A visit to Chora Church in Istanbul

Hi Frugalistas!  This week’s Friday Fotos visits one of the smaller tourist sites in Istanbul – Chora church. While Chora is a bit off the beaten tourist path in Istanbul, and is much smaller than the better known Hagia Sophia, it is nonetheless a stunning place, worthy of your valuable travel time.

How To Get To Chora Church

Lying to the North West of Sultanahmet, Chora is a bit awkward to get to. While the number 93 bus from Taksim will take you there, really the easiest way to get there is by taxi.

Go early, and it cost you around TL25 (but budget double that for the later return trip).

What to do at Chora Church

Chora is all about the decorations – byzantine mosaics and frescoes. Christians will love identifying the biblical scenes and characters. Art and history lovers will love the stunning colours and scenes. Architecture buffs will love the mishmash of architectural styles – a byzantine Christian Church, complete with an Islamic minaret.

Wanderers will be happy too. After your visit to Chora, head up the hill away from the Church. The Church is in the middle of a residential neighbourhood, so pass the houses and head to the top of the hill – part of the old Roman wall awaits you. Carefully climb the stairs, and admire one of the prettiest views possible back towards Sultanahmet and the New District (although it was a little hazy the day I visited).

When to Visit Chora Church

Chora is very small, and is made up of a series of tiny rooms. Going early is a must. Even then expect it to be busy. If there is a tour group there when you arrive, wait a while at one of the cafes out the front.

Small, but perfectly formed, Chora Church is well worth making the effort to visit on your trip to Istanbul.


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