Hagia Sophia

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5 historical facts about the Hagia Sophia

This magnificent Byzantine church turned Ottoman mosque was made a museum in 1935 by Kemal Ataturk, the father of the Turkish Republic. It's one of Istanbul's proudest icons, so here are five things that shaped this showcase of Christian and Islamic Empires.

Planning Your Visit

  • What are the opening times?

    You can visit the Hagia Sophia between the hours of 9:00AM and 7:00PM from April 15th to September 31st, and between 9:00AM and 5:00PM from October 1st to April 14th. It is closed in the early days of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha. Book tickets in advance to avoid the queues!

  • How to get there?

    The Hagia Sophia is just a short walk from the Sultanahment metro and tram stops. Close to many of Istanbul's historic attractions, it's also covered on most city walking tours!

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    9:00AM to 5:00PM in the winter, 9:00AM to 7:00PM in the summer. Check holiday schedules to avoid closures.
  • Is it expensive?
    The ticket price is 30 TRY, which is roughly $11.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    Take the metro or tram to the Sultanahment stop.
  • Additional information

    • Book tickets in advance to avoid the queues!

Other Sightseeing Options in Hagia Sophia

Want to discover all there is to do in Hagia Sophia? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Hagia Sophia

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,581 reviews

We had the best experience ever with Yasin! He did a phenomenal job showing us all of Istanbul & giving us history lessons on all the areas we went too. We also got to skip the long lines for tickets which saved us so much time! He also took us to a incredible restaurant with authentic Turkish cussine! I highly recommend this for anyone trying to see Istanbul in one day!!

The tour guy was really nice. He explained everything well and also had pictures saved (fortunately) of some Part of the church which had been covered.

Mehmet was wonderful! Although it was a walking tour there was lots of time to sit down and relax at each site. Would definitely recommend to others.

From the beginning to the end, it was the best organised city tour that we had. Thank you very much for the great service!

The tour was great! We learned so much about the history and importance of the Hagia Sophia