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“Wanted to be wowed but disappointed”

Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
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$41.95*
and up
Small-Group Istanbul Walking Tour: Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque
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$47.94*
and up
Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
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$95.77*
and up
Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia...
Ranked #1 of 1,105 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.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

I had high hopes for the Ayasofya and wish I could say that I was wowed but I wasn't. Is it a beautiful building? Absolutely. Is it amazing that it was made when it was and has stood the test of time? Yes. Having said that, I left disappointed.
I thought it would be like Topkapi Palace, with huge grounds to wonder and lots of displays to see. Instead, it was one big vaulted room. We spent about an hour in there and that was only because we slowly dragged our feet, hoping that something somewhere would catch us and wow us, like so many other people appear to have been.
When you consider all of the beautiful free mosques that there are to see in Istanbul, I don't think our 25 TL each here was well spent.

Thank Vantastic75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15,446 - 15,450 of 33,935 reviews

Reviewed November 8, 2012

The inner space is so monumental, that you wonder HOW COME? It's not possible, it has to fall down at any second :) The chandeliers look like flowers when you look at them from the gallery.

Thank Merillyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

It is a very good place to spend your time and hear about its history. Go early and stand in the row and pay your ticket. I advice you to take an audio tour guide, it will help you so much.

You will enjoy your time there and you will enjoy taking good photos. It is a mix between Islamic arts and christian arts. You will feel the glory of the place after hearing/reading more about each part history.

Spend half a day in it, you will enjoy your stay
Wish you a happy trip

Thank m0khm0kh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

Now a museum, this impressive structure was built in the 5th century AD, and was at one time a Catholic church and then a Mosque. Remnants of both of these religious institutions remain, which is fascinating to see. What is most impressive is the enormous central dome, and the mosaics are simply breathtaking. A tour of this museum was a highlight of our time in Istanbul.

Thank ToTravelIsBrilliant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

You might be put off by the long queue, but it moves fast and you will be well rewarded for your patience. Amazing mix of Christian and Islamic art

Thank lindenleaves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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