With its prominent position looking out across the Bosphorus, the Sakip Sabanci Museum Istanbul may be a little out of the way from the usual tourist attractions, but both its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions make it well worth the journey. It also offers the chance to venture away from the crowds and see Emirgan, one of the most affluent neighborhoods of the city.
Main entrance of Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul
Its full title is the Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum and it is set in a 1920s mansion known as Atlı Köşk", (Horse Mansion – named after a statue in its grounds) that was previously used as the summer house for the Hidiv family of Egypt , and as the Montenegrin Embassy. It was bought by the Sabanci family in 1951, and opened as a museum in 2002.
Painting collection at Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul
The permanent collection is made up of the Calligraphy Collection, the Painting Collection, and the Collection of Furniture and Decorative Arts, and contains some magnificent examples of Islamic and Ottoman traditional arts and documents, dating back as far as the 14th century.
The Sakip Sabanci museum exhibition space also hosts temporary exhibitions by big name artists including the Monet Sakip Sabanci Museum exhibition in 2012, the Rembrandt Sakip Sabanci Museum exhibition also in 2012, and the Sakip Sabanci Museum Anish Kapoor exhibition in 2013. One of the works by Anish Kapoor, Double, has now joined the museum’s permanent collection, on display in the lush gardens.
The museum is also home to MSA’nın Restoranı or MSA's Restaurant (MSA: The Culinary Arts Academy of Istanbul). This experimental restaurant is run by the instructor and recent graduate chefs of MSA - where the students complete their first internship in a real restaurant environment. In other words, the instructor chefs are teamed with their students - the brilliant chefs of the future!
MSA restaurant focuses on Anatolian traditions and recipes meanwhile embracing and combining it to the world cuisine - staying as authentic as possible.
The adjoining venue, The Seed, hosts classical concerts, along with conferences and talks.
MSA Restaurant of Sakip Sabanci Museum
The Sabanci Museum hours are from Tuesday-Sunday from 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm (and until 8pm on Wednesdays). The Sabanci Museum price is normally 40 Turkish Lira for entry, but free on Wednesdays.
The Sabanci museum hours are from Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-6pm
Take a bus to Emirgan from Taksim (40, 40T or 42T) or Kabataş (22, 22RE or 25E). Alternatively board the Hop On Hop Off Classıc Bosphorus tour from Dentur Avrasya from Kabataş or Beşiktaş. Combine a visit with a walk around the beautiful Emirgan Park and a lazy brunch at MSA's Restaurant overlooking the Bosphorus.