When in Turkey: Visiting Hagia Sofia

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when someone tells you they are going to Istanbul,Turkey? Usually it is the ​​Hagia Sofia! For a good reason too. It is simply magnificent. To be in the presence of  so much history it is mind blowing. However many people do not realize there is so much to do around the Sofia. 


Inside the Hagia Sofia : When going to the Sofia make sure you have a scarf for your head andshoulders. It is also free! You do not need to pay to enter mosques in Turkey. However they will not let you inside if your head and shoulders are not covered. Once inside you must take off your shoes. There are shoe racks where you may place your shoes. The inside is grand and massive. So take your time, embrace the place so many conquers fought for and please be respectful.  Note there are two different exit points. You may exit the way you entered or you may exit through a different path which will lead you to the back of this great masterpiece. There are also certain hours that are designated for prayer and visits so please be aware of this. 



I would recommend spending  a full day around Hagia Sofia. There is so much to do.

Around the Hagia : You have the blue mosque right in front and across the Hagia. On the outside of the blue mosques there are a lot of little shops. Behind the Hagia is Topkapi Palace. To the right of the  blue mosque there is a cute little town where the famous 7 hills restaurant is located. 

Blue Mosque:

Right across from the Hagia Sofia. This mosque is more restricted than the Sofia. There is a barrier separating people who come to pray and visitors. Similar visiting hours apply to this mosque as well. Also please don’t forget to bring a scarf to cover your head and shoulders.  

Seven hills restaurant: 

One of the most famous restaurants, with stunning views of the Hagia Sofia and Blue mosque.

I recommend going for a typical turkish breakfast. There will be something there for everyone. In the picture above is a turkish breakfast for two. Yes everything on the table was included in the turkish breakfast.

Price around $20 or less per person. So worth it.

Did you really go to turkey during the summer or spring if you didn’t visit  Fethiye?!

Any local will tell you Fethiye is the spot to be if you would like clear blue ocean water. Fethiye is the biggest airport city close to Oludeniz where the blue lagoon is. Oludeniz is about a 20 minute drive from Fethiye. Fethiye is a port city. There are many boats in Fethiye that offer tours to Oludeniz and the various islands. However if you would like to visit the blue lagoon in oludeniz I would recommend going to a private beach club. Note the beach in Oludeniz has rocks so please bring water shoes! The private beach clubs have sand so you do not need water shoes for those.