Culture & Travel

17 November 2020
3 Museums You Need to See in Beyoğlu

İstanbul... a city harboring history and art on every corner! If you are living in Istanbul, you are incredibly lucky in terms of cultural and art events. If you are not, be sure that the city will greet you with extraordinary places if you ever stop by.

Istanbul is quite rich in terms of museums; The city is home to 54 of them. In addition to well-known and well-publicized museums, we are here to tell you about less known (but must-see) museums in Istanbul.

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The Ottoman Bank Museum: SALT Galata

Once upon a time, Galata was the favorite spot of bankers. There is still a street called “Bankalar Caddesi” (Banks Street) in Galata. SALT Galata is located in the middle of İş Bankası - Galata branch and Central Bank - İstanbul branch. 

This building was designed by the French architect Alexandre Vallauri for the Bank-ı Osmanî-i Şahane (the Great Bank of Ottoman), a British-capital bank. The building was opened for business in 1892 and was re-named as SALT Galata in 2011. Today, the building is used as a museum and a cafe. The venue provides great service to Istanbulites with its cozy cafeteria and research hall with computers. The view of the Golden Horn sneaking in from the windows is only one of the many reasons to feel joyful while you are in the building. The Ottoman Bank Museum Collection is located on the ground floor of SALT Galata. You can stop by the building to see the collection or to drink a tea against the Golden Horn view. Besides, the entrance is free-of-charge! 

From Fiction to Reality: The Museum of Innocence

The museum addresses a certain group: To book lovers who have read Orhan Pamuk’s book, “The Museum of Innocence”. This is the first museum to be created out of a fiction, which makes it so different from other museums. So, we believe that anyone who has read the book must also see the museum.

The museum exhibits the materials, what is supposed to be from the apartment Kemal, the protagonist of the book, lived in with his one true love, Füsun. The museum was created with the rearrangement of a house in Çukurcuma. Because Orhan Pamuk meticulously explained every little detail in his book, the museum will make you feel like you are living in the story. Established with the power of fiction, the museum received the European Museum of the Year in 2014. Adult tickets are TRY 15 whereas student tickets are TRY 10. 

Hiding a Treasure Within: Pera Museum

Our last museum recommendation in Beyoğlu is the Pera Museum, which is on a small alley parallel to İstiklal Street. The most famous fact about this museum (and the one that makes it so valuable) is that Osman Hamdi Bey’s painting, The Tortoise Trainer is displayed there. 

The Pera Museum is also the home of many paintings from famous painters, including Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, and Frida Kahlo. The museum also contains Kütahya tile collections, ancient measurement units used in Anatolia, and many other impressive orientalist artifacts. Seeing all these artworks and the famous Tortoise Trainer costs only TRY 20! Students, teachers and faculty, and visitors aged +60 can use a discount and enter the museum for only TRY 10.