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Tips to save you time
If you don’t want to buy the tickets beforehand - try to come as early as possible and start with Harem and Treasury sections. The biggest crowds are in the late morning and start disappearing after 3 p.m. So if you don’t want to get up early - try coming in the afternoon after this time.
The best time to visit Topkapi Palace is Monday morning.
Wednesdays and Fridays are rather busy: especially Friday morning when the Blue Mosque is closed until 2:30p.m. which brings an extra flow of tourists to Topkapi.
On weekends and holidays the average waiting time to get inside is 40 minutes.
In winter months there are no queues at all (low season in Turkey), it’s the best period to enjoy Istanbul and Topkapi palace in particular, without crowds.
Tips for a few days in Istanbul
This page will give you many tips to avoid crowds in Istanbul as well as crowd schedules for top tourist attractions in order to plan your visits.