Skip the line and enter the magnificent Hagia Sophia, which is the world’s largest place of worship, built by Emperor Justinian in 532 AD. Enjoy a…
Explore the best of Istanbul’s Byzantine and Ottoman monuments on a 7-hour luxury sightseeing tour. Discover where East meets West at 5 top…
Join a small group walking tour of the two most famous monuments in Istanbul: the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Enjoy a scenic stroll around…
Skip the long lines and enter Hagia Sophia with a local guide who will give you a brief introduction and orientation tips. Explore the monument on…
Explore Istanbul at your own pace on board a double-decker, open-top, hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. See all the famous landmarks, from the Hagia…
See the sights of Istanbul that most interest you on a customized tour with private guide. Marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman…
Skip the line to get into the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Dolmabahçe Palace, Blue Mosque, and more on an exceptional guided tour.
Istanbul is an incredible city filled with towering mosques, ancient stadiums and grand bazaars. Today you can experience them all on this wonderful…
Discover Istanbul’s historic attractions on a full-day walking tour of the old city. Visit the city's most iconic monuments, including the Blue…
Top sights in Istanbul
This magnificent Byzantine church turned Ottoman mosque was made a museum in 1935 by Kemal Ataturk, the father of the Turkish Republic. It's one of Istanbul's proudest icons, so here are five things that shaped this showcase of Christian and Islamic Empires.
The grand church was converted to a mosque after the Ottoman conquest in 1453. However, the site has also been home to two previous churches and a Pagan temple!
Justinian I strained the breadth of his Empire to have the Hagia Sophia built in 537. On its completion he's said to have proudly boasted, "Oh Solomon, I have surpassed thee!"
Not making it to Jerusalem, the Venetian-led Fourth Crusaders instead took Constantinople. Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice still houses many of the spoils!
As well as being sacked in the Fourth Crusade, the Hagia Sophia's heavy dome has collapsed several times due to earthquakes. It wasn't completely stabilized until 1859!
The Hagia Sophia became a mosque in 1453, when the Ottomans seized Constantinople. Its many alterations included the erection of minarets and the purging of Christian iconography.
You can visit the Hagia Sophia between the hours of 9:00AM and 7:00PM from April 15th to September 31st, and between 9:00AM and 5:00PM from October 1st to April 14th. It is closed in the early days of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha. Book tickets in advance to avoid the queues!
The Hagia Sophia is just a short walk from the Sultanahment metro and tram stops. Close to many of Istanbul's historic attractions, it's also covered on most city walking tours!
- When should I visit?
- 9:00AM to 5:00PM in the winter, 9:00AM to 7:00PM in the summer. Check holiday schedules to avoid closures.
- Is it expensive?
- The ticket price is 30 TRY, which is roughly $11.
- Will I need a guide?
- It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
- How to get there
- Take the metro or tram to the Sultanahment stop.
- Additional information
- Book tickets in advance to avoid the queues!
What people are saying about Hagia Sophia
This is definitely worth it as we saved so much time than queuing to buy a ticket in the heat. Once past the security check, there were around 4-5 different areas we stopped while the guide explained. He (Eugel) was very informative and also entertaining and we learnt alot on the history of the Hagia Sophia. Once the tour finishes (around 4 minutes), you're free to wander on your own. I would recommend heading upstairs for the great view you get.
We had a great time with the tour, there where a few areas of knowledge the tour guide seemed a bit lacking (maybe we was the first to ask those questions! Or maybe a misunderstanding) but was courteous and professional and in general enjoyed every moment of it. However it would of been nice to have more of a tour of the bazar than left in it but still I feel it was value for money and would do again also the fast track was incredibly convent.
Fantastic! My guide was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and interesting to listen to. He took us to all the interesting spots and filled us in with the relevant history. Far better than seeing it on your own. We went to the Tokapi palace and the Hagia Sophia. He was also kind enough to see us onto the bus going back to the airport once it was over.
This tour was fantastic, I had such a nice time. I was thrilled to find there was only five of us on the tour and it was a great balance between structure and the freedom to explore the mosques. The lunch was delicious and we had plenty of time to explore the Grand Bazaar in the afternoon. Highly recommended.
The organisation of groups at the beginning was frustrating and time consuming. Which meant we did not really start the tour until after 0920. This was a four hour tour but in essence would have been lucky to have been three hours - which questions true value for money.