Are you looking to book Hagia Sophia tickets for your visit to Istanbul? Learn more about tickets price, how you can skip the line, the best times to visit the museum and how how to make the most of your Hagia Sophia experience. It’s a museum now, but it has been a mosque and church in the past, giving it lots of historical, religious, socio-political, and cultural significance.
On this page, you will find a complete guide to getting tickets for the Hagia Sophia, including:
Click on the following link if you wish to book Hagia Sophia tickets right now.
How much do Hagia Sophia tickets cost?
Fortunately, visiting the Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul is free of charge.
How do you skip the line?
At most tourist venues, there’s a long line at the entrance. Booking a guided tour online can help you skip this line and go straight in. It is really recommended especially during peak season so you don’t waste your precious holiday time.
You can book your Hagia Sophia guided tour online from an online travel agency such as Viator or GetYourGuide. English tours start from €13 (US$14). It is best to compare prices between several websites before booking as discounts are sometimes available.
Are there any combined tickets including Hagia Sophia Museum tickets and other attractions?
Hagia Sophia is one of the most visited museums in Istanbul, but there are lots of other things to see as well. So if you’d like to save time and money, it’s a good idea to get a combined ticket. Here’s an example of a combined ticket that includes Hagia Sophia access.
- Hagia Sophia + Topkapi Palace – visit the primary residence of Ottoman Sultans for more than 600 years, a must-visit in Istanbul.
- Hagia Sophia + Blue Mosque – discover the most breath-taking Ottoman mosques in all of Turkey.
Are Hagia Sophia guided tours worth it?
Absolutely! Guided tours are the perfect way to discover the Hagia Sofia for several reasons:
Avoid lengthy wait times. Your tour guide will have bought tickets for you in advance, so all you have to do is show up. You can skip the line and enjoy the visit.
Get a real insight into history. Some people like exploring new places on their own. But if someone who knows the place shows you around, they can help you uncover secrets and visit the most important places.
Get answers to your questions – If you are a history lover, it can be a good way to know things better. You will have a tour guide with you to not only introduce you to the history of the place but also to answer all the questions you may have.
There are a lot of guided tours available. Check the offers, read the reviews and make sure to compare the prices as there are a lot of providers offering guided tours online.
What will you see?
Hagia Sophia has been a Greek Orthodox Church, a Catholic Basilica, and a Mosque. With each conversion, previous details were destroyed or plastered over. Now that it’s a secularized museum, many of the previous building details have been uncovered to expose Byzantine Architecture. Among the many beautiful sites, you’ll see:
- Restored Christian mosaics made of gold, silver, terracotta, glass, and coloured stones
- Minarets in white, pink, and yellow marble
- Ceiling frescoes, photos, paintings, and art
- Key Islamic symbols including marble cubes, bronze lamps, calligraphy panels
- Over 100 structural and decorative columns in total
- The world-famous 55 meters free-standing dome
- Iconic museum collections and stone artifacts from the church and tombs
Is Hagia Sophia included in any attractions city passes?
Using a city pass can help you save hundreds of dollars on various tourist sites around the city. Sometimes, you can get transport discounts as well. Here are some of the more popular Istanbul City Passes that include Hagia Sophia.
- Istanbul Museum Pass – Not to be confused with the MuzeKart (that only serves Turkish citizens and residents), the Museum Pass lets you into 11 venues including Hagia Sophia for free. It also covers discounted entry into venues like Maiden’s Tower. The Pass costs 185TL and lasts 5 days after you first use it. Kids have free entry to all the tourist sites covered by the card, so they don’t need to buy a card for children.
- Istanbul Tourist Pass – This comprehensive pass gets you free access to Hagia Sophia as well as other attractions like the Blue Mosque, Maiden’s Tower, and Madame Tussauds Istanbul. You also get free mobile internet for three days, hop-on-hop-off bus tickets, Bosphorous cruise tickets, Prince’s Island boat tours, and more. You get discounts on airport transfers and selected services. Adult Tourist Passes start at €95 for 2 days up to €145 for a week. Child passes cost €45 for all durations.
- Istanbul Welcome Card – For just €49, you get free skip-the-line access to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Bosphorous cruise. You can also use public transport up to 10 times for free. The free rides are valid on the bus, tram, funicular, metro, and ferry. Your card includes a free digital city map, and each venue (Hagia Sophia, Bosphorous, Topkapi) includes an English-speaking tour guide. The card lasts 7 days.
What is the best time to visit the Hagia Sophia? How can you avoid the crowd?
Until recently, Hagia Sophia was closed on Mondays. Not many people know it’s re-opened for Monday visits, so that’s a good way to avoid crowds. On other days, visit close to opening time, when there are fewer visitors. If you want to enter closer to closing time, you need to arrive an hour before the last ticket sales, so that’s 3 pm in winter or 4 pm in summer.
What are the Hagia Sophia opening hours?
The Hagia Sophia is open in Winter (November to March) from 9 am to 5 pm and in Summer (April to October) from 9 am to 7 pm.
The latest you can enter the museum is one hour before closing time.
- Don’t hesitate to visit the official website to check the latest info.
- Carry an umbrella, broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a cold drink, because you can get overheated waiting in line.
- You’re allowed to take photos because most of the site is masonry (stone, brick, mosaics) that won’t be affected by your flash. No tripods though, those aren’t allowed.
- There are no bathrooms at the museum, so you’ll have to use the café nearby.