Among the most iconic structures adorning the Istanbul skyline, the Blue Mosque is a must-visit if you are in the Turkish capital city. A unique blend of Ottoman Islamic architecture and Byzantine Christian styles, the Blue Mosque rivals its legendary Byzantine-era neighbour, the Hagia Sophia, in majesty and splendour. From being a rare mosque that sports six minarets instead of the usual four to the 20,000 handmade Iznik blue tiles that give the mosque its name, the Blue Mosque is one of Istanbul’s most popular attractions.
The seventeenth-century Ottoman-era Mosque is still fully functional, and prayers are offered five times a day. Entering the mosque is absolutely free of cost, and open to all irrespective of their religious and spiritual beliefs. The best way to admire the stunning architectural marvel is to approach it from Sultanahmet Square. If you are a tourist and plan to visit the mosque, you must be respectful of the Blue Mosque’s prayer schedules and dress codes.
- One of the most important Blue Mosque Istanbul tips is to check the prayer timings before you visit the Mosque. The visitors are not permitted to enter the premises during prayer times, which last for 90 minutes five times in the day.
- Entry to the Blue Mosque is free of cost. You are welcome to offer donations at the provided boxes if you wish to.
- A crucial tip for visiting Blue Mosque Istanbul is that visitors are required to wear respectful clothing that covers their arms and legs. If one is found violating the Blue Mosque dress code, they will be asked to cover up with scarves, skirts, and robes lent for free by the mosque authorities.
- It is mandatory for visitors to cover their heads when they step inside the mosque. Visitors are provided with head scarfs at the entrance which they can use to cover their heads.
- An insider tip for visiting Blue Mosque Istanbul is that the best time to visit the mosque is after the morning prayers and before the noon prayers. One can avoid the heavy afternoon crowds and the queues are short as well.
- Another Blue Mosque Istanbul tips is to avoid clicking pictures and taking videos of those offering prayers or performing ablutions inside the mosque. Flash photography is also prohibited on the premises.
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Why is the Blue Mosque famous?
The Blue Mosque rivals the legendary Hagia Sophia in its magnificence and is unique because of its six minarets and blue interiors. Among the most impressive Ottoman structures, the still-functional mosque combines Byzantine and Ottoman elements in its architecture. The structure is lit up by more than 200 stained glass windows and huge chandeliers and is a beautiful sight to behold inside and out. Renowned as the last great mosque of the classical period, the Blue Mosque is a must-visit if you are in Istanbul.
Why do they call it the Blue Mosque?
The interiors of the Blue Mosque Istanbul are adorned with more than 20,000 handcrafted blue Iznik ceramic tiles, making the space light up in blue shades. This is why the structure is known as the Blue Mosque.
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Do you have to wear a hijab in the Blue Mosque?
There are no rules for visitors to wear a hijab when they explore the Blue Mosque. However, the Blue Mosque dress code mandates that visitors need to cover their heads using shawl or scarfs when they enter the mosque.
What isn’t permitted inside the Blue Mosque?
- Flash photography is not permitted inside the Blue Mosque.
- Taking pictures of people when they offer prayers or perform ablutions is strictly prohibited.
- Wearing shoes inside the mosque is not permitted. Visitors are required to keep their shoes in a plastic bag and carry them inside or leave them with the authorities.
- Wearing clothes that do not cover your arms and legs or are tight-fitting, like leggings, is not permitted. The mosque asks visitors to cover up and lends scarfs, robes, and skirts for the same.
Do you have to cover your head in the Blue Mosque?
It is mandatory to cover your head when you enter the Blue Mosque as per Islamic traditions. One of the tips for visiting Blue Mosque Istanbul is that you will be provided with head scarfs at the entrance, which you can use to cover your heads.
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