Topkapı Palace (Topkapı Sarayı) was the official residence and seat of the government for the Ottoman sultans from the mid-15th century to the mid-19th century. The Palace is one of the richest museums in the world: housing 80,000 artefacts over 45,000 square meters. Treasures include the priceless Chinese porcelain collection in the imperial kitchens, the Holy Relics that belonged to the Prophet Muhammed, and the 86-carat Spoonmaker’s diamond guarded in the Treasury. Though, for many, it’s the 300-room harem that’s more intriguing to see. The harem is where the sultan resided with his family, including his mother, wives and children, as well as their servants and it’s therefore home to several scandalous tales. Set aside at least three hours to appreciate the palace and all its artefacts and stories. A café and restaurant is onsite for refreshments and lunch. The palace is open every day except Tuesdays. Gates close at 4.45pm from Oct 30 - Apr 15.