Discover the Whirling Dervish Ritual Next to Hagia Sophia

Experience the captivating Whirling Dervish ceremony in Istanbul, held next to the iconic Hagia Sophia. This mystical Sufi ritual offers a unique blend of spirituality and history, providing an intimate glimpse into the profound traditions of the Mevlevi Order. Set in a historic venue, this one-hour performance immerses you in the enchanting world of Sufi mysticism.

Why Attend the Whirling Dervish Ceremony Next to Hagia Sophia?

  • Authentic Sufi Ritual: Witness the traditional Sema ceremony, a UNESCO-listed cultural heritage, performed by the Whirling Dervishes in an authentic setting.
  • Historic Location: Experience the ceremony in a venue near the Hagia Sophia, adding a historic and sacred atmosphere to the event.
  • Cultural Insight: Learn about Sufi traditions and philosophies through informative displays and presentations.
  • Engaging Performance: Enjoy the mesmerizing music and dance as the dervishes perform their meditative whirling in harmony with traditional instruments.
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What’s Included

  • Venue Entry: Admission to the Whirling Dervish ceremony near Hagia Sophia.
  • Informative Displays: Access to exhibitions providing background information on the Mevlevi Order and the Sema ceremony.
  • Cultural Experience: An hour-long immersive performance featuring traditional music, chanting, and the whirling dance.
  • Free Local Drinks: Complimentary local traditional drinks (tea or sherbet) during the show.

Detailed Program

  1. Arrival: Begin by going to the salon, a traditional and beautiful wooden house in Istanbul.
  2. Introduction to Sufi Music: Listen as the ceremony begins with instrumental music provided by traditional instruments like strings, drums, and flutes. Start to feel accustomed to the sounds and styles of Sufi music.
  3. Transcendental Prayers: Witness the transcendental prayers of the dervishes and immerse yourself in centuries of Sufi tradition.
  4. Whirling Dervishes: Watch as the prayers start and the whirling dervishes arrive in serenity. In accordance with the rhythm, see their motions accelerate to demonstrate the harmony of all things in the universe.
  5. Cultural Tasting: As part of your experience, enjoy a local tea or sherbet drink.

Important Information

Not Allowed

  • Video recording
  • Making noise
  • Audio recording
Know Before You Go
  • Applause is not permitted.
  • Visit the restroom before or after the ceremony.


Show Times

Every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays: The show starts at 18:30.


Ticket Options

Adult Ticket (15-99): €22 per person
Child Ticket (0-12): €19 per child
No age restrictions

Optimal Times to Attend

The Whirling Dervishes show runs year-round and is not weather-dependent, making it perfect for any visit to Istanbul.

Key Informations about Whirling Dervish Show near of Hagia Sophia

Meeting Point: Meet your host next to the entrance of the famous Basilica Cistern. The reception desk is at the gate of the giant white wooden house. The gate opens 30 minutes before the ceremony starts.

Address: Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. No:2, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

  • By Tram: Take tram T1 to Sultanahmet Tram Station, a short walk from the venue.
  • By Metro: Take the M2 line to Vezneciler Metro Station, then walk to the venue.
  • By Bus: Various bus lines stop near Sultanahmet, followed by a short walk to the venue.
  • Comfortable Seating: Ample seating for a comfortable experience.
  • Restrooms: Convenient restrooms.
  • Exhibition Area: Displays about the Mevlevi Order and Sufi tradition.
  • Wheelchair Accessible: The venue is accessible for wheelchair users.
  • Arrive Early: Arrive 30 minutes early to explore the exhibitions and secure good seats.
  • First Come, First Served: Seating is allocated on a first-booked, first-served basis.
  • Late Arrivals: Latecomers can enter within the first 10 minutes. Arrivals after 15 minutes are considered no-shows with no refund.

FAQs about the Whirling Dervishes Show Near Hagia Sophia

Entry to the ceremony near Hagia Sophia, access to exhibitions, and the Whirling Dervishes performance.

Yes, there are no age restrictions. Children can attend with a ticket.

Yes, the venue is wheelchair accessible.

Video and audio recording are not allowed, but you can take photos.

The show takes place every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays at 18:30.

It’s located near the historic Hagia Sophia, providing an authentic and sacred atmosphere.

There is no specific dress code.

The show lasts for about 1 hour.

Take tram T1 to Sultanahmet, metro M2 to Vezneciler, or various buses to Sultanahmet, followed by a short walk.

Yes, contact the venue for special arrangements.

Free local traditional drinks (tea or sherbet) are provided during the show.

The whirling represents the spiritual journey of ascending through the mind and love to the perfect. It is a means of conveying God’s spiritual gift to humanity.

The drum symbolizes God’s command to create.

Meet your host next to the entrance of the famous Basilica Cistern. The reception desk is at the gate of the giant white wooden house. The gate opens 30 minutes before the ceremony starts.

Video recording, making noise, and audio recording are not allowed.

Applause is not permitted, and it’s recommended to visit the restroom before or after the ceremony.