Why go to Madame Tussauds in Istanbul? After all, the museums can be found in many cities on four different continents. Here’s why the wax museum is such a popular attraction.
Madame Tussauds is conveniently situated in the center of Istanbul. It’s located almost halfway Taksim’s Istiklal Avenue, so finding the place is a piece of cake. Everyone in the city can give you directions to Istıklal Avenue. In case you take the Yenikapı – Hacıosman metro line, get off at the Taksim stop and just walk down Istıklal Avenue.
Feel like a star
Even before entering you feel the welcoming atmosphere of the museum. The red carpets call people and tempt them to take a few steps and come inside. The red color surrounds the place. Once you enter, you feel like a star. The experience is quite amazing. Bruce Willis, Lady Gaga and Barış Manço will welcome you on your way to the ticket booths. To win time, buy your tickets online.
After they validate your ticket, you need to use an elevator to go down to floor -2. Free Wi-Fi makes up for the lack of reception there. The exhibition is divided into five sections: History & Leaders, VIP Party, Sport, Culture, Film and Music. It took me around one hour to see all the sections. The journey starts with the History & Leaders part and it is the one I enjoyed the most.
Essence of Turkish history
Turks worship the founder of their republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, so it is not a surprise that his sculpture is the first one of the exhibition. It is accompanied by a gentle sound of March of Izmir, a very famous patriotic song. The section continues to guide visitors through Turkish history. After the great Atatürk we meet Fatih Sultan Mehmet, Mimar Sinan, Mevlana and many more, whose names must be familiar to anyone who claims to know or wants to learn Turkish history.
The sculptures already tell you a lot about the past but the museum has much more to offer. I loved the choice of information in the description boxes next to the figures. The information there is very brief and gives you some interesting facts. It is like a quick and fascinating lesson on Turkish history every foreigner should take. So do not forget to read the descriptions, you would not want to miss them! If you have a sharp eye, you will notice some language mistakes. Though they are not very serious, the museum should make more effort to eliminate those.
Eye for Detail
The figures in the museum are amazing; they look so real that if it were not for the famous faces they represent, nobody would be able to tell them apart from real people. They are also in actual size so you might be surprised to learn how short or tall some of the celebrities are. Even the smallest details such as nails, ornaments on clothes and wrinkles are very realistic.
The wax figures are the masterpieces of the museum, but they are not the only ones worth our attention. I loved the decor of the little rooms. Throughout the exhibition you can admire ottoman style, modern Turkish style and the richness and splendid of the red carpet. Moreover, the furniture often comes from the times it represents. Some clothes on the figures are also real clothes worn by the stars. For example the one on Hidayet Türkuoğlu, a famous Turkish basketball player. Apart from that, many accessories accompany the wax figures. You can have a photo wearing Mozart’s wig or Mohammed Ali’s gloves and robe. In general, the museum is perfect for taking many photos that will be a nice souvenir of the trip to Istanbul.
Great music makes the whole experience of visiting Madame Tussauds even better. It is amazing how it changes when we visit different figures. When you stand next to Beyoncé, you will hear her songs. When you move a few steps away, you will find yourself next to some famous Turkish singers and you will listen to their music. What is surprising is that the songs do not interfere with each other. The volume and timing are perfectly coordinated. Furthermore, some of the musical instruments used for the displays are real and ready to use. You can make your own music. This attraction is especially popular with children.
Keeping Kids Entertained
I can honestly say that Madame Tussauds offers many attractions for children. Apart from the instruments, there are the accessories, gaming consoles, quizzes about the stars and best of all, a workshop where you can actually make your own wax hand. It costs extra (38 TL per one, 62 TL per two, 82 TL per three hands) but it will be an interesting souvenir and you will be able to see the whole process of creating it. If you get tired (seeing the entire exhibition is quite a walk) you may sit down in one of the couches or armchairs and take a break before visiting the rest of the exhibition.
It’s Worth Your Time
As you will most probably visit Taksim Square, Istiklal Avenue and the Galata Tower during your stay in Istanbul, you will be in the area anyway. You might as well spend some more time there and visit Madame Tussauds. By going there, you will learn some information about the country you are visiting and have fun at the same time. Not to mention a welcome break from the (summer) heat.
Madame Tussauds Istanbul
İstiklal Cd. No:56, Beyoğlu — Istanbul