Istanbul Hagia Irene Museum (Guided Tour)

(1 Review)
1st Orthodox Church in Town
From10 €
1st Orthodox Church in Town
From10 €
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  • Adult10€
  • Tour Duration20-30 Minutes
  • Available Day Varies by Season
  • Witness the HistoryFirst Orthodox Church in Istanbul
  • GuidanceEnglish
  • Over Then 1650 Years OldBuilt Under the Orders of Emperor Constantine I

Istanbul Hagia Irene Museum (Guided Tour)

Istanbul has a long history that goes through the ages, and visitors can visit sights from different periods. The Hagia Irene Museum was constructed on the ruins of a pagan temple, following the request of the Emperor Constantine I. What makes this sight important is that, it forms the first ever Greek Orthodox Church to be constructed in the back then Constantinople.

Hagia Irene Museum: Constantinople’s first church

Hagia Irene was the Patriarchate church up until the construction of the imposing Hagia Sophia. Today, this sight hosts an interesting museum, while several cultural events take place there due to its incredible acoustics.

Our Hagia Irene Museum Guided Tour is able to offer you an exclusive touring experience. Get ready to learn all the important characteristics of this church, unfold its long history, and understand the incredible architectural style and design that the church has.

This tour is performed from Wednesday to Sunday, during the afternoon, and has an approximate duration of 20 minutes. For your own convenience, you will enter the museum with a professional tour guide. The price does not include transfers. Thus, you need to be at the meeting point, at least, 10 minutes prior the scheduled time. The meeting point for this tour is at the entrance of the Carpet Museum, just opposite the Topkapı Palace.


  • Hagia Irene, originally means “sacred peace” (Hagia Eirene), has a special meaning as the first place where Turkish museology was born
  • The Hagia Irene located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace is the oldest church of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine)
  • Today, it’s a popular concert venue for musicians from around the world due to acoustic of building
  • Witness the history and explore the second largest church in Istanbul after Hagia Sophia
istanbul tourist pass

From 1st November Until April 30 


From 1st May Until October 31


Meeting Point

Carpet Museum (Halı Müzesi)

This tour has no hotel transfer, our guests must make their way to the meeting location on their own. Please meet your guide at the meeting point 10 minutes before the tour start time.

The tour starts in front of the Carpet Museum (Halı Müzesi), opposite the entrance to Topkapı Palace. Please meet the guide there.

Getting there

Take the T1 Bağılar – Kabataş tram and get off at Sultanahmet station. Topkapı Palace is an easy five minute walk away, behind the Hagia Sophia Museum.

Get Directions For Meeting Point


What's Included

  • Guiding Service
  • Full Insurance

What's Excluded

  • Personal Spendings
  • Foods & Drinks
  • Hotel Transfer

Important Notes

  • The tour doesn't require a reservation in advance
  • Istanbul Tourist Pass holders do not pay admission at the Hagia Irene Museum
  • Please meet your guide at the meeting point 10 minutes before the tour start time
  • Children will be asked to present their passport at the entrance to confirm their age
  • The museum is closed for visits for half-day on the first day of Ramadan and Sacrifice Festivals
  • Please note that this attraction cannot be accessed directly by presenting the digital Pass at the museum. You need to enter with the tour guide

You may like to take a look at our all  Istanbul Excursions 

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About Hagia Irene Museum

Originally constructed during the 4th century by the Constantine the Great, the Hagia Irene Museum as we know it today is not the original one. In fact, through the years, the church went through restorations and reconstructions due to fires and earthquakes. During the times of Emperor Constantine V, Hagia Irene was rebuilt and decorated by beautiful mosaics. In 1726 it became the first Ottoman museum, while in 1976 the museum was used only for the concerts of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. In 2014, the church became an official museum, which demonstrates an exceptional architecture. The main dome is 15 meters wine and 35 meters wide. There still are few frescoes preserved, dating back to the 8th century. Inscriptions of psalms and the infamous “synthronon” are also some of the museum’s highlights.

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Hagia Irene Museum Guided Tour

The Hagia Irene Museum Guided Tour provides everything you need to visit this exceptional sight and unfold its history and importance. If you wish to join the tour, please be at the meeting point on time, without prior booking. At the meeting point a professional guide will welcome you, who will be responsible for touring you round. The tour is performed in English and the guide will explain everything you need to know about the museum’s incredible acoustics, architecture, history, and other features.

Meeting point

For the purposes of this tour, the meeting point is set at the entrance of Carpet Museum. It is located just opposite the infamous Topkapı Palace, at a central location in Istanbul, which allows easy access. In fact, if your hotel is close you may walk or use a taxi. If you are planning to reach the meeting point via public transportation, please use the T1 Tram Line, and stop by the Sultanahmet station. From there, you can walk for 5 minutes until you arrive at the Carpet Museum.

Hagia Irene Museum Guided Tour: Locals’ tips

Still wondering if you should join this guided tour? Well, except from being able to visit one of the most interesting and important sights of Istanbul, you also get the chance to listen to some remarkable insights and tips about it. For instance, Hagia Irene Museum is actually located inside the 1st court of the infamous Topkapi Palace. In addition, Hagia Irene in Greek means Holy Peace, and for sure you will get a blend of peaceful and graceful feelings upon your entrance.


1 Review
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Imran Attarwala

Solo Traveller

Second time in Istanbul, interesting tour, many new infos. As this was my second time there I didn’t go to the top sites. Never been to this museum and appeared like a good one. Guide told us that it was the first church in Istanbul and explained to us how important it still is. It’s not really big, but it has so many nice things to see, and the architecture is dope. I was impressed to discover this church, and I bet there are many more to see around this city. Next time I’m booking again with this company, they were professionals, and all tours went well.