Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Turkey  /  Istanbul  /  Museums  /  Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), Istanbul

(4.5/5 based on 5,000+ reviews on the web)
See one of the best examples of Byzantine design in the region with a trip to Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), whose interior is entirely covered in fine mosaics and frescoes. Originally built by Constantine the Great, this church has been reconstructed five times. Most significantly, Ottoman rulers converted the structure into a mosque in the 16th century. A bit off the beaten path, you have to travel to Istanbul's Western Erdinekapı neighborhood to find this building, which opened as a secular museum in 1948. However, the masterful and aesthetically stunning interior makes this trip worthwhile. Use our Istanbul vacation planner to visit Kariye Museum (The Chora Church) on your trip to Istanbul, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
Create a full Istanbul itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Istanbul

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Istanbul by other users

22 days in Europe BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES May, kids, popular PREFERENCES: May, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM JORDAN April, culture, relaxing, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, relaxing, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Istanbul BY A USER FROM GERMANY April, culture, outdoors, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Europe BY A USER FROM CANADA August, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 34 days in Europe BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 15 days in Europe BY A USER FROM JORDAN June, outdoors, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Europe BY A USER FROM INDIA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Europe BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA June, teens, kids, culture, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, culture, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The school books and magazine/book was fascinating to see the realities of their icons. Şanssızlığımız 2.ci section is closed due to restoration. I had the Museum card but, for those without input is too high. a few people so I gave up. Lisa must be more merciful.
    View original
  • Don't forget your camera! You will need it. In my opinion you must take a guided tour. you will see wonderful mosaics from the bible. If there is someone who will explain them that will be grate. afte...  more »
  • This might be better once it is fully open and you can see the whole thing, but as the main room was closed for restoration when I went, I felt a bit cheated.  more »
Google
  • One of Istanbul's must-see attractions. Mary's mosaics, which are rarely seen in similar churches or museums of the world, increase this value even more. Moreover, it is an interesting place to visit and photograph, not only the museum but also the surrounding area.
  • Kariye Museum originally formed the center of a Byzantine monastery complex. Only the church section, which was dedicated to Jesus Christ the Savior, has survived. After the arrival of the Turks in Istanbul, this building, like the Hagia Sophia, was converted into a mosque. In 1948 it was made a museum leaving no Islamic element in the building except the 19C minaret outside in the corner. “Kariye” is the Turkish adaptation of an ancient Greek word “Chora” which refers to countryside. Considering the perimeter of the walls of Constantine (4C AD) the building was located out of the city. If this theory is correct Chora Monastery should have been from the 4C. But unfortunately according to sources, the existence of Chora Monastery before the 8C is not certain.
  • This is one the spectacular ancient Church. Chora Church is very important for Christian history and New testament. It's my favorite attraction place in Istanbul. I highly recommend you guys to visit this beautiful church.
  • It is a bit expensive for a small museum. 30 Liras per person and 20 Liras for students. Frescoes looks amazing. It is under construction nowadays. Better to check well before you go.
  • Would give 5 stars but it was being renovated. Renovation is good, but full price during renovation is not. What little was available was beautiful, but I would recommend waiting until the repairs are finished.