Visit the Blue Mosque in Istanbul: Stunning Design and Craftsmanship

Step into the Beautiful Blue Mosque

Step into the beautiful Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, a prime example of Ottoman design from the early 17th century. Famous for its striking blue tiles that cover the interior, this mosque is a must-see in Istanbul. The tiles, with their beautiful patterns and artistic writing, add to the overall beauty of the mosque.

What sets the Blue Mosque apart are its six minarets, which is unusual for mosques in Istanbul. The inside of the mosque is just as impressive, with colorful stained glass windows, large chandeliers, and a huge central dome that draws your eye. The Blue Mosque is not only a place for prayer but also welcomes thousands of visitors every day.

Come and see this wonderful piece of architecture and get a taste of history and culture at one of Istanbul’s top attractions.

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Top Tips for Your Blue Mosque Visit in Istanbul

Entry and Guided Tours

Entry to the Blue Mosque is free. Remember, it’s a working mosque, so it closes to tourists during prayer times. To avoid long waits, try to visit when prayers are not happening.

While there’s no cost to get in, we suggest taking a guided tour. A guide can tell you all about the mosque’s history and the important details that make it special. This way, you’ll learn more about why the Blue Mosque is so famous.

Location and Combo Tickets

The mosque is located in Sultanahmet Square, right in the center of Istanbul’s most famous historical sites. To see more places like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern without much hassle, buy a combo ticket.

There are no tickets needed for the Blue Mosque, but all visitors go through a security check. Depending on the time of year, you might wait from 30 minutes to an hour to get in.

If you’re coming in the busy season, from May to mid-September, book your tour tickets early to make sure you get a spot.

Dress Code and Accessibility

Dress appropriately for a place of worship. Men and women should cover their shoulders and knees, and women need to cover their hair with a scarf.

Most of the mosque is accessible if you use a wheelchair, but some parts might be hard to reach because it’s an old building.

Find the Perfect Blue Mosque Tour for You

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Budget-Friendly Option

Duration: 1 hour

Guide: Expert English-speaking guide

Join a guided tour of the Blue Mosque led by an expert who speaks English. You’ll learn about the mosque’s rich history and see its beautiful design. Your guide will point out special features and tell interesting stories about this famous place. If you love history, you can also visit Hagia Sophia or the Basilica Cistern with an upgraded ticket.

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For History Lovers

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

Guide: English-speaking guide

Dive into Istanbul’s history with a tour that includes the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace. You’ll visit these important sites with a guide who knows all the historical details, making it a great choice for those who enjoy learning about the past.

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Explore More of Istanbul

Duration: Several days

Guide: English-speaking guides and audio guides

See all of Istanbul’s main attractions with a ticket that lasts for three days. This tour includes the Blue Mosque and lets you explore at your own speed. Plus, enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus to see the beauty of Istanbul from the water.

Highlights of Your Tour at the Sultanahmet Mosque


The Royal Kiosk

Found in the southeast corner of the mosque, the Royal Kiosk includes a platform, a small outdoor area, and two quiet rooms. It has a special prayer niche decorated with a jade rose and gold, adding a touch of elegance.


Stained Glass Windows

The upper parts of the mosque have beautiful stained glass windows, said to be gifts from Venice. Look out for ostrich eggs on the chandeliers too; they’re meant to keep spiders away!


The Great Tablets

Large tablets around the mosque are engraved with verses from the Quran and names of religious leaders. These were made by a famous calligrapher from the 17th century, Seyyid Kasim Gubari.


The Minarets

The Blue Mosque is known for its six tall, thin towers called minarets. Four of these can be seen from the corners of the mosque, each decorated with special design features called 'Erefe'.

Istanbul Blue Mosque Celling

The Ceiling

The ceiling of the Blue Mosque is famous for its beautiful blue tiles. There are over 20,000 tiles, making it a stunning sight.

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The Forecourt

The entrance area of the mosque has arches all around and small domes at the corners. It looks similar to another famous mosque, the Suleymaniye Mosque.


The Courtyard

The large courtyard outside the main prayer area has a pretty fountain where people clean themselves before praying. This area is known as 'Avlu'.


The Mihrab and the Minbar

The mihrab is a niche in the wall that shows the direction to Mecca, and the minbar is a raised platform where the Imam speaks from. Both are beautifully decorated.


The Sahn

The outer courtyard of the mosque is surrounded by covered walkways. It’s a good spot to admire the detailed tilework and decorations on the outside walls.

