The Most Beautiful Mosques In Türkiye Not To Be Missed
Türkiye is packed with beautiful buildings, and it’s no surprise that many of them are mosques. Not just important places of worship, mosques in Turkey 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
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 if 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.
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 and 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.
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.
Blue Mosque – Sultanahmet, Istanbul
Blue Mosque is one of the most famous spots 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 mosque’s interior, 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.
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. Suleymaniye 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.
Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, Istanbul
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.
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.
Yeni Cami (New Mosque) – Eminonu, Istanbul
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.
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 building 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 sultan 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.
Hagia Sophia Mosque, Istanbul
One of the best mosques to visit without question! 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.
Çamlıca Mosque, Istanbul
Çamlıca 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).
Mosque Of Süleymaniye, Istanbul
The Mosque of Süleymaniye is one of the most iconic buildings in Istanbul. Situated on a hill overlooking the Golden Horn, the distinguished Ottoman architect Sinan built the mosque 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.
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 important and most significant landmarks.
The mosque is enormous and can hold around 28,000 people at any one time. Despite the newness of the mosque, it is built in a traditional style dating back to Ottoman times. The Iznik tiles are stunning, and the calligraphy artwork on the walls glisten as the light flood in from the enormous windows at the top.
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.
Kocatepe Mosque – Ankara
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, and the many colorful stained glass windows allow the sun to stream in, casting an ethereal glow.
Grand Mosque Of Bursa – 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.
- The Do’s And Don’ts To Visiting Turkey
- Best Places To Visit In Turkey For Every Type Of Traveler
- How To Get From Istanbul To Cappadocia
- Best Nightlife In Istanbul
- Day Trips To Take From Istanbul
- Greek Island Day Trip From Southern Turkey
- What To Know When Traveling To Turkey During COVID-19
- Best Beaches To Visit In Turkey
- Ephesus, UNESCO World Heritage Site
- How To Get From Pamukkale To Cappadocia
- Best Islands In Turkey To Visit This Summer
- Things To Do In Cappadocia
- How To Get Around In Istanbul