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Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)

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Address: Kariye Camii Sokak,No:26 Edirnekapi, Istanbul 34087, Turkey
Phone Number: 90212 631 9241
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Open now
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Thu - Tue 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

The Chora Church (Turkish Kariye Müzesi, Camii yahut Kilisesi — variously...

The Chora Church (Turkish Kariye Müzesi, Camii yahut Kilisesi — variously the Chora Museum, Mosque or Church) is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church. The church is situated in the western, Erdinekapı district of İstanbul. In the 16th century, the church was converted into a mosque by the Ottomon rulers, and it became a secularised museum in 1948. The interior of the building is covered with fine mosaics and frescoes.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 527
    Very good
  • 171
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Marvelaous mosaics

Although it is not in the main route of touristic peninsula of Istanbul, Kariye Museum is one of the most beautiful places. It's Bysantium mosaics are very peculiar and... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Istanbul, Turkey
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5,017 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,803: English reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Although it is not in the main route of touristic peninsula of Istanbul, Kariye Museum is one of the most beautiful places. It's Bysantium mosaics are very peculiar and impressive. Even you don't have special interest on mosaics, when you see them you'll be fascinated.

Thank Selenophilia
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I felt overwhelmed by the beauty, the richness, the incredible mosaics are simply heart breathing… in my humble opinion should be a UNESCO Heritage site. The greatness of the Byzantine art at its best. DO yourself a favour and visit it

Thank cape74
Lynnwood, Washington
Level Contributor
108 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Stayed in the Galata area, so took a ferry across the Golden Horn, then walked to the Chora Church. Followed an ancient wall of the city. When arriving at the Church, it was encased in scaffolding, but still open. Wonderful mosaics. Good cafe across the street.

Thank travelgal1953
Burr Ridge, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Actually it's been 7 years since I've been here but what a memory. My husband is the history person but the beautiful mosaic treasures here told stories from centuries ago. Would love to go back to Istanbul when peace returns.

Thank Michele P
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

This museum has beautiful mosaics. We used Rick Steves' Istanbul guide to explain the meaning of the mosaics. They were even prettier than the ones at Hagia Sophia. We used the city bus to get there and took a taxi back to the New district. It cost under 10 dollars. The Chora Church is included on the 5 day museum... More 

Thank Sherry M
Lugoj, Romania
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Unfortunately part is under restoration, but what is open to the public is very nice and worth seeing. It is one of the oldest and preserved collections of Byzantine art in the world. It's a bit expensive (30 TL), but is free with Museum Pass

Thank louieanderson
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This place is a chore to get to by public transport so we took the scenic route and got the ferry to Ayvansaray, then walked up the hill with the aid of a GPS. The exterior is covered and the interior chapel is off limits, and the admission has gone up to 30TL. But we felt it was well worth... More 

Thank redband
Yerevan, Armenia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We have visited it after we have seen all the important sites in Istanbul. It is a Christian church and unlike Hagia Sophia, it did not have Islamic influence. The most important things to see here are the illustrations on the walls. If you don't have a guide, read about them before going there. We were shocked seeing a very... More 

Thank ArminMK
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

A really unique church however the outside was covered in scaffolding due to renovations. The art inside is not what I was expecting. A beautiful place

Thank Tony_Sinclair
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
41 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

An extremely old Byzantine church in Fatih district of Istanbul. Not very large a building, but well worth a visit to see exquisite paintings and tile mosaics. Best to read up a bit on the Internet before visiting so know which bits of special interest to look for. As of April 2016, half the church is closed for preservation which... More 

Thank Colin G

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Staying in Fener & Balat

Neighborhood Profile
Fener & Balat
This sleepy and rather socially conservative area of Istanbul hosts a small but thriving Jewish community, the patriarchate of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and some of the most beautiful churches and Christian art in the world. Much of what’s most interesting to witness in Fener and Balat sits between the surviving ancient city walls of Constantinople and the serene shores of the Golden Horn. Despite the many splendid sights, historic attractions, stunning vistas, and warm Turkish welcome, the area remains largely unperturbed by the tourist trade that characterizes the atmosphere in nearby Sultanahmet and around the Grand Bazaar. Travelers that like to explore off the beaten track will reap big rewards for making the effort to visit this low-key part of town.
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