Whirling Dervishes Show Istanbul: where to see, top venues, tickets

The Whirling Dervishes Show in Istanbul will take you to another realm! It can be considered as one of the most mystical ceremonies in the world. During the performance, you will get supernatural sensations. It is, without a doubt, one of Istanbul’s must-see sights. It is a spectacular religious event said to bring dervishes closer to God. This Mevlevi spiritual ceremony will leave you feeling calm and wonderful! The best way to experience Istanbul’s entertainment by night.

The ritual is typically accompanied by Ney, a traditional Turkish instrument whose wonderful rhythm and voice make the show unique. This incredible night is incredibly easy to experience with several tourist passes, as well as online booking.

What is Whirling Dervishes Show (Sema)?

The whirling dance show, or ceremony, known as “Sema” in Turkish, is a mystical ceremony that was inspired and developed by Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi (1207-1273), a world-famous Islamic mystical poet, theologian, and spiritual teacher (Sufi). It dates back more than 800 years and comes from the city of Konya.

Sufis (Mevlevi in Turkish), also known as Dervishes, devote their lives to seeking and finding a closer connection with God. And according to Mevlana’s devotees, this mystical quest for God is accomplished through worship, prayers, a sophisticated musical repertoire known as “ayin,” and this one-of-a-kind whirling dance rite. Whirling Dervishes are Sufi who performs this whirling dance event, also called “semazen” in Turkish.

Enjoy Whirling Dervishes Show on Video

Where to experience the Whirling Dervishes Dance?

Galata Mevlevi Museum & Lodge

This renowned center and museum for Mevlevi culture are situated at the end of Istiklal Avenue in Taksim, through Tunel. Galata Mevlevi Lodge is a museum that displays Turkish calligraphic art, music, and artifacts from the Mevlevi tradition.

Yenikapi, Eyup & Ismail Dede Efendi Mevlevi Lodges

Yenikapi Mevlevi Lodge is located in the Yenikapi area, Eyup Bahariye Mevlevi Lodge is located in the Eyup district, and Ismail Dede Efendi Mevlevi Lodge is located in Cankurtaran. During the peak season, they perform Whirling Dervishes every day at 19:00.

Pro Tip: Because the performance is quite popular with most tourists, you should get your tickets at least two or three days in advance, as many dates sell out rapidly. The best and most convenient approach to watching the Whirling Dervishes Show at Sirkeci Orient Express Hall is to get your tickets online. A ticket may not be available at the location’s ticket window. And it’s less expensive than the one at Hodjapasha Culture Center.

Hodjapasha Culture Center (Highly Recommended)

This is Istanbul’s most popular Whirling Dervishes Performance location, located in Sirkeci near the Sirkeci railway station and situated in a refurbished 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath.

Every day at 19:00, the performances begin (Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday in winter). They also have the Rhythm of the Dance Show (Turkish Dance), a collection of traditional dances performed by skilled dancers.

Book Whirling Dervishes at Hodjapasha

Orient Express Hall in Sirkeci (Highly Recommended)

This prominent site for Whirling Dervishes Performance in Istanbul is in Sirkeci Train Stop, in the Historical Orient Express Hall, just a short walk from Sirkeci Tram station.

Book Whirling Dervishes at Orient Express Hall


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