Best Mosques in Istanbul, Turkiye

11 Min Read

Best Mosques in Istanbul, Turkiye

Best Mosques in Istanbul, Turkiye

It is an open secret that Muslims love to visit Istanbul because of how easy it is to roam around, the accessibility to abundant Halal food, and praying facilities.

The mosques in the country — Istanbul included — are plenty, making it a great destination or stopover for Muslimah Solo Travelers traveling onwards to the East or Western parts of the world.

Here are some of the best mosques in Istanbul, Turkiye.

Disclaimer: Some of the links here are affiliate links. Muslim Solo Travel receives a small commission AT NO EXTRA cost to you if you use the links. Hope you find this guide helpful!


Why are there so many mosques in Istanbul?

Walking around any district in Istanbul, you’ll find mosques on every street corner.

To date, there are more than 3,000 mosques in Istanbul alone.

If you’re wondering why the Turkish capital has too many mosques?

Long story short, when Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II captured Constantinople under the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, he ordered the churches around the cities to be converted to mosques and more mosques to be built.

Visiting Mosques in Istanbul

The mosques in Istanbul are not only open to Muslims but also to all walks of life.

Before you get to the list of the top 10 mosques in Istanbul, here are some etiquettes to keep in mind when visiting mosques in Istanbul, Turkiye.

In essence:

  • Avoid visiting during prayer times (within half an hour after the adhan — call to prayer )
  • Avoid visiting on Friday from morning till late afternoon as Friday prayers take place here.
  • Remove your footwear before stepping inside. Bring a small plastic for storing your shoes if you want to carry it with you. Regardless, there are shoe compartments outside of the prayer hall as well for public use.
  • Wear modest clothings. Robes are usually provided outside of popular mosques.
  • Move slowly and speak quietly.
  • Avoid walking to the front part of the mosque, where worshippers perform their ritual prayers. This is impolite.
  • Be careful when you take photos. Taking photos of people praying is impolite. Ask for permission first.

Sultanahment Camii (The Blue Mosque)

Number one on the list is none other than the Sultanahmet Mosque, otherwise known as the Blue Mosque.

Sultanahmet Mosquee

Sultanahmet Camii was built between 1609 and 1616, under the reign of Ahmed I. The mosque is named after the Sultan of that time, Ahmed I.

One of the best icons of the classical Ottoman era with its six stunning minarets, this mosque is right in the Old City of Istanbul.

The Sultanahmet Square (Hippodrome) is located just outside the mosque, with the Hagia Sophia facing the opposite direction.

Why is it known as the blue mosque? Because of its tile work!

  • Address: Sultan Ahmet, At Meydanı Cd No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey (directions)
  • Operating hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm daily
  • Website

Ayasofya Camii (Hagia Sophia Mosque)

Aya Sofya

Who doesn’t know Hagia Sophia?

Located in the Old City of Istanbul (Sultanahmet), it is one of the surviving marvels from Byzantine times.

Aya Sofya has a complex history.

Initially a church, Aya Sofya then became a mosque, later converted into a museum, and now back to its status as a Grand Mosque.

MST Tip: The queue to go inside Aya Sofya can be super long! Regardless, the crowd moves quickly, and at most, you could be waiting for 30-40 minutes before entering.
  • Address: Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey (directions)
  • Operating hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm daily
  • Website

Süleymaniye Mosque

One of the biggest mosques in Istanbul, considered an important landmark, is the Suleymaniye Camii.

Suleymaniye Mosque

Built by Great Architect Sinan by order of Sulayman the Magnificent, this 16th-century mosque is located not only as a place of worship, but was also once the center point for the city’s welfare.

It is located in a complex surrounded by its former hospital, schools, caravanserai (resting place for travelers), and bath house.

Here, you can see a large garden, a restaurant outside the mosque, and terrace views overlooking the Golden Horn, where you can see Europe and Asia in a single glance.

  • Address: Süleymaniye, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Cd. No:1, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey (directions)
  • Operating hours: 8:00 am – 9:30 pm daily
  • Website

Rustem Pasha Mosque

If you walk along the Galata Bridge, you can see this mosque on the skyline horizon, raised just slightly below the Sulemaniye Mosque.

This is also an Ottoman mosque from the 16th century.

What’s unique about this mosque is its impressive Iznik tile work inside the mosque.

Best Mosques in Istanbul, Turkiye
Photo by @chiaraffaelli via Instagram

Also, did you know that the Egyptian Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı) is just a 3-min walk away!

  • Address: Rüstem Paşa, Hasırcılar Cd. No:62, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey (directions)
  • Operating hours: 24 hours daily
  • Website

Ortaköy Mosque (Büyük Mecidiye Camii)

Another popular mosque seen in many of Turkiye’s travel advertisements is the Ortakoy mosque.

