Istanbul includes a number of the most important tourist attractions in Turkey, especially the historical mosques, a large number of which date back to the era of the Ottoman Empire.
Istanbul mosques have a unique architectural style, spectacular interiors, and eye-catching colorful decorations that make them one of the most important tourist places in Istanbul, which are recommended to visit when traveling and touring around the city.
In this article, we review the top 10 mosques in Istanbul that we recommend visiting when you visit Istanbul.
Hagia Sophia Mosque (Ayasofya Camii)
Ayasofya is the most famous mosque in Istanbul. Ayasofya was built as a Greek Patriarchal Cathedral and was the biggest at that time. However, when Sultan Mehmet Fatih conquered Turkey and the Byzantine Empire was captured by the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Mehmet Fatih converted Ayasofya into the first mosque in Istanbul for Muslim people to pray on it.
Ayasofya is on the European side of Istanbul in sultan Ahmet square in front of the sultan Ahmet Mosque or the blue mosque.
Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)
Sultan Ahmet mosque was built by sultan Ahmet I; it is the most important achievement of his reign. The mosque was opened for worship in 1617, and it was decorated from the inside with 21,000 blue and white ceramics, and as the people enter the mosque, they saw it blue that’s why it’s called the blue mosque.
Sultan Ahmet mosque locates On the European side of Istanbul in the Fatih District in front of Ayasofya mosque and adjacent to the famous Topkapi palace.
Ortakoy Mosque (Büyük Mecidiye Camii)
Ortakoy mosque locates on the European side of Istanbul in the Besiktas district on the Bosphorus.
The mosque was built by Sultan Abdul Majid in 1853. It was built in the Baroque architecture style by architect Garabet Balyan, the same architect who built the Dolmabahce Palace. The mosque’s inside view is breathtaking as it is directly on the Bosphorus, and the water reflects the sunlight upon its wonderful inside architecture making it one of the most beautiful mosques in Istanbul.
The Suleymaniye mosque locates in the Suleymaniye district near the Bosphorus and Golden horn. It was built in 1550 by the famous architect Mimar Sinan during the reign of Sultan Suleyman Kanuni. the mosque was built in the Islamic ottoman architecture style, it has the tomb of Suleiman the Magnificent, Hurrem Sultan, and the architect Mimar Sinan lies nearby. Suleymaniye mosques were the largest mosques in Istanbul until the Camlica mosque was built in 2019.
Fatih mosque locates on the European side of Istanbul in the Fatih district. it is one of the most beautiful and most visited mosques in Istanbul. Fatih mosque was a church in the Byzantine era, but when the ottoman empire comes to turkey, the sultan Mehmet Fatih converted it to a mosque in 1470. it was one of the biggest mosques in Istanbul until the Suleymaniye mosque.
Eyup Sultan Mosque
Sultan Eyup mosque locates in the Eyup district nearby the Golden horn. It was built in 1458 making it the first mosque to be built after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople.
Eyup sultan is considered to be a holy place for Muslims as it has many tombs for people who delivered Islam to the whole world, and the most important tomb there is the tomb of Abu Eyup El Ensari (God bless him). The mosque was rebuilt by Sultan Selim in the 1700s as it was in ruins by then.
Camlica mosque is the largest mosque in Istanbul up to date, it was constructed by two female architects in the ottoman architecture style in 2019. The mosque has six minarets to represent the six articles of Islamic Faith. It also has an art gallery, library, childcare spaces, and conference halls. The great Camlica mosque locates in the Camlica district on the Asian side of Istanbul.
Mihrimah Sultan Mosque
Mihrimah Sultan Mosque locates in the Edirnekapi neighborhood on the European side of Istanbul near the Byzantine land walls. The mosque was designed and constructed by the chief imperial architect Mimar Sinan with the orders from Mihrimah Sultan, the daughter of Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century.
Dolmabahce Mosque, known as the Sultan’s Mother Mosque, was opened in 1855 and constructed by Architect Nigogayos Balyan by order of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majid.
Dolmabahce mosque locates on the European side of Istanbul in Besiktas at the coast of the Bosphorus in the Kabatas region, south of Dolmabahce palace.
Taksim Mosque locates on the European side of Istanbul in Taksim square exactly at the entrance of the famous Istiklal street, and the mosque faces the Atatürk Cultural Center. Furthermore, the mosque is on the other side of Istiklal street from The Hagia Triada Greek Orthodox Church.