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Hagia Sophia online tickets?

My boyfriend & I will be in Istanbul from about 4:00pm on a Sunday to 11:00am on a Tuesday (our flight is at 1:00pm) in mid-May. We know the Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays, and closes at 5:00pm on other days, so it seems our only day to see it would be on our last morning (before 11:00). However, we also know that there are usually VERY long lines and are concerned about missing our flight. I saw other travelers recommending buying tickets online at this website (http://www.muze.gov.tr/en), but the tickets link does not appear to work. Does anyone know if there's another website, or if this website is just having temporary issues? If there is not, what is the best way to decrease wait time - is there a combo ticket of some sort?

Thank you!

Posted by
1812 posts

Contact your Istanbul hotel and ask if they sell Hagia Sophia tickets. Ours did; we bought them early in the morning, walked over to the Hagia Sophia about 10 minutes before it opened, and walked right in (no line).

We had timed our visit to the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque for a day when no cruise ships were in port in Istanbul, which may have made a difference. Check this schedule for the day you will be there. If it's May 13, there's just one cruise ship with 2087 passengers, so that's not bad. If it's May 20, there are no cruise ships (even better).

Posted by
80 posts

The website actually started working again today so we were able to buy our tickets online. But that's great advice about the cruise ships! We will be there on May 13th and are hoping to get in as soon as it opens so we have time to see it before we have to leave to catch our flight. If it opens at 9:00 (that's what I've seen) and we have tickets already, is it reasonable to get there at 8:30 and expect to not wait for too long to get in?

Posted by
1812 posts

I think you'll be fine. We got there a few minutes before the doors opened and there were just a few people waiting. When the doors opened we walked right in. Hopefully if anyone had any different experience they will respond.

Posted by
80 posts

Great, thank you Charlene!

Did anyone have any experience with the muze website for buying tickets? We bought tickets 2 days ago and have not received an email with them yet so I was just wondering if this is normal.

Posted by
1 posts

The website is still not working as of today 2014-04-03. (and for about the last 2 weeks when I have been trying to get Istanbul tickets. As for not receiving your tickets: Check your SPAM folder. That is where our Rome tickets were deposited!!
Good luck,

Flying Dutchman