We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

Hagia Irene Museum

Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Sultanahmet Meydani Topkapi Sarayi 1. Avlusu | Sultanahmet, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
Phone Number: +90 212 512 0480
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Istanbul Small-Group Walking Tour: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace...
Why book on Viator?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information ›

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 229 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 31
  • 26
    Very good
  • 27
  • 22
  • 25
Separate piece of history within the Topkapi Palace area

Included in the Istanbul museum pass, this museum was built as a byzantine Christian church. It now is used for concerts and events. It is empty on the inside, but I encourage... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 July 2016
Atlanta, Georgia
Add Photo Write a Review

229 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 131: English reviews
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2016 via mobile

The Hagia Irene only opened to the public in 2014, and if you have the museum card, you should definitely visit it while in the Topkapi Palace grounds. The space gives you a sense of true early Roman architecture and what Hagia Sophia would have originally looked like before her many renovations. The plainness of the space, and mainly emptiness... More 

Thank Rebecca D
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2016

Everybody goes to Ayia Sophia and the classic monuments. But this felt like the real deal. Very few visitors, although inside the Top Kapi complex. A really old christian church, untouched by time and islam, it is a jewel. Such a shame it is not kept in the stellar condition it should be kept as it is a fine example... More 

Thank velissaris_
Klaipeda, Lithuania
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2016

Never converted into a mosque, it is an one of most authentic early Christian churches. Though almost no wall paintings left, the building itself, much lower than the ground level after so many years, has some spirit of early Christianity.

Thank Vytenis
Nicosia, Cyprus
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2016

This is an ex church stripped bare of every adornment and decoration. Jut bare brick walls. Used to be an armoury in the ottoman period. Nothing to see really. They shouldn't be charging anything for this. You'll spend 5-10 minutes at most. Walk right past and into the topkapi.

Thank terzisc
Level Contributor
70 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2016 via mobile

If you buy the 5 day museum pass, this venue is included. Visit if you have 5 minutes to kill because that is how much time you will need. If you do not have the museum please please save the 20TL entry fee and buy yourself 5 doner kebabs. You will be more fulfilled with the doner kebabs. The staff... More 

1 Thank Happy_Holidays_7654
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2016

I came across this by share chance at the end of visiting Topkapi Palace and, my word, it was so rewarding. For some reason I was there on my own for a good 10 minutes, which made the experience even more special. There were people queuing for tickets outside, but I walked straight in with my museum pass. You feel... More 

Thank Fuad Mohammed A
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2016

Included in the Istanbul museum pass, this museum was built as a byzantine Christian church. It now is used for concerts and events. It is empty on the inside, but I encourage you to walk through it and admire the staircases and architecture. There is something striking about its simplicity - especially with no furniture, etc. in it. It only... More 

Thank 60spink
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2016 via mobile

If you purchaced the Istanbul Museum Pass, I would recommend you to visit this place caz the entrance fee is already included and near the Hagia Sofia. The complex itself is small and there is nothing much to offer but it is historically important place and suitable for those who interested in history. ถ้าใครซื้อ Istanbul Museum Pass สามารถเข้าชมได้เลย เพราะอยู่ระหว่างทางไป Topkapi... More 

Thank Mda B
Level Contributor
86 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2016

Do not miss an unique opportunity to visit this old (ex) orthodox church on your way in to the Top Kapi Palace; Hagia Irene prior to Hagia Sophia construction has been the metropolitan cathedral of Constantinople; there are not much to see inside the building but you should search for all these hidden christian details around; the giant cross is... More 

Thank ML P
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
156 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2016

Worth a visit with a museum pass, an average 5-10 minute peak inside the neglected interior should be sufficient, and for photos, maybe another 10-15 minutes if you're inspired, Not many visitors as said, it is neglected, just old walls and the structure but still nice to go and have a look and appreciate.

Thank waleos

Travellers who viewed Hagia Irene Museum also viewed


Been to Hagia Irene Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Hagia Irene Museum staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

Staying in Sultanahmet

Neighbourhood Profile
With so many unmissable attractions within a mere stroll of each other – and all set around the site of an ancient Byzantine hippodrome – Sultanahmet is an overwhelmingly popular tourist destination, and a prime location for visitors to be wowed on a truly epic scale. Beyond the wonders of the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and more, this relatively small area of Istanbul somehow manages to retain an air of peace and calm. It offers visitors a significantly less celebrated but nonetheless pleasant network of quaint lanes and side streets, majestic panoramas of the Bosphorus, and an impressive assortment of accommodation options for all budgets and tastes.
Explore this neighbourhood