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Blue Mosque – tickets, prices, timings, what to expect, FAQs


The Blue Mosque is a historical imperial mosque built during the Ottoman era. 

Also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the attraction has stood firmly at the heart of Istanbul for four centuries, symbolizing Ottoman achievement and grandeur.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the mosque attracts around 4.5 million visitors annually.

This article covers everything you must know before booking tickets for the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

Blue Mosque

What to expect at Blue Mosque


Marvel at the Blue Mosque’s curvaceous exterior with a cascade of domes and six slender minarets.

Discover Istanbul’s rich history by wandering through the Blue Mosque and the surrounding Old City courtyards.

The decorations inside the mosque include verses from the Qur’an, many of which were made by Seyyid Kasim Gubari, one of the greatest calligraphers of his time.

Experience the breathtaking fusion of Byzantine and Islamic architecture while learning about the Islamic religion and Istanbul’s rich history.

Get first-hand information about the latest renovations and historical facts and get a sense of the culture from both past and present.

Ticket Cost
Guided tour of Blue Mosque ₺460
Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour ₺1941
Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern & Hagia Sophia Tour ₺1612
Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye and Blue Mosque Tour ₺983

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Where to book tickets 

You can buy Blue Mosque tickets online in advance or at the attraction.

Online ticket prices tend to be cheaper than tickets at the attraction.

When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the ticket counters.

When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot.

Because some tours sell a limited number of tickets, during peak days they may sell out. Booking early helps avoid last-minute disappointments.

How do online tickets work

Go to the Blue Mosque booking page, select your preferred date, time, and number of tickets you wish to purchase, and buy the tickets right away.

After you purchase the Blue Mosque tour tickets, they get delivered to your e-mail. 

You don’t need to take any printouts.

On the day of the visit, show the e-ticket on your smartphone and begin your tour.

Blue Mosque ticket price

General admission tickets for the guided tour of the Blue Mosque are available for ₺460.

Adult tickets for the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia small-group tour can be purchased for ₺1941 for visitors aged nine and above.

Tickets for children between three and eight can be purchased at a 50% discount at ₺954 while infants up to two years of age can join for free.

Tickets for the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern & Hagia Sophia tour can be purchased for ₺1612 for all visitors.

General admission tickets for the Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye, and Blue Mosque tour are available for ₺983.

Blue Mosque tickets

There are multiple ways to explore the Blue Mosque. 

Tourists can just book a guided tour of the mosque or pair it with visits to the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, or the Suleymaniye Mosque.

Guided tour of Blue Mosque

Guided tour of Blue Mosque
Image: Istanbulwelcomecard.com

Experience the newly renovated Blue Mosque by purchasing a ticket for a 60-minute tour. 

Your tour will be led by a learned, English-speaking guide who will share interesting stories, facts, and useful information about Istanbul. 

You will also learn about the history, architecture, and Islamic religion as you explore the Old City surrounding the Blue Mosque during a walking tour. 

Visitors can stay inside the Blue Mosque for as long as they want after the tour.

Ticket Price: ₺460

Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour

Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour
Image: Facebook.com(HagiaSophiaMuseum)

Buy this ticket and join a 3-hour guided tour of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, the two most famous monuments in Istanbul. 

Meet your guide in Sultanahmet, visit the Blue Mosque, explore the neighborhood, and learn about the Hippodrome and obelisks.

Visit the Hagia Sophia with pre-booked tickets to witness the stunning contrast of two religions standing side by side. 

Explore the basilica’s stunning architecture, rich history, and impressive artifacts, including İznik tiles, a Virgin Mary mosaic, and the Ottoman sultans’ burial in the courtyard.

Visit the Arasta Bazaar in Sultanahmet, an open-air market under the Blue Mosque, discover 17th-century architecture, and shop for last-minute gifts while taking a tea break.

