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Hagia Sophia

Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
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Overall Experience: 7 / 10
Date Visited: Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya, in Turkish) is a former church that was converted into a mosque, that is now a museum. It is located in the old part of Istanbul, Turkey. It's located very close to Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque, so if you're efficient, you can see all three attractions in one day.

The Hagia Sophia is quite neat to see. It's a very unique mix of Christian mosaics in a Muslim mosque. There is an upper gallery that offers good views of the entire building. Most of the nice mosaics are up in the gallery, so don't miss it! Going up to the gallery does require climbing a number of stairs.

At the entrance to the Hagia Sophia, there are a number of informational displays that talk about the history of the building, and some of the neat things inside. Because of these displays, I didn't think it was necessary to "rent" a guide. (There are many people outside offering to guide you through the Hagia Sophia for a fee).


The Hagia Sophia costs 10 YTL per person to enter. There is no student discount. I was a little disappointed in the cost - the nearby Blue Mosque is also a very impressive structure, but it is free.

Cameras and video cameras are permitted with your admission fee.

The Hagia Sophia is closed Monday.

Many guides are available near the entrance. They ask for 40 euro/hour to give you a private tour.

Estimated Visiting Time

One hour is plenty of time to walk around the Hagia Sophia, see all the mosaics, and take some pictures. If you're quick, you can probably see everything in just 30 minutes.

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Estimated Visiting Time

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