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Visit the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

Updated: Dec 1, 2021


Hagia Sophia was built in the 500s and was and is a feat of architecture and design. At the time, it was the largest church in the world. Still of enormous cultural and religious value, the building towers over Istanbul. No trip to Istanbul is complete without a visit to the Hagia Sophia.

The building has UNESCO status but operates as a mosque. As such, women should expect to cover their heads and arms when visiting.

What Can I See When Visiting the Hagia Sophia?

You will be able to see lot of architecture and design all throughout the building. When you take off your shoes and enter the main room, it is partitioned into two sections. The main section is only for men during prayer times. Women are allowed into a side section for women only during prayer times. Outside of prayer times, women are allowed into the main room.

The main section has Arabic artwork that represent Muhammad, Allah, and Islam. Much of the Christian artwork in the main room have been covered, but you can view Christian artwork in the entry hallway. The floors even have artwork for viewing!

Don't forget to look up.

How Long Does it Take to Walk Around the Hagia Sophia?

It take approximately an hour to view the Hagia Sophia. If you want to spend extra time photographing or viewing artwork or listening to a guide, you should plan for that extra time.

What Can I Do with Kids at the Hagia Sophia?

Turkish culture welcomes children with open arms! Children are welcome to view and see the Hagia Sophia.

Is it Good for Kids and Toddlers?

While they may get bored quickly, children may enjoy seeing all the artwork. Strollers cannot enter the main room of the Hagia Sophia because of the recently installed carpet.

What Are the Age Restrictions?

There are no age restrictions at the Hagia Sophia, but women should prepare to cover their heads when entering the main room.

Everyone must remove their shoes when entering the main room.

Where is Hagia Sophia?

The Hagia Sophia is in the Fatih district of Istanbul in the Ayasofya Meydan.

How do I get to Hagia Sophia?

Use the following public transportation options. Each have a stop that go near the Hagia Sophia. Click here to see the stops.

  • Bus: 66, BN1, HVİST-12

  • Train: MARMARAY

  • Metro: M1B, M2

  • Tram: T1

Warning: Covid has changed tourists' abilities to get some public transportation tickets. Before planning on a specific mode of transportation, check the most recent covid restrictions.

How Much Are Tickets?

Because the Hagia Sophia is currently an active mosque, admission is free.

Where Can I Get Tickets?

No tickets required.

Details and Map

Sultan Ahmet

Ayasofya Meydanı No:1


Fatih, İstanbul


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