed in special cabinets to complete their metamorphosis process and fly as butterflies. In addition, the garden plays host to many plant species that could only be seen in this garden in Turkey.

Insect Museum section consists of Butterfly Life Cycle, Insect Cinema, Butterfly Classification, Butterfly Behavior and Insect Village. Butterflies and other interesting insects found in this area are specially dried and exhibited.

The museum is open to visitors between 09:30-17:30, except Mondays.

Parsana Mh. İsmail Kaya Cd. No:244 Selçuklu / Konya


The Urartu State, whose capital was Van (Tushpa), continued its existence until the 8th century BC. According to the surviving cuneiform steles, the Urartians built castles, palaces, water channels and dams in Tushpa, the capital of the kings, and in other cities. The artifacts from these years are exhibited in the Urartu Museum in Van.

In the 16 different exhibition halls of the Van Urartu Museum, different eras and artifacts are displayed for the visitors of the museum. These halls begin with a place of preparation for the museum, a place of welcome and information. It is possible to see the periodic traces of the Urartians, their building culture and brief information about their life. With the mapping of the Urartians and their immediate surroundings from the ground to the walls, documents, photographs and models of historically important places (Van Castle, Ayanis Castle, Anzaf Castle, Shamran Canal, etc.) are shared with the visitors. In addition to the exhibition halls, the Van Urartu Museum also has museum rooms that meet different needs, such as a conference hall, museum sales rooms, children's studios, rooms for temporary exhibitions and jewelry workshops.

The museum is open to visitors from 08:00-19:00, except Mondays.

Yalı Mahallesi Kale Sokak No:02 İpekyolu/Van


Founded in 2011 by Garanti BBVA, SALT is a cultural institution that conducts research, exhibitions, publications, web and digitalization projects, and programs such as lectures, conferences, screenings and workshops. SALT is not tied to a specific time period, discipline, or object and aims to provide a platform for mutual learning and discussion with its users and constituents.

SALT's multidisciplinary research interests include art, architecture and design practices, and social and economic history. SALT's multi-layered productions take place at SALT Beyoğlu and SALT Galata in Istanbul. SALT Beyoğlu is located on İstiklal Street and includes exhibition, program, and research spaces.

SALT Research opens the institution's information and documentation resources to the public, enables the development of original content, and contributes to local and regional memory. SALT has been the only member of the European museum association L'Internationale in Turkey since 2013.

Open on Tuesday-Saturday 11:00-19:00, Sunday 11:00-18:00.

Bankalar Caddesi No: 11 Karaköy/ Istanbul

For more information visit


Turkey's first marine biology museum, which showcases the colorful underwater world of Turkey and the Mediterranean, is one of the most visited museums in Antalya with its extraordinary design.

Designed in the shape of a sunken pirate ship, the museum displays around 500 species of marine life, including 19 species of sharks, sponges, corals, shrimps, crabs, lobsters and crayfish, crustaceans, octopuses and cuttlefish, starfish and sea urchins that live in the Turkish seas. The museum also displays new species from the Red Sea, such as lionfish and pufferfish.

The museum, which showcases the rich biodiversity of the Mediterranean, is also committed to keeping marine culture alive and raising awareness about issues such as protecting natural heritage and climate change.

The museum is open to visitors from 09:00-18:00, except Mondays.

Selçuk Mahallesi, İskele Caddesi, Kaleiçi Yat Limanı Muratpaşa/Antalya


The Radio and Democracy Museum of İzmir, the fourth example of the Konak Municipality's boutique museology approach, opened its doors to visitors on December 5, 2013 in the historic Asmalı Ev building in the Basmane-Altınpark area, dating back to the early 1900s, with the participation of famous radio producers and announcers.

The museum collection consists of about 150 radios, record players, numerous records and interactive artifacts. The museum consists of six rooms and a library and is arranged chronologically according to important historical events.

Every month, the museum organizes film screenings on various topics. Interviews with important radio producers are organized to bring them together with the public. At the same time, the museum, which aims at lifelong education, offers activities suitable for all age groups for each month of the year.

It is open to visitors daily from 09:00-17:00, except Sundays and Mondays.

Altınordu, 967 Sok. No: 16 Konak / İzmir


Sagalassos, one of the most important cities of the Eastern Mediterranean, is one of the most important cities of the Pisidian geography in the Roman Imperial period in antiquity. The ancient city of Sagalassos is a settlement built on the slope of the Akdağ Mountains and has a long history of 12,000 years.

Since Sagalassos is one of the best preserved ancient cities in Asia Minor, restoration works have been carried out within the scope of the archaeological project carried out by a team led by Belgian Prof. Marc Waelkens since 1990.

Many buildings of the ancient city have been preserved until today. These include the Antonins Fountain, the Neon Library, the Tiberius Gate, the Heroon, the City Assembly, the busts of Ares-Heracles-Zes-Athena and Poseidon, the statues of Marcus Aurelius and Adrian, the Imperial Bath and the Theater.

