About the Blue Mosque

Visit the stunning Blue Mosque in Istanbul, known for its six tall towers and beautiful domes. This famous mosque draws visitors into a peaceful place full of history and impressive Ottoman design.

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Discover the Highlights of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Istanbul Blue Mosque Celling

Central Dome

The central dome of the Blue Mosque is a major highlight, held up by four big pillars. When you look up, you’ll see beautiful designs of flowers and writing that decorate the dome.

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Prayer Hall

As you enter the Blue Mosque, you first walk through a large courtyard. Next comes the prayer hall at the center of the mosque, which has very high ceilings and is famous for its big domes. These domes are typical of old Turkish design.



The minbar is a special platform where the preacher would stand to give talks. It's beautifully made and shows the excellent craftsmanship from the time when the mosque was built.



The mihrab is a beautifully decorated area in the wall that shows the direction to Mecca. It’s covered in detailed designs and writing, making it an important spot in the mosque.


Iznik Tiles

The mosque is famous for its Iznik tiles, which are blue and have lovely patterns of flowers and writing. Take your time to look at these tiles that cover the walls and domes, showing off the art from the time of the Ottoman Empire.


Stained Glass Windows

The Blue Mosque has beautiful stained glass windows. These windows let in colorful light, especially during the early morning or late afternoon, adding to the mosque's beauty and peaceful feeling.

History of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultanahmet Mosque, is a beautiful reminder of the wealthy Ottoman era. It was built by Sultan Ahmed I, who ruled from 1603 to 1617, a time when the Ottoman Empire was very powerful.

1609: Sultan Ahmed I wanted to build a mosque that was as grand as the nearby Hagia Sophia. He chose a place that used to be part of a big palace that had burned down.

1610 to 1612: Many skilled workers were hired to start building the dream mosque of Sultan Ahmed I. They began with the foundations and then built the walls and inside parts.

1613 to 1616: During these years, workers installed the famous blue tiles from Iznik inside the mosque. They also added marble pillars, writing decorations, and colorful glass windows to make the inside look more beautiful.

1616: By this year, the main part of the Blue Mosque and some of its inside were finished. The mosque is known for having six towers called minarets, which was unusual and caused some people to be upset. Normally, only the most important mosque in Mecca had six minarets. To fix this issue, Sultan Ahmed I added a seventh minaret to the mosque in Mecca.

1617: Workers put in more tiles and details inside the Blue Mosque. Soon after, the mosque was opened for people to visit.

Who Built the Blue Mosque?

The Blue Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmed I, who wanted to build something as impressive as the nearby Hagia Sophia. The architect responsible for this was Sedefkar Mehmed Agha, a student of the famous architect Mimar Sinan.

Mehmed Agha designed the mosque using ideas from traditional Ottoman architecture, influenced by his teacher’s work. The mosque is known for its large size, detailed designs, and beautiful blue tiles, making it a standout example of Ottoman building style. Inside, there are beautiful writings from the Quran and other holy texts, crafted by expert artists. The building of the mosque started in 1609 and finished in 1616 during Sultan Ahmed I’s reign.

Architecture of the Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is famous for its beautiful design, which combines traditional Ottoman style with features from older Byzantine buildings. One of the most striking things about the mosque is its six minarets. These tall towers are not only important for calling people to prayer but also give the mosque a very grand look.

Around the mosque, there are curved domes and half-domes that make it look even more splendid. Inside, the mosque is covered with over 20,000 blue tiles, which is why it’s often called the Blue Mosque. These tiles, along with beautiful writing and patterns, make the inside look stunning. The mihrab (a special prayer area) and the minbar (where the preacher stands) are made of fine marble and have beautiful writing on them.

Before you get to the main prayer area, there’s a big courtyard. This space is used for washing before prayers and for people to gather. The mosque also has many windows that let in lots of natural light, making the inside bright and welcoming.

Key Informations for Visitors

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.

Quick Facts

Frequently Asked Questions About the Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, famous for its six towers called minarets and a big central dome, is a standout building in Istanbul. It mixes old Turkish and Byzantine designs

You don’t need tickets to enter the Blue Mosque. If you want a guided tour, you will need to buy a ticket for that.

You don’t need tickets to get into the mosque, but you can book guided tours online to learn more about its history.

The Blue Mosque is located at Binbirdirek, At Meydani Cd No:10, 34122 in Istanbul, Turkey.

It’s open from 8:30 to 18:00 every day. It closes during prayer times and on Friday afternoons for prayers.

The best time to visit the Blue Mosque is between 9:00 and 18:00. Try to avoid the mosque’s prayer times, as it will be closed to visitors who are not there to worship.

It was built by Sultan Ahmed I to show off Turkish architecture and to compete with the Hagia Sophia nearby. It’s famous for its beautiful design and decorations.

The mosque was built between 1609 and 1616, so it’s over 400 years old.

It’s known for its beautiful blue tiles and six minarets. There was a misunderstanding about the number of minarets, so to fix this, the Sultan added another minaret to a mosque in Mecca.

Inside, you can see the famous blue tiles, the large dome, and six minarets. There’s also a beautiful prayer area and a big courtyard.

The main entrance is on the north side facing the Hippodrome. Another entrance is on the west, across from Hagia Sophia, which is easiest for wheelchair access. There’s also a southern entrance.

No, you can’t visit the Blue Mosque at night. It’s open from 8:30 to 18:00. Since it’s a working mosque, it closes during prayer times, which are about an hour before each prayer begins and last until half an hour after.

Yes, you can pray in the Blue Mosque. It’s open every day from 8:30 to 18:00, but on Fridays, it’s closed to visitors in the morning because of the special Friday prayers. If you’re Muslim, you can pray any time by talking to the security staff.