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…
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…
See the sights of Istanbul that most interest you on a customized, 8-hour tour with private guide. Marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman…
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…
Discover Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey with a deep and rich cultural history. Visit the most attractive locations including Sultanahmet…
Take a half-day tour in the ancient district of Sultanahmet to see some of Istanbul's most famous landmarks. Explore the stunning interior of Blue…
Istanbul is an incredible city filled with towering mosques, ancient stadiums and grand bazaars. Today you can experience them all on this wonderful…
Explore some of Istanbul’s most visited places such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Hippodrome and the Grand Bazaar. Enjoy…
Explore Istanbul at your own pace with a 3, 5 or 7-day Istanbul Tourist Pass, providing access to Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, and much more. Cruise…
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 thereTake 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
Enjoyed the visit hugely. Skip the line access was well worth it and the guide was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the site. Well worth it - highly recommended!
Great guide who was informative. It was a cheap price for a great tour and we skipped the line.
This was my first time in Istanbul, so having two days with a guide was essential for understanding this amazing city and its history. On my own I could not have found my way to so many places, or learned so much. Saban Sezer was an excellent guide; I always have questions to ask that many visitors would not, as I am interested in Islamic architecture and as I live in Egypt and am interested in how in the past Turkish traditions have transferred to Egypt, Saban was patient with my questions and with me wanting to spend longer in some places that interested me. He gave information even about places you don't have time to visit in your first two days, places we just passed on the cruise, and that makes me want to return for more exploring of Istanbul.
Tour was a lot of fun, the history and site are phenomenal. Line was quite long so we were very happy to skip it. The team on the ground were easily visible and guided us through the security smoothly and gave us a fantastic introduction. Even though we booked on quite short notice all went perfectly smooth.
I did the one day tour. I would highly recommend it if you have a short time in Istanbul. My guide tailored the tour to include something extra that was recommended to me by me cutting short my Grand Bazaar visit. Tip - wear your walking shoes.