Can there be a better combination? A museum, permanent collections, exhibitions, a quality restaurant, a peaceful garden, a great looking building and an even better Bosphorus view. So it is easy to see why Sabancı Museum is the first thing I would do if I only had time to do one thing in Istanbul (after the old town square of course).
The museum is named after the most famous businessman of Turkey, Sakıp Sabancı. The Sabancı family invested in the cultural development of Turkey with this museum and a top notch university. The location of the museum is convenient and beautiful: drive up north, passing under the second Bosphorus bridge. It is by the sea, with a great garden that you can relax in.
There are permanent art exhibitions owned by the Sabancı family, like historic handwritten Qurans and books, paintings of world famous Turkish painters like Osman Hamdi Bey and İbrahim Çallı. Also, there are archaeological collections in the garden.
In addition to permanent exhibitions, there are seasonal exhibitions. They are announced on their website. Free to parents who visit with their kids. What a great attitude.
On summer Sunday mornings, there is brunch in the garden with jazz concerts presented by famous local jazz bands. Other than that, it is always relaxing to be in the garden and enjoy the view.
There is also a magnificent restaurant called muzedechanga, which is awarded by many global newspapers and magazines.