Hagia Sophia History Museum Visiting Regulations

Hagia Sophia History and Experience Museum Visiting Regulations

For the best visitor experience, visitor regulations provide for the safety, wellbeing and security of our staff, visitors, collection and premises. It is an entry condition to comply with visitor regulations at the Hagia Sophia History and Experience Museuæm.

  1. Admission

1.1 We warmly welcome you to the Museum and wish you an enjoyable visit and an excellent experience.

1.2 Admission to the Museum is charged.

1.3 Keep your ticket until the end of the museum tour.

1.4. For security or public safety reasons, we may need to change the museum’s operating hours or close certain areas of the museum at any time without prior notice.

1.5. If we need to temporarily close all or part of the museum for any reason, we may direct you to leave the museum through certain routes or prevent you from leaving through certain routes.

1.6. The sounds and effects used in our display areas for young children may cause discomfort and health issues. We emphasize that children aged 0-8 are not allowed in the museum to maintain quiet during the sessions in our display areas.

1.7. For our disabled visitors who use wheelchairs, we recommend visiting with a companion to comfortably experience the display areas of our museum.

1.8. We recommend wearing soled shoes that will not pose a risk of slipping/ falling due to the fact that our Museum is a historic building and and the use of original steps is necessary.

  1. Operating Hours

2.1. The museum is open daily from 09:00 to 19:00.

2.2. The museum’s cafe and shop areas are open until 20:00.

2.3. The museum is open on religious holidays and/or special days. Dates when the museum will be closed, as well as changes to opening hours and sessions, will be announced on demmuseums.com

  1. Museum Regulations General Information

The museum can sometimes become very crowded. While touring the museum, please speak in a tone that does not disturb other visitors and be patient and considerate towards each other.

3.1. By entering our museum, you agree to our “Visitor Guidelines and Policies.” Our visitor services staff may request contact information to facilitate visitor research. You can opt-out of our email list at any time to refuse participation in research aimed at improving your visiting experience.

3.2. When starting your visit to the museum, ensure that the audio guide device given by our staff is turned on, the headphones are plugged in, and the correct language is selected. Do not use personal headphones or similar devices with the audio guide. The headphones provided by us are technically equipped to ensure the best experience in line with the external and internal voiceovers during the sessions.

3.3. In the museum, language options include Turkish, English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bahasa, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Uzbek and Thai.

3.4. It is requested that you mute your phone in the museum, especially in the exhibition areas and during sessions.

3.5. Food and drinks are not allowed inside the museum, except in designated areas such as the museum cafe. Please dispose of or remove any food, drinks, and plastic bottles at the designated areas.

3.6. Except in exceptional circumstances (such as disasters, floods, fires, etc.), tickets purchased cannot be changed, cancelled, or refunded.

3.7. Follow your tour guide and stay with your group to ensure proper timing during your museum experience.

3.8. Keep your headphones on during the experience and do not separate from your audio guide device.

3.9. If you experience any issues with your audio guide device, immediately report it to the nearest museum staff.

3.10. Due to sudden light changes, dark environments, fast image transitions, and loud sounds in our exhibition areas, if you have any sensitivities or health issues, please consider these conditions before your museum experience.

3.11. If you experience any health problems during a session, immediately inform the nearest museum staff.

3.12. Follow our museum staff’s instructions, keep your headphones on, and avoid speaking loudly or engaging in behavior that disturbs other visitors.

3.13. During sessions in the exhibition areas, do not linger for long periods, ensure your smart devices are in airplane mode, avoid using bright screen settings, and make sure your devices’ notification/sound settings are turned off.

3.14. Please do not use your phone for calls during the museum experience.

3.15. The content exhibited in the museum may vary at different times.

3.16. During your museum experience, considering the dark environments and curtain opening times in our display areas, please keep your valuables with you. The museum is not responsible for any theft or loss that may occur.

3.17. At the end of your session experience in our display areas, hand over your headphones and audio guide device to our museum staff or leave them at our designated drop-off point.

3.18. Your safety and the safety of our staff are our top priorities. Please follow these guidelines to help ensure a safe visit for everyone.

