Often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, the Hagia Sophia served as both a church and a mosque in the past, before it was later declared a museum. Constructed in the 4th century, the history of the structure dates back to the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires when it served as the largest cathedral in the world from the year 537 to 1453, after which it was converted into a mosque by the Ottoman Turks. The architecture of the building is a prime example of Byzantine design and its construction is believed to have changed the history of architecture forever. Notable design elements include its dome, minarets, decorations and mosaics - which was the main source of knowledge on mosaic art during ancient times. It was also declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
Tickets will cost around 25 TL for adults.
Open daily (except on Mondays) from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (until 7:00 p.m. in summer)
Around 1 – 2 hours
Adults, Families, Senior Guests, Young Adults, Children
The dome, minarets, lustration urns, the Imperial Gate, upper gallery, the Loge of the Empress, Marble Door, Wishing column and mosaics
Several mosques in the vicinity of Hagia Sophia are available during prayer times such as the Sultanahmet Mosque, as well as the Firuz Ağa Mosque, Koprulu Mehmet Pasa Mosque and the Vilayet Mosque. It is also possible to enquire for a private area that can be made use of during prayer times.
Special seasonable treats will be available at Hagia Sophia, offering items such as Hamidiye Water, Mado Sahlep, Orange Juice, Tamarind Juice and Court Lemonade. Visitors may also go to some of the many Halal restaurants in the city of Istanbul such as Hayat Cafe, Asitane, Mozaik Café, Hamdi Restaurant, 360Istanbul Restaurant, Bab-i Hayat Restaurant and Istanbul Modern.