- 3 hours
Please note: Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque in 2020. All visitors must wait in line to enter regardless of if they are visiting tourists or locals waiting to worship. This has lead to very long lines at most times of the day. If the line is particularly complicated, your guide may propose an alternative itinerary, however you will always have the choice to wait in line together.
An Evolving Building For An Evolving City
These rules may seem unduly strict, but remember, you are a guest visiting sites that are regarded as a religious sanctuary.
Is this tour suitable for children?
This tour isn’t part of our official family program, however, we can assign a family friendly guide for family tours. Please indicate the ages of your children when booking. If you're traveling with children, you may prefer to book our Topkapi Palace Tour for Kids, which has been specifically designed to engage younger learners.
Yes, the Hagia Sophia is wheelchair accessible and this tour isn’t walking intensive for clients with reduced mobility. We recommend that clients with mobility issues contact us so we can create a tour adapted to your concerns.
Claire has dual degrees in English (University of Michigan) and medieval art history (Università di Roma "La Sapienza"). She lived in Rome for a decade where she taught art history at Trinity College and study abroad programs for other American universities. She has lived in Istanbul for the last twelve years. She is presently an adjunct instructor at Yeditepe University and a freelance translator. Originally from Washington, DC, Claire is very interested in social history. She is the author of "Topkapı Palace: Inside and Out", published by Citlembik in 2004.
Ebru has a BA in English Literature at Bosphorus University. After finishing her studies, she worked as an arts correspondent for a local newspaper, and then had a career as a managing editor for a monthly travel magazine: Gezi / National Geographic Traveler. A native of Istanbul and a licensed guide, she has a broad range of knowledge, and is extremely interested in history of art, architecture and religions with special emphasis on Greek Orthodoxy and Byzantine history. Ebru finished an MA program in the history of religions at the School of Theology and has been working on her thesis on prophecy in ancient Greece. Apart from guiding, she gives seminars on early Christianity, origins of Christmas, ancient Greek mythology and Vikings of the Byzantine Empire: the Varangian Guards. Currently she is studying art history at Istanbul University, and taking modern Greek and Ottoman script classes in her free-time.
Melike holds degrees in Tourism and Guiding from Marmara University and Art History from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul. Studying (MA) Museology in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts Universiy. Her special interests are Late Antiquity period in Istanbul and Clasiccal Period of Ottoman Empire.
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