LifestyleHagia Sophia admission rules to change. Türkiye introduces entry fees

Hagia Sophia admission rules to change. Türkiye introduces entry fees

Hagia Sophia was first inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1985.
Hagia Sophia was first inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1985.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Sergey Pristyazhnyuk (Serg Zastavkin)
ed. MSI

10:39 AM EDT, November 1, 2023

Türkiye's Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy has announced changes to visitation rules at the Hagia Sophia Mosque. Starting from January 15, 2024, entry to the mosque will no longer be free of charge.

Up to this point, anyone could visit the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul free of charge. The newly announced changes regarding the entrance into the iconic mosque stem from the site being part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. The organization mandates a fee from visitors to gain access to cultural sites.

The faithful will not be charged for entrance to the mosque

"Starting from January 15, 2024, we are implementing a visitor management plan in line with UNESCO's guidelines. This measure is aimed at preserving the Hagia Sophia Mosque and its recognition on the UNESCO World Heritage List," announced Ersoy.

Among the chief changes is the establishment of distinct entrances for those coming to worship and those visiting as tourists. The minister elaborated, "Turkish citizens coming for religious purposes will not experience any changes, however, overseas visitors coming for tourism and cultural will need to pay an entrance fee."

Previously, admission tickets to the mosque cost about $4

Even though the exact amount of the entrance fee is still undecided, Minister Ersoy added that initially, before the Hagia Sophia's status was shifted from a museum to a mosque in 2020, an admission ticket cost was 100 Turkish liras (approximately $4). Currently, as with other mosques in Türkiye, entrance to the Hagia Sophia is free of charge.

The Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism also revealed that considerable conservation work is being carried out in different sections of the mosque.

Related content