Rahmi Koç Museum is a large museum located in the heart of old Istanbul, in the middle of Hasköy, on the edge of the Golden Horn. Opened in 1994, the Rahmi Koç Museum allows us to see where and how Turkey caught up with the industrial revolution and how the world developed in this process.
- What is there in Rahmi Koç Museum?
- Information about the history of Rahmi Koç Museum
- Historical Haskoy Shipyard
- Open Air Exhibition Area
- Nostalgic Railway Expedition
- Golden Horn Tours by Boat at Rahmi Koç Museum
- TCG Uluçalireis Submarine
- Lenger House
What is there in Rahmi Koç Museum?
Among the places to visit in Istanbul, Rahmi Koç Museum is one of the large-scale museums that will take you on a journey through time. There are exhibitions of everything you can think of, from modern products where you can see how things work to nostalgic products that shed light on the history of industry, transportation and communication that will take you out of the pages of history and into a fairytale land. One of the most comprehensive and diverse museums in Istanbul, Rahmi Koç Museum is the ideal place to spend a full day. Because you don’t just look at the exhibits, it’s also fun to try to understand them. Moreover, you can be sure that you will do many things you have never done before in the museum. This museum is one of the places that families with children will enjoy visiting and that can be very useful for children.
Information about the history of Rahmi Koç Museum
The Rahmi Koç Museum was first established in the lengerhane building across the road. Lengerhane was the place where chains and anchors used to stabilize ships at sea were manufactured and produced. When the museum’s collection began to expand, the buildings across the street were restored to their original state and became part of the Rahmi Koç Museum. The main sections of the Rahmi Koç Museum are the Historic Lengerhane Building, the Historic Hasköy Shipyard and the open-air exhibition area, and each of these sections has sub-categories. Let’s start visiting in the order that suits us best. You can shape the places to visit in your mind by looking at the Rahmi Koç Museum map or sketch. First of all, we start from the Historical Hasköy Shipyard.
Historical Haskoy Shipyard
When you pick up your tickets at the ticket office, you are first introduced to the underwater, astronomy and energy sections. Here we learn about the working principles of the kitchen appliances we use in our daily lives such as washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, kitchen stoves, and products like cars and bicycles.
We closely observe how engines work, powertrains and the effect of wheels on systems. On the upper floor of these sections, there is a section called Colorful Mathematics World. The experimental sets here appeal mostly to children. Children can spend time here by touching, thinking and learning.
Erdoğan Gönül Gallery: If you are interested in classic cars, you are in the right place. In this gallery named after Erdoğan Gönül, you can see beautiful cars from the collections of Rahmi Koç Museum. For example, there is a Turkish-made 4-speed Anadol. Anadol was one of the first mass-produced automobiles in Turkey. Messerschmitt, an aircraft company, was banned from manufacturing airplanes for twenty years according to an agreement at the end of the Second World War.
It is exciting to see all these magnificent cars together.
Continuing upstairs, we see galleries of motorcycles, baby carriages, bullock carts and horse-drawn carriages. Really interestingly designed baby carriages have been made until today.
Dr. Bülent Bulgurlu Gallery: Another gallery where cars are exhibited is Dr. Bülent Bulgurlu Gallery. This place is another oddity. After this gallery, you can see the Araser Olive Oil Factory with its steam engines and diesel engines. The parts in this factory were brought from a real olive oil factory in Ayvalık. There is also a carpenter shop and lathes next to the factory.
Historic Sleigh: If we have had our fill of classic automobiles, let’s take a look at the areas related to ships. Founded in 1861, we come across an original sled belonging to the historical Hasköy Shipyard. The 45-meter-long sled was built in 1884 and was powered by steam power. Nusret, Refet, Amed and Meymenet steamships brought to Turkey in pieces were assembled here, the first ferries were built here and dozens of boats were maintained here.
Living Past: On the side of the historical sleigh, we see shops that have come out of history. You can see historical shops such as Şifa Pharmacy, where materials such as plants used in medicine and body prostheses are exhibited; Dakik Saat, where various kinds of watches can be repaired; Haliç Oyuncakçısı, where nostalgic toys such as train sets, automobiles, rocking horses are exhibited; Forged Iron, the shop of the blackened master; Ismarlama Kundura, where shoes are repaired and a lady and the master have a conversation. In some of the shops, a different atmosphere is created during a football match or with radios playing music for children.
In front of the shops, a red Austin was just standing there waiting for people to pay attention to it. You can ride this huge vehicle and have your photo taken. Aydın Çubukçu Gallery, which you can reach from the entrance opposite the shops, is a gallery where objects, trains and model models of rail transportation are exhibited. On the upper floor, there is an area where boats and motors attached to boats are exhibited. The most interesting thing here is the Amphicar, a floating car that can travel both on land and in water. Two propellers at the back of the car at the bottom apply propulsive force to the vehicle, while the front wheels act as a rudder.
Aydın Çubukçu Gallery: Another section in the museum is the rail transportation vehicles section, which includes motorized or horse-drawn trains/wagons. You can see various wagons in the glass enclosed section in the exhibition area. The most striking among them is the Sultanate Wagon with its ornate structure. As you approach the carriage with a statue of Sultan Abdulaziz inside, you notice an intoxicating fragrance. Sultan Abdulaziz used to travel in this wagon. The tram, which was the protagonist of the first horse-drawn tram service in the Ottoman period, is also among the exhibited artifacts. In 1872, after the first tram that used the Azapkapı Ortaköy route, electric trams took its place in 1914. You can even see the Kadıköy – Moda tram number 20, which made its first trip in 1934. There are so many original and nostalgic vehicles.
