TOP-10 Beautiful Mosques in Istanbul
Istanbul is located on the edges of Europe and Asia and connects the two continents. It is a travel destination rich in heritage thanks to its great setting. Istanbul’s architecture has been heavily influenced by its history.
There are around 3,000 mosques in Istanbul. Each mosque plays a major part on the city’s culture. While there are thousands of mosques, there are a select few that shouldn’t be missed on a visit to the city.
Let’s take a look at the must-visit and the most Beautiful TOP-10 Mosques in Istanbul with IstanbulPoints.com
- 1 Blue mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque)
- 2 Süleymaniye Mosque
- 3 Çamlıca mosque (Çamlıca camii)
- 4 Hagia Sophia mosque (Ayasofya-i Kebîr Câmi-i)
- 5 Örtakoy Mosque (Buyuk Mecidiye Camii)
- 6 Nusretiye mosque
- 7 Yıldız Hamidiye mosque
- 8 New mosque (Yeni Valide Sultan camii)
- 9 Rüstem Paşa Mosque
- 10 Mihrimah Sultan Mosque
- 11 Laleli mosque
- 12 Pertevniyal Valide Sultan mosque
Blue mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque)
Built in 1616, the Sultanahmet Mosque has 20,000 beautiful intricate Iznik tiles on its inner walls. Known as the Blue Mosque, the religious building is famous for its incredible look. It truly stands out in Istanbul and visitors from all over the globe tour it on trips to the iconic city. The mosque has six slender towers with an unusual number of minarets. The Sultanahmet Mosque is still used today with five daily prayer times taking place.
You can find Blue mosque in the central square of Old Town — Sultanamet, right near Hippodrome area. For those, who stay at other hotels, can take T1 tram line untill Sultanahmet.
Despite not being the city’s largest mosque, Süleymaniye is a jewel of Istanbul in terms of appearance. The Süleymaniye Mosque is a 10-minute walk from the amazing Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Spicw market. Built in the 16th century, the mosque is an incredible example of the architecture of the time. Süleymaniye Mosque is at the top of the Golden Horn and is incredibly important thanks to its location in the city.
You can take a walk to the mosque or take T1 tram line and get to the station og Eminönü. It will take about 10-15 minutes to reach Suleymaniye mosque. Don’t forget to put on comfortable shoes because you’ll have to climb the streets that going upward.
Çamlıca mosque (Çamlıca camii)
The Çamlıca Mosque is the largest religious building in Istanbul. It was opened in 2019 and daily worship takes place at the building. The mosque is situated in the Üsküdar District. It is home to an art gallery, library, and a conference hall. The mosque cost US$110 million to build.
Most of the city guests can see Çamlıca mosque from European side of the city because it’s located on the high hill.
If you plan to visit Çamlıca mosque don’t miss other beautiful attractions on the Asian side: Mihrimah Sultan mosque, Beylerbeyi palace, Kuzguncuk district, Şemsi Ahmed Paşa mosque and Çamlıca tower.
Hagia Sophia mosque (Ayasofya-i Kebîr Câmi-i)
Hagia Sophia was built as a cathedral of Greek Patriarchate and was one of the biggest that time. In 1453, when Constantinople was recaptured by Ottoman army, the church was converted into a mosque with a wooden minaret at first. After a while, mosque was supplemented with new minarets, placing them in the corners of building. Last two minarets were built in the 16th century by eminent architect Sinan. In 1935, on the initiative of Ministerial Council and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the mosque became a museum. But in 2020 it’s changed the status and became the mosque again. So nowadays as it became a mosque you don’t have to pay entrance fee.
Hagia Sophia stand right in front of Sultanahmet mosque, so you can visit both of the attractions one after another. Don’t forget to visit historical places nearby — Topkapı palace, Archaeological museum, Gülhane park, Mosaics museum, Aya Irene church.
Örtakoy Mosque (Buyuk Mecidiye Camii)
The Ortaköy Mosque is one of Istanbul’s most beautiful buildings despite being rather straightforward in architectural design. Thanks to its location on the water, the Ortaköy Mosque is called the jewel of Bosphorus. The mosque is situated in the Ortaköy District of Istanbul. It was constructed between 1854 and 1856. It was built in the Neo-Baroque style and commissioned by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid.
Don’t miss special streed food here in Örtakoy — delicious kumpir (stuffed potatoes) and sweet waffle (with fruits or chocolate).
