Hagia Sophia Tour

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Book Hagia Sophia Tour and explore one of the most iconic cultural landmarks of the world accompanied by a professional tour guide. Don’t miss the mesmerizing beauty of Hagia Sophia in the eternal city of Istanbul!

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Itinerary

  • Date/Hour

    Every day except Fridays. 9.00 am.

  • Language

    English – Spanish

  • Duration

    1 Hour

  • Precio

    20€

  • Meeting point

    Sultanahmet Square

  • Itinerary

    Santa Sofía

  • End point

    Santa Sofía

  • Wheelchair friendly tour

HAGIA SOPHIA TOUR

Tour Hagia Sophia starts every day (except Fridays) at 09:00 am next to the decorative pool between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque at the Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul. Just look for our professional local tour guides with red t-shirt and/or umbrella!

Hagia Sophia Tour is one of the top popular touristic attractions of Istanbul, Turkey. During this one-hour guided tour, you will have the opportunity to explore Hagia Sophia, a center of worship for Christian and Muslim world for many centuries, with a professional local tour guide. Due to its dual religious usage over the centuries, this unique structure is a mix of Byzantine and Ottoman splendor and beauty especially with its magnificent dome. Once a cathedral now a mosque, Hagia Sophia is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Hagia Sophia, also known as Hagia Sofia, is one of the most important structures in Istanbul with its unique architecture, fascinating history, religious importance and extraordinary characteristics that reflect both Byzantine splendor. It is known as the oldest and fastest-completed cathedral in Constantinople (Istanbul). With its breathtaking dome, monolithic marble columns and fascinating early Christian mosaics, visiting Hagia Sophia is definitely one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in Istanbul, Turkey. Hagia Sophia is a masterpiece in the world history. Being very close to Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern, our Hagia Sophia guided tours enable one to see and explore many famous places in Istanbul. Tour Hagia Sophia is the best tour for anyone visiting Istanbul.

Tour Highlights 

Learn about the remarkable history of Hagia Sophia.

Get a deeper understanding of the great two empires of Byzantine and Ottoman.

Marvel at the stunning early Christian mosaics of Hagia Sofia.

Learn about Constantinople and Turkish legacy in Hagia Sophia mosque.

Visit tombs of the sultans and their families.

 Attention

· Reservation is required for joining Hagia Sophia Tour. Tickets are not needed.

· Hagia Sophia is a mosque so there is a dress code to enter this great site. Women must cover their hair and arms as well as their legs from the knees up. Attendants may be asked to buy robes to enter this place if their normal sightseeing clothing is not modest, with minimal exposed flesh. Your guide will help you to find robes in front of the site. Footwear is not important as you will be asked to remove it before entering the mosque. This dress code is expected when you enter a mosque in Turkey.

· We do not offer tours of Hagia Sophia on Fridays.

Good to Know About Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque

When you complete online booking, we will confirm your booking by sending you a confirmation email.

If you are a group more than 10 people, please contact us for a private Hagia Sophia tour especially tailored to your group.

· Please be at the meeting point 10 minutes before the tour begins as your guide will be waiting for you.

· When you arrive at the meeting point, please find your guide carrying a red umbrella and wearing a red t-shirt and/or coat in the site which is surrounded by Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque.

You do not need to buy tickets to enter Hagia Sophia mosque.

· If you have questions about our guided tour, you can send us an e-mail or give us a call. You can also view our FAQs for all the latest information.

If you are looking for more things to do in Istanbul such as events, daily trips and experiences, you are welcome to contact us any time. We are right here to help you design your dream vacation in Istanbul.

What is Included

Pick up at the meeting point

Official licensed English-speaking tour guide

Istanbul travel map

What is Excluded

Tip for the guide

Transportation

Food or drinks

Expenses not specified

INFORMATION ABOUT HAGIA SOPHIA TOUR 

GEM IN THE WORLD’S HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE

ONCE A CHURCH, LATER AN IMPERIAL MOSQUE, LATER A MUSEUM, NOW A MOSQUE AGAIN

The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque (Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi), with its ingenious architecture, fascinating history, has been the most striking feature of Istanbul’s history for centuries. It is the largest Eastern Roman Church in Byzantine Istanbul and known to be the world’s oldest and fastest-completed cathedral. The building had been constructed three times in the same location. With its astonishing dome, grand monolithic marble columns and it is undoubtedly one of first places to visit in the world. Every year millions of tourist visit this site in Istanbul to see the marvels of the two empires of the world. Hagia Sophia is one of the top places tourists visit in Istanbul together with Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Archeological Museum.

