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Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque: Our most recommended tours and activities

Mosques Walking Tour. Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye, Blue Mosque

1. Mosques Walking Tour. Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye, Blue Mosque

Head to the Sultanahmet area where you’ll stroll to the first mosque, Hagia Sophia. Built in the sixth century A.D. by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, this famous mosque was originally an Orthodox Christian cathedral in early day Constantinople (now Istanbul). In its nearly 1,500 years, this iconic landmark has been used as a Catholic church, mosque, and museum. Up next, you’ll head to the magnificent Blue Mosque. The mosque was originally named The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, after Sultan Ahmed I who built it. Back in the early 1600s, mosques were built only by sultans who had achieved success in war. Despite having no colorful achievements to his name and against his counselors’ advice, Sultan Ahmed built this grand edifice that would serve as his most lasting legacy. Today, it is nicknamed the Blue Mosque due to the blue hue coming from the blue tiles outlaid in geometric patterns and floral designs in the mosque. The last stop of the day is Suleymaniye Mosque. Located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, the Suleymaniye was known as the largest mosque in the city for more than 450 years before it was dethroned of its title in 2019. Other than its stunning size, this mosque was also designed by the renowned architect Mimar Sinan, one of the most notable figures in Istanbul’s architectural history. Note: "Blue Mosque will be closed for renovation from January 1st, 2023. Instead, you can visit another iconic Istanbul Mosque: Yeni Cami (the New Mosque)"

Istanbul: 3-Hour Segway Tour

2. Istanbul: 3-Hour Segway Tour

Visit Istanbul's top sights on this Segway tour. Start the tour at Sultanahmet, traveling to Hippodrome Square, which has witnessed gladiator fights, chariot races and many riots. Then head to the Sultanahmet Mosque and admire its unique blue facade. Later, head to the Hagia Sophia, one of the most breathtaking examples of Turkish architecture, before continuing to Gulhane Park, the oldest and largest urban park in Istanbul, where you will stop for a break. Continue your tour through Constantine's Column, one of the most prominent examples of Roman art, before arriving at Beyazıt Square and Mosque. Then visit Şehzade Mosque, which is considered by architectural historians as Sinan's first masterpiece. Finish your tour by heading to the largest mosque in Istanbul, Suleymaniye Mosque.

Istanbul: Suleymaniye Mosque Guided Tour

3. Istanbul: Suleymaniye Mosque Guided Tour

Visit the most magnificent Ottoman mosque and take a comprehensive tour with a local guide. Find out about the mosque and its history, and enjoy breathtaking views over Istanbul from the mosque's courtyard. Meet at a cafe just opposite the Suleymaniye Mosque, which stands in contrast to the modern buildings of Istanbul. See Mimar Sinan’s Suleymaniye Mosque built in the classical Ottoman style and learn about its still evocative architectural power. Explore the mosque and all its buildings, and hear about Ottoman life, mosque traditions, Islam, and more from your guide. Afterward, take in the views of Istanbul from the courtyard, and get tips for a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. End the tour with a cup of Turkish tea and talk about Suleyman the Magnificent and the royal Ottoman family's life in the 16th century. 

Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Customizable Guided Tour

4. Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Customizable Guided Tour

Explore Istanbul according to your own interests on a tailor-made sightseeing tour. Meet your guide at your hotel or port and work together to create an itinerary that suits you best, leaving you satisfied that you have seen all of Istanbul. On 1st day, marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and Byzantine Cistern. On 2nd day, take the public ferry to Bosphorus to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. From here, visit Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Galata area and the Spice Market. On 3rd day, guide takes you on a walk through the streets of Fener-Balat neighboorhood. Enjoy a cable car ride and soak up views of Pierre Loti Hill, then visit Iron Church, and see the Suleymaniye Mosque. You can create your own itinerary with your tour guide on tour day, to have an idea, here you can see our suggested tour itineraries are below; Day 1 - Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome Square, Byzantine Cistern, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Irene Church, Sogukcesme Street, Grand Bazaar Day 2 - Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Cicek Passage, Galata Tower (from outside) Day 3 - Suleymaniye Mosque, Fener and Balat Districts, St. Stephen Church (Iron Church), Pierre Lotti Panoramic Hill, Rahmi Koc Museum (or alternative options)

