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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

There are loads of ways to enjoy this place. Here's a list of things you can do at Blue Mosque:

For more activities, take a look at our Istanbul things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Blue Mosque


Map

Top Blue Mosque Hotel Deals

See all 2,898 properties near Blue Mosque
Niles Hotel Istanbul - Special Class RM324
Niles Hotel Istanbul - Special Class

Niles Hotel Istanbul - Special Class

Ordu Caddesi Dibekli Cami Sokak No: 13, Beyazit, Istanbul, Istanbul
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Istanbul City Center, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cemberlitas Bath, Hippodrome of Constantinople and Suleymaniye Mosque. Basilica Cistern and Spice Bazaar are also within 1 mi (2 km). Beyazit Station is only a 3-minute walk and Laleli-University Station is 7 minutes.

    Atlantis Royal Hotel RM162
    Atlantis Royal Hotel

    Atlantis Royal Hotel

    Binbirdirek Mah. Dizdariye Cesmesi Sok., No 53 Sultanahmet Fatih , Istanbul
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Turkish and Islamic Art Museum and Hippodrome of Constantinople. Cemberlitas Bath and Sultanahmet Square are also within 10 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is 7 minutes by foot and Cemberlitas Station is 7 minutes.

      The Marmara Pera RM486
      The Marmara Pera

      The Marmara Pera

      Mesrutiyet Cad. Tepebasi, Istanbul, Istanbul
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located on the boardwalk, within a 15-minute walk of Galata Tower and Mixer. Taksim Square and Suleymaniye Mosque are also within 2 mi (3 km). Tunel Square Station is 6 minutes by foot and Tophane Station is 10 minutes.

        Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class RM587
        Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class

        Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class

        Piyer Loti Cad No:7, Istanbul, Istanbul
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Sultanahmet, this spa hotel is steps away from Cemberlitas Bath and Column of Constantine. Sultanahmet Square and Hagia Sophia are also within 10 minutes. Cemberlitas Station and Sultanahmet Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          The Ambassador Hotel RM375
          The Ambassador Hotel

          The Ambassador Hotel

          Ticarethane Cikmazi No 19, Istanbul, Istanbul
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Sultanahmet, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Basilica Cistern, Sultanahmet Square, and Hippodrome of Constantinople. Hagia Sophia and Cagaloglu Hamami are also within 5 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is only a 2-minute walk and Cemberlitas Station is 6 minutes.

            Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel RM706
            Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel

            Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel

            Divanyolu Cd. Alemdar Mah., Ticarethane Sk. No 10 Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of German Fountain, Basilica Cistern and Cemberlitas Bath. Sultanahmet Square and Hippodrome of Constantinople are also within 5 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is only a 2-minute walk and Cemberlitas Station is 4 minutes.

              Hotel Fehmi Bey - Special Class RM258
              Hotel Fehmi Bey - Special Class

              Hotel Fehmi Bey - Special Class

              Binbirdirek Mah. Ucler Sok. No.15, Sultanahmet, Istanbul
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Sultanahmet, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. Topkapi Palace is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away. Cemberlitas Station is only a 5-minute walk and Sultanahmet Station is 5 minutes.

                Best Western Plus The President Hotel RM447
                Best Western Plus The President Hotel

                Best Western Plus The President Hotel

                Tiyatro Caddesi, No. 25, Beyazit, Istanbul, Istanbul
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located on the Strip, within a 15-minute walk of Hippodrome of Constantinople, Suleymaniye Mosque and Basilica Cistern. Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are also within 1 mi (2 km). Beyazit Station is only a 4-minute walk and Cemberlitas Station is 7 minutes.