With being one of the most prestigious maritime museums in Turkey, Istanbul Naval Museum came first in the National Architectural Project Competition. It is one of the few museums in the world with its 20,000 artifact collection. Although the Istanbul Naval Museum, the first military museum established in Turkey, is located in a central place in Beşiktaş, it still does not attract enough attention due to insufficient advertising. The Istanbul Naval Museum, founded in 1897, sent some of its works to Anatolia during World War II to preserve the artifacts. However, after the war ended, the artifacts were brought back to the museum. Moved to its current location in 1961, the museum welcomes many sea and history enthusiasts.
The naval museum displays naval clothing, manuscripts, ship models, starboards, maps, royal boats, galleys, portolans, paintings, monograms, navigational instruments, coats of arms, ship chief figures, and weapons. For younger visitors, there are educational playgrounds and souvenir areas near the museum's entrance. The Istanbul Maritime Museum has four main galleries, children's rooms, a cine-vision room, a multi-purpose hall, two foyers, and two different art galleries. It is known for having both the largest and the most works in Turkey. In the museum, you can examine many artifacts from galleys to boats during the reign. The main exhibition building has three floors and a 1500m2 area. There are four halls in total in the building, and the halls are named after the wind directions. The basement consists of a variety of items such as figureheads, ornaments of naval ships, ship models, and pieces of the Byzantine chain used to block the entrance of enemy ships into the Golden Horn. A large number of imperial and other caques are displayed on the first and second floors. Many display items required special restoration and conservation work as a result of raw material deformation induced by heat, light, humidity, climatic conditions, vandalism, and other issues.
The museum has quite affordable prices so that many people can visit it. This museum, which is free for students, charges 10 TL for adults.