Plan Your Visit to the Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque is located in the Fatih district of Istanbul next to the Hagia Sophia Mosque and the Basilica Cistern

Address: Binbirdirek, At Meydani Cd No:10, 34122 Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

 • Buses: 38B, 77A, BN1

  Closest Bus Stop: Akbiyik- Eminonu (Sahil) Yonu

 • Train: Marmaray (from Atakoy to Pendik and from Halkali to Gebze)

  Closest Train Station: Sirkeci

 • Metro: Line M2

Closest Metro Station: Sirkeci

 • Tram: Line T1

  Closest Tram Station: Cemberlitas

 • Driving: From Istanbul Airport: It’s about 51.3 km and takes around 47 minutes.

  Closest Parking: Sultanahmet Selim Parking, Ispark, Square Parking

  • Dress Appropriately: When visiting the Blue Mosque, a place of worship, it’s important to dress respectfully. Both men and women should wear clothes that cover their shoulders. Women need to wear a scarf over their heads.

  • Shoe Removal: You must take off your shoes before entering the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. There are specific spots where you can leave your shoes, and they give out plastic bags so you can carry them with you.

  • Keep Quiet: The Blue Mosque is still used for prayers, so please be quiet. Avoid loud talking, using your phone, or running around. This helps keep the place peaceful for everyone.

  • Taking Photos: You can take pictures with your phone or camera but don’t use the flash. Also, avoid using big camera equipment like tripods. Please respect people’s privacy and do not take photos of anyone praying.

  • Respect the Space: Don’t eat, drink, or smoke inside the mosque. Also, please don’t touch the walls, columns, or any of the historical items inside. This helps keep everything clean and undamaged.

Opening Times: Daily operations from 09:00 to 18:00.

The mosque closes for tourists during prayer times. Make sure to check the prayer schedule to avoid any interruptions during your visit.

Suggested Duration: 1 hour

Optimal Visit Times: Early morning .

Best Time to Go: Morning, between 9:30  and 11:00.

Best Months to Visit: From November to Marc

Where to Enter

Main Entrance: For people who come to pray, facing the Hippodrome. Sometimes, they let visitors with mobility issues enter here.

Hagia Sophia Entrance: Easy to get to and just 2 minutes walking from Sultanahmet, facing Hagia Sophia.

Southern Entrance: Open to everyone but closed during prayer times.

Optimal Visit Times: Early morning

Off-season Months: The months from November to March offer a quieter experience as the tourist crowds are thinner.

Tips while visiting:

  • Photography: Personal photography is allowed, but avoid photographing worshippers. Tripods and professional gear are prohibited.
  • Tours: A guided tour is highly recommended for a deeper understanding of its rich history and hidden aspects.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting the Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is a famous old building in Istanbul. It was built in the 17th century and is special because it has six towers, called minarets. Inside, it’s decorated with over 20,000 beautiful blue tiles.

The Blue Mosque is a key attraction in Istanbul because of its rich history linked to the Ottoman Empire and its importance to the city. Many people visit not just to see its beautiful design but also to join in the daily prayers that still happen there. This makes the mosque a special place both for tourists and for those who come to worship.

The best way to see the Blue Mosque is by taking a guided tour. You can book these tours online, where you might find cheaper prices and special deals.

You should buy your tickets online. This helps you avoid visiting times that clash with the mosque’s prayer times when it’s closed to tourists.

Tickets for a guided tour start at €12.50. Entry to the mosque itself is free, but a tour can give you a better understanding of its history and details

You can choose a basic guided tour or a combo ticket. Combo tickets let you visit other famous places nearby like Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace too.

Keep an eye out for its six minarets and the many domes. Inside, the mosque has a big courtyard and a main hall supported by huge columns. There are also lots of intricate decorations on the walls.

You need to dress modestly. Cover your shoulders and knees. Women need to cover their hair too, but you can get a scarf at the entrance.

It’s right next to another famous building, Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul. The full address is Binbirdirek, At Meydani Cd No:10, 34122 Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

It’s open every day from 8:30 to 18:30, but it closes for prayers sometimes.

You can take a bus (routes 38B, 77A, BN1) or the train or metro to Sirkeci Station and walk from there. It’s not far.

The mosque is set up for visitors with wheelchairs, with ramps and elevators available. Some parts might be a bit hard to get to because of the old design.

Yes, there are ramps and elevators for wheelchair users, especially near the Hippodrome and the Obelisks.

Yes, you can take photos, but remember to be respectful. Don’t use big cameras like tripods or flash that might bother other people.

Yes, it’s a good idea because the mosque gets lots of visitors, especially in busy times.

About 1 to 2 hours should be enough to see everything. If you join a guided tour, it usually takes about 2 hours.

Yes, definitely! It’s a beautiful place with lots of history and stunning architecture. It’s a must-see if you like old buildings and learning about different cultures.