Plan Your Visit to Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia: Iconic Marvel of Architectural Brilliance

One of the most important monuments, Hagia Sophia was built as a church by the Roman Emperor Justinian I and was later converted into a mosque after the Ottoman Empire's conquest in 1453. The mosque was again converted into a museum in 1934 and was again declared a mosque in July 2020. Hagia Sophia has gone under reconstruction twice as there was a fire outbreak because of riots at that time. The final construction took 5 years with over 10,000 employers.

This Stunning monument has zillions of tourists visiting every year. One of the most amazing highlights of the Hagia Sophia Mosque is the imperial artworks in Mosaic which is an integral part of the monument. These artworks are some of the best masterpieces even in today's time. You can also look at various marble elements which are imported from all over the world.

The marble used to make the cathedral floor was bought from Anatolia and the bricks were bought from North Africa. There is also a wishing column which is made up of marble with a hole partially covered with bronze. There is a legend that states that the moisture at this place has many certain healing properties.

Essential Information for Planning Your Visit to Hagia Sophia


Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

How To Reach:

  • By Cab/Car:One of the most convenient ways to reach the Hagia Sophia mosque is by your own car or cab. You can directly take a cab from the Istanbul Airport and reach your destination in 56 minutes.
  • By Train:You can reach Hagia Sophia by a tram line T1 and visitors can get down at the Sultanahmet stop.
  • By Metro:Visitors can take Metro line M2 to reach the destination. The journey will take around 50 minutes for a distance of 21km.

Hagia Sophia timings: 09:00-19:30

Plan Your Visit To Hagia Sophia

Plan Your Visit

Planning your visit to Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, is an exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in history and architectural splendor. As a significant religious and cultural site, it's essential to check its operating hours and any entry fees. To avoid crowds, consider visiting during weekdays or early mornings. Dress modestly, as it is now a mosque. Inside, admire the grand dome, exquisite mosaics, and stunning calligraphy. Audio guides and guided tours are available for a deeper understanding of its historical importance. Don't forget to explore the surrounding area and enjoy breathtaking views from its vantage points. Prepare to be captivated by the fascinating blend of Byzantine and Ottoman heritage at this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tips to Visit Hagia Sophia

  • People from all religions are welcome here and you can enter Hagia Sophia.
  • Please remember to remove your shoes before you enter the mosque. You will be given a plastic bag to keep your shoes in.
  • You need to be respectful during prayer time.
  • Some parts of the Mosque will be closed as they are used for prayers, especially during Friday prayers.
  • Do not miss visiting the upper floor from where you can have a detailed look at the architecture, decoration, and also the imperial dome.
  • Women need to wear a scarf or something that covers their head. You can also find headscarves at the entrance of the mosque.
  • You need at least a minimum of 90 minutes to explore Hagia Sophia.
  • You can click some amazing pictures but do not take pictures of people praying.
  • You can take a guided tour to learn the mosque's history.
  • Avoid visiting the place on weekends and during Friday prayer as the place will be crowded with locals.
  • Make sure to carry all of your travel documents to have a hassle-free experience during your travel and sightseeing.
  • One of the best ways to see this monument is to visit in the off-season to avoid crowds and explore this place yourself.
  • Do not take your tripod as it is prohibited
  • The official guides have a badge on them and do not follow unofficial guides who will try to help you for more money

DO Checkout: Hagia Sophia Tips

Hagia Sophia FAQs

What are Hagia Sophia's opening hours?

Hagia Sophia timings are from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM from October to mid-April and 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM from Mid April to October.

How do I get to Hagia Sophia?

By Bus: Buses 66, 92B, BN1, and TB2 can take you to Hagia Sophia, the nearest bus stop is Sultanahmet which is 7 min away from the location.

By Metro:

Metro is also one of the most convenient options and it will approximately take 45-50 mins to reach the destination, the nearest metro station is Vezneciler.

By Tram:

Visitors can take tram line 1 from the airport and reach the destination in 35-40 mins

What do I wear to Hagia Sophia?

The visitors have to be very respectful towards this monument and wear a headscarf. Tourists cannot wear revealing clothes and should be covered. You can checkout Hagia Sophia Dress Code for more information.

What days is Hagia Sophia open?

Hagia Sophia is open every day but will be closed during prayer times.The prayer times are: Fajr - 3:33 amSunrise - 5:31 amDuhur - 1:16 pmAsr - 5:14 pmMaghrib - 8:46 pmIsha - 10:35 pm

What is the best time to visit Hagia Sophia?

The best time to visit Hagia Sophia is from April to October as the weather is pleasant. This is also one of the best months to visit as it is less crowded and visitors can enjoy visiting many monuments and tourist attractions without any hassle.

Can you visit Hagia Sophia at night?

Yes, the Hagia Sophia can be visited at night as the mouque is open 24 hours. But the best time to visit the place is between 9 AM to 12 PM.

Also Checkout: Galata Tower Tickets

What are the best places to visit near Hagia Sophia?

  • Topkapi Palace: Topkapi Palace is one of Istanbul's most significant historical sites, and it's very close to Hagia Sophia. This former palace of the Ottoman sultans houses a vast collection of treasures, including jewelry, manuscripts, and artifacts from the Ottoman Empire. Tourists are highly recommended to take a tour to harem of Topkapi Palace to experience most of the visit.
  • Basilica Cistern: The Basilica Cistern, or Yerebatan Sarnıcı, is just a short walk from Hagia Sophia. Explore this underground water reservoir, known for its rows of ancient columns and the eerie ambiance created by its dim lighting and water reflections.
  • Dolmabahce Palace: Dolmabahce Palace is worth a visit. It's a magnificent 19th-century palace located along the Bosphorus and is known for its opulent architecture and interiors. Also you can visit Dolmabahce Palace garden as it is one of the famous section to explore.

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