Open Air Exhibition Area
We are coming to the end of our visit to the shipyard. Now it is time to visit the open air exhibition area. There are many vehicles such as helicopters and tanks in the museum garden. The 32-meter-high floating crane, which can be seen even from far away, has a lifting capacity of 85 tons. This crane can easily carry a shipwreck and help to remove it from the sea. You can examine them closely and get detailed information. But let’s examine the highlights first. The F-104 Starfighter fighter jet, which can fly faster than the speed of sound and is one of the symbols of the museum, served the Turkish Air Force for 20 years. The Douglas DC-3, the most admired plane of all time, also has an important place in civil aviation, you can get a close look at the cockpit and interior.
There are also vehicles here that ended in tragedy. If you see a rust-covered plane wreck in the open-air exhibition area, you know that Hadley’s Harem has a tragic story to tell. This plane was part of an attack team on Romania in the Second World War, flying silently at high altitude. However, the planes lost each other in bad weather and were forced to break radio silence. The plane was then hit by an anti-aircraft shell from Germany. The heavily damaged plane wanted to head towards the British Air Base in Cyprus, but its stalled engines did not allow it to do so and it had to land on the Mediterranean coast around Manavgat. Although a few people swam to shore, the pilot and co-pilot never got out of the plane.
Nostalgic Railway Expedition
If you want to take a short trip to the Rahmi Koç Museum on a nostalgic train, you can use the train that leaves every hour on weekends. The train departs from the Hasköy train station at the museum and goes about 400 meters to the Golden Horn Bridge. You buy tickets at the box office, but they are free. The aim is to take reservations in advance and prevent overflow of visitors. They give you another ticket. We didn’t know how to buy a ticket, but since there were some people who didn’t show up, they let us ride in their place. A short train trip from Hasköy to Sütlüce along the Golden Horn is among the things we can recommend.
Golden Horn Tours by Boat at Rahmi Koç Museum
If you want to take a tour of the Golden Horn on one of the oldest steam tugboats in the world, visit the Rahmi Koç Museum in spring or summer. Only on weekends and in favorable weather conditions, this watercraft built in 1873 can be a different activity.
TCG Uluçalireis Submarine
You can also experience a submarine at the museum. Originally named USS Thornback (SS-418) and built by the US in 1944, the submarine was named TCG Uluçalireis (S-338) after Uluç Ali Pasha, one of the most important commanders of the Ottoman Navy. The submarine, which played a role in the wars, was transferred to the museum in 2001 and opened to visitors.
If you want to enter this submarine vehicle, which makes itself known when you are on the Golden Horn Bridge, you need to buy an entrance ticket from the ticket office. You can’t enter the submarine on your own, at certain hours and when the number of people who want to enter the submarine reaches 14, a guide takes you around the submarine. The guide explains everything about the submarine for about half an hour. The submarine has a very narrow space, those who are claustrophobic may feel a little narrow.
When we finish our visit on this side, we go to the opposite building. The old Ottoman lenger house is one of the museum buildings. It was built on the foundations of a 13th century Byzantine building during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III. The building was restored in its original shape and the foundations of today’s Rahmi Koç Museum were laid. Lengenhane is divided into many different subjects such as automobile models, aviation, railway models, maritime, toys, movie sets, printing machines. Since it is a very comprehensive building, we will not go into the products one by one. But this place is almost like an antique shop. It is an amazing place with its diversity, you enjoy being in a historical building and among dozens of precious products.
What to eat at the Rahmi Koç Museum?
It is clear that the museum authorities have opened the museum to be really useful to people. They care about people before treating them like geese. There is a small café in the area where the classic cars are located in the museum. Its name is Demlik Cafe. The prices are also affordable. The museum is big and you will definitely get tired. At this point, a cup of tea, a sandwich or anything else is enough to increase your pleasure. If you want an alternative with a view of the Golden Horn, you can also choose the Fenerbahçe Ferry, which was built in 1952, sailed between Sirkeci Adalar and Yalova Çınarcık for many years and opened to visitors as a museum ferry at the Rahmi Koç Museum one year after its last voyage in 2008.
Where is Rahmi Koç Museum and how to get there?
Rahmi Koç Museum is located right on the edge of the Golden Horn. You can reach the museum in Hasköy by taking the 47, 47E, 47Ç, 47N Eminönü buses, 54HT, 54HŞ Hasköy buses and the 36T Taksim bus, getting off at the Red Minaret stop. The route of Şişhane Alibeyköy minibus line is also in front of the museum. If you are coming by Metrobus, Halıcıoğlu Station is the closest stop to the museum. You can also come with your personal vehicle. You can park your car both inside the museum and in the free parking lot next to the museum. Even though we went on Sunday, there was a space in the parking lot.
What are the entrance fee and visiting hours of Rahmi Koç Museum?
Since the entrance fee to Rahmi Koç Museum is constantly updated, it is best to learn the current price from their website, there is a discount for students. If you have a Müzekart Plus card, you can enter with a 20% discount. The museum can be visited between 10:00 – 17:00 on weekdays except Monday, 10:00 – 19:00 on weekends during the summer season, and 10:00 – 18:00 during the winter season. If you have any questions, the contact information for the Rahmi Koç Museum is 0212 369 66 00.