Istanbul Museums for free: Turkish Bank Museum

Even though Istanbul does provide a lot of museums, the majority of them are unfortunately - for the budget traveler - not free, not even cheap. One of the very few exception is the Turkish Bank Museum - Türkiye IS Bankasi Museum or Isbank Museum. 

Turkish Bank Museum Istanbul

Turkish Bank Museum Istanbul
According to the name of the Museum one normally would suspect it is a museum about the Turkish Bank, but that is only half of the museum. Being situated in an old bank building in Eminönü it is a sight by itself. Built 1892 and used as the Isbank main branch from 1926 to 2005 it is a museum since 2007, and hosts changing exhibitions - about three to four throughout the year.

Besides an exhibition about the history of Türkiye IS Bankasi itself and about the technical development of banking over time, this years main exhibition is about Canakkale 1915. The Canakkale 1915 "From the depths to the trenches" exhibition will run until the mid of August and is also in English. Partially on the signs and completely with a free audio guide, which is available at the security guards stand at the entry. The free audio guide works also with the permanent bank history exhibition on the first floor.

Another free bank museum

Canakkale Exhibition
For those who are interested in a bank museum which displays the history of Ottoman banking and exhibits in English too, there are good news: The Ottoman Bank Museum located in the basement of SALT Galata offers an interesting exhibition about the bank itself and the history of banking in the Ottoman empire and it is for free too.

What else to see in the area

Other free things to experience in the area are the New Mosque (Yeni Cami) and the Spice Bazaar, which both are literally around the corner of the museum. Also the Gülhane Park is quite close for some fresh air and relaxation.


Address: Türkiye IS Bankasi Müsezi, Bankacilar Cad. 2, Eminönü, Istanbul
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 10-18
How to get there: The closest stops for all transportations are the Eminönü stops of the Tram T1, several bus lines and the ferries from Üsküdar and Kadiköy


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