19 Beautiful & Famous Mosques In Turkey Not To Miss

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Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Turkey is packed with many beautiful buildings; many of them are mosques. Here is your guide to the most beautiful mosques in Turkey, not to be missed.

Turkey Travel Blog_Most Beautiful Mosques In Turkey

Mosques in Turkey are not just important places of worship; they are designed in stunningly beautiful ways.

Islamic art is at the center of all designs, and from ancient designs to newer versions, you’ll struggle to stop your jaw from stopping at the sheer intricacies of architecture and design.

Istanbul, in particular, is home to some 4,000 magnificent mosques, but you’ll find them all over the country; after all, there are 80 thousand mosques in Türkiye.

A Quick Word About Mosque Etiquette

Where To Party In Istanbul - Istanbul At Night

You don’t have to be going to a mosque for Muslim prayer to be able to enjoy the amazing architecture on offer, although know that you cannot visit during official prayer times if you are not Muslim. You should also do your best to avoid Fridays if possible, as this is the holy day, and mosques will be much busier.

It would be best if you always were respectful when visiting any mosque, even simply admiring the design from the outside. Remember that mosques are extremely important places of worship for Muslims and any loud or rowdy behavior outside of one is prohibited and highly disrespectful.

If you are visiting a mosque and you want to go inside and explore, it’s entirely possible. Again, remember that these are working places of worship, which means people will be praying inside. Once inside, don’t speak unless you need to, but if you must, make sure that you keep your voice down to a whisper. Never point, and don’t walk in front of anyone who is praying. Also, it goes without saying that you should turn off your flash and never take a photograph of anyone praying.

You will need to remove your shoes before going inside, and there is a safe spot to store your shoes just outside the main door. Remember to wear socks that day, and if you’re wearing sandals, throw a pair of socks in your bag to wear when you’re inside the mosque.

Women will need to cover their heads, so keep a scarf in your bag while you’re sightseeing, just in case you see a beautiful mosque and want to go inside. Both men and women will need to dress modestly, which means no short skirts or shorts, no low-cut tops or crop tops, and tops should be below the elbow, with skirts/shorts/pants down to the ankle.

Sunset Hagia Sofia - Sultanahmet Istanbul-5

If the mosque attendants think you’re not wearing the correct attire, they will give you a shawl to wrap around your shoulders or wrap around your waist to cover your legs, but it’s best not to get to that point. Ladies, also try to avoid wearing skinny jeans or leggings as you’ll end up being asked to wrap a scarf around your legs – loose fitting is best here.

It’s just about using common sense and respecting religious beliefs.

Now you know everything about mosque etiquette, let’s check out some of the most beautiful mosques in Turkey.

1. Şakirin Mosque – Uskudar, Istanbul

Uskudar is located on the Asian side of Istanbul and is a quite local and authentic neighborhood to visit. This is where you’ll find the beautiful Şakirin Mosque.

With beautiful Islamic art on display, huge curved windows, and a large globe chandelier, this may not be the largest mosque in Istanbul, but it’s one of the most remarkable. Designed by Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu, this mosque is a lot more modern than many of the others you’ll find in Istanbul, and that’s what makes it stand out. It is also the first mosque to be designed by a woman.

2. Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) – Sultanahmet, Istanbul

Most Beautiful Mosques In Turkey - Blue mosque in Istanbul at sunset

Blue Mosque is one of the most famous mosques in the whole of Türkiye, and it’s a genuinely stunning mosque to visit. But back in 1616, it was also one of the oldest buildings in the city, and it also stands out for having six minarets, the only mosque in Istanbul that has this number. Blue Mosque is one of the most notable displays of architecture from the Ottoman Empire, and it’s a mosque that is visited by millions every year.

The name comes from the blue tiles on the interior of the mosque, which gleam as the sunlight floods in. Without a doubt, this mosque will leave you jaw-dropped, and it’s one of the must-visit spots in Istanbul overall.

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3. Süleymaniye Mosque – Fatih, Istanbul

Most beautiful mosques in Turkey -Suleymaniye Mosque - Fatih, Istanbul

The first thing to know about Suleymaniye Mosque is that not only is it beautiful (hence why it’s on this list), but the complex that surrounds it is also very large. Having been built in 1557, there’s a considerable amount of history here. You’ll see gardens, fountains, amazing views, and buildings that date back centuries.

The second thing to know is that it’s situated high up on a hill and to get to it, you’ll need very comfortable shoes! But, the trek is more than worth it for the stunning architecture. Süleymaniye Mosque was designed by one of Turkey’s most revered architects of history – Mimar Sinan. It is a mixture of Byzantine architecture and Islamic artwork, and it’s one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see. That’s just the outside – once you go inside? Wow.

4. Rüstem Paşa Mosque, Eminönü, Istanbul

Located on the Golden Horn on the European side of Istanbul, you’ll find this beautiful mosque, which is home to some stunning floral Iznik tiles. As with many mosques in Turkey, this was also designed by Sinan, the architect, and ordered by Rüstem Paşa, the grand vizier of Sultan Suleyman I.

