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Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque)

Named for its dazzling interior covered in blue tiles, this is a hub of Istanbul's religious life.

The Blue Mosque is a prominent part of view of the Istanbul skyline. Constructed under Sultan Ahmed I, it was finished in 1616. Its designer's vision was to display the Islamic faith central to the Ottoman Empire in this massive site of worship.

Approach from the direction of the Hippodrome to best appreciate the grandeur of the architecture. There are six minarets and a number of soaring domes, making for a enormously striking spectacle.

Go through the encircling wall into the courtyard – this area is very busy after sunset during the fast of Ramadan. The madrasa Islamic school and the hospice can be found here, as can the tomb of the man for whom the mosque is named, Sultan Ahmed I, who died just one year after its completion in 1617.

The main claim to fame of the Blue Mosque is to be found in the 20,000 blue ceramic tiles adorning the interior with over 50 distinct tulip images. The upper part of the building is also painted blue, and the kaleidoscope of light provided by the stained glass windows above is a sight to behold.

Entry to the mosque is free, but donations for its upkeep are welcomed. As it is continuously in use as a religious site of worship, there are a number of practices visitors are asked to respect. Silent and discreet behaviour should be observed, with no flash photography permitted. You should remove your shoes before entering and place them in one of the plastic bags which are available. Women are asked to cover their hair with a scarf.

The mosque is served by the nearby Sultanahmet light rail and metro station in the Old City. The Blue Mosque is closed five times a day for prayer. In summer there are evening history classes on the site, and also breathtaking light shows – check the website before your visit.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 3,552 properties near Blue Mosque
Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class Rs5,426
Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class

Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class

Alemdar Mh., Ticarethane Sk. No:13, Fatih, Istanbul, Istanbul
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Sultanahmet, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, and Sultanahmet Square. Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar are also within 10 minutes. Sultanahmet Station and Gulhane Station are within a 5-minute walk.

    Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel Rs6,704
    Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel

    Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel

    Divanyolu Cd. Alemdar Mah., Ticarethane Sk. No 10 Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Basilica Cistern, Sultanahmet Square and Hagia Sophia. Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar are also within 10 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is only a 2-minute walk and Cemberlitas Station is 6 minutes.

      Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul Rs10,372
      Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul

      Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul

      Dr. Imran Oktem Cad. No:1, Sultanahmet, Istanbul
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is steps away from Turkish and Islamic Art Museum and Hippodrome of Constantinople. Sultanahmet Square and Blue Mosque are also within 10 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is only a 3-minute walk and Cemberlitas Station is 5 minutes.

        Kalyon Hotel Istanbul Rs4,632
        Kalyon Hotel Istanbul

        Kalyon Hotel Istanbul

        Kennedy Caddesi no:34, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Sultanahmet Square, Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar are also within 1 mi (2 km). Istanbul Cankurtaran Station is only a 4-minute walk and Gulhane Station is 15 minutes.

          Radisson President Beyazit Istanbul Rs5,534
          Radisson President Beyazit Istanbul

          Radisson President Beyazit Istanbul

          Tiyatro Caddesi, No. 25, Beyazit, Istanbul, Istanbul
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located on the Strip, within a 15-minute walk of Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome of Constantinople and Suleymaniye Mosque. Blue Mosque and Spice Bazaar are also within 1 mi (2 km). Beyazit Station is only a 4-minute walk and Cemberlitas Station is 7 minutes.

            Lalinn Hotel Rs1,796
            Lalinn Hotel

            Lalinn Hotel

            Oyuncu Cikmazi Oyuncu Sok. No 4, Ahirkapi Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Arasta Bazaar, Sultanahmet Square and Blue Mosque. Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern are also within 10 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is 10 minutes by foot and Istanbul Cankurtaran Station is 5 minutes.

              Senatus Hotel - Special Class Rs3,904
              Senatus Hotel - Special Class

              Senatus Hotel - Special Class

              Akbiyik Caddesi No: 40, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Arasta Bazaar, Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern. Topkapi Palace and Istanbul Archaeology Museum are also within 15 minutes. Istanbul Cankurtaran Station is only a 3-minute walk and Sultanahmet Station is 8 minutes.

                Side Hotel Rs4,560
                Side Hotel

                Side Hotel

                Cankurtaran Mah Utangac Sok No 22, Sultanahmet Fatih, Istanbul
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is steps away from Sultanahmet Square and Hagia Sophia. Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern are also within 5 minutes. Istanbul Cankurtaran Station is only a 4-minute walk and Sultanahmet Station is 5 minutes.