There are mosques everywhere in Istanbul, and when I say everywhere, that’s no exageration. Our flight arrived to Istanbul just before midnight, so to save money on the first night, we stayed in a cheaper hotel. I was having The Best Sleep Ever, when I was woken up to the super loud call to prayer from a mosque which was right next to our bedroom window! Kinda weird to wake up to when not expecting it, but also amazing.
One of the activities that all Istanbul guides in existance say is: visit Hagia Sophia and The Blue Mosque. So we did…
Hagia Sophia is the amazing pink coloured mosque, absolutely beautiful from the outside. It was my favourite mosque that I saw in Istanbul (based on it’s exterior!). The Blue Mosque is the larger grey coloured one (actually most tiles inside are blue, which is where it gets it’s nickname). It’s official mosque name is ‘Sultan Ahmed Mosque’, but that’s a mouthful so lets just called it The Blue Mosque ;)
When visiting a mosque that is still used for prayer, you must wear the correct clothes to cover up your body. You also must take off your shoes when inside. I wasn’t very good at putting on a hijab, I think I needed more practice.
Once inside The Blue Mosque, the tiles were absolutely incredible. It’s totally overwhelming the amount of detail and it’s actually impossible to photograph. Your eyes really cannot take it all in, nor could a camera. It’s just breathtaking! I cannot even imagine creating something that big, every part of it was perfect. The patterns obsessively matched up, the colours were bold and the structure was awe inspiring.
You could sit in there for years and still not notice everything. I can definitely see the appeal of prayer when this is where you go to worship.
No day in Turkey would be complete without a after-mosque snack of baklava. My second favourite sweet treat to chocolate?!
I did worry that visiting these mosques would be a bit ‘too touristy’ – which I hate, but it wasn’t at all. Well, I mean, there were a lot of tourists with selfie sticks (WTF). But it’s so worth it. I would wholeheartedly recommend visiting The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, you will not see anything else like it in the world!