Everything You Need to Know about Hagia Sophia Tickets

Hagia Sophia, which is also known as the Ayasofya Church of Holy Wisdom, is one of the best surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.

Initially built as a Christian Basilica, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has 1,500 years of rich history with four notable conversions from a Church to a Mosque.

Its transformation from a Church to a Mosque, then a Museum, and now a Mosque again represents a powerful symbol of religious harmony.

Around 14 million people visit the Hagia Sophia Mosque annually, making it the most popular attraction in Turkey.


Opening Hours:   9 am to 10 pm, Everyday

Closed: Closed to non-worshippers during Friday prayer hours

Time Needed:  One to two hours

Best Time to visit: Early morning

Where to buy Hagia Sophia tickets

You can buy Hagia Sophia tickets online or at the ticket office at the attraction.

Buying online tickets for Hagia Sophia has several benefits you won’t get at the offline ticket counter. 

  • Tickets at the venue usually cost more than online Hagia Sophia tickets.
  • When you buy your Hagia Sophia admission ticket online, you skip the long waiting lines at the entrance.
  • Early booking helps you avoid last-minute disappointment, especially during peak season.

How Hagia Sophia online tickets work

On the ticket booking page, choose your desired time and date and make the purchase.

Once you make the payment, the Hagia Sophia Mosque tickets get delivered to your email address.

No need to take printouts. Just show your Hagia Sophia e-ticket on your smartphone on the day of your visit. 

Note: It is recommended to visit Hagia Sophia early or after the noon prayer, or you must wait for at least an hour, as the site is temporarily closed to non-worshipers during these times.

Hagia Sophia Istanbul ticket Prices 

Hagia Sophia entry ticket costs $15 for all visitors above eight years. Children between three and seven pay a discounted fee of $8.

Infants up to two enjoy free entry.

Top 3 Hagia Sophia Tickets In 2023

Types of Hagia Sophia tickets

There are five ways to explore the Hagia Sophia Museum – opt for the guided tour led by a local expert, get an entry ticket with an audio tour, buy Istanbul full-day highlight tour (with access to the Mosque), or book a private tour

If you are an explorer and want to know more about Istanbul and its culture, buy combo tours.

You can choose from Blue Mosque small group tour, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace + Basilica Cistern or Suleymaniye + Blue Mosque.

Hagia Sophia Guided Tour Ticket

Hagia Sophia Guided Tour Ticket
Image: GetYourGuide.com

A guided tour of Hagia Sophia is the cheapest and most popular tourist ticket.

If you are on a budget trip, this is the best ticket to save money and ans can use for other experiences

Along with the admission, you also get a local guide who will share the important aspects of the attraction with in-depth knowledge.

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (8+ years):  ₺242 ($15)

Child ticket (3 to 7 years): ₺439 ($8)

Infant (up to 2 years): Free entry

Hagia Sophia Self-guided Audio tour

Hagia Sophia Self-guided Audio tour
Image: GetYourGuide.com

The self-guided audio tour of Hagia Sophia is convenient, informative and immersive way to explore this iconic landmark.

With this tour, you can explore the mosque at your own pace and spend as much time as you want.

The audio guide will provide you with its architecture, history, religious significance and facts.  

Ticket Prices

Regular ticket: ₺138 ($5)

Istanbul Tourists Pass 

istanbul pass
Image: GetYourGuide.com

Istanbul Tourist Pass is a convenient and affordable way to explore Istanbul.

Access over 100 attractions, tours and activities, and discounts on transportation and other services.

With this tourist pass, skip the lines at many of Istanbul’s famous attractions like Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Sea Life Aquarium, Museums and many more.

Istanbul’s tourist pass is available for  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, or 10 days, so you can choose the best option.

Pick-up and drop-off service and  Sapanca Lake and Bursa tours are also included in the pass.

