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Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)

Aya Sofya Meydani, Istanbul, 34357

The Basics

Turkey’s magnificent Hagia Sophia is a riot of swooping domes and mismatched minarets added throughout its long life. The lofty interior is a soaring sequence of domed and arched spaces, centering on the shell-like apse and the massive dome, which seems to float unsupported and gives the church its amazing sense of space. Work continues to uncover the golden Christian mosaics and colorful frescoes from the Byzantine era, which were plastered over by the Ottomans.

Tours often allow you to skip the long lines with a guide, and many Istanbul excursions combine the Hagia Sophia Museum with other sights in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet neighborhood, including the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar, and Basilica Cistern.

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Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

Special Offer

Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
$58.50 per adult
$65.00 $6.00 savings
Traveler Favorite
Excellent way of seeing all the major historical sites In Istanbul
The sites and our guide explaining all the interesting facts about them. Would highly recommend . Some sites under renovation so couldn’t see everything
Sakina_H, Jan 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Istanbul

Great tour experience!
Mehr_N, Jan 2022
Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Half Day Tour ( 9:30am and 1:30pm )
We had a great time at the tour! The guide was very informative and we had some great conversations. He made made sure we experienced everything!
The perfect day in Istanbul!
Michael_A, Dec 2021
Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
We learned a tremendous amount of information about several of the mosques and Turkish history. We highly recommend Nestlie as a private tour guide.
Very interesting tour
Insaf_J, Dec 2021
Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Half Day Tour
I highly recommend this tour with Erol. I had the chance to be the only visitor that day so it was like a 4 hours private tour Erol is very knowledgeable of the Turkish history specifically the Ottoman period and beyond I appreciated the details he gave me all along the tour Unfortunately I couldn't upload photos
Lance_R, Dec 2021
Istanbul Byzantine and Ottoman Tour: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar
Our guide was Informative, engaging, and had every detail planned perfectly. Would absolutely use him again and recommend to others!
Oummah_M, Dec 2021
Hagia Sophia &Topkapı Palace Guided Tours /Skip The Lines
Really good tour, the guide Gamze was very informative and accomodating. Very enjoyable experience and we had adequate time is every location.
Friendly guide
June_M, Dec 2021
Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Half Day Tour
Very friendly guide! It was undoubtedly he really liked Istanbul's history and buildings, as he showed interest explaining during the tour!
Very well explained and...
Taher_G, Dec 2021
Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
Very well explained and informative..lunch was good .. organised and proper time management and friendly.
Best tour guide i’ve ever had
Maariyah_S, Nov 2021
Morning Istanbul: Half-Day Tour with Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar
Our tour guide was absolutely amazing, honestly thank you so much!!! Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, very knowledgable and entertaining
BEST TOUR EVER !!!!!!!!!!
Chris_R, Nov 2021
Hagia Sophia Tours /Skip The Lines
The timetable was as scheduled . The ticket confirmation from the guide was as scheduled . Our guide ( Emily ) , was kind , smiley and always tried to keep us alert and happy ! It is a nice 1 hour tour with many information about the temple history and with the guide available to answer any questions . It is a recommended activity .
the bes tour ever!
stergios_p, Nov 2021
Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia
it was a perfect experience and our guide ali was excellent with a lot of knowledge, he helped us a lot and explained everything to us about all the monuments we visited. a unique experience, it is worth experiencing.
A must-do for the Old City
Rebecca_L, Nov 2021
Full Day Historical Walking Tour of Istanbul Old City from Hagia Sophia
Great, comprehensive tour, would definitely recommend to see the old city and get an insight into Istanbul’s past and present, fascinating to discover the stories behind the hidden elements you wouldn’t even know to look for! Thank you Ensar
Muhammet was a great...
David_M, Oct 2021
Hagia Sophia Group tour
Muhammet was a great guide and this was a wonderful tour. He was very friendly and knowledgeable. There's a lot of subtlety to the Hagia Sophia that I certainly would have missed by myself. If he offers other tours in the future, I would definitely sign up the next time I'm in Istanbul.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Hagia Sophia is a must-visit for history and architecture buffs, and all first-time visitors to Istanbul.

  • Restoration work is ongoing in the Hagia Sophia, so expect scaffolding and some obstructed views and access.

  • The best view of the lofty interior is from the upstairs gallery.

  • Save time by booking a skip-the-line tour to avoid the long lines.

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How to Get There

The Hagia Sophia is in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet neighborhood, just across the way from the Blue Mosque and close to Topkapi Palace. It is minutes away from the Sultanahmet tram stop and is also easily accessible by taxi. Parking is limited in the Sultanahmet neighborhood, so taxi or tram is the most convenient option.

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Trip ideas

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When to Get There

The Hagia Sophia is a busy attraction, so try to arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds. It’s open seven days a week, even during most of the major national and religious Turkish holidays, with a few exceptions. Closing hours are extended between April and October.

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Art in the Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia has impressive frescoes and spectacular mosaics that depict Christian scenes. Admire the golden mosaics, including Constantine the Great presents Constantinople and Justinian the Great presents Hagia Sophia to the Virgin, probably from the 10th century, and others depicting Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Notice the colorful cherubim frescoes that the decorate the domed ceiling.

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