Istanbul: Off-the-Beaten-Track Istanbul Fener and Balat

5. Istanbul: Off-the-Beaten-Track Istanbul Fener and Balat

This particular tour includes some of the unique places in the city but also which are difficult to visit on your own. The tour will take you to the roots of historic Istanbul with visits to the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian monuments. You will meet with your guide at 09.00 am at your hotel reception. The first stop is Suleymaniye Mosque was built on the order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and constructed by the great Ottoman architect Sinan. Construction began in 1550, and the mosque was finished in 1557. The mosque is partly modeled on the style of a Byzantine basilica, particularly the Hagia Sophia, which was perhaps a conscious move by the sultan to create a continuity and a symbolic connection with the city's past. After the mosque, we will have a tea-coffee break at Kadinlar Pazari under the shadow of the aqueduct of Valens. An authentic square filled with "buryan kebab" restaurants. Walking along the aqueduct will end at one of the oldest and most influential churches, now a mosque in the city, Zeyrek Mosque or Monastery of the Pantocrator, A unique combination of two former Eastern Orthodox churches and a chapel. The Zeyrek Mosque is the second largest religious edifice after the Hagia Sophia, built by the Byzantines remaining in Istanbul. The next stop will be the Gul Mosque; Gul Mosque started life as the 11th-century Church of St Theodosia and was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans. We will then continue to the beautiful districts of Fener and Balat to discover the Aya Nikola Greek Orthodox Church before visiting the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fifteen autocephalous churches that compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. Since 1586 the Ecumenical Patriarchate has had its headquarters in the relatively modest Church of St George in the Fener district of Istanbul. Afterward, enjoy a break from sightseeing to have a drink. We will then wander around the labyrinth cobblestone streets of Balat to see Phanar Greek Orthodox College, this Fener landmark, known locally as Kirmizi Mektep for its castellated red-brick facade, still functions as a Greek school. Then we will visit Saint Mary of the Mongols, an Eastern Orthodox church in Istanbul. It is the only Byzantine church of Constantinople that has never been converted to a mosque, always remaining open to the Greek Orthodox Church. Please note that some visits will be only panoramic from outside because of the restoration works.

Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

6. Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

Your 5-hour guided walk begins in Sultanhamet, in the heart of the main tourist area of Istanbul. From here you’ll head to the Blue Mosque, where you’ll admire the 6 minarets and stunning tiles that were made in Iznik, the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire. Next your guide will tell you about Hagia Sophia and the Roxana Baths before continuing on to the ancient Hippodrome. Hear about the famous obelisk that was shipped from Egypt to the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius in 6th century A.D. Walk along the ancient roadway past the Ottoman Parliament House and then make your way to the Grand Bazaar. Marvel at the labyrinth of streets lined with textiles and most every other kind of product as well! You can learn the local art of bargaining here. Enjoy a stroll to the nearby Sahaflar Book Market, where books were printed for the first time during the Ottoman era. Learn about Islam and its holy book, the Koran. On the way to the Suleymaniye complex you’ll pass by the spectacular façade of Istanbul University and enter the Cagaloglu district, which is a shopping hub for locals that’s far from the main tourist attractions. Once you reach the Suleymaniye complex you’ll see the Turkish bath, the library, the madrasah, eateries, and the grand Suleymaniye Mosque that dominates the skyline along the Golden Horn. Learn about the history of the Mosque, named after the most famous and powerful of sultans, Suleyman the Magnificent. Your guide knows a great hidden teahouse here where you can drink çay (tea) and try a nargile (water pipe) with its intoxicating aroma and fruity flavors. After the break, you’ll continue on through the hidden streets of Istanbul. See local markets where products are made on site. Visit the hidden Rustem Pasha Mosque and admire its lovely tiles. Then it will be time to taste some baklava, a delicious Turkish dessert. Explore the spice market and see a mountain of Turkish spices, Turkish delight, and local handicrafts. From the Spice Bazaar you’ll take a walk so that you can appreciate the views of the picturesque Galata Bridge. Finally it’s time to relax for a delicious lunch of local specialties. After lunch your guide can tell you how to get back to your hotel and give you some advice on other things to do in your free time.

Istanbul Uncovered Small Group Tour

7. Istanbul Uncovered Small Group Tour

Join us on a small group tour of Istanbul that takes you to some of the city's most iconic and interesting sights. We will begin our tour at the Binbirdirek Cistern, an underground chamber that was once used to store water for the city. This fascinating site offers a glimpse into Istanbul's history and is a great place to take some unique photos. Next, we will visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Here, you can browse and shop for souvenirs and traditional Turkish goods, and perhaps haggle with the vendors for the best price. After some time at the Grand Bazaar, we will make our way to the Suleymaniye Mosque, a grand and ornate place of worship that is a key landmark in Istanbul. We will learn about the mosque's history and architecture, and have the opportunity to observe the local Muslim community as they go about their daily prayers. Next, we will head to the Spice Market, where you can sample and purchase a variety of aromatic spices and other ingredients that are used in Turkish cuisine. This colorful and lively market is a great place to immerse yourself in the sights and smells of Istanbul. Finally, we will visit the historic neighborhood of Balat, which is home to charming cafes, boutiques, and colorful houses. This lesser-known area offers a glimpse into the everyday life of Istanbul's residents and a chance to discover some hidden gems.