Pass Price

1-Day Tourist Pass

Adult ticket (12+ years): ₺2722 ($95)
Child ticket (5 to 11 years): ₺1815 ($63)
Infant (up to 4 years): Free Entry

3 Day Tourist Pass

Adult ticket (12+ years): ₺3932 ($137)
Child ticket (5 to 11 years): ₺2722 ($95)
Infant (up to 4 years): Free Entry

4 Day Tourist Pass

Adult ticket (12+ years): ₺4234 ($148)
Child ticket (5 to 11 years): ₺2873 ($100)
Infant (up to 4 years): Free Entry

5 Day Tourist Pass

Adult ticket (12+ years): ₺4536 ($158)
Child ticket (5 to 11 years): ₺3176 ($110)
Infant (up to 4 years): Free Entry

7-Day Tourist Pass

Adult ticket (12+ years): ₺5141 ($179)
Child ticket (5 to 11 years): ₺3478 ($121)
Infant (up to 4 years): Free Entry

10 Day Tourist Pass

Adult ticket (12+ years): ₺6018 ($209)
Child ticket (5 to 11 years): ₺4083 ($142)
Infant (up to 4 years): Free Entry

Istanbul Full-Day Highlight Tour

Istanbul Full-Day Highlight Tour
Image: GetYourGuide.com

Explore the fascinating essence of Istanbul on a one-day city highlight tour that showcases the city’s architectural marvels and cultural treasures.

This tour begins at 8:15 am with a first stop at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the social and sports center of the old city.

Explore the significant artworks, including the Serpentine Column from Delphi, the Obelisk from Egypt and the fountain of Willhelm II. 

Next, visit the Blue Mosque adorning Istanbul’s skyline with its six minarets and graceful domes, continuing to Topkapi Palace, the oldest surviving palace.

Then, visit Hagia Sophia, Istanbul’s most visited attraction and admire its dome and mosaics as your guide narrates its turbulent history.

Lastly, the Grand Bazaar has over 3,000 shops selling everything from jewelry and carpets to ceramics, leather goods, and much more.

Tour Prices

Group Tour Private Tour
Adult ticket (8+ years): ₺1703 ($59)
Child ticket (Up to 7 years): ₺843 ($29)
Adult ticket (8+ years): ₺8284 ($289)

Istanbul Private Tour with Hotel Transfer

Istanbul Private Tour with Hotel Transfer
Image: GetYourGuide.com

A private tour of Istanbul is the best way to explore the city and its top attractions.

Private tours can offer a more intimate and personalized experience who want to delve deeper into Istanbul’s history and architecture. 

An expert guide will accompany you throughout the tour and will provide in-depth information and some untold facts.

You can choose between a 1-day tour or a 2-day tour.

One day tour includes:

  • Morning: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque
  • Afternoon: Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace
  • Evening: Grand Bazaar

Two-day tour includes:

  • Morning: Spice Bazaar, Bosphorus cruise
  • Afternoon: Dolmabahce Palace, Istiklal Street
  • Evening: Taksim Square

Choose from a driving tour or a walking tour. 

Tour Prices

1-day tour2-day tour1-day tour with Vehicle2-day tour with Vehicle
Adult ticket (16 to 99 years): ₺4506 ($157)Adult ticket (16 to 99 years): ₺9043 ($314)Adult ticket (16 to 99 years): ₺9043  ($314)Adult ticket (16 to 99 years): ₺18116 ($629)
Youth ticket (7 to 15 years): ₺4204 ($146)Youth ticket (7 to 15 years): ₺8740 ($304)Youth ticket (7 to 15 years): ₺8740 ($304)Youth ticket (7 to 15 years): ₺17813 ($619)
Child ticket (3 to 6 years): ₺756 ($26)Child ticket (3 to 6 years): ₺1512 ($53)Child ticket (3 to 6 years): ₺1210 ($42)Child ticket (3 to 6 years): ₺2419 ($84)
Infant (up to 2 years): ₺151 ($5)Infant (up to 2 years): ₺302 ($11)Infant (up to 2 years): ₺302 ($11)
Infant (up to 2 years): ₺605 ($21)

Hagia Sophia Combo tours 

 Hagia Sophia combo tours are popular among tourists for three reasons:

  • Since Hagia Sophia is the city’s most famous attraction and is sitting conveniently at Sultanahmet Square, the center of tourist attractions.
  • These combo tours cover most of these attractions in one ticket, and you can choose the best one per your preference.
  • Combo tour tickets save up to 20% compared to individual tickets.
  • Since visitors can explore the Hagia Sophia in 45 to 60 minutes, they often seek to add another attraction or activity to their itinerary.

Here are five of our recommended combo tours:

Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia Tour

hagia sophia and blue mosque
Image: Dailysabah.com, Facebook.com(hagiasophiaistambull)

The three-hour tour takes you to the two most popular Mosques in Istanbul at one price.

You’ll see beautiful mosaics, the famous blue tiles, and the Hippodrome and witness local life with a local guide fluent in English and German.

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (9+ years): ₺1029 ($37) 

Child ticket (3 to 8 years): ₺877 ($31)

Infant (up to 2 years): Free entry

Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace tickets

Topkapi Palace and hagia sophia
Image: zevana from Изображения пользователя Ekaterina Kolesnik, Andrey Khrobostov

Skip the lines and get access through a separate entrance to Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace like a VIP.

Seamlessly experience Istanbul’s historical gems with a knowledgeable guide offering flexible options to explore in one day or over three days. 

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (7+ years): ₺1388 ($49)

Child ticket (Up to 6 years): Free Entry

Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern tickets

This combo tour saves you money and time by bypassing long lines with a  local guide who will explain the historical significance of these sites.

This tour gives you two options:

  1. You can explore all the attractions within a day within 5 hours, starting at 10 am, with a tour guide.
  1. Or you can spread the tours across 3 days, relishing the freedom to explore the sites at their own pace and convenience.

Don’t worry if you don’t know English. With the help of the audio guide app, unravel the history and culture in seven languages. 

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (7+ years): ₺2359 ($82)

Child ticket (Up to 6 years): Free Entry

Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia tickets

Visit the city’s most iconic landmarks: Hagia Sophia and the 1,500-year-old Basilica Cistern, famous for its Medusa heads and many Hollywood blockbusters.

Skip the lines with the guide, who will provide a rich historical context to every corner you turn.

Depending on your preference, you can complete the tour in a single day or spread it over two days.

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (7+ years): ₺1059 ($37)

Child ticket (Up to years): Free entry

Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye & Blue Mosque Tour

This tour will start at 9 am with a guided visit to Hagia Sophia, also known as Ayasofya.

After that, soak in the Blue Mosque’s vibrant atmosphere, named after its stunning interior and the geometric patterns lined with over 20,000 handmade Iznik tiles.

Then, admire the Suleymaniye Mosque’s grandeur on the Third Hill of Istanbul.

Discover the rich heritage of these historical sites while savoring local drinks at a historical madrasah, adding a unique twist to your experience.

This tour is also available in private and night tours. 

Ticket Prices

Small group tour Night tour Private tour
Adult ticket (Up to 99 years):  ₺734 ($32)Adult ticket (Up to 99 years):  ₺1077 ($39)Adult ticket (Up to 99 years):  ₺5274 ($97)

How long does it take to visit Hagia Sophia 

Typically, a visit to Hagia Sophia takes 30 to 45 minutes. 

However, a guided tour of Hagia Sophia will take only an hour. Additionally, you can explore the Mosque for as long as you want.

Just make sure to plan your visit to Hagia Sophia during the non-worship hours since the mosque remains closed to non-worshippers during prayer times at the mosque. 

