Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul
Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee, Opening Hours, Guided Tour Tickets
Hagia Sophia, the most popular museum in Istanbul. On average, 3 million people visit Hagia Sophia within a year. Hagia Sophia was built between 532 and 537 by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. After being a church for 900 years, it was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman period.
Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in the 1930s. Today, you can see the best examples of Byzantine religious art in three museums in Istanbul. One of them is Hagia Sophia, the other two are Kariye Museum (Chora Church) and Fethiye Museum (Pammakaristos Church).
Fast Track Entry for Ayasofya Museum
The 7-month period from April to November is Istanbul’s high tourism season. During this time, there are long ticket lines in front of museums such as Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia.
For this reason, I recommend that you buy a Hagia Sophia ticket in advance. Fast track ticket is a bit more expensive than the standard ticket of Hagia Sophia. On the other hand, you can avoid waiting for a long time at the ticket office.
Those who have fast track Hagia Sophia tickets meet with their guides at the gate and enter with the group. Thus, you can listen to the history of the Hagia Sophia from a professional tour guide. You can use this link to get a guided tour ticket to Hagia Sophia. You can cancel the ticket with a full refund up to 24 hours in advance.
Ticket Queue in front of the Museum in High Season
Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee 2020
Hagia Sophia entrance fee is 72 Turkish Liras. Children under the age of 8 can enter for free. Istanbul Museum Pass is valid for Hagia Sophia Museum. Please note that passport is needed for the children’s free entry ticket.
In order to gain a deeper knowledge about Hagia Sophia, you may hire a private tour guide. Hagia Sophia’s history is associated with emperors, patriarchs and riots. If you are looking for somebody to tell you about the stories of this place, you are advised to check Hagia Sophia Tour Guide website to find a licensed guide.
Hagia Sophia ticket price was last updated on 15 July 2019. There has been no change since. (as of 10th of January, 2020) Adjacent to Hagia Sophia, the Tombs of the Sultans offer good examples of Ottoman art and the visit is free.
Hagia Sophia and the Tombs
Hagia Sophia Opening Hours 2020
Hagia Sophia is open to visit from 09:00 to 19:00 in the summer season. High season starts with the 1st of April and lasts until 31st of October.
Hagia Sophia is open to visit from 09:00 to 18:00 in the winter season. Low season starts with the 1st of November and lasts until 31st of March.
Please also note that Hagia Sophia ticket offices are closed 60 minutes prior to closing time. Last entry time is 18:00 in the summer season and 17:00 in the winter season.
The above-mentioned times have been updated on December 30, 2019, according to the latest information the Hagia Sophia Museum shared with the Istanbul Tourist Guides Association.
Visiting Information on Hagia Sophia Museum
Closed Days of the Museum for 2020
In recent years, the opening and closing times of Hagia Sophia has changed several times. Therefore, many travel guides about Istanbul say that Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays. But this is not exactly true. Because Hagia Sophia is open every day during the summer season. In the winter season it is closed on Mondays.
Hagia Sophia is Open Everyday
Between 1st Of April and 31st of October during the summer season.
Hagia Sophia is Closed On Monday
From 1st of November to 1st of April. During the winter season.
Closing Days (Special Occassions)
The Hagia Sophia Museum is closed on the first day of the Ramazan Bayramı (Ramadan Feast) and Kurban Bayramı (Feast of Sacrifice or Eid al-Adha)
Buy Hagia Sophia Tickets Online
There are long lines to enter the Hagia Sophia Museum. You may browse Skip The Line Hagia Sophia Tickets from here which is really reasonable! Easy cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance.
How to Buy Museum Pass Istanbul in Hagia Sophia?
You can also buy Museum Pass Istanbul from the ticket office at the entrance of Hagia Sophia. The price of Museum Pass is 220 Turkish Lira. Of course, the Museum Card is three times more expensive than the Hagia Sophia ticket price.
However, in addition to the Hagia Sophia, the Museum Pass is also valid in other museums in Sultanahmet, such as the Topkapi Palace and its Harem Rooms, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, and the Great Palace Mosaic Museum.
You can find a list of all museums in which Museum Card is valid in Istanbul, in the Istanbul Museum Pass blog post. The Museum Pass is also valid in the Kariye Museum and Fethiye Museum, which I mentioned as Byzantine Sites in Istanbul at the beginning of the article.
View of the Hagia Sophia from a Hotel Terrace
History of Hagia Sophia
If you would like to learn more about the history of Hagia Sophia, I suggest you the link below. The article introduces the interior of the Hagia Sophia with various photographs and practical information. You may find the Hagia Sophia History here.
Upper Galleries of Hagia Sophia
Mosaics Of Hagia Sophia
The oldest mosaic in Hagia Sophia dates back to the 800s. Although Hagia Sophia was built in the 500s, there are no mosaics from those days. The reason for this is the Byzantine Iconoclasm. To learn about the priceless religious mosaic art of Hagia Sophia, I recommend the following article. You may find the Hagia Sophia Mosaics here.
Byzantine Mosaics in Hagia Sophia
Architecture of Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia was a structure that brought great innovation to the history of architecture. To place a giant dome on the Roman Arches was an issue that Roman architects tried and failed repeatedly.
This goal was finally achieved during the Eastern Roman Empire (which we call “Byzantine” in modern history), the continuation of Rome. In the following article you can read the story of this architectural adventure with visuals. You may find the Hagia Sophia Architecture here.
Architectural Wonder Of The Ancient World