This splendid museum is dedicated to the history of transport, industry and communications in Turkey. Founded by the head of the Koç industrial group, one of Turkey’s most prominent conglomerates, it exhibits artefacts from İstanbul’s industrial past and is highly interactive, making it a particularly enjoyable destination for those travelling with children.
The museum's collection is highly eclectic, giving the impression of it being a grab-bag of cool stuff that's been collected over the decades or been donated to the museum by individuals, organisations or companies that didn’t know what else to do with it. This might sound like we’re damning the place with faint praise, but this is far from the case – in fact, we highly recommend a visit here. The museum is in two parts: a new building constructed around a 19th-century dockyard on the Golden Horn side of the road, and a restored and converted Byzantine stone building known as the Lengerhane. The latter was used as a foundry by the Ottomans and now houses a planetarium and a large collection of model trains and boats. The exhibits concerned with forms of transport are particularly fascinating: you can admire a huge collection of mint-condition classic cars; climb aboard historic trams; take a cruise on a restored 1936 steam tug (summer weekends only); enter the cabin of a 1942 Douglas DC-3 Dakota; board a 1944 US naval submarine (advance bookings essential); or take a short trip on a working narrow-gauge railway (summer weekends only).
Excellent interpretive panels in Turkish and English are provided. There's also a Turkish restaurant right on the waterfront, a cafe in a restored 1953 ferry boat and a French restaurant in the Lengerhane. A children's playground and carousel are a hit with little ones. Holders of a Museum Pass İstanbul receive a 10% discount on the price of their ticket.