The Old City – Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)
by Carrie Finley-Bajak, AFAR Local Expert
History and culture galore: great mosques, ancient churches, museums, and bazaars await visitors in <a href="/travel-guides/turkey/istanbul/guide">Istanbul</a>. One mosque (and Istanbul has many) that most travelers will want to see is the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii). The Blue Mosque is renowned for its architecture. There are a total of six minarets which makes it unique. The architecture and story about this famous mosque is inspiring. Women need to make sure to bring a scarf or be prepared to wear a shoulder covering if going inside.
Looking Around Instead of Up
by Annie Shustrin
The ceiling of the Blue Mosque is spectacular. It is one of the reasons the Blue Mosque is so incredibly famous - aside from its impeccable symmetry. The blue tiles and intricate detail in the ceiling design have made it a darling to the design, architecture, and travel worlds.
Most western visitors spend their time in the Blue Mosque looking up. What about looking around? The low hung chandeliers twinkle in the cavernous space. The reds and golds of the carpet contrast the blue tiling. The low hum of respectful visitors creates a silent energy around the room.
In the corner, pious Turks discuss spiritual things while preparing to pray. A sight no less important than the ceiling.
Istanbul's Blue Mosque
by Helen Anne Travis
For centuries, this striking building with its 210-foot minarets has defined Istanbul’s skyline. It’s technically called the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, named after Ahmet I who reigned over the Ottoman Empire from 1590–1617. The nickname “Blue Mosque” comes from the millions of turquoise tiles that decorate the mosque’s vast interior.
by Dani Vernon
Incredible piece of history. Make sure to check the times it is open-- they close for prayer multiple times a day, and women must wear head coverings.
The Blue Mosque at Sunset
by Amelia Edwards
In the summer of 2006, my family and I went to Turkey for about three weeks. We started out in Istanbul, then spent the rest of the time on the coast in Turunç and Knidos. I can really say it was a great family vacation, there were 13 of us, many of whom came over from England and we came from the US. We got to see both the capital as well as some more tranquil spots on the coast that were absolutely stunning!
The Blue Mosque
Right on the verge of dusk turning into night, the minarets fully lit, and a tinge of gray cloud in the sky, the Blue Mosque stands out above all other buildings in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul.
by Lara Dalinsky, AFAR Local Expert
The interior of the Blue Mosque is lined with thousands of handmade Iznik tiles.
Praying at the Blue Mosque
by Lynne Nieman
While visiting the Blue Mosque in <a href="/travel-guides/turkey/istanbul/guide">Istanbul</a>, I captured this person, praying. I love this image. It was very crowded behind the rope with lots of tourists viewing the beauty of this mosque. I noticed this person, seemingly oblivious to all the noise and all the people. He was alone, in his world of prayer. I quickly snapped this shot. I long to be a person like him who can tune out the rest of the world.
by Tara Sharma
I had the incredible opportunity to visit Turkey not too long ago. I went with a group of old friends to visit a good friend who had recently moved back to Istanbul. It was an amazing trip on so many levels. The country is so rich with culture – both incredibly old and preserved as well as very modern and progressive culture – a very unique combination. We mainly were in two areas over the course of the trip – Istanbul being the first and main stop. I can still taste the yummy food and see the stained glass lanterns in my mind, everything was so rich with color and culture. I would love to go back someday….Enjoy the photos!
I am the Emperor of Istanbul
by D Kapoor
It’s was my fourth day in Turkey and it felt like I just walked in.
Having read stories about Constantinople in history books, I’ve wanted to come here since I was eleven years old.
Now I wish I’d come earlier.
Istanbul is a city that has a definite sense of place. Majestically standing on the edges of Asia and Europe, every brick and stone in this city has a story to tell.
Talking about a specific sight almost seems diminishing. This is a city best experienced by getting lost.
Besides all the amazing mosques and monuments mentioned in the guidebooks I would recommend adding the following to your itinerary.