Ortakoy Mosque

Located on the bank of The Bosphorus with the bridge in the mosque’s background, the structure here is unlike any other mosque in Istanbul.

This is because this is a restored Baroque Revival mosque with large windows that capture the Bosphorus’ changing light.

MST Tip: Come during sunset when you can see the beautiful scenery of the mosque when the lights are on.
  • Address: Mecidiye, Mecidiye Köprüsü Sk. No:1 D:1, 34347 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey (directions)
  • Opening hours: 4:00 am – 10:00 pm daily

Nuruosmaniye Mosque

Nuruosmaniye Mosque is one of the best mosques in Istanbul that is located close to the Grand Bazaar’s entrance.

The name Nuruosmaniye, “Light of Osman”, is inspired by:

  • Quran [35:24] verse “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth,” inscribed at the mosque’s dome.
  • The mosque’s large number of windows — 174 — allow light in.
  • Osman III, the mosque was completed during his reign.

It has many windows, similar to the Ortakoy mosque, as this mosque was constructed in Ottoman Baroque style.

  • Address: Mollafenari, Vezirhan Cd. No:4, 34120 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey (directions)
  • Operating hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm daily

Sakirin Mosque

Located in Üsküdar, the Asian side of Istanbul, Sakirin Mosque is an interesting mosque unlike the Imperial Mosques of Istanbul.

This is because it is the only mosque in the whole of Turkiye that is designed by a woman, Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu.

Best Mosques in Istanbul, Turkiye
Photo by @mattia_paolacci via Instagram

This more modern mosque features a unique Women praying section where they are placed on the first floor — unlike the tradition of praying behind men or a curtain — that is well-lit by a beautiful view and the raindrop chandelier.

  • Address: Barbaros, Nuhkuyusu Cd No:2, 34662 Üsküdar/İstanbul, Turkey (directions)
  • Operating hours: 24 hours daily

Kalenderhane Camii

The Kalenderhane Camii is an interesting mosque in Istanbul because of its history.

Best Mosques in Istanbul, Turkiye

This mosque building is located in a Byzantine structure of the former Eastern Orthodox Church. It also stands to the south of the east end of The Valens Aquaduct.

Converted by The Ottomans in the 18th Century, this mosque was originally an Eastern Orthodox Church that is estimated to be around since the 9th/10th century.

  • Address: Kalenderhane, 16 Mart Şehitleri Cd. No:11, 34134 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey (directions)
  • 3-min walk from Vezneciler Metro Station.

Taksim Camii

Taksim Mosque

One of the Best Mosques in Istanbul, especially in the heart of Taksim Square, is the Taksim Camii.

It was inaugurated by President Erdogan in 2021 after much effort and legal challenges to building it in a district filled with churches.

Combining Ottoman structure and Art Deco design, this triple-story mosque can accommodate about 4,000 people at its maximum.

Located at Taksim Square, the getaway to Istiklal Street (a popular shopping district), this mosque surely makes it easy for #MuslimahSoloTravelers shopping around the area.

Plus, it becomes even more beautiful at night with beautiful lights.

Washroom in Taksim
? MST Tip: Get your Turkish coins ready if you want to use the washroom here.
  • Address: Gümüşsuyu, Taksim Cd. 2 B, 34437 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey (within Taksim Square / directions)
  • Opening hours: Open 24 hours
  • Website

Grand Çamlıca Mosque

Currently the largest mosque in Istanbul and Turkiye, the Camlica Camii is located on Istanbul’s Asian side in Uskudar.

Sitting on top of the Camlica hill, this mosque was constructed in an Ottoman-Seljuk style and was architectured by two females.

Best Mosques in Istanbul, Turkiye
Photo by @elifmeva7 via Instagram

It is so huge that the mosque can hold up to 63,000 worshippers at one time. It also includes a museum, library, conference hall, art gallery, and underground parking.

MST Tip: Check out the view of the whole of Istanbul from the garden here! You can even see the Bosphorus!
  • Address: Ferah, 34692 Üsküdar/İstanbul, Turkey (directions)
  • Operating hours: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm daily

Takeaway – Best Mosques in Istanbul

We hope this guide has given you an idea of which mosque to visit in Istanbul, Turkiye.

If Istanbul is your solo stopover, why not take this chance to visit Andalusia, Southern Spain?

Otherwise, Egypt or The United Arab Emirates are great destinations outbound of Turkiye.

Be A Part of the ?? #MuslimahSoloTravelers ? Community ?

Leave a comment