Built in the 1550s on the orders of Sultan S\u00FCleyman the Magnificent, the S\u00FCleymaniye Mosque is the largest and most imposing mosque in all of Istanbul. A short walk away from the Grand Bazaar, this striking Ottoman building dominates the Third Hill. From this vantage point you can enjoy excellent views across the waters of the Golden Horn.\u2028\u2028Designed by the renowned Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, the S\u00FCleymaniye Mosque was designed to outdo the grandeur and scale of the Hagia Sophia. Sinan borrowed Judeo-Christian design elements and one example of this is an allusion to the Dome of the Rock, which was built on the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. Sultan S\u00FCleyman regarded himself as something of a second Solomon, the famously wise king of Judah and Israel.
Although the mosque is not quite as large as the Hagia Sophia, it is still vast. Enter the light-filled, open space to see that its interiors are actually less decadent than most mosques in Istanbul. The use of tiles is minimized and there is just a subtle application of ivory woodwork.
Head to the vast courtyard with minarets at each corner on the west side. The main dome is 174 feet (53 meters) high, and at the time it was constructed it was the highest above sea level in the Ottoman Empire. The mosque complex also houses a hospital, medical school and primary school. You are welcome to visit the restaurant and steam baths. \u2028\u2028See the striking tombs of S\u00FCleyman and his wife Roxelana in the garden behind the mosque. The tomb of Mimar Sinan, who was the chief architect for several Ottoman sultans, is nearby, just outside the walls of the mosque.
The S\u00FCleymaniye Mosque is open to visitors daily and free to enter. The mosque still functions as a place of worship, not just a tourist attraction, so non-Muslim guests are advised to refrain from visiting when Muslims come here to pray. Prayer happens a few times a day and on Friday afternoons and is preceded by the call to prayer from loudspeakers.
Located in Istanbul City Center, this spa aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Neve Shalom Synagogue and Galata Tower. Taksim Square and Suleymaniye Mosque are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Located in Old City, this romantic hotel is steps from Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia. Hippodrome and Topkapi Palace are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Old City, this hotel is steps from Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia. Hippodrome and Blue Mosque are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Galata, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Nardis Jazz Club and Galata Tower. Spice Bazaar and Cagaloglu Hamami are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in Old City, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sophia. Topkapi Palace is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) away.
Located in Galata, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nardis Jazz Club and Galata Tower. Suleymaniye Mosque and Basilica Cistern are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Located in Istanbul City Center, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Pera Museum, Museum of Innocence, and Taksim Square. Acibadem Taksim Hospital is 1 mi (1.6 km) away.
Located in Old City, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cagaloglu Hamami, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sophia. Hippodrome and Istanbul Archaeology Museum are also within 10 minutes.