1.Save a few hours to walk aimlessly through the Grand Bazaar and the surrounding ancient spice markets.
2.Observe the tide of locals getting off the ‘vapors’ at the terminal on the banks of the Bosphorus.
3. Take the ferry and cross over to Asia and then back to Europe and feel like an ancient nomad on an epic conquest.
4. Spend at least one day without a guidebook or any directions
The Blue Mosque
by Whitney Palmer
In the old city, <a href="/travel-guides/turkey/istanbul/guide">Istanbul</a>. Beautiful
Incredible Turkish architecture & an evening call to prayer
by Katherine Krug
The Blue Mosque is one of the most beautiful man-made creations in the world.
A Blue Sky for the Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque in the great city of Istanbul is a popular tourist attraction known for the handmade ceramic blue tiles which adorn its interior. From the outside, it appears perfectly and surprisingly symmetrical with its domes, arches, windows, and minarets (there are 6 total, this photo only shows 4). Inside, it is beautifully decorated with over 20,000 handmade tiles. There are rules that you have to abide by when entering the mosque because it is still used as a place of worship, so remember to take off your shoes and cover your head with a scarf.
The Blue Mosque
by Man Ho
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It is overwhelming in size with six minarets along with eight domes and a main one.
You Must Always Look Up...
by Meredith Dolan
In spite of the cloying humidity and the jostling crowds of tourists, the dome of Istanbul's Blue Mosque is still the kind of sight that makes you stop and just take it all in.
a salama lei kum
by Pedro Sanchez
i lived on a muslim country so far the most beautiful mosque that i have ever visit
this is a place for relaxation and meditation
Ramadan By Sultanahmet
by Heather R Morgan
I absolutely love the Ramadan lights that they hang outside Sultanahmet, the blue mosque.
Light upon light
by Zehra Wamiq
We were blessed to have an opportunity of photographing Blue Mosque without any crowd. I found these prayer beads lying on the ledge with beautiful windows of the mosque in the background.
Moments of peace and submission
by Zehra Wamiq
Few men, praying in otherwise crowded mosque.
Too quick in Istanbul
by AFAR Traveler
December 29th, 2012
I realized that if we could fly 10,000 miles before the end of the year, my wife could reach Executive Platinum...so we booked a flight to Istanbul. Since we wanted to allow for flight issues, we had only 1 full day of seeing the sights.
The weather was dreary...drizzling... cold and blustery. But since we wisely decided to stay right in the "old city", we were just steps away from everything.
From right after breakfast until late evening, we were able to see the Topkapi Palace, Haggia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar, a few glimpses of the Bosphorus, and of course the Blue Mosque.
After a quick return to the hotel for an umbrella and to ask for local cuisine recommendations... we crash back out into the cold night... that is when we came upon the Blue Mosque (again). No hawkers and peddlers inserting themselves into your business. No lines of tourists waiting to gain entrance.
The conclusion: One day is not enough time to see much of what Istanbul has to offer, but what we saw in our one full day was enough to make the whole journey worthwhile.....and to add Istanbul to the list of "places to revisit".
Overcome by The Blue Mosque
by Kerry McGee, AFAR Local Expert
The colors in the Blue Mosque were so vivid, my camera couldn't do them justice. This overexposure was the closest I could come to representing the experience. I visited once during the day, and then went back as the sun was going down, just to see how the different levels of light effected the brilliance of the architectural design and color.
Mosques and Churches
by Amy Hume
Obviously, the Blue Mosque is one of the most visited places in Istanbul. Take the ferry from Eminonu to Kadıköy and see the view from afar.
Istanbul is a great city
by e senyer
Istanbul is a great city, famous Italian commander Napoleon Bonaparte once said that “If the Earth was a single state, Istanbul would be its capital city".
There are so many interesting places for visiting, but the most interestings are Bosphorus, historical old city (inside Byzantium city walls), grand bazaar and spice bazaar.
