Tickets for Hagia Irene: Guided Tour

Get guided around a rare remnant of Turkish pre-Ottoman history

Cancellations are possible up to 24 hours before your visit date
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Overview
Starting time
15:30
Duration
45 minutes
Highlights
  • Catch a glimpse into a rare remnant of Turkey's history with a guided tour of the first church ever built in the city
  • Walk around the cavernous halls and learn about the building's embattled history
  • Hear why the building is sometimes used as a classical music concert venue - the acoustics are divine!
Description

There aren't many churches in today's Istanbul; most of them were converted into mosques by the conquering Ottoman empire. The first church built in ancient Constantinople, however, is still standing, offering a unique window into Turkey's incredible past.

Add a splash of cultural history to your Turkish city-break, and explore this ancient treasure with an expert tour guide. Wander the cavernous nave and learn about this unique Christian sanctuary that has survived the centuries.

Hagia Irene means Holy Peace. Ironically, the building was once used as an armory, but these days the ancient monument lives up to its name, and a fittingly peaceful atmosphere abides.

Far less crowded with sightseers than the more famous Hagia Sophia, Hagia Irene offers true culture vultures a quieter look into a chapter of Turkish history that centuries of conquest and cultural influences have all but erased.

This guided tour will take you on a journey into the embattled past, and provide a fascinating overview of Hagia Irene's history — from a pagan temple to a Greek Eastern Orthodox church, to an Ottoman arsenal, and finally a museum and concert hall.

Ticket
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What's included
Admission to the Hagia Irene
Guided tour of the Hagia Irene in English
Instructions
1
Starting point
Topkapı Palace, Cankurtaran Mh., Fatih, 34122, Istanbul
2
Hagia Irene
Cankurtaran Mh., Topkapı Sarayı 1. Avlu, Fatih, 34122, Istanbul
  • Show your smartphone ticket to your guide at the meeting point, Topkapı Palace, first gate, outer wall. Do not go directly to the Hagia Irene!
  • The tour starts at 15:30. Please make sure to be on time
  • For children under 13, don't forget to bring a valid ID or passport to prove their age
Changing or cancelling your ticket
  • Cancellations are possible up to 24 hours before your visit date
  • Changes may be possible for this ticket
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