Many people visiting Istanbul miss the Rustem Pasa mosque because it’s’ not directly on the street; you’ll need to walk up the stairs from the main road, and the mosque will appear before you.

5. Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, Istanbul

Mihrimah Sultan Mosque Istanbul City

The Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, located in Üsküdar on the Asian side of Istanbul, is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The mosque was commissioned by Mihrimah Sultan, the daughter of Süleyman the Magnificent, and was designed by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.

Not to be missed, the interior of Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Türkiye with arches and windows.

Construction of the mosque began in 1562 and was completed in 1565. The mosque is built on a high platform with four massive iwan halls that open onto a central courtyard. The main prayer hall is on the second floor and is flanked by two smaller prayer halls.

This impressive mosque in Istanbul is decorated with the famous Iznik tiles and has a unique exterior facade adorned with calligraphy.

6. Sultan Beyazıt II Mosque, Amasya

Built in 1486, Amasya’s’ Sultan Beyazit II Mosque is part of a large complex that is extremely well preserved. You’ll find many interesting murals here, especially if you look up at the ceilings, and the double dome inside the main prayer room is really beautiful.

This mosque is one of two dedicated to this particular Sultan, but most agree that the one in Amasya is the most beautiful and it is a wonderful place to visit.

7. Yeni Cami (New Mosque) – Eminonu, Istanbul

Most beautiful mosques in Turkey - The New Mosque (Yeni Valide Camii), an Ottoman Imperial Mosque interior architecture in Istanbul, Turkey, Eminonu district

Despite the name, there is nothing new about this mosque. It has been undergoing restoration for a while now, but it’s one of the oldest mosques in Istanbul, having been built around 1660. It stands proudly on the main road, right in the center of the Golden Horn. It’s also very visible as soon as you start walking over the Galata Bridge, if not before.

Yeni Cami dates back to Ottoman times, and it has a huge 66 domes. The whole complex is huge, and the interior doesn’t disappoint either. It’s decorated with famous Iznik tiles, large, soaring ceilings, and light pouring in from all sides.

8. Mahmud Bey Mosque, Kastamonu

This mosque was built in 1366 and is famous as it is a prime example of an old-style wood mosque. Everything inside this mosque is made of wood, from the ceiling to the column and the gallery. It is stunningly beautiful and remarkably well-preserved.

It is possible to go inside the gallery so you can check out the murals in more detail, giving you an overall view of the beauty of this old but extremely strong-standing mosque.

9. Fatih Mosque – Fatih, Istanbul

Most beautiful mosques in Turkey - Fatih Mosque - Fatih, Istanbul

From your standpoint on the pavement outside Fatih Mosque, you only need to turn your head to the sky and see the soaring buildings and domes in front of you. It’s imposing and truly beautiful in a strong and historical way.

You can tell this mosque is old, but not because it’s in ruins or anything like that, quite the opposite, but because there are whispers of the past all around. Having been built in 1463, Fatih Mosque is named after Mehmed, The Conqueror, the SSultan who, in 1453, captured Constantinople (as it was then called).

Again, the complex is vast, and at the height of the Ottoman Empire, it housed countless people and had a school of Islamic sciences inside.

10. Muradiye Mosque, Manisa

Located in Manisa, you’ll find a mosque dating back to the period between 1595 and 1603, when Sultan Mehmed III commissioned its construction. This is another mosque designed by Sinan, the Architect, and has many of his famous designs included.

You’ll find stunning Iznik tiles here that span the entire mosque on the inside and a beautiful stained glass window. The wood carvings on the main door are another highlight.

11. Hagia Sophia Mosque, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia mosque in Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey

One of the best mosques to visit without question! There is so much history!

The Hagia Sophia Mosque, also known as the Aya Sofya, is one of Istanbul’s most iconic and well-known buildings. It was initially built as a Christian cathedral in the 6th century AD. Still, it was converted into a mosque after the city fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 when they added the minarets.

From 1935 to 2020, Hagia Sofia was a museum before being converted into a mosque once again. It is currently one of the most popular tourist destinations in Istanbul. The Hagia Sophia mosque is renowned for its massive size and impressive architecture. It is one of Turkiye’s largest and most beautiful buildings ever constructed.

It was here that Mehmet II declared himself Sultan after defeating Constantinople in 1453. And it was here that Ataturk proclaimed Turkey to be a secular republic in 1931.

If you’re interested in learning more about this extraordinary building, be sure to visit the Hagia Sophia Mosque when you’re in Istanbul! Entry is free, of course, but be warned the lines are HUGE. 

Note: As of January 15th, 2024, the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque has introduced a distinct policy for tourists and worshippers. If you’re visiting for cultural exploration, there’s now a 25 euro entry fee. This ticket grants you access to the gallery floor, where you can admire the sanctuary’s stunning Ottoman and Byzantine features, including the historic mosaics.

This new policy is all about balancing the preservation of this iconic site and enhancing the visitor experience while ensuring that daily worship remains undisturbed.

Handy QR codes offer insights in 23 languages, making your visit both informative and enjoyable. For the latest updates and details, it’s a good idea to check out their official website

12. Aya Sofya Mosque, Trabzon

Not to be confused with Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, Aya Sofya Mosque in Trabzon was constructed in the 13th century and has a typical Byzantine design. It was once a church and was converted into a mosque in the 16th century. It has also been a Russian military arms depot and a museum, and now it is back to being a mosque.

