How to Plan Your Mevlevi Sema and Whirling Dervishes Show Tour in Istanbul

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How to Plan Your Mevlevi Sema and Whirling Dervishes Show Tour in Istanbul

Istanbul is a city that offers a fascinating blend of history, culture, and spirituality. Among the many experiences the city has to offer, witnessing the Mevlevi Sema ceremony is certainly one you shouldn’t miss. This 800-year-old dance show is performed by the Whirling Dervishes, a branch of the Mevlevi Order, and is an expression of their spiritual journey. In this guide, we will show you how to plan your Mevlevi Sema and Whirling Dervishes Show tour in Istanbul.


The Mevlevi Sema ceremony takes place in the HodjaPasha Culture Center, a beautifully restored Ottoman Turkish bath that dates back 550 years. The ceremony is a beautiful show of whirling dances and dervishes that express their spiritual journey. During the show, you will enjoy a fantastic musical repertoire that adds to the ambiance of the ceremony. Complimentary drinks are also served during the show, so you can sip on a beverage while you witness this extraordinary performance.


Here are some of the highlights of the Mevlevi Sema and Whirling Dervishes Show:
  1. See an extraordinary dance show that dates back 800 years
  2. Enter the HodjaPasha Culture Center, a restored 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath
  3. Watch the miraculous whirling dervishes and enjoy a fantastic musical repertoire
  4. Learn about the Mevlevi Sema spiritual journey
  5. Experience the show’s unique ambiance while sipping on complimentary drinks

How to Book Your Tour

You can book your Mevlevi Sema and Whirling Dervishes Show tour in Istanbul through GetYourGuide. The tour includes a ticket to the ceremony, a program booklet, and complimentary drinks. Please note that this tour is not suitable for children under 7 years and wheelchair users.

Tips for Your Tour

Here are some tips for your Mevlevi Sema and Whirling Dervishes Show tour:
  • Make sure you arrive at the HodjaPasha Culture Center at least 30 minutes before the show starts to avoid any rush or confusion.
  • If possible, try to sit near the stage to get the best view of the dervishes and their performance.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes as you will be sitting for the duration of the show.
  • Try to learn a bit about the Mevlevi Sema spiritual journey before you attend the show to fully appreciate its significance.

The Bottom Line

The Mevlevi Sema and Whirling Dervishes Show is a must-see experience when in Istanbul. Witnessing this 800-year-old dance performance, with its beautiful whirling dervishes and mesmerizing musical repertoire, is truly a cultural, historical and spiritual delight. Book your tour through GetYourGuide and enjoy a complimentary drink during the show while you soak up its unique ambiance!

Frequently Asked Questions about Istanbul

Istanbul, a transcontinental city straddling Europe and Asia, has been a melting pot of cultures for centuries. This city holds a rich historical and cultural background and is famously known for the beautiful Bosporus and amazing architecture. Here, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about Istanbul.

1. What is the best time to visit Istanbul?

Istanbul can be visited at any time of the year. However, the ideal time to visit is during the months of April, May, September, and October when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are relatively low. During these months, you can enjoy sightseeing without facing heavy crowds, and the climate remains favorable.

2. What are some popular tourist attractions in Istanbul?

Istanbul has numerous popular tourist attractions such as:

a. Hagia Sophia:

This ancient religious monument holds the title of being the world’s largest cathedral throughout the Byzantine Empire. Currently, it is a museum that showcases the history and beauty of the Byzantine era.

b. Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque):

This mosque was named after its blue tiles in the interior of the mosque. It has six minarets and is one of the most famous landmarks of Istanbul.

c. Topkapi Palace:

This was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans, and today it’s now a museum that houses many artifacts related to the Ottoman Empire.

d. Grand Bazaar:

This is one of the largest indoor markets in the world and one of Istanbul’s busiest shopping centers.

3. What is Istanbul’s cuisine like?

Istanbul offers a rich culinary experience with mouthwatering dishes like doner kebab, Turkish delight, baklava, pide (Turkish pizza), and many more. You can also indulge in Turkish tea, coffee, and Ayran (yogurt-based drinks). Istanbul’s food culture is a mix of Ottoman and Arabic influence.

4. What is the currency used in Istanbul?

The currency used in Istanbul is the Turkish Lira. It’s recommended to have some Turkish Lira with you when you arrive in Istanbul.

5. What is the public transportation system like in Istanbul?

The public transport system in Istanbul is well-developed and includes buses, trams, the metro, ferries, and cable cars. The Istanbulkart is the best way to access public transportation as it can be used for all public transport routes.

