Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), Istanbul

4.7
#1 of 5,540 in Things to do in Turkey
Marvel at one of the most significant artistic and architectural achievements in Turkey--and the world--at Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya). Commissioned by the Byzantine emperor in 537, the church was converted into a mosque in the 15th century by Mehmet the Conqueror. Finally, Ataturk declared the site a museum in the 20th century. The transformation of this structure is symbolic of the transformation of the region and its people through centuries of changing empires and governments. This stunning architectural feat is most often noted for its well-preserved mosaics, featuring 30 million gold tiles, and its 6th-century dome. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) and many more Istanbul attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Istanbul tour itinerary planner .
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Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) Reviews
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4.7
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  • No trip to Istanbul can be complete without a trip the the very imposing Hagia Sophia. A masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, it has been restored and renovated by succesive generations, with beauti...  more »
  • Well worth the wait to get inside. Currently renovating it inside but still can see the great designs inside. Can spend some time just marveling at the architectural design of the place. Can explore b...  more »
  • From the outside, Hagia Sophia looks exactly what it is, a structure that has developed over time to reflect the many different uses and masters it has served. It looms over Sultanahmet and from every...  more »
Google
  • One of the must visits when you come to Istanbul. This museum holds a great history to turkey, and it's told through its beautiful architecture inside. How first it has been a church and then turned into a beautiful mosque by the Muslims. -It has labels to every important aspect in the museum and what it represents. -It's huge but not too tiring, if you want to bring kids. -The tickets are available at the entrance, or they could purchased along a tourist package beforehand. -note: a lot of people think that only the ground floor is available, yet there's a spiral stairs to the second floor in the right corner of the museum just when you go through the entrance. + I found a cat inside :], maybe you can find it too?
  • Hagia Sophia is a beautiful piece of art and It has an amazing structure with amazing interior paintings with gold. There is a long queue always and you must have a head cover or umbrella for sun. Nice place, very much crowded but well managed. People love to spend time here and I found the place very neat and clean. Located in a prime spot in old Istanbul city. Has many tourist attractions in the vicinity like Blue Mosque and Cistern Basilica, nearby distance. Entry charge is 40 Lira. One can visit the upper floors of the museum also. It's a unique experience in whole life to witness this. One can invest in the audio guide which gave short informative summaries. The sheer size, design and colour plus the age of what you are seeing is awesome.
  • Indeed, one of the city's best landmarks. A place full of history and events. As a museum, each square contains a great past; how it has been changed from a church into a mosque by the Muslims. And how people created magnificent buildings without any of our modern technology and lived in there! The ticket costs 40TL per person. Great site for history seekers!
  • An impressive building, now a museum after its origins as a church, then converted to a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul. There is a lot to know and see so rent (Tl 30) an audio-guide or hire an official guide ( name tag IDs). There is a film on the mosque and its history and architecture on the left of the entrance that is worth watching before you walk around. There is an upstairs level which you must visit to see the remains of the amazing Christian mosaics. ( no flash photos). The interior is undergoing extensive, much needed, restoration so a lot of scaffolding obstructs some sections, but does not detract from the interest.
  • What can be said about this phenomenal building of which the likes haven't rarely ever been seen in the world. Wade yourself into history, exploring a building built in the 5th century (yes, really) in only a couple of years. Standing in the sanctum feels like you're at the bottom of a cavern, a hollow mountain. Even for those who are not religious like this reviewer, you cannot help but be overcome with a sense of spirituality and mysticism that his place permeates. If there's one thing you are going to see in Istanbul, it has to be the Hagia Sophia. You cannot have missed the phenomenal mosaics, the incredible marble rivulets, the beautiful architecture and wall paintings. You will never forget this place, it is breathtaking.
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8 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM INDIA January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 30 days in Europe BY A USER FROM INDIA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Istanbul SEE PLAN January, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 11 days in Europe BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM PAKISTAN April, culture, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Istanbul BY A USER FROM LEBANON May, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM INDIA December, kids, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Europe BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Istanbul BY A USER FROM LEBANON May, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM INDIA January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Turkey, Switzerland & Milan BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE April, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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