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Hagia Sophia – tickets, prices, timings, what to expect, FAQs


Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is a unique example of Byzantine architecture and a symbol of the region’s rich history. 

It was a cathedral for almost a thousand years before being converted into a mosque in 1453 after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. 

Hagia Sophia is renowned for its massive dome, interior artwork, and marble pillars. 

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, this mosque is one of the most popular landmarks in Turkey, attracting millions of tourists and pilgrims from all over the world.

This article covers everything you must know before booking tickets for Hagia Sophia.

Hagia Sophia

What to expect

🇹🇷 Hagia Sophia | 4K Walking Tour | ISTANBUL | 🇹🇷 Turkey

A visit to Hagia Sophia is an opportunity to explore a site with more than 1,500 years of history. 

One of the famous features of the attraction is its central dome, which is about 31 meters (102 feet) in diameter above the building. 

Hagia Sophia was built with ancient marble collected from around the world.

After it was converted into a mosque, four minarets were added to symbolize Islamic culture.

The mosque’s walls are decorated with the names of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad, and other Islamic figures written in Islamic script. 

It also has detailed marble and stone patterns and designs that display Christian and Islamic art traditions.

Activity Cost
Hagia Sophia Tour and Experience Museum Tickets ₺1368 (€42)
Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour ₺2,019 (€61)
Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern & Hagia Sophia Tour ₺1612 (€49)
Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye and Blue Mosque Tour ₺1022 (€31)

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Where to book tickets 

You can buy tickets for Hagia Sophia Istanbul online or offline.

Online prices tend to be cheaper than offline tickets.

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 limited tickets, they may sell out during peak days. Booking early helps avoid last-minute disappointments.

How do online tickets work 

Visit the Hagia Sophia ticket booking page, select your preferred date, time slot, and the number of tickets, and buy the tickets right away.

Once you purchase the tickets, they get delivered to your email address. 

There is no need to get printouts.

You can show the e-ticket on your smartphone when you visit the attraction.

Ticket prices

Hagia Sophia Tour and Experience Museum tickets are priced at ₺1390 (€42) for visitors aged three and above.

Infants below three can enter for free.

Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour tickets cost ₺2051 (€61) for visitors nine and over.

Children aged three to eight pay a discounted price of ₺1356 (€41) for entry.

Infants below three can enter for free.

Tickets for the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern & Hagia Sophia Tour cost ₺1703 (€51) for visitors of all ages.

Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye, and Blue Mosque Tour tickets cost ₺1029 (€31) for visitors of all ages.

Hagia Sophia tickets

There are different ways to explore Hagia Sophia.

You can book the Hagia Sophia Tour with Experience Museum tickets, Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern & Hagia Sophia Tickets, or Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye and Blue Mosque Tour

Hagia Sophia Tour and Experience Museum Tickets

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

While booking this ticket, you can either opt for an entry ticket to explore Hagia Sophia on your own or get a skip-the-line ticket to the mosque along with the History & Experience Museum.

Before entering the mosque, the guides will provide interesting information about this magnificent site, including lesser-known stories and secrets. The tour will be moderated in English.

This ticket also includes an audio guide that can be accessed on your smartphone. 

You can listen to the audio guide using your headphones or rent headphones on-site.

Ticket Prices

Adult (8+ years): ₺1390 (€42)
Child (3 to 7 years): ₺1390 (€42)
Infant (up to 2 years): Free 

Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour

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

With these pre-reserved tickets, you can visit the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. 

You’ll enjoy a walking tour in the company of a licensed guide who will share stories about the splendor and charm of these iconic landmarks. 

During the tour, you’ll learn about the significance of the Hippodrome in the social life of Istanbul. 

Headsets will be provided to ensure you can hear the guide’s commentary. 

At the end of the tour, the guide will offer helpful tips to further exploring Istanbul. 

Please note that transportation to the meeting spot is not included in the ticket price.

Ticket Prices

Adult (9+ years): ₺2051 (€61)
Child (3 to 8 years): ₺1356 (€41)
Infant (up to 3 years): Free 

Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern & Hagia Sophia Tour

Basilica Cistern
Image: EconomicTimes.IndiaTimes.com

With this ticket, you can tour Istanbul’s top historical sights, including the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, and the old city. 

