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Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)

star-5
7,027 Reviews
Aya Sofya Meydani, Istanbul, 34357

The Basics

Turkey’s magnificent Hagia Sophia is a riot of swooping domes and mismatched minarets added throughout its long life. The lofty interior is a soaring sequence of domed and arched spaces, centering on the shell-like apse and the massive dome, which seems to float unsupported and gives the church its amazing sense of space. Work continues to uncover the golden Christian mosaics and colorful frescoes from the Byzantine era, which were plastered over by the Ottomans.

Tours often allow you to skip the long lines with a guide, and many Istanbul excursions combine the Hagia Sophia Museum with other sights in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet neighborhood, including the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar, and Basilica Cistern.

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Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
star-4.5
$65.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Classic Istanbul Tour
It was a very beautiful and educational tour, Canan, our tour guide, was awesome!. She has so much knowledge and passion for the history and beauty of Istanbul which made the tour a great experience.
Zoi, Sep 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Istanbul

star-5
Amazing Tour with Erol
Carmen_Tufan, May 2021
Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Half Day Tour
What an amazing guide we had: Erol! We visit Istanbul during May lockdown and were surprised and very pleased to have Erol as our private guide! His knowledge and attention to detail amazed us! My husband is a Turkish national and he even learned a lot of details from Erol! Highly Recommended! Perfect English pronunciation and he keeped us Safe with COVID protocols during our visit! If you plan to visit Istanbul ask for Erol to be your Guide!
star-5
Delightful guide,...
David_B, Sep 2021
Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia
Delightful guide, knowledgeable and fun to be with. He kept us on schedule as well. Highly recommend. Travelers from Texas
star-5
A pretty good tour
Jan_N, Sep 2021
Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia
We've had a very personal tour (just the two of us and the guide) and it was very pleasant. The guide was very polite, spoke good English and gladly answered our questions.
star-5
Great Tour of Haggi Sophia
Jamarl_T, Sep 2021
Just Hagia Sophia Tour /Skip The Lines
The guide was phenomenal. Knowledge, punctual and went beyond the basics of the experience. I certainly recommend, especially if you want a primer on the landmark and don't want to wait in line for an indeterminate amount of time.
star-5
Great experience, totally worth it.
Corina_F, Sep 2021
Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Half Day Tour
Erol is an amazing guide, very knowledgeable and with very good English skills. We recommend this tour to anyone interested in Turkish and, specifically, Istanbul history.
star-5
Mislav
Mislav_K, Sep 2021
Just Hagia Sophia Tour /Skip The Lines
All was great, the tour guide is the best one. We love Istanbul. The city is big so you need mibimum one week to see the most important sites in it.
star-5
Worth it!!
Steven_H, Aug 2021
Small Group: Hagia Sophia&Blue Mosque&Grand Bazaar
Great, pleasant and knowledgeable guide who made the tour informative, fun and well worth the time and cost!!
star-5
Great guide
Noreen_S, Aug 2021
Hagia Sophia: Entry with Guided Tour
The courtyards are beautiful. The guide was very informative and very helpful. Would definitely book with them again.
star-5
Selcuk was an excellent tour guide for us -- English and Spanish in our grp. He was very informative,open,enthusiastic
Greg_H, Aug 2021
Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
All of it. We appreciated every turn. Selcuk talked through the ancient history, right up to current times/events. My guess is all the guides with Karavan tours are well qualified.
star-5
Great time with a great host
Ric_M, Sep 2021
Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia
Ali was a wonderful guide, well-versed in the history of the many sites included in the tour. We had ample time for investigating the mosques and other sites, including plenty of photo-taking time. We had some specific items we were seeking in the Grand Bazaar and Ali was knowledgeable and helpful in finding them. All in all, a great day with an unbelievably good lunch stuck in the middle of it. Can’t recommend highly enough.
star-5
Excellent!!
Andrea_A, Aug 2021
Istanbul Old City: Hagia Sophia - Suleymaniye Mosque - Spice Bazaar
Erol was an amazing tour guide, he had a lot of knowledge and made the history of Istanbul very entertaining. He was so patient with the questions and even took pictures of us. Would 100% recommend, he'll make your tour extremely enjoyable.
star-5
History Teacher Learning
Kristel_S, Aug 2021
Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
Bring your walking shoes and explore, learn, dine and experience the great history of Turkey. Our tour guide Taner was informative, funny and helpful.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Hagia Sophia is a must-visit for history and architecture buffs, and all first-time visitors to Istanbul.

  • Restoration work is ongoing in the Hagia Sophia, so expect scaffolding and some obstructed views and access.

  • The best view of the lofty interior is from the upstairs gallery.

  • Save time by booking a skip-the-line tour to avoid the long lines.

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How to Get There

The Hagia Sophia is in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet neighborhood, just across the way from the Blue Mosque and close to Topkapi Palace. It is minutes away from the Sultanahmet tram stop and is also easily accessible by taxi. Parking is limited in the Sultanahmet neighborhood, so taxi or tram is the most convenient option.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

The Hagia Sophia is a busy attraction, so try to arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds. It’s open seven days a week, even during most of the major national and religious Turkish holidays, with a few exceptions. Closing hours are extended between April and October.

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Art in the Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia has impressive frescoes and spectacular mosaics that depict Christian scenes. Admire the golden mosaics, including Constantine the Great presents Constantinople and Justinian the Great presents Hagia Sophia to the Virgin, probably from the 10th century, and others depicting Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Notice the colorful cherubim frescoes that the decorate the domed ceiling.

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