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“A lesser known place of interest”

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)
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$569.36*
and up
6 Days Istanbul Package Tour
Ranked #31 of 1,159 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We bought a 72 hour Istanbul Museum card. This was one of the listed sites to visit. We got contradictory advise on how to get there and probably the easiest is by taxi but where is the fun in taking the easiest option?! It is also confusing as the Church is known by a number of names including St Saviour Church. We caught a local bus from the bus station at Eminonu. You have to get off when you see the fortified city walls. Chora Church is signposted to the right from there. It is an amazing place - very different from the mosques and museums that we had already visited. Beautiful Byzantine mosaics and frescoes adorn the walls and colours are still vibrant despite their age. We got the impression that this little gem was a little 'off the beaten tourist track' and was therefore quieter than many of the other tourist sights. It is a little gem of a church worthy of the effort to get there. Photography is permitted without the use of flash. Stunning results can be obtained due to the close proximity of the pictures

Thank Alison0211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"beautiful mosaics"
in 198 reviews
"byzantine art"
in 103 reviews
"old city walls"
in 55 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 108 reviews
"under restoration"
in 85 reviews
"virgin mary"
in 77 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 48 reviews
"audio guide"
in 132 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 162 reviews
"museum pass"
in 80 reviews
"golden horn"
in 82 reviews
"turkey"
in 67 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 31 reviews
"bible"
in 68 reviews
"fresco"
in 50 reviews
"nave"
in 57 reviews
"christ"
in 97 reviews
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1,899 - 1,903 of 5,639 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2013

The Chora Church was a substitute mosque when the Hagia Sofia was closed on the day we took a walking tour of Istanbul. What a lucky exchange! We had a wonderful guide who related the bible stories told through the frescoes. And the variations n the marble covering the walls was alone worth the visit. Couldn't stop taking pictures.

Thank Suzanne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

A lot of tourists miss it because it is out of the way, but combine it with the Theodosian Walls ( a good restored section a short walk up the hill) and you've got it. These are some of the best mosaics anywhere and it is absolutely beautiful. Don't go to Istanbul and miss this.

Thank Gary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

It was a fine Byzantine church, but really not worth the effort to get out there. It certainly does not deserve to be the best ranked in Istanbul. Only takes about 30 minutes.

If you do go, the pink pavilion across the way as good food/prices.

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

This was a perfect last stop for us on a long day of sightseeing, with very few other visitors making it more peaceful and easier to observe all the wonderful mosaics, construction, and setting. There is an open-air restaurant next door which is also a good stop for lunch or refreshment.

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

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