Pera Museum in Istanbul featuring some ancient Ottoman art

Uncovering the Pera Museum’s Intricate Mix of Historical and Modern Art.

Museum experiences very much rely on personal tastes, and the Pera Museum In Istanbul is no exception. In Turkish this is the Pera Müzesi.

Here at the Pera you can explore 5 floors of Ottoman, Modern and Traditional art ranging from ancient calligraphy to modern paintings and from historical artifacts to incredible photographs.

Personally, we’re going to call this museum a must-see, especially if you are an art lover, as its rich collection of Turkish and Eastern art provides a truly unique and captivating cultural experience.

And we believe that no matter whether you’re a seasoned art aficionado or a newcomer to the world of art, that the Pera Museum is going to impress you – at least that’s our hope!

Let’s dive in and discover all about this oasis of cultural heritage here in Taksim.

A Brief History of the Pera Museum

Established in 2005, the Pera Museum has since become one of the most popular art museums in Istanbul.

The museum is housed in a wonderfully historic building (an old hotel) in the neighborhood of Tepebaşı, less than a half a mile north of the Galata Tower.

The Pera is dedicated to promoting Turkish and Ottoman culture, as well as contemporary art from around the world and was established to support cultural and educational projects.

Privately owned by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation, the museums primary aim is to showcase the rich history and diverse culture of the city.

What Can I See At The Pera Museum

There are always different exhibitions on show here at the Pera which is great as diversity is part of what this place is all about.

The last time we visited, for example, there was a Chinese Ink Art exhibition which was extremely interesting, but there could be Byzantine Art, Modern Calligraphy or any manner of other artistic genres on display.

One of the most popular sections of the museum is the Orientalist Painting section, which showcases the works of artists who were inspired by the East.

This section provides visitors with a unique glimpse into the cultural exchanges between the East and the West.

An equally popular section is the Photography section, which showcases the works of Turkish photographers, both past and present.

In fact, the museum’s collection includes over 10,000 separate works of art, spanning from the late Ottoman period to the modern day which are divided into several sections, each showcasing a different aspect of Turkish and Eastern art.

Writers Note

Don’t miss the very interesting sections of the museum on Measuring Instruments and the Tile and Ceramic displays from the city of Kütahya

What Is The Most Famous Piece In The Museum?

There are a number of world renowned pieces in the museums collection but by far the most well-know is “The Tortoise Trainer” by Osman Hamdi Bey.

Bey was a prominent Turkish painter, archaeologist, and intellectual, who was active during the late Ottoman period and The Tortoise Trainer is considered one of his most important and influential works.

The painting, a detailed portrayal of an elderly man and his pet tortoise, is a fascinating representation of Ottoman culture and is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Turkish art.

We’re not really art critics here at Absolute Istanbul, and are far from artistic commentary experts, but we LOVE the painting for the fact that it evokes such strong emotions on all who view it.

How To Get To The Pera Museum?

The Pera Museum is located in the heart of Istanbul and is easily accessible by various modes of transportation.

By Metro: The museum is located near the Taksim Square and can be reached by taking the M2 (Green) metro line to Şişhane station from where it is a short walk of about 5 mins.

By Tram: The Museum is located just a short walk from the Kabataş tram station, which is served by the T1 (Historical Tramway) line. This is about a 25 minute walk away.

By Bus: The museum is also accessible by bus, with several lines stopping at Taksim Square, just a short walk from the museum.

By Taxi: Taxis and ride-hailing services such as Uber or Bolt are readily available in Istanbul, and offer a convenient way to get to the museum. from wherever you’re staying in the city.

By Foot: If you’re staying in the Taksim area, the Pera Museum is within easy walking distance. If staying in Sultanahmet it will be a longer walk but you’ll have the added bonus of walking over the Golden Horn and past Galata Tower among literally hundreds of other historical landmarks along the way. A walk from the center of Sultanahmet might take about 45 minutes to an hour depending on your walking speed.

Read Google Reviews Here

Don’t just take our word for how good this place actually is as there are literally thousands of reviews you can check out on right here on Google from others who’ve visited the Pera.

Pera Museum | Entrance Fees, Tickets, Facilities & Opening Hours

Opening Times:

  • Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 – 19.00
  • Friday 10.00 – 22.00
  • Sunday 12.00 – 18.00
  • The Museum is closed on Mondays.

Writers Note

The Pera is open late on a Friday where you can gain free entry to the exhibits between 1800 and 2200 on what they refer to as “Long Friday”

Tickets & Fees:

As of 2023 the following are their advertised ticket prices
Adult: 80 TL
Concessions: 40 TL
(12 years old or younger, students, faculty, 60 years and over)
Group: 60 TL (minimum 10 people)

Tickets at the door – no need to pre-book.

Pera Museum Cafe:

The Pera Café, located within the Pera Museum, is a stylish and inviting café that offers visitors a chance to take a break and socialize in a relaxed atmosphere.

The decor and feel of the cafe is Inspired by the historic Bristol Hotel – which is what this building used to be! Boasting an elegant art deco design from a bygone era the cafe is almost reminiscent of an old gentleman’s club, but trust us when we say this, the food is seriously outstanding!

A diverse menu is on offer that features an array of options from salads, sandwiches and grills.

Often, the museum kitchen will also produce specialty thematic menus which are inspired by the museum’s temporary exhibitions, so you can travel the world through your taste buds here.

Pera Museum Shop:

The museum gift shop is small but offers quality and unique print replicas, books, ceramics and more. The perfect place to purchase a memorable artistic gift.

Writers Note

The Pera Museum offers audio guides as well as making provision for almost all of the exhibitions to be translated into English.

Pera Museum | Final Thoughts From Absolute Istanbul

The Pera Museum is a true gem of Turkish culture and history and is one of those lesser known attractions of the city.

But with its rich collection of Turkish and Eastern art, the museum provides visitors with a fascinating glimpse into the country’s rich heritage and we think – especially if you’re an art lover – that you’d be remiss to overlook this very interesting city museum.

Whether you’re an art lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, the Pera is a perfect destination, and with it being surrounded by so many other things to see and you could easily make a day out in this area of the city.

So why not plan your visit today and come on down to the Pera to discover the beauty and significance of this remarkable and enduring Istanbul institution that is the Pera Müzesi.

Cheers and many thanks for reading.

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