The museum is open to visitors daily between 09:00 and 20:00.

Kıraç Mahallesi, Ağlasun/Burdur


The Baksı Museum is located 45 km outside Bayburt, on a hill overlooking the Çoruh Valley. This extraordinary museum in the village of Bayraktar, which used to be called Baksı, combines contemporary art and traditional handicrafts under one roof.

The Baksı Museum, which covers a 4-hectare site with exhibition halls, a storage museum, workshops, a conference hall, a library and a guest house, is the brainchild of Bayburt-born artist and academic Prof. Dr. Hüsamettin Koçan, coming to life in 2000.

The museum aims to create a unique cultural interaction center for artists and researchers, bringing together traditional art and contemporary art, reviving a cultural environment fragmented by intense migration, and contributing to the sustainability of cultural memory.

The museum is open to visitors except Mondays from 10:00-12:30 and 13:30-19:00.

Bayraktar Köyü Yolu, Bayraktar/Bayburt

For more information visit


Started in 1975 by Akın Gökyay, the founder of the foundation, the chess collection was entered into the Guinness Book of Records on January 31, 2012, making it the first and only registered chess collection in Turkey.

The museum, built on an area of about 1,000 square meters, exhibits 703 chess sets from 110 countries. The collection includes chess sets made of various materials such as wood, metal, whalebone, marble, soapstone, felt and polyester. Among the chess sets, which reflect the cultural characteristics of the countries where they were acquired, there are thematic sets such as Harry Potter, Asterix and Smurfs, as well as sets reflecting historical and political events.

The museum is open to visitors except Mondays from 10:00-12:30 and 13:30-18:00.

Ulucanlar Cad. Basamaklı Sok. No:3 06230 Altındağ-Ankara


The Arkas Maritime History Center in Bornova, İzmir, was opened in 2012 to show maritime history and the development of the maritime sector in a building dating back to the 1800s. It exhibits part of Arkas Holding Chairman Lucien Arkas' collection of ship models, paintings and ship antiques, which he has meticulously gathered for more than 30 years as part of his passion for the maritime and the arts. Reflecting the history of maritime from the year 1000 BC to the 20th century, Arkas Maritime History Center is home to models of ships that have left their mark in history, as well as paintings depicting important events and heroes of Turkish and world history, and ship antiques.

The museum is open to visitors on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 10:00 and 18:00.

80. Sk. No:28, 35040 Bornova / İzmir


The main part of the museum opened in 2013 consists of traditional ceramics from Çanakkale.

In addition to the ceramics from Çanakkale, which are kept in various collections, the museum has permanent exhibitions of various art and design products related to the history and styles of ceramics/terracotta, as well as the products of today's ceramic artists and craftsmen. A section of the museum, also opening to the garden, is dedicated to the restoration/ conservation and bell performance workshop.

With the unique design of the museum, it is aimed to explain the ceramic culture as well as the bath culture together, and for this purpose, transparent exhibition units that will allow architectural readings as well as graphic solutions were created.

The museum, which has hosted 17 temporary exhibitions and various collections since the day it started to serve, has carried out many activities such as 2 workshops, 8 fair organizations, 2 ceramic design competitions in order to promote and popularize ceramics in national and international areas.

The museum is open to visitors between 10:00-19:00 except Mondays.

Cevatpaşa Mahallesi Kaya Sokak No: 31-33 Merkez/ Çanakkale


A museum house was built with the joint participation of Tekirdağ National Education Foundation, Special Provincial Administration, Tekirdağ Municipality, Namık Kemal Association and various organizations. This souvenir house was opened to the public in 1994.

Tekirdağ Namık Kemal House, built in accordance with the architecture of the 19th century Ottoman houses, is located in a large garden. The basement floor of the house is organized as an exhibition hall. On the ground floor, which is furnished with marble, there are portraits of the Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Namık Kemal, a display cabinet, depiction of Namık Kemal's grave and decorated with oil paintings of Ferenc Rákóczi II. There is also a viewing area and an open-air stage in the garden of the house, which is quite large.

On the panels in the living room of the house, which has a wooden structure and 6 rooms, photographs, documents, news in the press and old Tekirdağ pictures of Namık Kemal's family are also included. Souvenir house is decorated with ethnographic items introducing Tekirdağ kitchen, head room and bedroom, and exhibits works written about Namık Kemal and his works.

The museum is open to visitors every weekday between 08:00-12:00 / 13:00-17:00.

Eskicami-ortacami, Mahallesi, Namık Kemal Cd. No:11, Süleymanpaşa/ Tekirdağ


Dozens of figures who contributed to cinema as actors, directors, screenwriters and producers such as Şener Şen, Menderes Samancılar, Ali Özgentürk, Nebil Özgentürk, Yılmaz Güney Aytaç Arman, İrfan Atasoy, Perihan Doygun, Yılmaz Duru, Salih Güney, Mahmut Hekimoğlu, Bilal İnci, Demir Karahan, Abdurrahman Keskiner, Arif Keskiner, Yılmaz Köksal, Ali Şen, Danyal Topatan and Meral Zeren are from Adana.

