Whirling Dervish Ceremony net to Hagia Sophia

You are most welcome to witness the pray of the dervish and discover the spiritual face of Istanbul in an authentic house/museum that reflects the lives and art of Dervishes in Istanbul.

€19.00 €27.00


Please come and witness the famous ceremony of Whirling Dervishes at best possible and authentic location of Istanbul.

Just next to Hagia Sophia, at the Salon of the most beautiful wooden house of traditional Istanbul, we are waiting for you for our prayer ceremony!

You are most welcome to witness the transcendental pray of the dervish & discover a spiritual face of Istanbul at a unique cultural venue at the very heart of historical city. 

The gate opens at 18:00 and the ceremony starts at 18:30 and the usual duration is about an hour. 

There will be instrumentals to start the Whirling Dervish ceremony with strings, drums and flutes. Then the prayers start and they are followed by the whirling dervishes shows up in serenity. Our guests observe the exact traditional way of practice for a sufi prayer. 

Highlights of Sufi Whirling Dervish Ceremony:

  • Join this mystical journey at most original venues 
  • Feel the spiritual Istanbul while witnessing the ritual of Sufi Dervishes at the heart of the old town
  • Learn about the Mevlevi Order, a centuries-old old tradition of the followers of Rumi, the medieval poet from Konya

What to see at Whirling Dervish Ceremony?

This is a special ceremony in a unique environment. In other words, a great event awaits you to reveal the spiritual character of Istanbul and Turkish people. This is, first and foremost, a poetic experience. The original name “Sema” has two meanings: the skies and hearing. The dervishes are raising their hands while whirling to feel the universe, its creation and motion. This is the way to reach maturity as a human being in an ecstatic moment full of love.  

Concerning the performance at the ceremony, the classic sufi music is essential. It sets the stage and makes you to feel the emotional intensity before the rite starts. Then the whirling dervishes come forward to lift the curtain between the body and soul.

Although it was never seen as the mainstream, the mystical ritual of the Mevlevi Order has been a significant part of history in the city. Because the literate parts and cultured ranks of the society admired the approach in Sufi way of living. Even some of the sultans favored the Mevlevi Order and their rituals. The whirling ceremony is an apparent form of a Sufi Dervish' humility, where the human existence reach a transcendental level. 

Location, Starting Times and Tickets 

In the high season, the doors are open everyday at 18:00, and the ceremony starts at 18:30 with live instrumental Sufi music. If there is a day-off, you will notice on the calendar of the booking options. 

The venue is the salon of a very traditional and impressive wooden house neighboring Hagia Sophia. The building itself is a cultural monument. 

The history of Sufi Mevlevi Order

The Mevlevi Order was found by followers of a mystic poet Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, who lived in the city of Konya. Actually, Rumi was born in 1207 and his family migrated to today's Turkey from central Asia because of Mongolian expansion under the rule of Genghis Han that created a massive push towards west. His father had been an islamic scholar in the city of Balkh in Afghanistan today.  

Until they settled in central Anatolia (the peninsula containing majority of Turkey's geography), they established strong connections with other influential figures from cities like Samarkand to Iran. When his father passed away in 1230s, he had taken the lead of a community. Rumi was a teacher and philosopher at the highest level. During his old age, he collected his most essential works under the title “Masnavi”. He was writing in Persian, the most suitable language for poetic expression. His students and followers gathered a huge portion of his letters as well after he deceased in 1273. 

In short, his very sophisticated worldview and poetic quality were in fact a product of a great turmoil that fused cultures from China to the shores of Mediterranean Sea. His major message was always about love, being permissive and open. As his most renowned lines show as follows:

“Come, come, whoever you are, 

wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving, 

it doesn't matter. 

Ours is not a caravan of despair. 

Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times. 

Come, come again, come.”

FAQ about the Whirling Dervishes and Mevlevi Order

Where can I watch whirling dervishes Daily in Istanbul Old Town?

Sufi Dervishes are performing at Abud Efendi Mansion across Hagia Sophia: https://maps.app.goo.gl/KUNyDPyB2tJmnTHn7

What does Whirling Dervish mean?

The Whirling Dervishes are locally called Semazen in Turkish, who are the performers of mystical ritual that is practiced by followers of Sufi/Mevlevi order and its iconic founder Rumi the Poet of 13th century Anatolia. Here, you may find more detailed definitions for the terms like Mevlevi, Sufi, Semazen and Dervish.

Do you need early booking for the Whirling Dervishes Show before the event?

In this traditional house of the Sufi Dervish, the space is limited unlike the modern venues. So, it is recommended to reserve before the day of the event. The Whirling Dervishes Ceremonies can get sold out easily in Istanbul!



Ahmad (France) - 11 Mar 2022

we loved it

Mira (Spain) - 02 Jan 2022

venue, instrumental music, ceremony all transcendental

Leandra (Canada) - 15 Dec 2021

the location, the house and the ceremony all together left a huge impression on us. glad we did it.

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