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Daily Daydream: Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

SmarterTravel

Pretend to be a Sultan for the day with a visit to the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. Dating back to 1459, the palace makes other historical sites look almost brand new. The palace is so large that it used to house up to 4,000 residents, but now it only holds artifacts.

The museum is huge, and you could spend your entire day wandering around the grounds (that include a public park) without even making it inside. Whether you like architecture, relics, weapons, manuscripts, or jewels, this museum has all of that and more, most of which date back to the Ottoman Empire. The collection’s incredible displays of opulence include massive solid gold and jewel-encrusted thrones and the world’s fifth-largest diamond.

Where is it? Istanbul, Turkey.

Where to stay? Continue basking in opulence with a stay at the Hotel Les Ottomans, a five-star hotel located on the banks of the Bosphorus. The luxurious property was originally an 18th-century mansion.

What else should I know? Don’t expect to make this a quick visit, as the museum is huge and attracts thousands of visitors for the religious artifacts alone.

Who’s it for? History buffs, anyone who loves shiny things, religious scholars.

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