3.19. The language set on your headphones cannot be changed during your visit, so please make sure it is set correctly beforehand. After your visit, leave your headphones and audio guide devices at the designated drop-off points to avoid triggering alarms.

3.20. Stay with your group during the session and follow the museum staff’s instructions. Avoid speaking loudly and blocking other visitors’ views.

3.21. Please allow our security staff to search your bags upon entering the museum or any exhibition area.

3.22. Our Visitor Services and Security staff can be identified by their Hagia Sophia History and Experience Museum identity cards. They are authorized to enforce visitor regulations and instructions.

3.23. DEM MUSEUMS reserves the right to deny entry to the museum or remove a visitor in the following cases:

if the entry ticket is deemed unauthorized,

if the visitor appears to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or similar substances,

if the visitor is disturbing the peace or intends to do so,

if the visitor attempts to enter barefoot or partially unclothed,

if the visitor is carrying firearms, explosives, flammable or chemical substances, sharp weapons,

if the visitor refuses to allow a security scan of their bags,

if inappropriate behaviors such as noise, sexual harassment, or theft are detected,

if aggressive, threatening, racist, or insulting behaviors are displayed,

if the visitor is wearing offensive clothing,

if there’s an attempt to damage the exhibits or equipment,

if trying to access restricted areas or misusing emergency exits,

if not present at the entry area at the designated time on the reservation,

or if unable to present a ticket during in-experience checks.

3.24. Based on museum policies, our security officers may conduct general searches as a condition for museum entry. The reason for the search will be explained, and it will be conducted by security personnel of the same gender as the visitor.

3.25. At the security search areas in museum entrances, a list of items prohibited from being brought into the museum is displayed. Security personnel may remove such items from your bag and return them upon your departure. If illegal items are found, they will be confiscated and handed over to the police.

3.26. Security may limit the number of people allowed in the museum and its surroundings at any time for any reason.

3.27. Museum management reserves the right to refuse service or entry (or request departure) to anyone exhibiting aggressive behavior, provocative actions, or appearing intoxicated or under the influence of substances.

3.28. Visitors who do not comply with these rules and object may be denied entry or asked to leave by the security officer, especially if their actions are deemed to pose a risk to other visitors, staff, or museum property.

3.29. In the museum, age restrictions may be applied, and proof of age may be requested for entry to certain events or exhibitions.

3.30. When leaving the Hagia Sophia History and Experience Museum, please exit quietly and respectfully, considering those around you.

3.31. Violence or harassment towards any staff member is not tolerated. Failure to comply with the legal instructions of our security personnel may result in criminal charges.

  1. Experience Display Areas Regulations

4.1. Commercial photography or video recording is not allowed without prior written permission. Personal photography and video recordings are permitted, but flash photography is prohibited.

4.2. The use of laser pointers or any light or sound-emitting devices that can negatively affect other visitors’ experience is forbidden.

4.3. The use of hand cameras with flash, 3D imaging software, and audio or movie recording equipment is prohibited.

4.4. Lights, loud sounds, rapid image changes, and effects, as well as smoke machines, are used during the experience. If you are sensitive to these or have health issues that may be triggered, please refrain from entering the exhibition areas.

4.5. Some visuals and sounds may trigger epileptic seizures. If you experience dizziness, vision loss, unconsciousness, eye or muscle twitching, or involuntary movements, please ask for assistance and exit the exhibition hall following our staff’s direction.

4.6. When taking photographs in the museum, respect the privacy of other visitors. If a visitor complains about your photos or social media recordings, you may be asked to stop or leave the museum.

4.7. The use of selfie sticks or similar devices is not permitted in the museum.

4.8. The museum is under 24-hour surveillance, and images are recorded for security purposes.

4.9. A closed-circuit camera system operates throughout the museum for the protection and security of visitors, staff, and property. For more details, see our CCTV Policy on our website.

  1. Prohibited Behaviors for Museum and Visitor Security

5.1. Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the museum (including all electronic cigarette products).

