SitemapAbout usContact us

Preplanned City Guides and Travel Itineraries

Hagia Sophia

On this page you find practical information, photos and videos about Hagia Sophia.

Hagia Sophia features in these preplanned City Guides:

1-day Istanbul City Guide3-day Istanbul City Guide5-day Istanbul City Guide

Why visit / Interesting facts:

  • Istanbul's most famous attraction
  • One of the world's architectural wonders

Time required: 90 minutes

Phone: +90 212 522 1750

Opening hours:

Time period Opening hours
Tue - Sun: 9:30am - 4:30pm
Mondays: Closed


Ticket type Charge
General: 20 TL

Public transport:

  • Tram Line T1: Sultanahmet stop

Address: Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Istanbul

Things you need to know:

  • Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) is an awe-inspiring architecture in Istanbul. First it was built as an Orthodox cathedral, later became a mosque, today it is a museum
  • It incorporated unique elements of both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires and their religions
  • Hagia Sophia was constructed between 532 and 537. It was the largest cathedral of its time
  • Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople (the "Orthodox Vatican") for almost a thousand years
  • After 1453; Sultan Mehmed II converted the church into a mosque. Islamic elements (mihrab, minbar, four minarets) replaced Christian features (altar, bells, iconostasis)
  • Hagia Sophia remained a mosque until 1931 when it was turned into a museum. Debates are still going on whether it should be a church, a mosque or a museum
  • Having been the principal mosque of Istanbul, many Ottoman mosques, such as the Blue Mosque or the Süleymaniye Mosque, were modeled after Hagia Sophia
  • Its name has nothing to do with the female name, Sophia. Sophia is the Latin phonetic spelling of the Greek word for wisdom

What to do there:

  • Admire the impressive building from the outside
  • Walk around in the former church and enjoy the stunning architecture
  • Head up the stairs to the upper gallery for the splendid Byzantine mosaics

Tips & Insights:

  • Go early to avoid the crowds

Hagia Sophia features in these preplanned City Guides: