The former palace of the sultans, Topkapı Palace, in the old quarters of Istanbul was the most popular tourist attraction in 2010. More than 3.58 million people visited the buildings where the royal family lived for four centuries and the sultan ruled the Ottoman Empire until the middle of the 19th century.
The tourist brought in 30.6 million Turkish Liras (15 million Euros) as entrance fees.
The second most popular tourist destination in Istanbul was the Hagia Sophia, which functioned for 916 years as a church and for 418 years as a mosque. More than 2.9 million tourists enjoyed the magnificent building and her amazing mosaics.
Number three in the top tourist attractions was the Basilica Cistern, also located in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district. The underground water reservoir was constructed by Byzantine Emperor Justinian to meet the royal palace’s water needs. It was visited by 1 million tourists.
Istanbul’s Archeology Museum was visited last year by 300,000 people.
In total Istanbul attracted 11,661,624 tourists to its historical museums and artifacts in 2010. they paid a total sum of 90 million Turkish Liras ($ 56.7 million; or 42 million Euro) as entrance fees.