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Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
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Small-Group Istanbul Walking Tour: Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque
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Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
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Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia...
Ranked #1 of 1,061 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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 it was constructed in the 6th century.
Bucharest, Romania
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

One of the most old church in the world, and one of the biggest in the world. The dome is huge, and the old icons are very impressive. It's a must.

Visited February 2012
Thank Ioan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32,303 reviews from our community

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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Absolutely Amazing”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

The Ayasofya was probably the most favorite part of my trip to Istanbul. It's within walking distance of the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Gulhane Park and the Grand Bazaar. It costs 20TL to enter the museum/church and closes at 7PM.
It is a massive building, but it shouldn't take more than 2 hours to explore. I would suggest walking up to the upper levels first and be prepared to walk uphill because there are no stairs, just a long ramp with several turns.
There are still a couple of mosaics, which are great examples of byzantine art. The ceiling is probably the most impressive piece of the church.
If you enjoyed art history, or history, for that matter, the Ayasofya is a must.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank Sabrina I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Hagia Sophia is truly amazing. Mosaics are beautiful, but for us the most important was the track of changes. It changed from one religion to another. You can see that mihrab is not in the middle, as Hagia Sophia wasn't built to be a mosque. It was transformed to be a mosque but amazing mosaics and some other sings show that it used to be a church. Basilica in Rome makes impression with it's size but Hagia Sophia even bigger as it was built 1500 years ago.

Visited October 2012
Thank Ania P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falls Church, VA
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Absolutely breathtaking”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Our only advice is to go 1 hour before closing to avoid the crowds. Then you have the place almost to yourself.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank halehp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“One of the world's great buildings.”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Magnificent space and experience in this early Christian church (500 ad) turned mosque, turned museum. Nothing else comparable

Visited October 2012
Thank jeff m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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