Top-Visited Churches in Istanbul: Best 5 Historical Churches in Istanbul 2022 (Guide)

Istanbul is a multicultural city where all religions, ethnicities, and cultures coexist in a respectful and peaceful atmosphere. Thanks to its rich history, the city has hosted many civilizations, and each of them left a piece of the cultural heritage behind for us to observe and appreciate.
Here, we have listed the most famous churches you can visit in Istanbul for you. Enjoy your visit.

1. Church of St. Anthony of Padua

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Located right on Istiklal Street, Beyoglu, the Church of St. Anthony of Padua is the largest Catholic church in Istanbul. It was first built in 1725 by Italians, but the building was then demolished. The construction of the current building started in 1906, and it was completed 6 years later in 1912.

Pope John XXIII, who was the head of the Catholic Church and the sovereign of the Vatican City State between 1958 and 1963, has preached in this church for 10 years before he was chosen as pope. Therefore, he is also known as the “Turkish pope”.

Today, you can attend masses in Italian, Polish, English, and Turkish. Inside the church, there are sculptures, iconographs, and mosaics. It is considered one of the best churches in Istanbul.

If you are interested in what you can do in Beyoglu, check out this trip plan by HeyTripster!

Transportation: The church is easily accessible through the M2 metro line (Sishane Station), Sishane – Karakoy Funicular Line, or buses to Taksim.
Dress code: Shoulders and knees should be covered. Miniskirts and shorts above the knee are not allowed.

More Information

Open Hours: 08:00 – 19:30
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0 212) 244 09 35
Website: Visit

2. Church of St. George

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The Church of St. George is an Eastern Orthodox cathedral in Istanbul. It also serves as the seat of the Fener Greek Patriarchate. It was built in 1836 and underwent renovation in 1991. Inside, you are met with a mesmerising atmosphere. There are tombs of saints and important artifacts of the Orthodox Christian culture.

One of the most interesting artifacts inside is a piece of the Pillar of Flagellation.

Transportation: You can take the buses going to Eminonu or Eyup and get off at the “Fener Station”.
Dress code: Shoulders and knees should be covered. Miniskirts and shorts above the knee are not allowed.

More Information

Open Hours: 08:00 – 17:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0 212) 531 96 70

3. Church St. Peter and Paul

 

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The Church St. Peter and Paul is located in Karakoy and offers its visitors a unique experience thanks to its copula. The copula, which means a dome-like small and tall structure on top of a building, is painted dark blue and studded with gold stars. When you are standing right under it, you feel like you are under the night sky.

This church in Türkiye also hosts an icon of the Virgin Hodegetria, which is an iconographic depiction of the Virgin Mary. It shows Virgin Mary carrying a baby Jesus Christ in her arms.

Transportation: You can take the T1 Kabatas – Bagcilar Tram Line and get off at the “Karakoy Station”.
Dress code: Shoulders and knees should be covered. Miniskirts and shorts above the knee are not allowed.

More Information

Open Hours: Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays: 15:30 – 17:30
Location: View on Google Maps

4. St. Mary of the Mongols

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The foundation of the church dates back to the 7th century, but it was completed in 1281. Its red architecture is a part of Fener’s iconic skyline. Because of this red colour, the church is known as the “Kanlı Kilise” in Turkish which translates into “Bloody Church” in English.

St. Mary of the Mongols stands today as one of the only remaining Istanbul churches built during Byzantine period that has never been converted into a mosque. It is an Eastern Orthdox church.

Transportation: You can take the buses going to Eminonu or Eyup and get off at the “Fener Station”.
Dress code: Shoulders and knees should be covered. Miniskirts and shorts above the knee are not allowed.

More Information

Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0 212) 521 71 39

5. St. Stephen Church

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The St. Stephen Church impresses its visitors with its iron architecture in the Neo-Byzantine style and white and gold paint. It is located in Balat right by the sea.
This Bulgarian-Orthodox church in Istanbul underwent construction in 2011, and both the Turkish President and the Bulgarian Prime Minister attended its reopening in 2018.

If you are looking for a church with mesmerising architecture and views, you should definitely visit this one!
Check out this blog by HeyTripster about Balat for further information about this colourful district and the activities you can do there!

Transportation: You can take the buses going to Eminonu. From there, you can take the buses going to Balat. Or you can take the T5 Tram Line and get off at the “Balat Station”.
Dress code: Shoulders and knees should be covered. Miniskirts and shorts above the knee are not allowed.

More Information

Open Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0 212) 248 09 21

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