Plan Your Visit to Hagia Sophia

hagia sophia location hours

The first few things that come to mind when one thinks of Istanbul is a city overflowing with culture, historic monuments and delicious food. One classical monument that stands out in the city’s landscape is the Hagia Sophia --  a monument that has withstood empires, generations and disasters. Today, the Hagia Sophia is one of the most popular attractions in Istanbul, inviting millions of visitors each year. 

Here’s all the essential visitor information to know before planning a visit to the Hagia Sophia.

Plan Your Visit

Opening Hours
Getting There
Tips & Guidelines
What are Hagia Sophia hours?

Hagia Sophia is open between 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM (final admission at 04:00 PM) from 1 October to 15 April and between 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM (final admission at 06:00 PM) from 15 April to 1 October.

When is Hagia Sophia closed?

Hagia Sophia closed days include Mondays, along with the first day of the Islamic month of Ramadan and on Eid-al-Adha festival.

What is the best time to visit Hagia Sophia?

The best time to visit Hagia Sophia is during the morning hours after 09:00 AM to experience smaller crowds; avoid weekends and Friday afternoons due to prayers. The best time of year to visit Hagia Sophia is during the winter months so as to experience pleasant weather and avoid the summer’s large tourist crowds.

Where is Hagia Sophia’s location?

Hagia Sophia is located at Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey.
Google Map directions.

How do I get to Hagia Sophia?

Istanbul is well-connected as a city. You can drive down or take a taxi to Hagia Sophia, or simply use the metro.

Can I take the metro to Hagia Sophia?

If you plan to use public transport, alight at Sultanahmet, the primary Hagia Sophia metro stop and simply walk for 3-4 minutes to get to your destination.

Are Hagia Sophia audio guides available?

You can simply download the mobile application and use the Hagia Sophia audio guide to tour the site.

Is the Hagia Sophia wheelchair-accessible?

The ground floor is wheelchair-accessible. However, the upper floor is not due to all the steps and cobblestone pathways.

Is photography allowed at Hagia Sophia?

Yes, photography is permitted. However, tripods are not permitted inside.

Is there a dress code at Hagia Sophia?

Yes, since it is a place of worship, all guests are expected to dress modestly. Avoid shorts and sleeveless tops. Women must wear a headscarf to enter; you can find one free-of-charge near the entrance. You must also leave your shoes outside before entering.

Hagia Sophia Museum Passes

Istanbul is a vast city with a myriad of important cultural and historical significance. If you’re looking for a quick, efficient way to cover all the major attractions, here are the best city passes you can purchase:

Istanbul Welcome Card

Enjoy the best of Istanbul with this city pass. Choose to purchase either the Deluxe or Premium Welcome Card and depending on your pick, get priority access to 12 museums, including Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern, a cruise on the Bosphorus River, access to all major public transportation options, and an English-speaking tour guide. This pass is valid for 7 days since your first use. 

Istanbul Tourist Pass

This tourist pass is a super-saver option if you are looking to visit about 35 attractions in the city including Hagia Sophia, along with Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Dolmabahce Palace, Grand Bazaar, and Bosphorus cruises. On purchase of this pass, get benefits such as free skip-the-line entry and guided tours to top attractions. You can choose to book a 3, 5, or 7-day pass, and it is valid for up to 1 year from the date of purchase.

Istanbul Museum Tour Pass

Visit top attractions in the city like the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Dolmabahce Palace, and the Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum. Added benefits of purchasing this Istanbul museum pass is that you get skip-the-line access and guided tours depending on the attraction you opt for.

FAQs

What are Hagia Sophia opening hours?

Hagia Sophia is open between 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM (final admission at 04:00 PM) from 1 October to 15 April and between 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM (final admission at 06:00 PM) from 15 April to 1 October.

How do I get to Hagia Sophia?

Hagia Sophia is centrally located. The easiest way to get there is by taking a metro till Sultanahmet metro stop; from here, Hagia Sophia can be reached under 5 minutes by walk.

Are guided Hagia Sophia tours available?

Yes. Hagia Sophia tickets include the services of a professional, English-speaking tour guide who will accompany you along your tour and enlighten you on interesting history and facts about the landmark.

What is included in Istanbul museum and tourist passes?

It depends on which pass you purchase. The three main options are the Istanbul Welcome Card, Istanbul Tourist Pass, and Istanbul Museum Tour Pass. Each of these essentially allow you to visit top attractions in the city and include priority access as well as guided tours.

Are audio guides available at Hagia Sophia?

You can simply download the Hagia Sophia app and use the free audio guide available on it while you tour the monument.

What do I wear to Hagia Sophia?

Since it is a place of worship, guests are recommended to dress modestly and cover their shoulders and knees. Women must wear a head scarf before entry, which can be found outside the main entrance. 

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Book Hagia Sophia Tickets

Historian Guided Tour of Hagia Sophia

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Combo: Hagia Sophia + Topkapi Palace or Basilica Cistern Tickets

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Combo: Historian Guided Tour of Hagia Sophia + Bosphorus Cruise Tickets

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