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…
Enjoy a half-day tour of Istanbul and explore the Byzantine and Ottoman heart of the Old City. See Istanbul icons such as the Hagia Sophia, Blue…
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…
Discover the legendary Hagia Sophia in a time-efficient way. Use Fast-Track entrance, then get the real sense of the building's history and…
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…
Discover the magic of Istanbul on a private 1 or 2-day walking tour. Enjoy a river cruise and guided tour of the city highlights, including the Blue…
Explore Istanbul's most wondrous monuments including Saint Sophia and the Basilca Cistern on this afternoon tour of the historic city. Stroll through…
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…
Istanbul is an incredible city filled with towering mosques, ancient stadiums and grand bazaars. Today you can experience them all on this wonderful…
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
My brother and I went in early February and the line was not too long. However, it felt great to skip the whole line and get into Hagia Sofia directly. If you walk in by yourself, you will simply think that it looks nice. However, with the tour guide's explanation, you can actually learn about the long history of Istanbul and it is truly fascinating. I highly recommend others to do this tour instead of just visiting the place since you get to learn so much. Also, the whole process was very smooth and the tour guide was very friendly!
Adil, our historian/guide’s knowledge is outanding. He created a wondrous and magical experience with his expertise and guidance. Definitely the best guide we have ever used! And we travel a lot! Wish all guides could be like Adil. Thank you
Our guide was very nice, knowledgeable and professional. The tour was very enjoyable.
Guide with good knowledge. On time, looking for what we must visit and as well, time permitting, what could be interested for us.
Latife was a superb guide! Friendly, helpful and incredibly knowledgeable of Turkish history. Not only did she give us lots of information on all the beautiful sites we visited but she also told us about modern Turkey giving us a great picture of how Turkey has grown over the past 1600 years or so. Highly recommend this tour. It was also really nice having such a small group (me, my wife and Latife!).