An English-speaking tour guide will accompany you throughout the tour, sharing fascinating stories about the city’s history.

This tour includes skip-the-line access to the Basilica Cistern and a photo stop at Hagia Sophia. 

However, it does not include entry to Hagia Sophia mosque or skip-the-line access to the Blue Mosque.

Ticket Cost: ₺1703 (€51)

Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye, and Blue Mosque Tour

Blue Mosque Tour
Image: Wikipedia.org

With this ticket, you can explore the beautiful attractions of Istanbul. You’ll visit the iconic Hagia Sophia, take a photo stop at the Blue Mosque, and see the stunning Sulemaniye Mosque. 

A certified guide will accompany you during the tour and share interesting stories about the attractions.

Additionally, you’ll get to experience a local drink at a historical Madrasah.

Please note that the admission fee for Hagia Sophia (€25 per person) is not included in this ticket. (The Turkish Government has added this fee starting January 15, 2024.)

Ticket Cost: ₺1029 (€31)

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

Hagia Sophia Istanbul is a 5-minute walk from the Blue Mosque.

Address: Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye. Get Directions

You can reach the attraction via public and private transport. 

By Bus

Bus stops Akbıyık (Bus No: BN1) and Sultanahmet (Bus No: 121CS) are within a 7-minute walk from the mosque.

The Çatladıkapı bus stop (Bus No: BN1) is a 10-minute walk from the attraction.

By Train

Sırkecı (Train: B1) train station is a 10-minute walk from the mosque.

By Tram

The tram stops at Sultanahmet (Tram: T1) and Gülhane, which are within a 5-minute walking distance from the mosque.

By Car

If you’re traveling by car, turn on your Google Maps and get started. 

There are several parking garages around the attraction.

Opening hours

Hagia Sophia Istanbul is open between 9 am and 7.30 pm throughout the year.

The last entry is 30 minutes before the closing time.

How long does the tour take

A complete tour of the Hagia Sophia Istanbul takes around 2 to 3 hours.

This duration lets you leisurely appreciate the mosaics, calligraphy, architectural details, and historical context.

High tourist seasons and weekends can lead to longer waiting times, which might extend your visit.

Best time to visit

Best time to visit Hagia Sophia
Image: Facebook.com(HagiaSophiaMuseum)

The best time to visit the Hagia Sophia Mosque is at 9 am when it opens.

Visiting right at the opening is the best way to avoid crowds. This allows you to experience the site peacefully, making it easier to move around and take photos.

For photography enthusiasts, morning light offers softer lighting conditions for capturing the interior’s details, especially the detailed mosaics and the play of light on the marble surfaces. 

Another good time to visit is in the late afternoon when the early visitors and tour groups tend to leave.

Hagia Sophia will be closed to visitors during prayer times, which occur five times daily. 

Fridays are especially significant in Islam, and the midday prayer can be longer, so consider this while planning your visit.

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Hagia Sophia dress code

Visitors must follow a modest dress code that respects Islamic practices. 

This dress code is similar to those enforced at other active mosques worldwide. 

Women: Women must cover their heads with scarves or shawls. They are also provided at the entrance.

Wear modest clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. Long skirts or pants and long-sleeved shirts are advisable. Avoid transparent, tight-fitting, or revealing clothes.

Men: Men should wear clothes covering their shoulders and knees. Avoid wearing shorts above the knee. Shirts, T-shirts, trousers, or long shorts that cover the knees are suitable.

Visitors must remove their shoes before entering the prayer area. Shoe bags are usually provided to carry shoes, or you can leave them at the entrance.

Hagia Sophia vs Blue Mosque

Hagia Sophia vs Blue Mosque
Image: Facebook.com(HagiaSophiaMuseum), HagiaSophiaTurkey.com

Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque are two popular religious attractions in Istanbul.

The Blue Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 under the rule of Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I. The mosque is still an active worship place for many visitors.

Its purpose was to claim Ottoman power and accompany Hagia Sophia across a large plaza.

The Blue Mosque gets its name because of the blue tiles used in its construction.

Hagia Sophia is a famous example of Byzantine architecture.  

The central dome and its interior decorations are some of the highlights of Hagia Sophia.