The tour is available in English and German, and visitors can also choose between a private or a group tour.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (9+ years): ₺1941
Child Ticket (3 to 8 years): ₺954
Infant Ticket (up to 2 years): Free

Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern & Hagia Sophia Tour

Basilica Cistern istanbul
Image: Hurriyetdailynews.com

This skip-the-line guided tour of Istanbul’s Old City lets you see the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sophia.

After touring the Blue Mosque, explore the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, admire the unique architecture and the Medusa heads from Greek mythology, and stay for as long as you want after the tour.

Visit the Hagia Sophia, a 2,000-year-old landmark, with your guide, Hippodrome, and discover the Million Stone and more. 

The tour ends with the history and important architectural facts about Hagia Sophia, the largest Christian church for over 1000 years, later converted into a mosque in 1453.

Women must cover their knees, shoulders, chest, and hair at the Blue Mosque, whereas men must cover their knees and shoulders. 

You can buy one at the entrance if you do not have a scarf.

Note: Since January 2024, entry inside the Hagia Sophia mosque is not possible anymore. However, you can enter the viewing gallery after the tour for an extra cost.

Ticket Prices: ₺1612

Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye, and Blue Mosque Tour

Blue Mosque tours
Image: Afar.com

With this skip-the-line ticket, explore Istanbul’s mosques on a 4-hour walking tour, and discover Turkey’s rich art, history, and culture with a knowledgeable guide.

Explore three famous mosques on your tour, starting from the Hagia Sophia. 

Learn about its Islamic and Byzantine heritage, then visit the Blue Mosque to see its stunning blue tiles and enjoy the modern Istanbul view. 

End your tour at the Suleymaniye Mosque, a captivating blend of Islamic and Byzantine architecture with marble and granite columns.

You get a live tour guide throughout your tour. The tour is available in Spanish, Italian, German, and English. 

Visitors can choose either a private or a small group tour.

Ticket Prices: ₺983

Save time and money! Explore Istanbul’s top attractions with ease and save money by booking a 2-, 3-, 5-, or 7-day E-Pass. Get access to over 40 popular attractions and guided tours, including the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and Bosphorus cruise.

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How to reach Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is next to Hagia Sophia on the southeast side of the old Byzantine Hippodrome.

Address: Binbirdirek, At Meydanı Cd No:10, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye. Get Directions

You can reach the mosque by public or private transport. 

By Bus

Take the 121CS bus to the Sultanahmet stop outside the mosque.

The mosque is a 3-minute walk from the stop.

By Tram

Get on the T1 tram to the Sultanahmet stop.

A short 4-minute walk separates the stop from the mosque.

By Car

If you are driving by car, turn on Google Maps and get started!

As the mosque does not have a dedicated parking space, choose between parking options around the mosque.

The meeting points may vary as per the tickets which you book.

If you book the guided tour of the Blue Mosque, or the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern & Hagia Sophia tour, the tour departs from Dsign Cafe.

The meeting point for the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia tour is at the Ersoy Bufe in Sultanahmet Square.

The meeting point for the Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye, and Blue Mosque tour is located in the Sultanahmet area at the German Fountain.

Opening hours of Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is open to visitors from 9 am to 6 pm. 

However, since it’s an active mosque, it remains closed during the designated prayer times. 

The mosque closes around an hour before prayer time and reopens half an hour after it ends.

Note: The mosque opens at 2.30 pm on Fridays. Please plan your visit accordingly.

How long does the tour take

A visit to the Blue Mosque can take 60 minutes to 2 hours.

Tours involving additional activities like visits to the Hagia Sophia or the Basilica Cistern can take 3 to 4 hours.

Best time to visit Blue Mosque

Best time to visit Blue Mosque
Image: Rustytraveltrunk.com

It’s best to visit the Blue Mosque as soon as it opens at 9 am. 

Early morning hours are less crowded.

Visiting the mosque late in the afternoons is also good as the crowd starts thinning down.

Weekends and public holidays are busier, so booking a weekday visit is best.

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Blue Mosque Istanbul reviews

Blue Mosque Istanbul is a highly-rated tourist attraction. 