It is possible to see the frescoes from Byzantine times outside of the daily prayer times as the ceiling retracts back. The gardens around the mosque are stunningly beautiful, featuring both a temple from Roman times and a cemetery from the Ottoman Empire.

13. Çamlıca Mosque, Istanbul

Best mosques in Istanbul - Çamlıca Mosque

Camlica Mosque is one of the most iconic landmarks in Istanbul, and it’s no surprise that it’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. The mosque is situated on a hilltop in the Üsküdar district and offers sweeping views of the Bosphorus Strait and the city skyline. But there’s more to Çamlıca Mosque than just its stunning location. Here are some facts and details about this incredible place of worship:

  • The mosque was designed by Turkish architect Hayati Tabanlioğlu and completed in 1987
  • This new mosque is currently the largest in Istanbul and, indeed, in Turkey.
  • It has six minarets and can accommodate more than 60,000 worshippers at any one time.
  • The main prayer hall is decorated with beautiful Islamic calligraphy and intricate tilework.
  • There is also a library, a conference hall, and an exhibition space on site.
  • Çamlıca Mosque is open to visitors daily from 9 am to 5 pm (except during prayer times).

14. Mosque Of Süleymaniye, Istanbul

Mosque in Istabul - Mosque Of SüleymaniyeThe Mosque of Süleymaniye is one of the most iconic buildings in Istanbul. Situated on a hill overlooking the Golden Horn, the mosque was built by the distinguished Ottoman architect Sinan in the 16th century. It is considered one of his finest works and one of the largest and most complex mosques in Istanbul. It was named after Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, who commissioned its construction.

The main prayer hall can accommodate up to 4,000 worshippers and is decorated with beautiful İznik tiles and stained glass windows. Several smaller prayer rooms, a library, a hospital, and a school are also on site.

Visitors are welcome to enter the Mosque of Süleymaniye and explore its grounds. However, as it is still an active place of worship, please respect those praying and refrain from taking photos inside the prayer halls.

15. Manuçehr Mosque, Ani

Located in Ani, a famous archaeological site, this mosque is thought to be one of the oldest, dating back to around 1072.

Some of the mosque is no longer standing, but the well-preserved parts give a real window to the past, and you can see the different archeological styles throughout the ages. You can also see Seljuk designs on the interior ceiling. Other notable parts include the octagonal-shaped minaret and red-tinged stone on the outside.

16. Sabancı Merkez Mosque, Adana

Most beautiful mosques in Turkey - Sabancı Merkez Mosque, Adana

Visitors to Adana won’t be able to miss Sabancı Merkez Mosque, as it dominates much of the skyline and sits right on the banks of the Seyhan River. The dome is 54 meters high, and the six minarets are 99 meters high. While it’s not a particularly old mosque built in 1998, it’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the country and one of Adana’s most significant landmarks.

The mosque is enormous and can hold around 28,000 people at any one time. Despite the mosque’s newness, it is built in a traditional style dating back to Ottoman times. The Iznik tiles are stunning, and the calligraphy artwork on the walls glistens as the light floods in from the enormous windows at the top.

17. Selimye Mosque – Edirne

Most beautiful mosques in Turkey -Selimye Mosque - Edirne

Selimye Mosque dates back to around 1569, and this is another of the famous architect Mimar Sinan’s pieces of work. The mosque is at the center of the city and forms the basis for everyday life.

It’s a stunning piece of architecture from the outside, but once you go inside, look up. The intricate design of the tiles on the walls and ceilings are simply mind-blowing, and the whole feel of the mosque, like all on our list, is so calm that you won’t fail to be moved by the entire experience.

18. Kocatepe Mosque – Ankara

Most Beautiful Mosques In Turkey - Kocatepe Mosque

Kocatepe Mosque is not only beautiful in design, but it’s also the largest mosque in the capital city of Ankara. It’s not that old, with construction beginning in 1967; however, you can see it from any point in the capital, so it’s undoubtedly a domineering sight. It’s also large, as it has the capacity to fit 24,000 people inside at any one time.

The interior is natural, and with massive domes and chandeliers, it’s breathtaking in its design. The many colorful stained glass windows allow the sun to stream in, casting an ethereal glow.

19. Grand Mosque Of Bursa – Bursa

Most beautiful mosques in Turkey - Grand Mosque Of Bursa

Bursa is a large city close to Istanbul, and it is home to the Grand Mosque, another of Türkiye’s most beautiful mosques. Bursa used to be the capital of the Ottoman Empire, although that name did move around a fair amount during the empire’s reign. In 1396, Sultan Bayezid I commissioned the mosque to be built, and it stands proudly in the center of the city today, with the huge slopes of the Uludag range in the background.

The mosque is built in Seljuk style, which makes it slightly different from the mosques we’ve talked about so far. You can feel the history all around you, and when you venture inside, the intricate design is truly stunning. The mosque has two minarets, and the entire complex is huge.

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