Highlights near Istanbul

A Mosque Invites Me to Stay

I had just left the Spice Bazaar behind me when I noticed the entrance to Yeni Camii (New Mosque). It was late afternoon, and I was already exhausted from a very long day of sightseeing. I wanted nothing more than to call it a day but I was already here so I thought I would just quickly dart in and out. One foot inside and the plan changed.

Compared to the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque, the domed interior of Yeni Camii is a much more intimate space but equally stunning in design. As in the Blue Mosque, calligraphic discs hang from just below the edges of the ornately painted domes and soaring sections of walls are covered with beautiful Iznik tiles. Gold paint adds a rich, punctuating touch. Thick wool carpeting lines every inch of the floor. As expansive as the interior is, it also feels very luxurious and inviting. As tired as I was, I didn’t want to leave anytime soon.

Walking around, I discovered that Yeni Camii has a visitors section and you are welcome to sit there. I found my spot on the carpet and discretely watched a slice of local life unfold before me—men and women praying, people having conversations in hushed tones, and a few tourists milling about. Enveloped by the quiet of this serene space, I felt rejuvenated in no time.

For whatever reason, Yeni Camii is not as popular with tourists as the Blue Mosque is, but it’s definitely worth a visit, even if you’re not a weary tourist like I was.

Discuss: Want to know more? Ask about or comment on this Highlight!

Congrats Julee! You are the first week's winner of the December CATCH contest! Please message me your mailing address so we can send you your iPad Mini! Your Highlight is now in the running to be featured in the magazine. Cheers!


WOW!!! This is amazing! Thank you to you and your AFAR colleagues for the recognition!! I'm kinda giddy at the moment as I've never won anything like this in my life - still pinching myself that it's real :-)


Thanks Azul! Waiting to see your entry! I know you can do it and I know it will be a beautiful shot! :-)


Congratulations Julee! Its a beautiful shot.. and Yeni Camii is popular now! :)


Julee, I was impressed with your discover of the Camii (New Mosque). Having just recently returned from a trip to Turkey which out of numerous worldly trips, this was the best of them all. Istanbul was just awesome and looking forward to going back and visiting your find, which I never heard about before.


Yeni Camii

1 Yeni Cami Caddesi
Istanbul, Turkey
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