Check out two Istanbul Blue Mosque reviews we selected from Tripadvisor, which give you an idea of what to expect at this attraction.

Beautiful and humbling building

Went as part of a small tour, having been to Hagia Sofia first. Interesting to hear the history of this mosque and to see the beautiful decoration inside. There are so many stunning views of the Blue Mosque. It looks pink at night.

Ellieitalia, Tripadvisor

Number one place to visit

This was my favorite place we visited! The entire complex with the Blue Mosque and Sofia with all the grounds in between was dreamy. Try to go when you can hear the call to prayer. Hearing it from both Mosques bouncing off each other was very special.

CCT73, Tripadvisor

Blue Mosque prayer times

The Blue Mosque closes for prayer five times a day.

Even though the exact prayer timings vary depending on the season, visitors can plan according to the following schedule.

Fajr (Dawn): 6.30 am

Zuhr (Noon): 1.30 pm 

Asr (Mid-afternoon): 4 pm 

Maghrib (Sunset): 6.30 pm 

Isha (Night): 8 pm

History of Blue Mosque 

The Blue Mosque was constructed between 1609 and 1616, just before the death of its patron, Sultan Ahmed I, who was only 27 at the time. 

The mosque was built to showcase the power of the Ottoman Empire, as well as to rival the nearby Hagia Sophia Mosque. 

What makes the Sultan Ahmet Mosque impressive is that it was built during a time of decline, unlike the past, when grand mosques were constructed as symbols of prosperity and political might.

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is also famous for having six minarets instead of the regular  two or four, which is speculated to be because the architect misunderstood the Sultan’s request for golden minarets as six minarets.

Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia Tour and Experience Museum Tickets
Image: Facebook.com(HagiaSophiaMuseum)

While the Blue Mosque’s history dates back five hundred years, the Hagia Sophia is an architectural marvel in Istanbul, Turkey, built as a Christian basilica nearly 1500 years ago.

The Blue Mosque structure is constructed on the former Byzantium Palace of Emperors site, opposite the Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome of Constantinople. 

The Hagia Sophia is in the heart of the Sultanahmet District, facing the Blue Mosque, and serves as a focal point for the Old City of Istanbul.

The interior walls of the Blue Mosque are covered by more than 20000 handmade İznik-style ceramic tiles. In addition, over 200 stained glass windows have beautiful designs to allow natural light into the mosque. 

Hagia Sophia is a unique Byzantine structure, combining a longitudinal basilica and a centralized building, and features a massive 32-meter (105 ft) main dome supported on pendentives and two semi-domes.

Blue Mosque dress code

It is mandatory that women wear loose-fitting clothes covering their arms, legs, shoulders, knees, and hair when visiting the mosque. 

For men, it is advised to wear loose clothes that cover their legs and to avoid wearing singlets and vests.

Shorts, sleeveless shirts, and short skirts are prohibited in the mosque.

Visitors can also borrow a scarf, skirt, or robe from the mosque free of charge. You can also buy these if required.

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FAQs about Blue Mosque Istanbul

Here are some questions visitors usually ask before visiting the Blue Mosque Istanbul.

Should I pre-book my tickets?

It is best to book your tickets for the Blue Mosque in advance to have a hassle-free experience and ensure availability.

Is there a guided tour available for the Blue Mosque, Turkey?

Yes, visitors can book a guided tour of the mosque. Visitors can marvel at the mosque’s stunning architecture and intricate details while learning about its history from the guide.

Is the Blue Mosque Istanbul open to non-Muslims?

Yes, the mosque is open to non-Muslim visitors from 9 am to 6 pm, except during prayer times.

Can women visit the Blue Mosque in Istanbul?

Yes, women are allowed to visit the mosque, provided they follow the dress code. 

Is photography allowed inside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul?

Yes, photography is allowed inside the mosque, but visitors are advised to respect the public and not take photographs while they worship. Please avoid using flash and creating noises as it may disturb visitors. 

What other attractions are located near the Blue Mosque in Istanbul?

Other nearby attractions include the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar.

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This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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