There's plenty to see at this impressive museum, but its major draw is undoubtedly the 2nd-floor exhibition of paintings featuring Turkish Orientalist themes. Drawn from Suna and İnan Kıraç's world-class private collection, the works provide fascinating glimpses into the Ottoman world from the 17th to 20th centuries and include the most beloved painting in the Turkish canon – Osman Hamdı Bey's The Tortoise Trainer (1906). Other floors host high-profile temporary exhibitions (past exhibitions have showcased Warhol, de Chirico, Picasso and Botero).
Permanent exhibits on the 1st floor concentrate on Kütahya tiles and ceramics, as well as Anatolian weights and measures. The ground floor is home to the popular Pera Café, a comfortable space decorated in art deco style to reflect the fact that the building originally housed the swish Bristol Hotel.
Students are given free entry to the museum every Wednesday, and all visitors have free entry from 6pm to 10pm on Friday. The museum is associated with the nearby İstanbul Arastırmaları Enstitüsü (İstanbul Research Institute), which includes a research library and temporary exhibition space.