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Chora Museum picture in Istanbul
muharremz / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Churches/Religious Sites, Museums, Sightseeing Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.9
Overall
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  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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Originally built as a Byzantine church, later converted to a mosque and now serving as a secular museum, the Chora Museum is definitely deserving of a visit. There, you'll find a series of beautiful mosaics and frescoes that many consider some of the best surviving examples of Byzantine art in the world.

Although this museum does not sit within walking distance of other top attractions, many previous visitors said its stunning artwork is worth the trek. However, some noted that a large chunk of the property is currently closed for renovations, while others suggest paying extra for a guide since historical information is not provided inside. Guides are available by the museum's entrance.

This former church is located in Fatih's Edirnekapi neighborhood. Tram, metro and train service is not offered in the immediate area, but you can reach the museum by bus or ferry. The building is open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; hours may vary by season. Tickets cost 15 Turkish lira ($4) per person, but if you have a Museum Pass Istanbul card, you can visit for free. Restrooms and a gift shop are available inside. Learn more about the Chora Museum on the property's website.

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LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

#2 Hagia Sophia Museum (Ayasofya Muzesi) Tourists flock en masse to the Hagia Sophia Museum for its stunning architecture, glorious interior views and historical significance. Built between 532 and 537, the building was a church for ... Read more » Emad Aljumah / Getty Images

Emad Aljumah / Getty Images

#4 Topkapi Palace Museum (Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi) Topkapi Palace served as the home of the Ottoman Sultans from 1478 to 1856 and is one of Istanbul's most popular attractions. It officially became a museum in 1924 ... Read more » RuslanKaln / Getty Images

Ayhan Altun / Getty Images

#6 Taksim Square Taksim Square is a vibrant, modern area located in Istanbul's Beyoglu district. Scores of shops, restaurants and bars fill the surrounding streets, as well as popular hotels like the ... Read more » yunlutas / Getty Images

J.M.F. Almeida / Getty Images

EvrenKalinbacak / Getty Images

#9 Istanbul Modern A private museum aimed at collecting and exhibiting artwork of contemporary significance, Istanbul Modern appeals to locals and international visitors. Artists represented inside include Sarkis Zabunyan, Richard Wentworth and Yoko ... Read more » Joanne Wan / Flickr

#10 Chora Museum (Kariye Muzesi) Originally built as a Byzantine church, later converted to a mosque and now serving as a secular museum, the Chora Museum is definitely deserving of a visit. There, you'll ... Read more » muharremz / Getty Images

#11 Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici) The Basilica Cistern is Istanbul's largest surviving Byzantine cistern and one of its most unique historic sites. Constructed in 532 for Justinianus I, this sprawling underground water reservoir – which is ... Read more » guvendemir / Getty Images

#12 Dolmanbahce Palace Sitting along the Bosphorus near the Kabatas tram stop and the Besiktas ferry port, Dolmabahçe Palace's jaw-dropping beauty and historical importance impresses visitors. Built in the 19th century, the ... Read more » EnginKorkmaz / Getty Images

#13 Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) For perhaps the best view of Istanbul from Beyoglu, head up the Galata Tower. This landmark crowns the hill opposite the Golden Horn and was once used as a jail ... Read more » ugursezerphoto / Getty Images

Blue Mosque picture in Istanbul
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Topkapi Palace Museum picture in Istanbul
Grand Bazaar picture in Istanbul
Taksim Square picture in Istanbul
Ortaköy picture in Istanbul
Istanbul Archaeological Museums picture in Istanbul
Istanbul Modern picture in Istanbul
Chora Museum picture in Istanbul
Basilica Cistern picture in Istanbul
Dolmabahçe Palace picture in Istanbul
Galata Tower picture in Istanbul
Blue Mosque picture in Istanbul
Hagia Sophia Museum picture in Istanbul
Süleymaniye Mosque picture in Istanbul
Topkapi Palace Museum picture in Istanbul
Grand Bazaar picture in Istanbul
Taksim Square picture in Istanbul
Ortaköy picture in Istanbul
Istanbul Archaeological Museums picture in Istanbul
Istanbul Modern picture in Istanbul
Chora Museum picture in Istanbul
Basilica Cistern picture in Istanbul
Dolmabahçe Palace picture in Istanbul
Galata Tower picture in Istanbul

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Sarcophagi, Islamic coins and more are displayed inside the Istanbul Archaeological Museums. EvrenKalinbacak / Getty Images

If you enjoy modern art, perusing the contemporary exhibits housed inside Istanbul Modern is a must. Joanne Wan / Flickr

Art lovers cannot miss a visit to the Chora Museum, which features several Byzantine frescoes and mosaics. muharremz / Getty Images

The Basilica Cistern's entrance is easy to miss, but once you find it, prepare to be wowed but its towering columns and archways. guvendemir / Getty Images

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