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Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque)

Named for its dazzling interior covered in blue tiles, this is a hub of Istanbul's religious life.

The Blue Mosque is a prominent part of view of the Istanbul skyline. Constructed under Sultan Ahmed I, it was finished in 1616. Its designer's vision was to display the Islamic faith central to the Ottoman Empire in this massive site of worship.

Approach from the direction of the Hippodrome to best appreciate the grandeur of the architecture. There are six minarets and a number of soaring domes, making for a enormously striking spectacle.

Go through the encircling wall into the courtyard – this area is very busy after sunset during the fast of Ramadan. The madrasa Islamic school and the hospice can be found here, as can the tomb of the man for whom the mosque is named, Sultan Ahmed I, who died just one year after its completion in 1617.

The main claim to fame of the Blue Mosque is to be found in the 20,000 blue ceramic tiles adorning the interior with over 50 distinct tulip images. The upper part of the building is also painted blue, and the kaleidoscope of light provided by the stained glass windows above is a sight to behold.

Entry to the mosque is free, but donations for its upkeep are welcomed. As it is continuously in use as a religious site of worship, there are a number of practices visitors are asked to respect. Silent and discreet behaviour should be observed, with no flash photography permitted. You should remove your shoes before entering and place them in one of the plastic bags which are available. Women are asked to cover their hair with a scarf.

The mosque is served by the nearby Sultanahmet light rail and metro station in the Old City. The Blue Mosque is closed five times a day for prayer. In summer there are evening history classes on the site, and also breathtaking light shows – check the website before your visit.

Popular Activities at Blue Mosque

You won't believe how many things there are to do at Blue Mosque. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Peruse our Istanbul things to do page to find many more activities while you're here.


Guide to Exploring Blue Mosque


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 2,526 properties near Blue Mosque
Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel RM471
Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel

Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel

Divanyolu Cd. Alemdar Mah., Ticarethane Sk. No 10 Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 1,285 reviews
    5.0 out of 5.0

    This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of German Fountain, Sultanahmet Square and Hagia Sophia. Hippodrome of Constantinople and Basilica Cistern are also within 5 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is only a 2-minute walk and Cemberlitas Station is 5 minutes.

    The Ambassador Hotel RM336
    The Ambassador Hotel

    The Ambassador Hotel

    Ticarethane Cikmazi No 19, Istanbul, Istanbul
       
      4.3
      of 5, from 1,000 reviews
      3.5 out of 5.0

      Located in Sultanahmet, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, and Sultanahmet Square. Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar are also within 10 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is only a 2-minute walk and Gulhane Station is 7 minutes.

      Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class RM501
      Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class

      Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class

      Alemdar Mh., Ticarethane Sk. No:13, Fatih, Istanbul, Istanbul
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 924 reviews
        5.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Sultanahmet, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia. Sultanahmet Square and Grand Bazaar are also within 10 minutes. Sultanahmet Station and Gulhane Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        Hotel Amira Istanbul RM463
        Hotel Amira Istanbul

        Hotel Amira Istanbul

        Kucuk Ayasofya Mahallesi Mustafa, Pasa Sokak No: 79 Sultahnamet, Istanbul, Istanbul
           
          4.8
          of 5, from 1,228 reviews
          0.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Sultanahmet, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Little Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet Square, and Hippodrome of Constantinople. Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are also within 15 minutes. Istanbul Cankurtaran Station is 10 minutes by foot and Sultanahmet Station is 11 minutes.

          Lalinn Hotel RM125
          Lalinn Hotel

          Lalinn Hotel

          Oyuncu Cikmazi Oyuncu Sok. No 4, Ahirkapi Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul
             
            4.1
            of 5, from 621 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Little Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet Square. Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are also within 15 minutes. Istanbul Cankurtaran Station is 5 minutes by foot and Sultanahmet Station is 12 minutes.

            Tashkonak Hotel RM212
            Tashkonak Hotel

            Tashkonak Hotel

            Kucukayasofya Cd. Tomurcuk Sk. No:5, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul
               
              4.3
              of 5, from 695 reviews
              3.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Little Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet Square and Hippodrome of Constantinople. Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are also within 15 minutes. Istanbul Cankurtaran Station is 7 minutes by foot and Sultanahmet Station is 10 minutes.

              Hotel Fehmi Bey - Special Class RM219
              Hotel Fehmi Bey - Special Class

              Hotel Fehmi Bey - Special Class

              Binbirdirek Mah. Ucler Sok. No.15, Sultanahmet, Istanbul
                 
                4.2
                of 5, from 188 reviews
                0.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Sultanahmet, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia. Topkapi Palace is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away. Sultanahmet Station is 6 minutes by foot and Cemberlitas Station is 6 minutes.

                Ottoman Hotel Imperial - Special Class RM293
                Ottoman Hotel Imperial - Special Class

                Ottoman Hotel Imperial - Special Class

                Caferiye Sok. No. 6/1, Sultanhmet, Istanbul, Istanbul
                   
                  4.3
                  of 5, from 996 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the historical district, just steps away from Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia.