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Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)

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
$70.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
An amazing experience
Most amazing experience with an extremely knowledgeable guide,Emre from Karaven travel and tours. This tour was nothing short of amazing and a highlight for every person visiting Istanbul💛
FAUZIA_H, May 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Istanbul

star-5
Istanbul review
AnnetteL_F, Apr 2022
Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
In addition to our wonderful guide, nestle, who was amazingly knowledgeable, she was very sensitive and accommodating to the various needs of our group. Especially us. She managed amyo arrange a last minute covid test for Us! Adjustments were made to the tour by viator as well. Viator is a wonderful company
star-5
Excellent choice for fist comers
Betina_H, May 2022
Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia
Mustafa was a great guide, he made it a very private and personalized tour and we I had a very good experience.
star-5
Well organised informative tour
Andrew_D, May 2022
Private Half Day Shore Excursion: Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar From Istanbul
Our guide Gulce was very friendly and informative. All the sites were within easy walking distance of each other. Pickup at the port was very smooth. Couldn't see much in the Blue Mosque as it was under restoration but hopefully that will be finished soon. Altogether a very pleasant and informative tour.
star-5
Memorable Visit - Istanbul 2022
Feisal_A, May 2022
Hagia Sophia: Entry with Guided Tour
History of Hagia Sofia, Structure of The Building and the surrounding area, Food and the place was full so of life
star-4
Being able to see all the...
Krystal_J, May 2022
Morning Istanbul: Half-Day Tour with Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar
Being able to see all the historical monuments so closely together. Unfortunately the blue mosque was under construction. And bring your own scarf for hijab to cover your hair.
star-5
1st day in Istanbul
Nancy_K, May 2022
Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
I loved. Our guide Mel she was very knowledgeable . The sights she showed us were amazing. I bought a rug from nthe place she took us.
star-5
Good tour for Istanbul first-comers
Marina_K, May 2022
Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Half Day Tour
We took a guided tour to Hagya Sofia and Topkapi palace with Erol in May 22. It started on time, everything was well organized. Erol is a very knowledgeable, he presented the rich history of Istanbul in an interesting way and answered our multiple questions.
star-5
Get your money’s worth +
Luz_V, May 2022
Highlights of Istanbul: Hagia Sophia - Suleymaniye Mosque - Grand Bazaar
Aron was great, very knowledgeable of city and history. Great way to start our trip, got oriented, got great pointers for visits to attractions, shopping and eating. Very much worth the money and time. Arol English is great!
star-5
Great experience. Baris was an excellent guide!
GailMcNabb_V, May 2022
Small Group: Hagia Sophia&Blue Mosque&Grand Bazaar
Batis is a history major. He not only led us safely walking through the city? But we were able to learn about each site we visited.
star-5
Super Informative Hagia Sophia Trip
vyasdhruvil, May 2022
Hagia Sophia Group tour
Muhammet is an amazing guide. In spite of observing fasting due to Ramadan, he was full of energy, and he did his very best to explain a lot of details about Hagia Sophia and it’s history. One pro tip: after the tour, he’ll offer to take you to a couple of nearby spots. Don’t hesitate and tag along !!! He won’t disappoint !!
star-5
My partner and I had a...
Sherome_R, May 2022
Private Half Day Shore Excursion: Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar From Istanbul
My partner and I had a great experience on our private tour with Mustafa. He really took his time explaining the rich history of Istanbul. The tour was extremely informative and we would definitely recommend it to those visiting!
star-5
Our tour guide was very...
Claudia_M, May 2022
Highlights of Istanbul: Hagia Sophia - Suleymaniye Mosque - Grand Bazaar
Our tour guide was very friendly and told us a lot about Istanbul and its neighbourhood. We can highly recommend this tour!

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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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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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Istanbul?
A:
As well as visiting the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: