Guided tour

Hagia Sophia: Guided History Tour

4.4 / 5

12 reviews

Hagia Sophia: Guided History Tour

From $17.60 per person

Discover the legendary Hagia Sophia in a time-efficient way. Get a real sense of the building's history and architecture from a local specialist. Finally, enjoy the monumental building at your own pace.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 1 hour
Check availability to see starting times.
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English
Small group
Limited to 8 participants

Experience

Highlights
  • Enjoy a detailed explanation from a specialist about the building's history
  • See all the mosaics, galleries, and details available inside
  • Learn about the history of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires
Full description
Enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful building, which was once a church, then a mosque, and now a museum. Meet your local local tour guide and take a detailed look at the architecture, events, characters, and decoration from the past and today that tell the story of the Hagia Sophia. During the tour, you will learn about the history in the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Then take a look at the construction of the building and the Imperial dome, the traces of the centuries on the building's striking details. The tour ends on the first floor and you can discover the mosaics and masterpieces in the upper galleries at your own pace.
Includes
  • Entry ticket to Hagia Sophia Museum
  • Local tour guide
  • Tips
Covid-19 precautions

You must book this activity online because the ticket office is closed

Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You must bring your own headphones
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Meet your Istanbul Welcome Card guide (dressed in red), at the Hürrem Sultan Hamam. It is located below the trees, next to the newspaper kiosk, and across from the Hagia Sophia.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Not allowed

  • Pets

Know before you go

  • The security check-point cannot be skipped
  • Waiting at the security check point will take between 30 seconds and 15 minutes, and depends on the visitor volume
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 /5

based on 12 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    5/5
  • Value for money
    4.3/5
  • Service
    4.3/5
  • Organization
    4.6/5

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A guided tour definitely enhances your experience.

Our guide, Adil, was knowledgeable, courteous and experienced. I definitely recommend hiring a guide if you've never previously visited. Also reduces wait time for admission, especially during holy dates. The guide handed us a paper ticket for admission when we arrived. The guide communicated effectively via text before our appointment. You will be free to walk about Hagia Sophia after your your ends. There are restroom and concessions outside of the Hagia Sophia. There are opportunities to purchase souvenirs inside and outside the building. Prices are reasonable. Excellent experience. Excellent dollar value.

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April 22, 2019

Highly recommended

The only disappointment from our guided tour with Adil was when it ended!! Adil did a wonderful job of providing historical events and knowledge in a interesting and "digestable" manner. Not one minute of the tour did we feel bored or overloaded with useless information, nor did we feel that did not get "our money's worth". I found Adil knowledable and able to reply to questions that we were asking him; and when he did not know something far fetched we asked, he did apologize and say "I am not aware" which I appreciated. Finally, as a Greek Christian, I would like to state that I found Adil's comments and descriptions of events objective and historically sound.

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February 18, 2019

Very informative and enjoyable

Adil was an enjoyable and knowledgeable guide for a one-hour tour of the Hagia Sophia. He was full of facts presented in a useful narrative that combined both the Byzantine and Ottoman history of the building. He clearly has a love of sharing knowledge and we enjoyed the tour. He was about five minutes late due to meet us (thus the four stars rather than five) due to a late-running previous tour but well prepared to get us quickly through the entrance queue without waiting. Enjoyed chance to wander alone throughout the building after our tour. Would recommend.

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December 16, 2018

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Product ID: 192956