• Head to a quietly thrilling museum housing one-of-a-kind imperial pleasure boats
  • Gold-plated vessels paint a captivating story of the Ottoman sultan lifestyle

The crowds—and blinding bling—at Dolmabahçe Palace not your speed? Head to the quietly thrilling Naval Museum by the Beşiktaş ferry dock. A 10-minute walk from the Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus, this striking, copper-clad museum was purpose-built to house its one-of-a-kind collection of imperial pleasure boats. Once used to ferry the sultans (plus their extensive entourage) to their waterfront palaces, these gold-plated vessels are a throwback to the Ottoman Empire that will captivate adults and children alike. There’s a nautically themed play area for kids, too.

The Istanbul Naval Museum is on Beşiktaş Caddesi, nestled between the street and the waterfront. From the road, you’ll be able to spot this large, cream-colored building with a red roof. Now go inside and explore.

NAVAL MUSEUM: 6/1 Beşiktaş Caddesi; +90-(0)212-327-4345;