Istanbul, a city of enchanting history and mesmerizing beauty, offers countless destinations to explore. Among these gems is the revered Eyüp Sultan Mosque, a spiritual haven with a rich past that continues to captivate the hearts of locals and travelers alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the fascinating history of the mosque, provide essential tips for visiting, and explore the captivating surroundings that add to the allure of this sacred sanctuary.

The Sacred History of Eyüp Sultan Mosque

A Holy Beginning

Eyüp Sultan Mosque’s significance in Turkey’s religious and cultural landscape is rooted in its association with Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Eyüp Ensari in Turkish), a close companion and standard-bearer of Prophet Muhammad. He was martyred during the first Arab siege of Constantinople between 674 and 678. Upon the discovery of his tomb in 1453 by Fatih Sultan Mehmet II (Mehmet the Conqueror), the revered mosque was erected in 1459 in his honor.

Architectural Marvels Through Time

Although the original mosque suffered from disrepair and earthquakes, the reconstructed 1800 Baroque-style structure features an elegant interior and a striking pale honey-colored stone exterior. The decorated central dome measures an impressive 17.5 meters in diameter and is supported by two half-domes, showcasing the mosque’s architectural prowess.

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Explore Eyup Mosque with Guide: Learn All about History and Tradition

Exploring the Eyüp Sultan Mosque Complex

The Intriguing Tomb of Eyüp

Arguably more interesting than the mosque itself is the tomb of Eyüp, which is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm. The tomb is adorned with tile panels from various periods, creating an awe-inspiring effect that leaves visitors spellbound.

The Tranquil Eyüp Cemetery and Pierre Loti Café

A leisurely stroll through the leafy Eyüp Cemetery, situated on a hill near the mosque, offers a serene experience. At the summit, you’ll find the Pierre Loti Café, named after the French novelist who frequented the spot for inspiration. Here, you can enjoy a Turkish tea or coffee while marveling at the breathtaking views of the Golden Horn, especially mesmerizing at sunset.

Enjoy Free Entry to the Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Guided Tour with Istanbul E-Pass

The Istanbul E-Pass is a valuable option for travelers, as it offers free entry and guided tours to the Eyüp Sultan Mosque, along with 50+ other attractions, providing a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the city.

Practical Tips for Visiting Eyüp Sultan Mosque

Mosque Etiquette and Best Times to Visit

As a functioning mosque, visitors should be mindful of the special rules of etiquette when entering the sacred space. For a more peaceful and contemplative experience, avoid visiting during religious holidays and Friday prayers.

The mosque is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm, but note that it will be closed to general visitors during prayer times.

How to Get to Eyüp Sultan Mosque

Reaching the Eyüp Sultan Mosque is straightforward and accessible by various modes of public transportation. Below are some options to help you navigate your way to this magnificent mosque in Istanbul.

By Ferry

One of the most scenic and enjoyable ways to reach the Eyüp Sultan Mosque is by taking a ferry from the Eminönü, Kadikoy, Karakoy or Uskudar ferry docks. The ferry ride will take you along the Golden Horn, offering stunning views of the city, and drop you off at the Eyüp ferry terminal. From the terminal, it’s just a short walk to the mosque.

By Bus

Numerous buses connect different parts of Istanbul to the Eyüp district. From Taksim Square, you can take bus number 54E, while from Eminönü, you can opt for bus numbers 44B, 99, or 99A.

Read also: Transport for Tourists in Istanbul: the Main Routes of Tram, Metro, Funicular and Ferry (2023)

Explore Eyup with Guided Tours


The Eyüp Sultan Mosque, an exquisite testament to Istanbul’s rich history and architectural prowess, is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring this captivating city. By delving into its fascinating past, appreciating its stunning architecture, and following our practical tips for visiting, you’ll ensure an unforgettable experience that will leave you longing for more of Istanbul’s enchanting wonders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Eyüp Sultan Mosque opening hours?

The mosque is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm. However, it will be closed to general visitors during prayer times.

How do I get from Sultanahmet to Eyüp Sultan Mosque?

You can travel from Sultanahmet to Eyüp Sultan Mosque via ferry, bus, or tram, each offering a unique and scenic experience of Istanbul’s captivating cityscape.

Is there an Eyüp Sultan cable car near the mosque?

Yes, there is an Eyüp Sultan cable car that takes visitors from the base of the hill to the Pierre Loti Café, offering a convenient and scenic way to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Golden Horn and surrounding areas.

Is there an Eyüp Sultan Mosque in Brooklyn?

Yes, there is an Eyüp Sultan Mosque in Brooklyn, New York, named in honor of the revered mosque in Istanbul. This mosque serves the local Muslim community and is not to be confused with the historic Eyüp Sultan Mosque in Istanbul.

When does the Eyüp Sultan Mosque close?

The Eyüp Sultan Mosque closes at 6 pm daily. However, it will be closed to general visitors during prayer times, so plan your visit accordingly.

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