Top 7 mosques to visit in Turkey, Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey is a city filled with so much culture, history and beautiful architecture. One can almost feel so lost amongst all the beautiful places to visit in such a short amount of time, so I’ve compiled a list of all the masjid/mosques in Istanbul that is worth your visit.

The list I have curated is in order of which place I visited first. I guess I will leave it upon the visitor to decide which mosque is their favourite, and you can leave it in the comments down below which mosque you loved best.

  1. Fatih Camii

Location: Topkapı, 34083 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

Fatih Camii ( Camii translates as mosque) is the first place we visited during our trip to Istanbul. The Architecture of the mosque is incredible, and it is designed by non other than the famous architect Atik Sinan.

Fatih Camii is a beautiful mosque to visit, as there is so much to explore on the grounds of the mosque. On the outside of the mosque, there are wudu facilities, as well as sitting areas, a fountain as well as places to sit and have a picnic.

2. Sulaymaniyeh Mosque

Location: Süleymaniye Mah, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Cd. No:1, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

Sulaymaniyeh mosque has so much beautiful history behind it as well as the beauty in its design. It was built by order of Sultan Sulayman, which was also designed by the architect Sinan.

We were super lucky to visit the mosque at a time where it was completely empty. My family and I roamed the grounds of the mosque in awe of its beauty, taking pictures, sitting back and just looking at how maticulasly each aspect of the mosque was designed. My dad did wudu in the masjid wudu area, then procedeeded to pray where the imam would usually lead a congregation. We were truly content with Turkish architecture after Sulaymaniyeh mosque, but there is so much more to come.

TIP : Sulaymaniyeh Mosque is just five minutes away from Fatih Camii, so you can easily visit both places in the same day.

3. Eyup Merkez

Location: Merkez Mh, Cami Kebir Sk. No:1, 34050 Eyüpsultan/İstanbul, Turkey

This mosque had a deeper meaning for us, and for many people around the world as this is the resting place of the Prophet Muhammed ( peace and blessings be upon him’s) beloved companion Ayub. For those of you who would like a little reminder of who Ayub al-ansari was, he was the companion whose house the prophet stayed in, on his arrival to Madinah.

The prophet Muhammed ( Peace be upon him) gave the decision to his camel that wherever it would stop, the prophet would reside there. The house the camel stopped at was the home of Ayub Al-ansari, from the tribe of Banu Najjar, who later became a close companion of the Prophet ( Peace be Upon Him). So, it was a beautiful experience to visit Eyup Merkez, whilst reminiscing on this beautiful story.

TIP: Eyup Merkez is just 15 minutes away from Sulaymaniyeh Mosque, so all of these mosques are near each other, making it easy to visit each place in a short span of time.

4. The Blue Mosque/ Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Location: Sultan Ahmet, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

The walk up to the Blue Mosque is incredibly scenic as there is a garden right infant of the mosque. On the opposite side of the Blue Mosque, lies the iconic Hagia Sophia, which is just a kilometre away. This mosque was built during the reign of Sultan Ahmed, which is also another name given to this mosque.

Despite the mosque undergoing construction work, it’s beauty was still prominent through the huge see through sheets covering the walls and ceilings. We prayed a few of our Salahs (prayers) in this masjid, as we loved the atmosphere. As the imam begins the takbeer for salah, you can hear children talking, crying and mimicking the sounds of the imam. It was truly an incredible experience to pray in Sultan Ahmed’s Mosque.

TIP: The Hagia Sophia is a 4 minute walk from the Blue Mosque as they are opposite one another. These two mosques are great to visit on the same day, since they are so close by.

5. Hagia Sophia

Location: Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

The Hagia Sophia has so much history behind this magnificent infrastructure. It was once a cathedral, turned into a mosque, then to a museum, and now after 86 years, it has once again been converted into a mosque.

The reason my family and I visited Istanbul, Turkey this year was to be a part of history and to pray in the Hagia Sophia on the day it opened. Millions of people from all around Turkey, and presumably from around the world had also descended upon the streets of Istanbul to also be a part of history and pray Jumah prayer on the Friday of its opening.

Despite the heat being super unbearable, it was all worthwhile, seeing the Turkish people rejoice in the opening of the Hagia Sophia once again as a Mosque.

6. Ortakoy Mosque

Location: Mecidiye, Mecidiye Köprüsü Sk. No:1 D:1, 34347 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey

This was one of the last mosques I visited and I was truly mesmerised by its beauty. This masjid has a sea front, so as you pray , you are able to hear the sounds of the sea peacefully waver in the background.

TIP: Depending on where your hotel is, this mosque can be far. I stayed in Sirkeci Fatih, so it took me around 20/25 minutes to visit this mosque.

7. Çamlıca Mosque 

Location: Ferah, Ferah Yolu Sk. No:87, 34692 Üsküdar/İstanbul, Turkey

In contrast to all the previous mosques mentioned above, Çamlıca Mosque is a fairly new mosque which opened in March 2019. Designed by two female architects ( Bahar Mızrak and Hayriye Gül Totu), the mosque has a mixture of Ottoman designs incorporated with a modern Scandinavian twist.

Since, the Architects of the mosque are both female, Çamlıca Mosque is child friendly like other mosques, however it has a children’s play area, so both women and men can pray whilst children also enjoy themselves.

Çamlıca Mosque is the largest Mosque in Europe, as it can hold more than 63,000 people in congregation. As you enter the mosque, there are escalators that take you up to the mosque. This mosque is truly worth your visit.

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