Experience Istanbul’s Call to Prayer at the Blue Mosque

Five times a day throughout the streets of Istanbul you can hear the trilling call to prayer, also known as ezan. During this time the voice of the bellowing muezzin, the man who calls the Muslims to prayer from a minaret, can be heard over the loudspeakers at different mosques in the city.

The first time I heard the chaos of tonal reverberations in Istanbul was while standing at the top of Galata Tower. The contrasting levels of noise seemed to be coming from every angle near and far, creating a chaotic concert.

The loudest voice was from the direction of the Blue Mosque and I wanted to follow the noise directly to where it was being created.

Call to Prayer at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Because the ezan only lasts about ten minutes we would have never made it from Galata Tower to the Blue Mosque in time for this round, but it was now on my Istanbul bucket list for this visit.

The exact times of the call to prayer changes daily due to things like the rotation of the earth, revolution around the sun, latitudes, sunrise and sunsets. It’s complicated.

Luckily, when we had finally arrived at the Blue Mosque there was a digital box displaying the ezan hours for the day. It would begin in a half hour which gave us enough time to swiftly tour the intricate architecture of its interior.

Inside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Ten minutes before the action was about to start, we took a seat on the benches in between the Blue Mosque and the church of Hagia Sophia, a former Byzantine church and Ottoman mosque turned museum.

Benches in Front of Blue Mosque in Istanbul

The ezan began and it was like the call to prayer in surround sound, truly powerful. The Blue Mosque prayer began loud and Hagia Sophia followed a tiny bit softer.

I was mesmerized.

Though this symphony of sorts was impressive from anywhere in town, the most extraordinary happened while listening to the battle of the call to prayer between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque while sitting on the benches in the middle of the two.

YouTube video

11 thoughts on “Experience Istanbul’s Call to Prayer at the Blue Mosque”

  1. Turkey has some great places to visit. It’s a great destination holiday and your pictures tell us why. They have great architecture. What did you like the most in Turkey?

  2. Loved my visit here and just hanging out in the square absorbing all the sounds and call to prayer from the two opposite mosques

  3. The blue mosque is a a fantastic building, so big, you can spot it from far away. Prepare for a long que to get in. Preferably is to get there early in the morning.It is a highly impressive architectural piece in the beautiful Istanbul. The sheer size of the place will impress, so will the blue tiles and the design of the mosque.

  4. A beautiful area to stroll around and see Blue Mosque,Hagia Spohia, Basilica cistern rich with history! I would recommend a good longer visit to be able to get in some good history!

  5. Istanbul is probably my favourite city in the whole world. I currently live here which is a dream come true, ever since I visited in 2008. Such a wonderful, historical and enigmatic city – I just can’t get enough. I hope you get to visit again!


Leave a Comment

Hey Bucket Listers!
I'm Annette.

I’m a goal obsessed mid-lifer, traveler, experience collector, fear crusher, digital marketer and author with big bucket list dreams. Let's Connect!

Want Inspo To Your Inbox?

I’m giving you practical tips, exclusive tools and the inspiration to stop dreaming about your bucket list and start living it.