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Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
Ranked #4 of 1,159 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 July 23, 2013

Okay, so this is an amazing building and totally unmissable. But just by way of warning: after enduring the long queues, there is quite a bit of scaffolding in there, great they are restoring, but don't expect unobstructed photos. And the crowds! Bring your sense o humour and patience...

Thank dr_iggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"hagia sophia"
in 3,423 reviews
"restoration work"
in 227 reviews
"amazing building"
in 238 reviews
"awe inspiring"
in 370 reviews
"audio guide"
in 645 reviews
"amazing history"
in 209 reviews
"under renovation"
in 261 reviews
"take your time"
in 208 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 217 reviews
"visiting istanbul"
in 212 reviews
"turkey"
in 577 reviews
"scaffolding"
in 1,014 reviews
"mosaics"
in 1,855 reviews
"christianity"
in 621 reviews
"dome"
in 681 reviews
"queue"
in 1,106 reviews
"plaster"
in 208 reviews
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15,656 - 15,660 of 37,864 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2013

Our tour guide was not as knowledgeable as we hoped, but overall, we read about the different attractions before we left, so it was ok

Thank italycanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

The history of this church come mosque now museum is fascinating. When you go through the entrance, if you look down the corridor you will see chairs and a loop-run video. If you do not have an audio guide, its well worth sitting down and watching the video to get a potted history before you tour the building, including some of the quirky side interests (like the migraine curing column!). The path to the second level is highly polished cobbled stone. It had been raining, so was slippery and a bit dangerous. Its worth the climb up for no other reason than to seen the bored viking Halfdan's graffiti etched into banister (viking bodyguards protected the Sultan in the 9thC). There are great ruins in the gardens before the clean toilets (free) and cafe. Nice way to spend a morning or afternoon. Definitely get the museum pass beforehand to avoid lining up in the endless queues.

Thank ZeddyDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

I visited Aya Sofia three years ago and was a bit disappointed when I revisited recently. There is a lot of scaffolding in place inside at the moment and this does distract from the feel and views in the main body of the building. Another addition....a shop on the upper floor selling expensive souvenirs. Worth a visit but allow plenty of time in case of queues...and to justify the 25TL entry price.

Thank Patricia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 22, 2013

We went on to see this but didnt meet our expectation... we saw some graves and thought its only Hagia sofia... Its very unfortunate that Turkey tourism doesn't provide appropriate name/sign boards for touristic attractions. Most of times we were searching for sign boards as we went without guide to explore the city....

Thank SSP_2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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