While Hagia Sophia has been a cathedral and museum, Blue Mosque has served as a mosque since its beginning.

These two attractions represent a thousand years of Istanbul’s religious and cultural history.


Istanbul Hagia Sophia is a highly-rated tourist attraction. 

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

Take in the breathtaking beauty of Hagia Sophia Masjid

I’ve been to the Hagia Sophia Masjid several times, and I am always at a loss for words when looking at the sheer beauty of this masjid. The architecture and rich historical significance are memorized in every corner. It’s not just a religious site; it’s a testament to human creativity and devotion. I highly recommend everyone seek this visually stunning experience.

Joseph O, Tripadvisor

Architectural marvel!

A site listed on UNESCO was an exceptional involvement in its rich, verifiable importance. This building remains a work of art of Byzantine design. A lovely verifiable structure that is the consequence of the transformation of a church into a mosque during the social and civilizational change throughout the entire existence of Turkey. Where God’s name has been referenced for millennia.

Adler A, Tripadvisor

Wonderful legacy

Hagia Sophia defies the years with all its glory. It has a much different ambiance than all other venues. I visited it as if traveling through history and will do it again.

Halil D, Tripadvisor

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FAQs about Hagia Sophia
Image: Facebook.com(HagiaSophiaMuseum)

Here are some frequently asked questions about Hagia Sophia Istanbul.

Can I skip the line with this ticket?

This Hagia Sophia ticket will get you skip-the-line access to the mosque.

Are headphones included as a part of this ticket?

Unfortunately, headphones are not provided in this Hagia Sophia ticket. You can purchase disposable headphones at the ticket counter.

How can I learn more about the Hagia Sophia’s history and architecture during my visit?

Through a comprehensive guided tour of Hagia Sophia, you can learn much about the mosque’s history, architectural wonder, and religious importance. 

Is there an entry ticket to visit the Hagia Sophia?

Visiting the mosque was free between 2020 and 2023. However, from January 15, 2024, foreign tourists must buy a Hagia Sophia entry ticket. When you purchase this, you can enter the building through the designated entrance for tourists and explore the galleries.  

When was the Hagia Sophia built?

The Hagia Sophia was originally built as a Christian cathedral and completed in 537 AD under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.

What is Hagia Sophia’s current status?

In July 2020, Hagia Sophia was reconverted into a mosque by the Turkish government, reverting from its status as a museum. Due to its historical and religious significance, this decision sparked domestic and international reactions.

Is photography allowed inside the Hagia Sophia Mosque?

Photography without flash is generally allowed inside the Hagia Sophia for non-commercial use. However, visitors are advised not to take photos during prayer times and to avoid photographing worshippers out of respect for their privacy.

What is the duration of the Bosphorus Dinner Cruise?

Most Bosphorus dinner cruises typically last around 3 to 4 hours, offering ample time to enjoy the sights, savor the meals, and enjoy the entertainment onboard. 

What are the types of tickets you can book for the Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Istanbul?

Some dinner cruise options include the Bosphorus Dinner Cruise ticket, Dinner Cruise with Turkish Night Show, and Bosphorus Sunset Cruise with Live Guide and Drinks.

What is included in the meal served during the Dinner cruise Bosphorus?

The dinner includes a variety of Turkish and international dishes, such as appetizers (Turkish or seafood), main courses (grilled meats, seafood, vegetable casserole, Italian pasta types, etc.), salads, desserts, and beverages.

Is there entertainment provided during the cruise?

Yes, the Bosphorus Dinner Cruises offers live entertainment onboard, including traditional Turkish music performances, folk dances, and belly dancing or whirling dervish shows.

Do I need to dress formally for the Bosphorus dinner cruise?

You can opt for a smart-casual attire. However, check with the cruise operator for any specific dress requirements, especially if there are themed cruises or special events planned.

Are children allowed on the dinner cruise, and do they have special rates?

Dinner cruises on Bosphorus welcome children and there are special ticket prices and discounts for younger guests. 

What is the cancellation policy for the Bosphorus Dinner Cruise?

You can cancel your ticket up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

Is the Bosphorus Dinner Cruise wheelchair accessible?

Dinner Cruise with Turkish Night Show offers wheelchair accessibility.

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This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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