Guided tour

Hagia Sophia: Guided History Tour

3.9 / 5

37 reviews

Activity provider: Istanbul Welcome Card

Hagia Sophia: Guided History Tour

Activity provider: Istanbul Welcome Card

From US$ 16.30 per person

Discover the legendary Hagia Sophia in an 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 for a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 1 hour
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Audio guide included


  • 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.
  • Entry to the Hagia Sophia
  • Local tour guide
  • Tips

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meet your Istanbul Welcome Card guide (with red flag), 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

Know before you go

  • You cannot skip the security check. The security line can take up to 60 minutes in high season
  • Women are required to cover their knees, shoulders, and chest. Hair should be partially covered with a scarf. Men are required to cover their knees and shoulders. If you do not have a scarf or body cover, you can buy them at the entrance (a scarf is 1€ and a body cover is 3€)
Customer reviews

Overall rating

3.9 /5

based on 37 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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The interior is stunning. However, a lot of it is cordoned off so we couldn;t really look around the whole building. The building is no longer a museum: it's now used as a mosque so a lot of things in my guide book (a few years old) were out of date. The upstairs gallery was closed for renovations, which meant we couldn't visit. The acoustics are remarkable. That does mean that school parties are quite noisy.

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November 4, 2022

Our guide Halur had a great mix of history and unusual facts and pointed out many details which we would not have noticed or known about ourselves. Nice size group, faster entry into the site and the office helped us on the phone when we couldn’t find the meeting point. Great service and a nice short intro to the mosque with time to explore freely afterwards.

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June 21, 2022

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

Product ID: 192956