To get to Örtakoy district from Sultanahmet you have to take T1 tram to Kabataş and then take 25E, 22RE or 22 bus to Ortaköy stop or Kabataş erkek lisesi stop.
To get to Ortakoy from Taksim you have to take 40T or 42T bus.
The Nusretiye Mosque is found in the Tophane district of Istanbul. The mosque’s architecture was influenced by Islamic elements. It possesses a Baroque architecture style, which makes the mosque unique to Istanbul. Nusretiye Mosque was constructed between 1823 to 1826 by Sultan Mahmut II.
Today you can visit Nusretiye mosque and also take a walk walk along the Galataport embankment.
To visit Nusretiye you should take T1 tram line until Karaköy or Tophane stop and then walk for a while to reach the mosque.
Yıldız Hamidiye mosque
Yıldız Hamidiye mosque located in Beşiktaş district and also called Yıldız mosque.
The mosque was built by direction of Sultan Abdul Hamid II between 1884 and 1886. Yildiz Hamidiye mosque is different from classic Ottoman mosques and has her own neo-gothyc style. The architect who made the mosque was Sarkis Balyan, who also worked on some other buildings in Istanbul.
Near this beautiful mosque there is also famous Yıldız park and Yıldız Clock tower so if you plan to visit Yildiz mosque don’t forget all the attractions in this area.
To get to Yıldız park area from Sultanahmet you have to take T1 tram to Kabataş and then use one of the 43R, 58A or 58N buses.
New mosque (Yeni Valide Sultan camii)
Located in the Eminönü quarter of Istanbul, Yeni Valide Sultan Mosque dates back to 1663. The mosque can be found at the end of the famous Galata Bridge and it’s a part of a complex of Egyptian spice market. The mosque took over half a century to build. Money issues along with political turmoil caused multiple delays on its construction.
Don’t miss to see famous Sirkeci railway station not far from New mosque and take a look at spices and sweets at Egyptian market. Also, you can take a walk from here to Süleymaniye mosque — just walk upward the streets about 15 minutes.
Rüstem Paşa Mosque
The Rüstem Paşa Mosque was constructed by architect Sinan as well. It is a small building but due to its design, rivals the Blue Mosque. It has ornate, decorative ceramics on the inside. The mosque has Iznik tiles covering it adding to its beauty. Although other mosques in Istanbul have Iznik tiles, no other building uses it like the Rüstem Paşa Mosque does.
After visit a mosque take a look at the streets near it, try some streed food or buy some kitchen stuff at a local market.
To get to Rüstem Paşa mosque you have to walk from T1 tram station Eminönü about 8-10 minutes.
Mihrimah Sultan Mosque
The Mihrimah Sultan Mosque is one of just two 16th-century religious buildings in Istanbul. According to lore, architect Sinan was unable to express his love to Sultan Süleyman I’s daughter, Mihrimah Sultan, because she was married to Rüştem Paşa. To show his love, Sinan built two mosques with encoded messages. It is claimed the sun goes down between the minarets on the European-side of the mosque and the moon rises from the single minaret on the Asian-side of the mosque. This celebrates Mihrimah’s name, which translates to English as “sun and moon”.
To get to the Mihrimah Sultan mosque you have to take T1 tram line to Topkapı station and then walk to the station of T4 tram line and reach the Edirnekapı station. The mosque is about 4 minutes walk from Edirnekapı.
Laleli was built in the 18th century by Sultan Mustafa III. The mosque was constructed between 1760 and 1763 and was designed in the baroque architecture style. The Ottoman imperial architect Mehmet Tahir Ağa created the design for the structure. In 1783, the Laleli Mosque was destroyed by fire, but luckily rebuilt. It was later destroyed again on two occasions only to be resurrected.
To get to Laleli mosque and shopping quarter near you have to tak T1 tram line to Laleli and then take a little walk.
Pertevniyal Valide Sultan mosque
The Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque is situated at the intersection of Ordu Street and Atatürk Boulevard. You will find the mosque in the Aksaray Distict next to Pertevniyal High School. The Ottoman Imperial-built Mosque was construct in 1872 on the order of Sultana Pertevniyal. Between 400 to 500 mosque worshipers visit the building each day.
Pertevniyal Valide Sultan mosque is the neighbour of Laleli mosque, so you can visit both of the mosques easily. This mosque is located closer to Aksaray tram station as Laleli mosque is closer ro Laleli tram station.