Inside Hagia Sophia 

Apocalyptic Date

Another belief associated with Hagia Sophia involves inscribing the date when the apocalypse will occur on one of its columns.
As you enter through the southern door of the building, you’ll notice a date inscribed on the third column.
It indicates the predicted moment when the apocalypse, as foretold by Hızır, will take place.
The column states, “Yevm-i Pazar on eighteen, 1038 a year.”

Apocalyptic Date

Mosaic Ornaments

Byzantine artisans primarily created the beautiful mosaics that embellished Hagia Sophia’s interior from the 10th to 12th centuries. 
These masterpieces are crafted from materials such as gold, silver, glass, terracotta and colored stones portraying the Virgin Mary, Jesus, monarchs, saints, and others. 
These ornate tiles contribute to the museum’s royal ambiance.

Mosaic Ornaments

The Wish Column

The Wish Column, also “sweating column,”  “weeping column,” or “wishing column,” is placed in the northwest corner of the mosque. 
It features a central aperture and is decorated with bronze plates. 
Some assert that it has exuded moisture since the appearance of Gregory the Wonderworker in 1200, while others attribute the dampness to a tear from Mary. 
The moisture is assumed to have healing properties and has been credited with curing various illnesses when touched.

the wishing column

Devil’s Prison

In Hagia Sophia, there is a tale of the Devil’s imprisonment. 
It is said that when Sultan Mehmet appointed Aksemsettin to oversee the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, the devil vehemently opposed the transformation. 
He stirred up discord among the workers, leading Aksemsettin to kneel and pray to God. 
In response to his plea, God approved, and within the walls of Hagia Sophia, the demon was bound to a marble stone.

Devils prison

Talisman Gates

Hagia Sophia boasts a total of 361 gates, with 101 of them being notably larger than others and recognized as talismans. 
Remarkably, whenever you count these doors, there is consistently one extra door.

Talisman Gates(1)

VI. Leon Mosaic

Hagia Sophia boasts a total of 361 gates, with 101 of them being notably larger than others and recognized as talismans. 
Remarkably, whenever you count these doors, there is consistently one extra door.

VI. Leon Mosaic

Sacred Relics of Jesus

It is said that the sacred relics of Jesus are preserved in a hidden chamber.
These relics were transported from Jerusalem and secretly concealed in Hagia Sophia. 
People believe Jesus will reemerge as a wonder in Istanbul 40 thousand years from now and make his first appearance.

Sacred Relics of Jesus

Emperor’s Gate

Dating back to the sixth century, the Emperor’s Gate is believed to have been built using timber from Noah’s Ark. 
The largest door, measuring 7 meters in height, is made of oak with bronze frames. 
This monumental entrance connects the inner narthex area to the central space and was exclusively reserved for the Emperor’s use.

Emperor gate

Explorers passionate about history and culture should visit Hagia Sophia.


How to skip the lines at Hagia Sophia?

The best time to go to Hagia Sophia is in the evening, before closing.

During the high season (autumn and spring, with the peak in May), we’d suggest coming about 1.5 hours before closing. 

During the low season (November-March, June-July), there is hardly any queue 2-3 hours before closing time.

For more information, check out Opening hours.

Do you need tickets for Hagia Sophia?

Yes, tickets are required to enter Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. 

Visitors must purchase tickets online or at the ticket office to access this iconic historic site and explore its architectural wonders and cultural significance.

Where was the Hagia Sophia built?

In 532 AD, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I built Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, present-day Istanbul, Turkey.

It is in the Sultanahmet neighborhood, historically known as the heart of the Byzantine Empire.

It draws millions of tourists with its historic landmarks like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, and the Hippodrome, along with shops and dining options.

Is Hagia Sophia the Blue Mosque?

Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) are different landmarks in Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia is a historical museum with a grand dome, while the Blue Mosque is a nearby mosque known for its blue tiles.

Blue Mosque is adjacent to Hagia Sophia, within walking distance of 2 minutes Hagia Sophia combo tickets let you explore the magnificent monument and other famous landmarks.

Featured Image: Miltiadis Fragkidis on Unsplash

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