Also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Blue Mosque is one of Istanbul's top attractions. As its name suggests, the Blue Mosque is a historic mosque located in Sultanahmet, a central and traditional district of Istanbul.
Built in the early 17th century, the Blue Mosque offers to its visitors a wonderfully curvaceous exterior featuring a cascade of domes. In its inside, visitors will enjoy a prayerful atmosphere and superb blue tiles.
The Blue Mosque attracts millions of travelers every year and is a must-visit attraction for any Istanbul first-time visitor. Book a guided tour that takes you through centuries of history and discover one of the highlights of the Ottoman culture.
How much do Blue Mosque tickets cost?
There are no Blue Mosque tickets for regular admittance to the landmark. The mosque is open to the public for free. The Blue Mosque does accept donations though not mandatory.
However, many visitors schedule a Blue Mosque guided tour to have a more in-depth look at this stunning site.
Are Blue Mosque guided tours worth it?
Absolutely. Booking a guided tour offers many advantages.
Secure your place in line. Blue Mosque is a popular attraction in Istanbul. Booking a guided tour in advance allows you to skip the lines and receive priority access.
Exclusive access to places of the mosque that are otherwise not open to the general public.
Follow your guide around the facility, ask questions, and learn more about the history of this fantastic place.
Combine your tour with another attraction in the area, like Hagia Sophia (which is right next door!).
What are the best combined tours including Blue Mosque and other attractions in Istanbul?
There are many exciting ways to visit the Blue Mosque. Several combined offers allow you to see more than one attraction in Istanbul in a single day. Some combined tours may include transportation, meals, and other luxuries. You may find below the most popular ones.
Blue Mosque + Hagia Sophia: See two of the most iconic attractions in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque conveniently are next to each other.
Blue Mosque + Grand Bazaar: The combination tour is a thrilling way to see the Blue Mosque along with the unique bargains at Grand Bazaar.
Blue Mosque + Topkapi Palace: Learn more about Istanbul’s Ottoman past at the Topkapi palace along with visiting the Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque + Hippodrome: Also known as the Sultanahmet Square, the Hippodrome is a must-see place and also ideal to start your guided tour before visiting the Blue Mosque.
What will I see?
Sultan Ahmed Mosque, otherwise referred to as Blue Mosque, receives its moniker after the hand-painted blue tiles on the interior as well as the blue hue that shines into the sacred grounds at night.
The legendary Blue Mosque dates to the early 17th century during the rule of Ahmed I, and remains exceptionally well preserved. Blue Mosque is impressive from an architectural standpoint. It features five main domes, eight secondary domes, and six minarets. Visitors get treated to hand-painted blue tiles on the interior with a rare radiance that shines off the mosque at nights through its five main domes.
Like other mosques, the place of worship also houses a hospice and madrasa. It is actively functioning with daily prayer times (closed to non-worshippers).
Blue Mosque is one of the oldest functioning religious centres in the world. Before your visit, make sure that you avoid arriving during daily prayer and wear appropriate clothing. The mosque has a strictly enforced dress code.
The iconic religious centre is adjacent to Hagia Sophia, another popular attraction in Turkey. Visiting the mosque is an exciting time to snap photos, tour the facilities, and learn more about the madrasah and hospice.
If you wish to learn more about this spectacular site, don't hesitate to schedule a guided tour.
What is the best time to visit the Blue Mosque? How to avoid the crowd?
The Blue Mosque receives higher volumes of visitors in the afternoons. It is not much different from other attractions as crowds build as the day moves along. Therefore, it rewards you for scheduling your visit to Blue Mosque in the morning, if possible.
Also, try to avoid visiting the Blue Mosque on Fridays. The religious grounds receive the highest volume of worshippers on Fridays. Furthermore, the noon prayer time has a longer duration.
Keep in mind that the mosque still serves as a functioning religious center. Consequently, the mosque closes to the public several times each day for prayers. The schedule of prayers changes, thus you should check the official website for opening hours.
The average wait time for getting into the Blue Mosque is 30 minutes, so make sure you plan accordingly. Scheduling a guided tour of the Blue Mosque allows you to skip the lines and enter the attraction at a predestined time.
What are the Blue Mosque opening hours?
The Blue Mosque is open daily all year long. The mosque does close to non-worshippers for approximately 30 minutes during the five daily prayer times. The prayer times are traditionally two hours before dawn, around dawn, mid-day, mid-afternoon, sunset, and immediately before the final light of the day. Check the official website for the latest prayer times to avoid any interruptions.
- Consider a guided tour: While you may visit the Blue Mosque for zero cost, we suggest a guided tour. It is very convenient, you skip the line, receive access to restricted areas, and learn much more about the history of this fantastic site.
- Check the official website for prayer times. The mosque takes its daily prayer times very seriously. Non-worshippers are not allowed on the grounds around prayer times, so check the website to avoid any unexpected interruptions. Prayer times change every day because the schedule gets dictated based on when the sun rises.
- Make sure you are aware of the dress code beforehand. Women need to enter Sultan Ahmed Mosque with their heads covered. Naked shoulders and ankles are prohibited for both men and women. You will also need to take your shoes off at the entrance.