The palace has three floors of equal proportions, with over two hundred rooms and forty halls. There is a quay that runs alongside the palace which stretches six hundred metres and there are two gates, the one landside is of ornate design. This palace is surrounded by immaculately kept gardens. In the middle of the palace there is a huge ballroom with the highest ceilings in the entire building. The sultan would have received his guests in the vast and the wing located behind the ballroom would have been the harem.
The palace exceeds any other in terms of beauty, with all of the original decor and fixtures still intact. On the ceilings and walls are hung paintings from artists that were famous from those times. All of the furnishings throughout the main rooms and halls are different shades of the same colour. The floors are wooden with each room have different designs of wood covering, with the finest examples of Turkish rugs and carpets on top.
In the ballroom hangs a magnificent chandelier which is constructed from four and a half tonne of crystal. The upper galleries of the ballroom would have been used for the orchestra and the palace would have been heated using an oven style underground system which has since been replaced with central heating.
The crown prince would have had his own annex, and this is located in the north of the palace. The entrance to which is from Besiktas; and now it is used as the Museum of Fine Arts.
Ataturk would have used the palace when he visited Istanbul, and he passed away whilst in residence in 1938. Before is body was moved to Ankara, he was laid in state at the palace so that the public were able to pay their last respects.
The palace is closed on a Monday and Thursday but open from 9am - 4pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Tours of the palace buildings are charged at 15TL. The Harem Tour is charged at 10TL and a combined ticket to see both attractions can be brought for 20TL.
Please note that you are not allowed to use photo or video equipped anywhere inside the Dolmabahce Palace, although use is permitted in the palace grounds.
The Dolmabahçe Palace, is one of the most amazing places that you can visit in Istanbul. Words cannot truly describe its beauty and the beauty held within. It is steeped with history and culture and well worth taking a morning or afternoon to see. To truly appreciate this palace you will need about three hours but you could easily stretch this visit to a full day.