5.2. Running in the museum, particularly in experience and exhibition areas or on stairs, is forbidden.

5.3. Sitting on any stairs or steps is not allowed.

5.4. Blocking or obstructing entry/exit doors is prohibited.

5.5. Leaving children aged 8 and above unattended or allowing disruptive behavior is not acceptable.

5.6. Touching, wetting, or damaging any screens in the exhibition areas is forbidden.

5.7. Climbing, drawing, or causing damage to the museum’s structure, including walls, barriers, and columns, is prohibited.

5.8. Ignoring security signs or barriers placed for public protection is not allowed.

5.9. Disregarding alarms or instructions for museum evacuation is forbidden.

5.10. The use of laser pointers or laser pens within the museum for any purpose is not allowed.

5.11. Making phone calls inside the museum is not permitted.

5.12. Entering restricted areas, touching artworks, walls, and other equipment is not allowed.

5.13. Using pointed objects, sticks, umbrellas, poles, or any other items to attempt to damage the museum is prohibited.

5.14 If you do not comply with any part of these regulations, you may be asked to leave the museum.

  1. Session Groups

6.1. Session groups must pass through turnstiles in accordance with museum staff instructions.

6.2. Only authorized museum staff can offer services as exhibition guides or speakers.

6.3. Tour guides or group leaders should not use loudspeakers, amplifiers, or microphones while managing session groups. They should also adhere to the regulations in 9.1.

  1. Fire Alarms

7.1. Fire alarms in the museum will be activated by our staff in case of a fire or suspicion of fire.

7.2. The fire alarm system provides two types of audible signals.

7.3. A continuous alarm signal indicates the need to evacuate the museum immediately and use the nearest free exit. Museum staff will guide visitors to safety.

7.4. An intermittent signal is a preliminary warning for staff and does not require evacuation unless it turns into a continuous signal.

7.5. In case of evacuation, the system will be shut down immediately. Follow the evacuation instructions, and staff will assist with retrieving belongings from lockers after the museum reopens.

  1. Access to Areas Not Open to Visitors

8.1. If found in non-public or closed areas of the museum without authorization, you will be asked to explain your presence and prove your identity. Museum staff may accompany you in the museum building.

  1. Lockers

9.1. Do not bring luggage larger than 40x40x50 cm or heavier than 8 kg to the museum.

9.2 Wheeled bags are not allowed inside.

9.2. Special exhibition areas may have additional restrictions regarding bags and suitcases.

  1. Lost and Found

10.1. In the museum, including outdoor areas, you should not leave any of your belongings unattended. For the sake of security and public safety, we reserve the right to remove and/or dispose of unattended items without prior warning. Our museum is not responsible for any consequences arising from the loss, removal, theft, or disposal of any unattended items.

10.2. Unclaimed or forgotten items will be stored according to our lost and found procedure.

  1. Food and Beverage

11.1. Consumption of food and beverages is not allowed inside the museum, except in the cafe area. Please dispose of unused food and packaging properly.

11.2 Visitors can enjoy the services provided by the Museum Cafe and Shop and purchase souvenir items.

  1. Pets

12.1. Animals are not permitted in the museum, except for disabled visitors accompanied by guide, assistant, or companion animals.

12.2. Owners must bring the appropriate identification for companion animals.

  1. Event/Exhibition Requests

13.1. If you plan to conduct events such as exhibitions, photography, or film shoots within or outside the museum premises, you must consult with our Corporate Communications Unit in advance. The museum may set specific conditions for such events to ensure the safety, security, and enjoyment of other visitors.

  1. Visitor Relations Satisfaction

14.1. Our Customer Relations Unit welcomes questions, feedback, and comments from visitors and will respond with satisfaction:

– Email: contact@demmuseums.com

– Address: Ayasofya Tarih ve Deneyim Müzesi, 1001 Direk Mah. At Meydanı Sk.No.10 34122/Fatih-İstanbul/Türkiye

  1. Changes

15.1. We may occasionally modify our service offerings or amend these visitor regulations. Before your visit, we recommend checking the museum’s website for the latest visitor information.