Almost all the historical monuments are in historical old city, for example Sultanehmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), Suleymaniye Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Museum, grand bazaar, spice bazaar and the others. www.dailyistanbulcitytour.com
Peace in Istanbul
by Lisa C.
I just returned from Turkey, and while the protest in <a href="/travel-guides/turkey/istanbul/guide">Istanbul</a> is escalating to violence, Sultan Ahmed Mosque (The Blue Mosque) is still a place to find peace within. I took this photo the day before leaving this wonderful city.
Sightseeing In Istanbul
by Ann Boniface
beautiful weather, although hot every day. The mosque was larger and lovelier than I expected, was surprised to discover it had beautiful stained glass windows
A Sacred Place
by Dana Carmel Bell
It was nighttime when we first arrived to Istanbul, and as we walked passed the Blue Mosque from our hotel en route to dinner, I couldn't stop snapping pictures of it. I felt like I was in Disneyland or some sort of fantasy land. When we had the chance to visit the mosque the following morning, I was in awe of its towering presence. Although I'm not Muslim, I was honored to step foot in this holy house of worship. The entire experience was surreal.
A Walking Tour of Istanbul
by Clayton Aynesworth
Floating odes to ancient times,
Reverberate off stone
Hewn by an artist’s hand
long since dead and gone.
A call to prayer
Signals cocktail hour for the soul.
If we are drunk in this embodiment-
In which tavern have we awakened this time?
Notes above the heads,
Weaving tapestries of daily menial assignments.
Each pattern a precious gem’s multifaceted surface
hidden in its common-place rhythm.
Through the heat and dust
Waves of sound
Pirouette my vision
I glance from ottoman times to remnants of Ancient Egypt,
Crete, Rome, Greece...
All within the span of a few breaths’ breadth-
I’ve traveled in time with a simple plane ticket and a willingness
To let my sympathetic imagination go with the flow.
Istanbul was Constantinople.
Touring the Blue Mosque
by Amber Gibson
Ladies need to cover their heads with scarves when entering out of respect, since the Mosque is still used for prayer. Visitors can take a peek inside for free excepting prayer times.
Stunning Blue Mosque
by Kelly Kaminski
The line to go in was long but it was worth the wait. It's remarkably quiet inside, respectful and peaceful. The details and colors are breathtaking. And it's very near to Hagia Sofia, easy to see both in one afternoon.
Blue mosque, bosphorus cruise , istanbul bosphorus tours
by Cantary Beltin
Blue mosque in the old city is situated in the middle, surrounded by many buildings built during the reign of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires are available. The blue mosque istanbul It seems beautiful from every point of the city is at the top. Blue mosque sultan ahmet were made by the master architect Sedefkar Mehmet behalf. very nice in blue Iznik tiles. The manuscript is decorated with calligraphy. Bluj in mosque burning candle or oil lamp soot is collected by the air flow in the room is. blue mosque and a wide variety of very beautiful marble courtyard, decorated with flowers in the garden is unique. 4 Shot on a marble dome is too big. There are 6 minarets. Blue mosque in the bazaar are among the works of Turkish handicrafts and souvenir shops are.
Arkitextures of Istanbul
by Rosina Khan
Domes, pendentives, capitals, and Iznik Tiles. Older Greeks refer to Istanbul as "The City." Well, it is true, Istanbul is the quintessential polis, as captured in these architectural details from Sultanhamet Camii. The mosque displays the sophistication of Ottoman architecture.
Bring a scarf if you are woman and be ready to take off your shoes as you enter the tourist side of this great mosque.
Beauty of a Mosque
by Vincentia Suly
When I first entered the mosque, it was such a breath-taking.
The ceiling was amazingly decorated, the details, the size of the building. And also all of the minarets was so cool.
The design of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the culmination of two centuries of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church developments. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighboring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period of Ottoman Empire. The architect has applied the ideas of his master Sinan, aiming for overwhelming size, majesty and splendor.
I think whoever visits the building will agree, this is one of the most amazing mosque of Ottoman era in the world.
Must see but super crowded
by Lauren Hayman