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Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)

Sultanahmet | Eminonu District, Istanbul, Turkey (Sultanahmet - Old City)
+90 212 522 1750
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As featured in 3 days in Istanbul
Ranked #7 of 646 Attractions in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Type: Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites, History Museums, Historic Sites
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This architectural marvel displays 30 million gold tiles throughout its interior, and a wide, flat dome which was a bold engineering feat at the time... more » Owner description: This architectural marvel displays 30 million gold tiles throughout its interior, and a wide, flat dome which was a bold engineering feat at the time it was constructed in the 6th century. « less
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English first
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014 NEW

Well worth a visit! Fascinating and the extensive audio guide is worth the price. There was some restoration work going on meaning some areas were closed and it's unsurprisingly very busy but still worth it.

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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014 NEW

When we payed 30TL for the entrance, we expected more. In my opinion travel guides such as Lonely Planet overestimate the awesomeness of the place; the interior is impressive but that's it. Moreover there were some works going on inside so we could not see the interior as a whole. If you're going on a budget, there are better things... More

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Cordoba, Spain
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014 NEW

Perhaps the best visit I have made in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia has magician, history, tradition and above all, History. When you come inside you understand why different cultures and societies han tried to conquer it. This is impossible, there, you understand that Hagia Sophia is more than a church, mosque or touristic place. Hagia Sophia is part of our ancestors... More

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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014 NEW

Once a church, then a mosque and now a museum. Look up at the dome when you're in, the dome is truly amazing. Some scaffolding inside as of end-August. 30TL entrance fee.

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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
262 reviews 262 reviews
142 attraction reviews
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014 NEW

This museum has in turn been an iIslamic mosque, then a Christian Catnedral and now a museum. The building is simply awesome in its size and construction and to just sit on the floor and marvel at this building which was first dedicated in 360AD is an experience which needs to be savoured.

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Saitama, Japan
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
64 attraction reviews
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014 NEW

This building dates from the 600s AD and has been a church / mosque / museum - the layers of history are fascinating, obvious and engaging and have been written about well enough by other reviewers (and I totally agree). I will limit my comments to some practicalities: 1) Tickets - why are people waiting in line? And the line... More

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Cranbury, New Jersey
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014 NEW

Fantastic historical building. Images of Jesus and muslim inscriptions. Reflects history of the region so well.

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Boston, Massachusetts
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5 reviews 5 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014 NEW

Impressive and austere, but the line was too long, and the pushy and overpriced tourguide was a bit annoying

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Southampton
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
71 attraction reviews
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014 NEW

After 1,400 years you would also be a bit ragged around the margins but that adds to the charm of this superb building. Much restoration work is going on inside and so there is a lot of scaffolding up. The mosaics in the gallery are magnificent. The sense of space under the dome is vast, so take a moment to... More

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Millburn, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014 NEW

Definitely worth a visit, but be prepared for a line to get in and to be overwhelmed by the size and scope of this former church and mosque. Unfortunately there was scaffolding inside when we visited but we still got to see most of the first floor. Definitely check out the Byzantine mosaics in the gallery. Loved the ramp (not... More

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