Istanbul: Sultanahmet Highlights Walking Tour

8. Istanbul: Sultanahmet Highlights Walking Tour

Located in an ideal strategic position straddling the Bosporus strait, Istanbul is both the largest city in Turkey and its economic, cultural and historic centre. Uniquely situated in both Europe and Asia, Istanbul’s over 15 million residents have an array of world class historical and cultural sites at their disposal. With the help of our Istanbul guided city tours, you will gain an unparalleled insight into both the modern and historic capital of Turkey. Istanbul is renowned for its fascinating mix of architectural styles. From the Roman and Byzantine eras the Basilica Cistern and Hippodrome are outstanding feats of engineering, and the monumental Hagia Sophia has stood the test of time, continuing to wow visitors to this day, while the Süleymaniye Mosque and the Topkapi Palace are amongst the many architectural wonders of the Ottoman Empire. Renaissance Revival, Neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings seam harmlessly with the ancient and Ottoman styles, contributing to Istanbul’s unique atmosphere. The addition of modern institutions such as Istanbul Modern and the Pera Museum ensure the city continues to move forward while maintaining its world-class heritage. 'The Highlights of Sultanahmet' includes: Hagia Sophia The Blue Mosque Sultan Mehmed III Tomb Fountain of Ahmed III German Fountain Walled Obelisk Serpent Column Basilica Cistern Topkapi Palace Hagia Irene 'The Pearls of Suleymaniye' includes: Kirazli Mescit Cami Suleymaniye Mosque Spice bazaar Mausoleum of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent Hürrem Sultan Türbesi Suleymaniye Square Fountain Büyük Valide Han Giritli Mustafa Paşa Hanı Valide Han Iranlilar Mosque Tomb of Mehmet Zahid Kotku Cenderecizade Muhittin Celebi Turbesi Our 5 self guided route's main sights: Cicek Pasaji İstiklal Avenue Taksim Mosque Taksim Square Karaköy Pier Tophane Pavilion Remains of the church of Saint Polyeuctus Aqueduct of Valens Galata Tower St. Pierre Han Nuruosmaniye Mosque ...and many more!

Istanbul: The Best of Istanbul Walking Tour

9. Istanbul: The Best of Istanbul Walking Tour

Explore ancient Istanbul with a guide on this day tour. See the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and more. Meet your guide at the German Fountain and head to your first destination: the Hagia Sophia. Admire this architectural masterpiece and learn about its history as a church, mosque, museum. Next, stop at the the Blue Mosque, built in the early 1600s. Enjoy its stunning facade and intricate blue tiling. After the Blue Mosque, head to Topkapi Palace. This opulent structure once served as the administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans during the 15th and 16th centuries. Stop for lunch at a local eatery before heading to the next stops at the Hippodrome and the Obelisk of Theodosius. The obelisk was originally commissioned the 15th century BC. It was built in the Hippodrome, where they held horse races. Make your way to the Suleymaniye Mosque next. Marvel at its imposing size and beautiful architecture. It was designed by the legendary architect Mimar Sinan and was considered to be one of his masterpieces. Your last stop of the day is the Grand Bazaar. Stroll through the numerous stalls and go shopping for some souvenirs at one of the oldest covered markets in the world. Note: "Blue Mosque will be closed for renovation from January 1st, 2023. Instead, you can visit another iconic Istanbul Mosque: Yeni Cami (the New Mosque)"

Skip the Line: Topkapı Palace Small-Group Tour

10. Skip the Line: Topkapı Palace Small-Group Tour

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Istanbul on a half-day, small-group tour, and learn more about the only city in the world that straddles 2 continents. Meet your guide by the Hagia Sophia in the Sultanahmet Fatih neighborhood on the European side of the city. Then, go to the nearby Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul’s largest mosque, built by the Ottoman Empire architect, Mimar Sinan. Considered one of the finest examples of imperial architecture in the city, the mosque features a courtyard of impressive grandeur, and a dome that was once the highest in the Ottoman Empire. Skip the long lines to Topkapı Palace, built by Sultan Mehmed II after he conquered Constantinople in 1453. Explore the magnificent former residence of the Ottoman sultans, and hear stories of royal extravagance, romance, retribution and executions, as well as the sinister plots of the harem!

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What people are saying about Suleymaniye Mosque

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 383 reviews

It's the best tour I booked with just five participants and a nice and knowledgeable local guide. Oz, our guide brought us to places where most of the tourists are not going to visit or eat. A great storyteller who loves to share those historical facts/intrigues in every places we visited. If you love to walk and explore hidden spots, you must book this tour.

An amazing tour with Muhammed, who is an amazing guide. We feel that he really loves his job, he did +2 hours extra on the tour. he offered us as well some pastries and tea. we were a small group of 4 which was really nice !! thank you for creating nice memories to us. best regards

Very informative. our guide, Kadir, is a real expert and let us discover the best of Istanbul's mosques

Tour guidato super interessante! La guida è eccezionale

Friendly guide who knows the history of the buildings