A MOSQUE DURING THE OTTOMAN PERIOD

Today’s Hagia Sophia is the third building that had been constructed in the same place with a distinctive architecture than its predecessors. Anthemios from Tralles (Aydin) and Isidoros from Miletos (Balat) built this magnificent building by the order of  Emperor Justinian. The construction started in 532 and was completed in five years time. When Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror conquered the city of Istanbul, he converted it into his imperial mosque.

Sultan Mehmet conquered Istanbul city in 1453 and since then Hagia Sophia continued its existence with the addition of Ottoman architectural elements. It was turned into a museum in 1935. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the mihrabs, pulpit, and sermon were added to the Hagia Sophia. The essential Ottoman addition was the library built by the order of Sultan Mahmud I. The most fundamental repairs were made by the Swiss Fossati Brothers by the order of Sultan Abdulmecid. Famous for its Imperial Gate Gate (Splendid Door) Marble Gate, Hagia Sophia has 104 columns, some of which are brought from ancient cities. The Opmphalion section where the new emperors were crowned stands out with marble artistry like these pillars.

WELL WORTH SEEING!

Hagia Sophia allures people by not only with its breathtaking architectural design, but also by its gold-plated, silver-plated, glass, terracotta and colored stone mosaics including the 6th century floral and geometric motifs. Both Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are known as the treasures of Istanbul. The figures following the icon ban in the 8th century especially Mother Mary depicted with child Jesus in her armsthe Archangel Gabriel and the Archangel Michael and Deisis stage figures will be the top highlights of your visit.

Another must-see attraction is Sultan Abdulmecit’s tugra that was built between 1847 and 1849 during the restoration by the Fossati brothers. Two solid marble cubes in the side aisles were brought from the ancient city of Bergama during the reign of Sultan Murad III. Hagia Sophia combines a basilica and a centralized building with a grand dome of 32 meters. The basilica is longitudinal and there are also three aisles separated by the columns of the great galerie.

The Hagia Sophia Mosque is known for its exterior as well as its interior. The mausoleums of the sultans outside the building are among the first to visit. The four minarets of Hagia Sophia, known to be built by Mimar Sinan (the chief Ottoman architect), the fountain of Sibyan (elementary) school the fountains, buttresses, the treasury building, and the soup kitchen may be the best attractions of this magnificent building.

Hagia Sophia was once a museum. It was transformed into a museum by Ataturk in 1935 and after long years ,in 2020, the building was transformed into a mosque again.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Can you still tour Hagia Sophia?

Yes, tourists continue to be able to visit Hagia Sophia. The opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque does not change anything for the touristic visits.

Where do the Free Hagia Sophia tours start?

Our walking tour of Hagia Sophia meets at the Sultanahmet Square, next to the decorative pool which is between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

How will I recognize the guide?

Our professional tour guides wear a red t-shirt/coat and carry a red umbrella.

Do I have to pre-book?

Yes. You need to pre-book the tour on our website. Please come to the meeting point 10 minutes before the tour starts. Let us know if you are coming with a big group (10+ people).

How long does the tour last?

The tour is approximately one hour.

How much time do you need in Hagia Sophia?

An hour should be enough when you are visiting it with a professional guide.

Do you take any breaks during the tour?

No. There is no break during this tour.

How much does the tour cost?

The tour does not cost you anything. Yet, this is a tip-based tour. At the end of the tour, you are welcome to tip your guide depending on your enjoyment of the service. Some people give 10€ and some others give 50€. You decide what the tour was worth.

Are tours suitable for children?

Yes. Our tours are designed for people of all ages.

Are tours wheelchair accessible?

Yes. Our walking tours are wheelchair accessible. Keep in mind that we are ready to arrange private tours geared towards your needs.

Do you offer private Istanbul tours?

Yes. We offer private tours in English, Spanish, French, Russian and German languages.

1 review for Hagia Sophia Tour

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    5 out of 5

    Selma Altay

    Guide was excellent, really well informed and entertaining. I had a wonderful time, weather was good, so well worth my time and money.

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