That’s why they call it the Blue Mosque – Istanbul, Turkey

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  1. Wait… I’m confused, what’s the difference between the Blue Mosque, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, and the Hagia Sophia?

    1. The Blue Mosque and the Sultan Ahmet Mosque are different names for the same thing. The Hagia Sophia is an entirely different building, but is nearby.

      1. I couldn’t find the Hagia Sophia when I checked on Google Maps just now! Is the Hagia Sophia preserved in it’s Byzantine form (aside from the 4 pillars on it’s corners) or did they revamp it into a mosque long ago?

        1. It was turned into a mosque hundreds of years ago, but they didn’t change all that much inside. A lot of the original Byzantine artwork is still there, for example. It currently doesn’t function as a mosque, though. It’s a museum now.

          1. A lot of the Christian mosaic can are visible and preserved now. Though there’s calls to close it as a museum and reopen as a mosque, which would be disappointing.

            Try searching for it by its Turkish spelling; Aya Sofia.

    2. The Hagia Sophia is just a 5 minute walk from the Blue Mosque. We really loved seeing how Christian and Islamic symbols can coexist peacefully within a building so beautifully. People want to make so much hate, but these landmarks remind us that humanity can create so much beauty in the absence of prejudice.

  2. Dude. It’s not called the Blue Mosque because of the Blue tint…

    You just need to learn how to set your white balance.

  3. No matter how many times I see a pic of this place, It always impresses me with Its beauty and charm! Let me say that I’m absolutely in love with Istanbul and this place in particular! When did you visit Istanbul?

    1. We had a long layover with Turkish Airlines last month. They offer a free city tour, so we got to visit the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia during our 12-hr layover. We didn’t get to see much else, but I would love to go back and visit.

      1. You had a great idea deciding to spend that time to visit Istanbul! That city is incredibly rich in terms of history, art, architecture and culture so one day is not enough to visit it, but you chase two of the most beautiful and fascinating places of the entire city so let me say that you were so lucky! Thanks a lot for sharing your pic!

    2. Hey Istanbul fan, I’m interested in visiting the city soon and since you sounded like you are passionate and perhaps knowledgeable about Istanbul, can you please give me some advice?

      Specifically, is 5 days in Istanbul too long? I’m interested in history and art, and Istanbul looks perfect for my taste but I don’t know if it actually has enough things to do for at least 5 full days.

      Also, is Istanbul safe for a male solo traveler? I’m not concerned about terrorist attacks, but I’m concerned about the supposedly high number of aggressive street scammers and I fear that as a lone Asian, I will appear as a distinct target in Istanbul.

      1. Hey, thanks a lot for your message! You’re right when you say that I’m an Istanbul fan. First of all, I can say that Istanbul is as safe for solo travelers as other cities in Europe or America, so don’t be afraid. I can say that 5 days is not too long for Istanbul. Instead I think that 4-5 days are perfect if you want to visit not only the most famous tourist attractions, but also lesser known places and have an immersive experience in the city. First of all, because you have already visited Aya Sophia and The Blue Mosque, I would suggest you to visit other famous tourist attractions such as the Basilica Cistern, the Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazar, the Spice Market. Then, if you’re looking for some hidden gems I would suggest you to visit the Little Aya Sophia, the Rustem Pasa Mosque, the little book market (a bit difficult to find but truly cute and fascinating), the Fener and Balat Neighborhoods which are a must if you love history. They are UNESCO world heritage sites but almost nobody visit them, they are really special and different from the rest of the city. (visit them with an agency because you could get lost, I suggest you Scoprire Istanbul because they are amazing, they give you a great perspective of those neighborhoods so you can have a great experience with them). You could also visit the Asian side of the city, such as Uskudar and Kadikoy neighborhoods. They are still underestimate so there are hidden gems there as well. Finally I would suggest you to try some experiences in the city such as the hammam (feel free to contact me for the best ones), a cuisine lesson, a typical turkish tea and others. If you need further information, feel free to contact me! I’m here to help you!

        1. > because you have already visited Aya Sophia and The Blue Mosque

          Wait, I’m not OP and I haven’t never been to Istanbul before. But this is a very informative post. I have saved this message so I can refer back once I book my flight to Istanbul. Thank you for your suggestions!

      2. Five days is certainly not too long. It’s a large expansive city, and quite beautiful at that. And I think you’re over-estimating the aggressiveness of these street scammers.

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