6. Is it safe for tourists to visit Istanbul?

Yes, Istanbul is generally safe for tourists. However, like any other city, it’s essential to take necessary precautions to avoid any mishaps. It’s recommended to avoid dark and unlit streets at night and refrain from carrying too much cash or valuables while traveling.

7. What is the dress code in Istanbul?

Istanbul is a liberal city; however, it’s suggested to dress modestly while visiting mosques or other religious monuments. It’s essential to cover the head, shoulders, and legs while entering these establishments.

8. What language do people speak in Istanbul?

The official language of Istanbul is Turkish; however, many locals speak English, especially in the tourist areas.

9. Does Istanbul have any beaches?

Yes, Istanbul has many beaches, and the most popular ones include Kilyos, Burc Beach, and Suma Beach.

10. What are some traditional souvenirs I can buy in Istanbul?

Istanbul is famous for its bazaar culture, and you can bag many traditional souvenirs like Turkish delight, spices, ceramics, Turkish rugs, traditional Turkish clothes, and jewelry.

Book Your Tour Now

Istanbul has many hidden gems that attract tourists from all over the world. From ancient religious monuments to mouth-watering Turkish cuisine, Istanbul has something to offer for every traveler. The city has a mix of both old and new, with its unique culture and vibrant atmosphere that makes it an ideal destination for tourism. Make sure to plan your trip well and enjoy your stay in this beautiful and historic city.

How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Istanbul

Istanbul is a fascinating city that bridges the gap between Europe and Asia. From its rich history to its vibrant culture, there is no shortage of things to do and see in Istanbul. If you are planning a trip to Istanbul and are wondering how to make the most of your time there, here are some tips to help you plan your trip.

1. Visit the Top Tourist Attractions

Istanbul has no shortage of tourist attractions. Here are some of the most popular ones that you don’t want to miss:

The Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia is one of the most impressive and iconic buildings in Istanbul, and a must-visit attraction. It was originally built as a cathedral in 537 AD, and later converted into a mosque. Now, it serves as a museum. The building’s impressive size and ancient history make it a must-see spot for any tourist.

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is a stunning piece of architecture that is recognized by its six minarets, blue tiles, and cascading domes.

Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace is a large palace, museum, and popular tourist attraction in Istanbul. It served as the administrative headquarters of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years.

The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest markets in the world. It offers visitors a glimpse of Istanbul’s trading roots with over 4000 shops, selling everything from clothing to food, arts, and crafts.

2. Taste Local Cuisine

Istanbul is home to a rich culinary culture that you won’t want to miss. Here are some dishes you should try:

Doner Kebab

Doner kebab is a popular dish made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, thinly sliced and served in a pita bread with vegetables and sauces.


Baklava is a sweet pastry made of layers of phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts and honey or syrup.

Lokum (Turkish Delight)

Lokum is a sweet, chewy confection made of starch and sugar, often flavored with rosewater or lemon.

3. Take a Bosphorus Cruise

A Bosphorus Cruise is a great way to enjoy the stunning views of Istanbul from the water. You will sail through the Bosphorus strait, which divides Europe and Asia, and enjoy the city’s magnificent skyline, including the stunning Bosphorus Bridge.

4. Explore Istanbul Street Art

One of Istanbul’s best qualities is the abundance of street art on offer, contributing to the city’s creative culture. You can book guided tours for areas with impressive street art such as Karaköy, Şişli, Beyoğlu or Kadıköy.

5. Visit a Traditional Turkish Bath House

The traditional Turkish bathhouse is a cultural staple in Istanbul, providing relaxation and a refreshing experience for its guests. These baths are typically separated by gender, and often there are massage and spa services offered as well.

6. Take a Whirling Dervish Performance

Whirling Dervish Performance is an authentic Turkish cultural event that showcases a unique type of spiritual dance, celebrated in Istanbul. It is said that the dance brings enlightenment from God.

7. Visit the Princes’ Islands

The Princes’ Islands (Adalar) are a cluster of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul, and a great escape from the busy city center. There are beaches, monasteries, and mansions to explore.

Book Your Tour Now

Istanbul is a city that must be experienced to be fully appreciated. Whether you want to learn about the rich history of the Ottoman Empire or enjoy the vibrant culture of modern-day Istanbul, there is something for everyone in this fascinating city. By following these tips, you can ensure that you make the most of your time as a tourist in Istanbul.

How to Plan Your Mevlevi Sema and Whirling Dervishes Show Tour in Istanbul

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!