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Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)

Travellers' Choice award winner
Fener & Balat
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Address: Kariye Camii Sokak,No:26 Edirnekapi, Istanbul 34087, Turkey
Phone Number:
+90 212 631 9241
09:00 - 16:30
Open now
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Thu - Tue 09:00 - 16:30
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

The Chora Church (Turkish Kariye Müzesi, Camii yahut Kilisesi — variously...

The Chora Church (Turkish Kariye Müzesi, Camii yahut Kilisesi — variously the Chora Museum, Mosque or Church) is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church. The church is situated in the western, Erdinekapı district of İstanbul. In the 16th century, the church was converted into a mosque by the Ottomon rulers, and it became a secularised museum in 1948. The interior of the building is covered with fine mosaics and frescoes.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Nice Place

Please take a audio guide for the church as personal guides are expensive and the main part of the church is closed you can only see the 8 mosaics out of 12.

Reviewed 3 days ago
Usman S
Lahore, Pakistan
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5,261 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,923: English reviews
Lahore, Pakistan
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Please take a audio guide for the church as personal guides are expensive and the main part of the church is closed you can only see the 8 mosaics out of 12.

Thank Usman S
Hoi An, Vietnam
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We walked from Sultanahmet to the church which was a lot further than out travel app indicated but it was worth it. The mosaics are truly amazing. A beautiful, reflective,quiet place to visit. Pay for a guide to get the most out of your visit, guides are at the entrance.

Thank Margaret E
Taipei, Taiwan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

It took some time to go to the Chora Church by bus from the Galata Bridge. I was surprised that the majority of the church was under restoration when I visited it in March 2017. However, only the mural of the porch and the left flank was amazing. I believe there will be more to see after its restoration and... More 

Thank KoalaViaggio
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Unfortunately they charged me ticket for 30 TL and it's not worth it because 90% of the church was closed due to restoration.

Thank Sultan B
Edegem, Belgium
Level Contributor
35 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

A bit far from the city center, but nevertheless worthwhile visiting. The former church has the most beautiful christian frescos seen in Istanbul.

Thank Francois R
Royal Wootton Bassett, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
211 reviews
183 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

When we arrived at ca 10:00 the place was heaving with all nationalities. We had bought the Müzekart in advance (a great investment). Unfortunately, we could not hire an audioguide because we had no identification (passports left in the hotel). This is said to be the best surviving example of 13th century Byzantine fescoes and mosaics. I was particularly impressed... More 

Thank Rod F
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

First of all, the location was remote and hard to reach, I've had the worst experience trying to get there, the street slopes were a bit harsh on my family. Then you reach this small museum ( which needs a 30 TL ticket which is totally not worth it ), and the majority of it is under maintainence which was... More 

Thank Abdulelah A
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The museum was not that close to anyother tourist destinations furthermore renovation process(outside of the building) so it was hard to figure out where it was. but when I got inside and saw the mosaïque murale, I was so touched by the gorgeousness and beauty. and the museum pass(for 5days)is available

Thank jihye k
Bayard, Nebraska
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I really enjoyed the frescos and mosaics that we were able to see. There are two big hallways in the front and hallway in the back, but they are still renovating the main sanctuary and it is closed to the public. However, there is still quite a bit to see from floor to ceiling. I would reccommend either spending a... More 

Thank jenniefromnebraska
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
76 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

what a piece of history!! the frescoes are all on the ceiling and you need to raise your head all the time but worth it. The entire story of Mary and Jesus is painted in pictures and one follows it through from one side to the next. plan to spend some time there as you need to take a break... More 

Thank 3Shakera

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Staying in Fener & Balat

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Fener & Balat
This sleepy and rather socially conservative area of Istanbul hosts a small but thriving Jewish community, the patriarchate of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and some of the most beautiful churches and Christian art in the world. Much of what’s most interesting to witness in Fener and Balat sits between the surviving ancient city walls of Constantinople and the serene shores of the Golden Horn. Despite the many splendid sights, historic attractions, stunning vistas, and warm Turkish welcome, the area remains largely unperturbed by the tourist trade that characterizes the atmosphere in nearby Sultanahmet and around the Grand Bazaar. Travelers that like to explore off the beaten track will reap big rewards for making the effort to visit this low-key part of town.
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