The Blue Mosque (called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) is a historical mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design. Mosque was built beetween 1609 and 1616 years, during the rule of Ahmed I. Just like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasa and hospice. Besides still used as mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also becoeme a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.
Besides being tourist attraction, it’s also a active mosque, so it’s closed to non worshippers for half hour or so during the five daily prayers.
Best way to see great architecture of the Blue Mosque is to approach it from the Hippodrome. (West side of mosque) As if you are non-Muslim visitor, you also have to use same direction to enter the Mosque.
How to visit Blue Mosque?
Tourists always wonder how to visit Blue Mosque. There is also many other questions such sd if there any entrance fee, dress code, where to put my shoes etc. Here below is the answers of all these simple questions.
1) Plan your visit to the Sultanahmet are of Istanbul, So that you better arrive mid morning. Pray happens five times a day with the first call to prayer sunrise and the last one at nightfall. The mosque closes for 90 minutes at each pray time. Avoid visiting a mosque at a pray time ( Especially Midday praying on Friday) or within a half hour after the ezan is chanted from the Mosque minarets.
2) Before step in to Mosque, take off your shoes and put in Plastic bags provided at the entrnce ( Free of Charge). this is required of all people as part of Muslim tradition when entering a mosque. There is also no charge to enter the Blue Mosque.
3) If you are women wear a head covering when entering to Blue Mosque. Head coverings are avaible at the Blue Mosque entrance for free. Place the fabric cover on top of your head with equal portions hanging on both sides. Tahe one side and wrap it around your neck, tossing it behind your back with covering your shoulders. Don’t cover your face, the covering is meant to hide your hair only.
4) When your are inside the mosque, remain quite and don’t use flash photography. Since this is a place of worship, avoid staring or taking picture of those who are praying. Visit the mosque respectfully and quitly. At the Mosque exit, you can put used plastic bags in designated bin bags and return head covers to duty staff
5) You can do donation to help maintain the Mosque at the exit door. It is not compulsory, but if you make donation you will get official receipt fot it.