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8 rules to keep in mind when visiting the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Blue Mosque Istanbul | An iconic architectural masterpiece

The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, stands as an iconic testament to the grandeur of the Ottoman Sultans. Renowned for its stunning blue tiles that adorn its interiors, the mosque is a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture. With its six minarets and a grand courtyard, the Blue Mosque captivates visitors with its majestic beauty and spiritual ambiance, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Istanbul. Read on to know about the rules and regulations that have been put in place for people who wish to visit the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

Blue Mosque rules and regulations

Blue Mosque rules and regulations

Behavior protocol

You have to remove your shoes before entering the Blue Mosque. Visitors are expected to maintain a quiet and respectful demeanor inside the mosque. Talking loudly, using mobile phones, leaning against walls, touching walls and monuments, running around the courtyards, or engaging in any kind of disruptive behavior is discouraged.

Blue Mosque rules and regulations

Dress code

Follow a modest dress code. Both men and women are required to wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. Women should also cover their heads with a scarf. If your clothing doesn't meet these standards, wraps and scarves are provided at the entrance. This dress code is enforced to respect the mosque's sanctity and Islamic traditions.

Blue Mosque rules and regulations

Prayer times

The Blue Mosque rules allow visitors and non-Muslims to explore its architectural marvels outside prayer times. You must be mindful of these prayer times and plan your visits accordingly. While the mosque is closed to non-worshippers during the five daily prayers, you can admire the structure from the outer courtyards.

Blue Mosque rules and regulations


Photography is permitted in the courtyard and outer halls of the Blue Mosque. However, it is restricted inside the prayer hall, especially during prayer times, to maintain the sacred atmosphere. While video recording is allowed in certain areas, using flash or carrying tripods or any other professional camera equipment is strictly prohibited.

Blue Mosque rules and regulations


The Blue Mosque has ramps and elevators near the Hippodrome and Obelisks to accommodate visitors with mobility challenges. You can explore most of the inside using wheelchairs, but there might be some limits due to the mosque's architectural design. Free wheelchairs are also available at the mosque for your convenience.

Blue Mosque rules and regulations


Smoking is not allowed inside the Blue Mosque. We recommend you adhere to the no-smoking policy as a sign of respect for Islamic traditions and consideration for the mosque's sanctity. The courtyard is also a part of the mosque, hence it is also off-limits for smoking purposes.  You can smoke outside the mosque premises if needed.

Blue Mosque rules and regulations

Food & drinks

You are not allowed to bring outside food and drinks to the Blue Mosque. It is strictly prohibited. You can enjoy refreshments outside the mosque. This practice ensures cleanliness within the premises. Make sure to follow these guidelines for a more comfortable and respectful experience for all visitors, allowing them to appreciate the mosque without disrupting its sanctity.

Blue Mosque rules and regulations

Personal belongings

The Blue Mosque provides storage facilities for footwear, but there are no lockers or cloakrooms inside the premises to store personal belongings. Carry minimal items like wallets, cameras, and phones. Do not bring large bags, backpacks, and suitcases. If you do have a large bag, you can store it in the locker at the Sirkeci station, which is a short walk away from the mosque.

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Frequently asked questions about Blue Mosque rules and regulations

What facilities are present at the Blue Mosque?

The Blue Mosque offers facilities such as shoe storage, restrooms, and information desks for visitors. They also offer scarves and wraps at the entrance for women to cover their heads when they enter the mosque.

What safety rules do I need to follow at the Blue Mosque?

Visitors should follow safety rules, including staying within designated areas, being mindful of prayer times, and respecting the sanctity of the mosque.

Can I carry food and drinks inside the Blue Mosque?

Carrying food and drinks inside the Blue Mosque or spilling anything on its walls is strictly prohibited to maintain its religious sanctity. You can purchase snacks or dine out at Sultanahmet Square after your visit.

What should I wear to the Blue Mosque?

Visitors are required to dress modestly, covering shoulders and knees. Both men and women must avoid wearing shorts. Women should also cover their heads with a scarf.

Is there a restroom at the Blue Mosque?

Yes, there are restrooms available for visitors at the Blue Mosque.

Is photography permitted at the Blue Mosque?

Photography is allowed within the mosque premises but restricted inside the prayer hall, especially during prayer times. Do not use flash photography or carry any camera equipment like tripods and flashes as they may disturb other visitors.

Do I need ID proof to enter the Blue Mosque?

While it is recommended to carry valid identification proof when visiting an attraction, you will most likely not be asked at the entrance for ID proof.

Is there parking at the Blue Mosque?

The Blue Mosque is located at the hub of Sultanahmet Square, near other significant landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern. There are very limited parking spots around the mosque, so it is best to avail of trams, trains, and buses to reach the closest stops like Cemberlitas and Sirkeci, and walk to the mosque.

Is smoking permitted at the Blue Mosque?

Smoking is not permitted within the Blue Mosque premises. Please adhere to the no-smoking policies to ensure the religious sanctity and serene atmosphere within the mosque.