The Topkapı Palace, the largest palace in Istanbul, is the most visited museum in Istanbul.
Museums in Turkey were visited by nearly 30 million people in 2013, according to a report issued by the Turkish Travel Agencies Union (TÜRSAB). The highest increase in the number of visitors was seen at Topkapı Palace, due to its Harem. While the number of visitors to the Harem exceeded over 1 million people for the first time, the total number of visitors to Topkapı Palace was above 3,397 people. Therefore, on the list of the most-visited museums, Topkapı Museum left behind the Hagia Sophia Museum, which topped the list in 2011 and 2012.
TÜRSAB, which operates 50 museums and has modernized 105 museums and ancient sites, increased the income of museums to 263.3 million Turkish Liras in the same period.
According to the report, when the increase in the number of museum visitors is compared to the number of foreign visitors to Turkey, it yields good results. Turkish museums and ancient sites, which hosted nearly 7 million people in the beginning of the 2000s, welcomed 29,533 million visitors by the end of 2013. According to the data of TÜRSAB and the Culture and Tourism Ministry, 69 percent of visitors were foreigners and 31 percent were nationals.
In 2013, 44 percent of all museum visits was in the Istanbul area. Some 8.9 million people visited the museums in the Istanbul area, which was followed by the Aegean & Seljuk area with 2.9 million visitors. Cappadocia ranked third on the list with 2.5 million visitors and was followed by western Antalya with 1.9 million visitors, the Anatolian region with 1.2 million visitors, eastern Antalya with 1.1 million and the Aegean & Bergama area with 1 million.
Nearly 75 percent of total museum visits took place via agencies or tickets bought at the entrance. The other 25 percent included free entries and Müzekart entries.