Guest Author - Rachel Schaus
There are two great museum cards now available to foreigners in Turkey.
THE MUSEUM PASS ISTANBUL
For foreign tourists, consider purchasing the Museum Pass Istanbul Card, previously only available to Turkish citizens. This card was made available by the Ministry of Turkish Culture and Tourism in 2008 to encourage Turkish citizens to visit the many museums and sites of Istanbul.
The number of museum cards issued for Turkish citizens reached 2.2 million by the end of 2010 and Turkish travelers visiting museums increased 61% between 2006 to 2010. Thanks to the Museum Card, Turkish travelers can visit more than 300 museums and archaeological sites in Turkey for a period of one year!
The Museum Pass Istanbul Card allows travelers to enter into government-owned museums in İstanbul and around the country. It costs 72 Turkish Liras and permits a single entrance to the museums for a maximum of three days or 72 hours. International travelers can purchase The Museum Pass Istanbul at four- and five-star hotels, mobile card stores and Tourism Information Offices.
This is a great solution for tourists who want to see many museums in a short visit. With Museum entrance fees often between 10TL and 30TL, the card fee pays you back quite quickly. Plus, no more standing in lines (queues, for you Brits), this pass allows you to go straight to the turnstile and save time.
In Istanbul, there are at least 6 museums which travelers can enter easily with this card. The museums are as follows; Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace Museum (except Harem Apartments), Chora Museum, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Istanbul Mosaic Museum. Check out http://www.muze.gov.tr/museums for more information on which museums are part of it.
Not only museums, but the card gives 15-20% discounts on arts and entertainments venues, museum shops and GES Shops. Included is a Bosphorous Siteseeing tour, although I admit, I havent done this one yet.
Another card is available, but sorry, not for tourists. The Müzekart ( Museums card) provides free access to museums and archaeological sites run by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for just 30TL per year.
Müzekart can be used by Turkish citizens, citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, foreigners with Turkish residence permit, foreign students enrolled in associate degree, bachelors degree and masters degree programs of higher education institutions in our country and students who are enrolled in universities in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus affiliated with the Council of Higher Education (Turkey) provided that they present university identification cards.
TL 30: over a period of one year (limited access of each site to 2 times)
TL 50: over a period of one year (unlimited access to each site)
In Ankara you can buy the card at: Museum of Anatolian Civilisations: Gözcü Sokak No:2 , Ulus, Tel: (312) 324 31 60 www.anadolumedeniyetlerimuzesi.gov.tr
For art lovers, make sure to check out this magazine put out by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Its a free download, and youll learn about exhibits and places to go. Youll find each page is written in Turkish and in English, and you may learn about little known places to visit. I also use Lonely Planet, and www.madeeasierguides to learn about current exhibits and new finds in Turkey.
The Muze magazine is published by the http://www.muze.gov.tr/magazine