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Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque)

The nickname of this 17th-century structure refers to the brilliant color of its tiled interior.

As one of the most striking features of the Istanbul skyline, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is awe-inspiring in size and scope. More often called the Blue Mosque, it was built under the rule of Sultan Ahmed I of the Ottoman Empire and completed in 1616. The original architect’s vision was to build a great religious site with prominent Islamic features.

Walk from the Hippodrome to get a captivating view of the Blue Mosque. Gaze up at the six tall minarets and the terraced domes that rise up to the building’s center and you will see that the designer succeeded splendidly in his efforts to impress.

Pass through the stone wall that surrounds the mosque into the courtyard. During the fasting month of Ramadan this courtyard is buzzing after sunset. Inside, the mosque houses the tomb of its founder, who died just a year after his masterpiece was completed. Inspect the madrasa, used as theological school, and the hospice. The most striking feature, however, is the tiled interior: More than 20,000 blue ceramic tiles with over 50 different tulip designs gave this mosque its nickname.

The upper reaches of the building are painted blue and the sunlight is shattered by hundreds of stained-glass windows, a mesmerizing sight.

The Blue Mosque is only a short walk from the Sultanahmet light rail and metro station in the Old City. Entry is free, but as in any religious building, respect and discretion are expected from all visitors. Be quiet, and remove your shoes and put them in the plastic bag provided at the entrance. Females are asked to cover their heads and scarfs are available at the entrance. Flash photography is prohibited. If you wish, you can make a donation to help pay for the maintenance of the Blue Mosque as you leave.

The Blue Mosque still functions as a place of worship, so its doors are closed to non-worshippers during the five daily prayer times. On summer nights you can listen to a historical presentation and watch a spectacular light show. Check the official website for the best time to visit.


Guide to Exploring around Blue Mosque


Map

Lodging Near Blue Mosque

See all 1,938 Hotels near Blue Mosque
$93
Hagia Sophia Hotel Istanbul Old City

Hagia Sophia Hotel Istanbul Old City

Alemdar Mah. Yerebatan Cad.No 13, Istanbul
4.6
of 5, from 144 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old City, this hotel is steps from Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia. Hippodrome and Blue Mosque are also within 10 minutes.

$104
Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel

Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel

Divanyolu Cd. Alemdar Mah., Istanbul
4.2
of 5, from 444 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old City, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of German Fountain, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sophia. Cagaloglu Hamami and Cemberlitas Bath are also within 5 minutes.

$102
Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class

Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class

Divanyolu Cad. Ticarethane Sok. No:45, Istanbul
4.2
of 5, from 342 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, and Cagaloglu Hamami. Hippodrome and Blue Mosque are also within 10 minutes.

$65
Dersaadet Hotel - Special Class

Dersaadet Hotel - Special Class

Kucukayasofya Cad Kapiagasi Sok No 5, Istanbul
4.7
of 5, from 299 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old City, this hotel is steps from Arasta Bazaar and Blue Mosque. Hippodrome and Basilica Cistern are also within 10 minutes.

$80
The Ambassador Hotel

The Ambassador Hotel

Ticarethane Cikmazi No 19, Istanbul
4.3
of 5, from 471 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Old City, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, and Cagaloglu Hamami. Hippodrome and Blue Mosque are also within 10 minutes.

$75
Hotel Amira Istanbul

Hotel Amira Istanbul

Kucuk Ayasofya Mahallesi Mustafa, Istanbul
4.8
of 5, from 539 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old City, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sophia. Blue Mosque and Cemberlitas Bath are also within 15 minutes.

$43
Tria Hotel - Special Class

Tria Hotel - Special Class

Akbiyik Cad Terbiyik Sok No 7, Istanbul
3.8
of 5, from 219 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old City, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. Grand Bazaar is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) away.

$56
Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul

Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul

Dr. Imran Oktem Cad. No:1, Istanbul
4.5
of 5, from 190 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old City, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of German Fountain, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sophia. Hippodrome and Blue Mosque are also within 10 minutes.