Adana is such an important city in terms of cinema that in the old period, the first screening of most local films was held in Adana. Again, with the effect of the hot weather, summer cinemas have become a very important part of Adana's culture. The Altın Koza Film Festival, which has been held in Adana since 1969, has always been a decisive organization for the pioneers of cinema.

The Cinema Museum was put into service in 2011. The museum, which is the first cinema museum in Anatolia, serves in a 140-year-old 3-storey building. Posters of award-winning films, wax sculptures of artists, objects used in films, cinema models, cinema machines...

The museum is open to visitors every day between 08:00-17:00.

Kayalıbağ, Seyhan Cd., 01010 Seyhan/Adana


In the showcases of the museum, there are examples of tiles starting from the 14th century to the present day, which are described as "flowers blooming in the fire" by the people of Kütahya. These tiles are works of art, made with meticulous hand labor, and brushing one by one.

The silver seal of Hafız Mehmet Emin, the master of tile-makers, was donated to the museum by his grandchildren and the tile coffee table, Hafız Mehmet Emin's own work, is also exhibited in the museum.

In the room located in the right iwan in the interior of the museum, there are the oldest Kütahya tiles and samples of the materials, paints, brushes and patterns used in tile making. These materials provide visitors with information about how laborious tile making is.

The museum is open to visitors every day between 08:30 - 19:00.

Servi, Çini Müzesi, 43030 Kütahya Merkez/Kütahya


The Museum Building consists of a foyer, exhibition halls, meeting rooms, warehouses and administrative unit rooms.

The Coal-City Relationship is addressed in the foyer area. After a 10-minute introduction to Zonguldak in the presentation room, visitors are given historical and technical information about coal mining in Zonguldak. Second floor display cases showcase materials and educational books on occupational safety, topography, health and social care. Third floor describes coke derivatives of coal, fossils and the formation of coal. The garden was partly used as a display area. In addition, the process of moving the Mining Martyrs Monument in Zonguldak Harbor to the museum garden is ongoing. The museum is open daily from 10:00 to 16:30.

Çınartepe, Dağyolu Sk., 67040 Zonguldak Merkez/Zonguldak

For more information visit 18 - KASTAMONU HAT MUSEUM

Kastamonu Hat Museum was established within the Architect Vedat Tek Culture and Art Center. In addition to the Hat Museum in Architect Vedat Tek Culture and Art Center, which is one of the places to visit in Kastamonu; Republic House, Weapon Museum, Lace Museum, Atatürk Exhibition Hall, Dollhouse and gallery sections are also worth a visit. The Hat Museum has a special meaning for Kastamonu. This is because Mustafa Kemal Atatürk realized the hat revolution in Kastamonu. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk said of the people of Kastamonu, "Sirs, the most valuable part of what I have seen is that the sincere people of this beautiful region are very enlightened and have a very broad and high mentality."

The Hat Museum Project, which was organized under Mustafa Kara, the former governor of Kastamonu, was realized shortly afterwards. Opened in 2006, the museum aims to serve Kastamonu and Turkey tourism. The Hat Museum has the title of being Turkey's first and only hat museum.

The museum is open to visitors between 08:30 - 18:00 on weekdays and between 10:00-18:00 on weekends. Saraçlar, Kastamonu Merkez/Kastamonu

For more information visit 19 - KAHRAMANMARAŞ LIBERATION MUSEUM

The museum is located in the city center within the Kültür Park area. It tells the story of the National Struggle of the heroic city of Maraş after World War I, which ignited the liberation of the occupied Anatolian lands. It is a history-themed museum that offers traces of that period to its visitors with 2D and 3D animated movies, specially drawn pictures and models with sound and light effects.The scenes continue with the exhibition of oil portraits of the leading heroes of the Independence Struggle and the weapons used at that time, and the representation of the celebrations of February 12, 1920, the Independence medal and the section telling the history of the city on the touch screen.

The museum is open to visitors every day except Mondays.

Şehit Evliya, 46100 Kahramanmaraş Merkez/Kahramanmaraş

Further information at


About 3,500 carpets, rugs and ethnographic products used by Turks in Anatolia are exhibited in the museum, which was opened by Isparta Municipality in 2013. The museum has a closed area of about 3,200 m2, both horizontal and vertical exhibition halls on 11 floors, and the observation floor on the last floor of the tower contains a composition with the three largest Isparta roses in the world. The Directorate of Cultural and Social Affairs of the Municipality of Isparta submitted a request for a special museum to the Ministry in a letter dated 07/05/2018 and numbered 10828916/284.

The museum is open to visitors every day of the week between 08:30 and 17:30.

Merkez Gökçay Kavşağı, Isparta Merkez/ Isparta



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