Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia
A world famous monument to the ever-changing history of Istanbul, and one of the largest churches in the world.

Known as “Ayasofa” (Sacred Wisdom) in Turkish, the Hagia Sofia started out as a church, becoming a cathedral under the Byzantine empire. Later it would become a mosque, and most recently a museum and monument that is hugely valued by the people of Turkey.Looking across the Istanbul skyline, the Hagia Sophia demands the eye's attention. It has four magnificent minarets which soar into the sky around its enormous central dome, considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture – this is a stunning design, and Istanbul's most celebrated landmark.Come through the western portal to enter, passing through the exonarthex, and then through one of the five portals to the narthex. Look upwards and marvel at the dome, inscribed with many verses from the Qur'an, and admire the ornate Christian mosaics and frescos, dating from the ninth and 10th centuries. The eastern corner is the resting place of a large number of sultans, where they are contained in their mausoleums.First built by the Romans in 360 as a Christian church, the Hagia Sophia was twice destroyed by riots. A new basilica was constructed in the sixth century, and it became the centre of the Eastern Orthodox church. When Istanbul was captured by the Ottomans in 1453, the building was converted into a mosque, and a process of “Islamification” was undertaken – Christian features were covered up, and new Muslim ones were added. After the advent of modern Turkey, the building was closed, and then reopened as a museum in 1936.As you might expect for the city's premier attraction, there are often long lines outside the Hagia Sophia, but the queues rarely last longer than half an hour. Snacks and drinks are available outside.Easily accessible by public transport, it is open daily, except on Monday. You can get your ticket at the box office, where an audio guide can also be rented – this will give you a much deeper sense of the history and culture of this fascinating monument.

Top 10 Hotels Near Hagia Sophia

Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class
Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class
4 out of 5
Piyer Loti Cad No:7, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34122
The price is RM257 per night from 13 Dec to 14 Dec
RM257
per night
13 Dec - 14 Dec
Stay at this 4-star spa hotel in Istanbul. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a rooftop terrace. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in their ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (1,003 reviews)
"Friendly staff, good breakfast, comfy bed, great hot water/shower pressure. A bit dated but charming stay. Excellent location"

Reviewed on 3 Dec 2022

Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class
GLK PREMIER Regency Suites & Spa - Special Class
GLK PREMIER Regency Suites & Spa - Special Class
5 out of 5
Akbiyik Cad No 46, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34022
The price is RM699 per night from 12 Dec to 13 Dec
RM699
per night
12 Dec - 13 Dec
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Istanbul. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the helpful staff in their reviews. Popular ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (994 reviews)
"Convenient location . Helpful & friendly staff ."

Reviewed on 3 Dec 2022

GLK PREMIER Regency Suites & Spa - Special Class
Adamar Hotel - Special Class
Adamar Hotel - Special Class
4 out of 5
Yerebatan Cad. No: 37, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34110
The price is RM355 per night from 5 Dec to 6 Dec
RM355
per night
5 Dec - 6 Dec
Stay at this 4-star family-friendly hotel in Istanbul. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi and 2 bars/lounges. Our guests praise the restaurant and the helpful staff ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (977 reviews)
"Every staff member I encountered was friendly and very helpful. The front desk gave great recommendations and accommodated all request! You are in walking distance of many major historical sites! I will go back there on my next visit. Thank you so much for making my first visit to Istanbul a memorable ..."

Reviewed on 22 Nov 2022

Adamar Hotel - Special Class
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
GLK PREMIER Regency Suites & Spa - Special Class
Hotel Nena
Hotel Uyan - Special Class

Popular places to visit


Top Hagia Sophia Hotel Deals

Apex Hotel
Apex Hotel
Sultanhamet Mah. Mimar Mehmet Aga Cad., Amiral Tafdil Sokak No 28 Sultanahmet, Istanbul, 34122
Apex Hotel
Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class
Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class
4 out of 5
Piyer Loti Cad No:7, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34122
Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class
GLK PREMIER Regency Suites & Spa - Special Class
GLK PREMIER Regency Suites & Spa - Special Class
5 out of 5
Akbiyik Cad No 46, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34022
GLK PREMIER Regency Suites & Spa - Special Class
Adamar Hotel - Special Class
Adamar Hotel - Special Class
4 out of 5
Yerebatan Cad. No: 37, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34110
Adamar Hotel - Special Class
Hotel Perula
Hotel Perula
Binbirdirek mah. Peykhane Sok. no:45, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34400
Hotel Perula
Sultanahmet Palace Hotel - Special Class
Sultanahmet Palace Hotel - Special Class
4 out of 5
Sultanahmet mah. Torun Sokak, No:19, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34122
Sultanahmet Palace Hotel - Special Class
Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul
Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul
4 out of 5
Dr. Imran Oktem Cad. No:1, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, 34440
Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul
Senatus Hotel - Special Class
Senatus Hotel - Special Class
Akbiyik Caddesi No: 40, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34122
Senatus Hotel - Special Class
Darussaade Istanbul - Special Class
Darussaade Istanbul - Special Class
4 out of 5
Akbiyik Cad. No:90 Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul, 34122
Darussaade Istanbul - Special Class
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.