Plan Your Visit to the Hagia Sophia | Opening Hours, Best Time to Visit & More
Hagia Sophia | Visitor Information at a Glance
- What are Hagia Sophia's opening hours?
Hagia Sophia is open throughout the year. It is only closed during prayer hours.
- Where is the Hagia Sophia located?
The Hagia Sophia Church-turned-Mosque is located at Sultanahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih in İstanbul, Turkey.
- How many entrances does the Hagia Sophia have?
The Hagia Sophia has nine entrances, each one more magnificent than the other.
- How many visitors does the Hagia Sophia see per year?
Hagia Sophia draws more than 3 million visitors to its doors every year.
Where is the Hagia Sophia Located?
Getting to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
Nearest Stop: Çatladıkapı - Yenikapı Yönü
35A, 36, 36ES, 38, 38Z, 97, and 92B will help you reach Hagia Sophia. The Çatladıkapı - Yenikapı Yönü bus stop is a 13-minute walk from Hagia Sophia.
Nearest Stop: Sikeci
Take the Marmaray (Ataköy - Pendik) train or the Marmaray (Halkali- Gebze) train to reach Hagia Sophia. The Sirkeci train station is only a 7-minute walk away from Hagia Sophia.
Nearest Stop: Sultanahmet
Take the M2 metro line, and get off at the Sultanahmet station. The metro station is a 7-minute walk from Hagia Sophia.
Nearest Stop: Sultanahmet
The T1 tram will help you reach Hagia Sophia. The mosque is a 7-minute walk from the Sultanahmet tram station.
Know Before You Go
- Emperor’s Gate: The Emperor’s Gate dates back to the 6th century and was used exclusively by the emperor at that time in the Hagia Sophia.
- Christian Mosaics: The Hagia Sophia has several gold, silver, and glass mosaics inside that are worth seeing.
- Wish Column: The Wish Column can be seen in the northwest direction of Hagia Sophia. It is believed that the wetness inside the cavity of the column is Mother Mary’s tears.
- Coronation Spot: The circle surrounded by other circles that you see when you enter Hagia Sophia is the coronation spot where many Roman emperors were coronated.
- Mihrab: The beautiful Mihrab at the Hagia Sophia is the place from where the Imam leads the prayers for the day.
- Wheelchair Accessibility: The Hagia Sophia has ramps and elevators to help visitors on wheelchairs navigate around the attraction. For wheelchair access, you have to buy tickets at the west corner of the mosque at the intersection of Alemdar and Ayasofya Meydani.
- Photography: Photography is permitted inside Hagia Sophia, but do not click pictures of people praying at the mosque. You must also not use commercial or flash photography so as not to disturb others' viewing of the monument.
- Luggage Storage: There are no luggage storage areas in or around Hagia Sophia. The closest place where you can store your luggage at the Sirkeci railway station.
- Mihri Restaurant: The Mihri Restaurant is a 3-minute walk from Hagia Sophia. The restaurant serves delicious meals.
- Sophia Pita Cafe: The Sophia Pita Cafe is located near Hagia Sophia and the delicious breakfast that they serve is a must-try!
- Matbah Restaurant: Just 2 minutes away from Hagia Sophia is the Matbah restaurant. They serve delicious dishes from the Ottoman empire that were favored by the royals.
- Hagia Sophia Terrace Restaurant: The Hagia Sophia Terrace Restaurant offers delicious food and some gorgeous views of the surrounding areas.
- Luxury: Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, Hagia Sofia Mansions Istanbul
- Mid-Range: Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel and Conference Center, Boutique Saint Sophia Hotel, Seven Hills Hotel, Ottoman Hotel Imperial
- Budget: The And Hotel, Senator Hotel Taksim, Zeynep Sultan Hotel, The Million Stone Hotel
- Basilica Cistern: The Basilica Cistern is a spectacular remnant of the water system of the 6th century. The Cistern was also seen in the movie ‘Angels and Demons’.
- Topkapi Palace: The Topkapi Palace has some of the most beautiful artifacts from the
- Ottoman Empire. The architecture of the Topkapi Palace is as stunning as the artifacts that are displayed inside its walls.
- Istanbul Grand Bazaar: Indulge in local Turkish cuisine and shop till you drop at the famous Istanbul Grand Bazaar. Be it spices, shoes, or accessories, the Grand Bazaar has it all.
- Turkish Hammam Baths: After you are done exploring Istanbul and its many attractions, take some time out to unwind at the Turkish Hammam Baths, where you can enjoy traditional massages, manicures, and pedicures.
Book Hagia Sophia Tickets
Frequently Asked Questions: Visiting the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul
A. Hagia Sophia is open throughout the year. The mosque remains closed for non-worshippers during prayer times.
A. It is best to visit the Hagia Sophia Mosque during the early hours of the morning to experience lesser crowds; avoid Friday afternoons, as it remains closed to non-worshippers during prayers. Try to visit during the winter months to experience pleasant weather.
A. You cannot enter the mosque during prayer time. Before planning your visit to Hagia Sophia, ensure that you do not visit the mosque during prayer times.
A. Yes, we recommend you book a Hagia Sophia guided tour. A guided tour will let you explore and learn about the history and culture of Hagia Sophia.
A. You can finish touring the Hagia Sophia in about 30 to 45 minutes, however, if you book a guided tour, it will take you around an hour. You can stay inside the monument for as long as you want. We recommend you book a guided tour to have a hassle-free and more informative experience.
A. Hagia Sophia is located in the European part of Sultanahmet square. Its address is Sultanahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih in İstanbul, Turkey.
A. The best way to reach Hagia Sophia is via tram or metro. If traveling by tram, take tram line T1 to Sultanahmet square and for the metro take the M2 line to Sultanahmet station.
A. There are nine entrances at the Hagia Sophia.
A. Yes, prams are allowed inside Hagia Sophia.
A. Yes, you can click pictures inside Hagia Sophia but avoid taking pictures of people who are praying.
A. Big luggage bags are not allowed inside Hagia Sophia. There is no cloakroom available for public use at the Hagia Sophia Mosque.
A. No strollers or wheelchairs are available at the Hagia Sophia.
A. Yes, you can explore every minaret and mosaic inside the Hagia Sophia in one visit. You can opt for a 1-hour guided tour to delve deeper into Hagia Sophia's history and have a more informative experience.
A. The ground floor is wheelchair-accessible. However, the upper floor of the Hagia Sophia is not very easy to navigate on wheelchairs due to all the steps and cobblestone pathways.
A. Yes, since the Hagia Sophia Mosque is a place of worship, all guests are expected to 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.