Whirling Dervish Ceremony in Istanbul

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Whirling Dervish Ceremony in Istanbul
from £24.43
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See Turkey’s whirling dervishes perform a traditional ‘sema’ Mevleviye dance ceremony at the iconic Hodjapasha Dance Theater in Istanbul! The centuries-old ceremony is a spiritual performance featuring graceful choreography, Persian chanting and traditional Turkish music, played by the on-site orchestra. Enjoy a drink and some Turkish delight from the bar, and then sit captivated as the dervishes glide around the stage in their eye-catching robes; it’s the perfect evening out for a taste of age-old Istanbul culture.
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In Brief

Location:
Istanbul, Turkey
Country:
Turkey
Duration:
1 hour 30 minutes
Operates:
Daily
Highlights:
Free snacks included
Overview
Important InfoInfo
Pricing
Reviews
Head inside Hodjapasha Dance Theater in the Sirkeci neighborhood of Istanbul, and enjoy a drink and some Turkish delight from the bar. The building itself dates back to the 15th century, when it was once home to Turkish baths, and is well known in the city as one of the top places to see traditional Turkish dances and ceremonies.

After enjoying your beverage, take a seat in the main hall to watch your 1-hour show, consisting of a 15-minute Turkish classical music concert followed by a 45-minute Mevleviye sema dance. Performed by a troupe of semazens (or whirling dervishes), the entrancing ceremonial dance is believed to date back as far as 800 years – a fact that helped the dance land a spot on UNESCO’s Intangible World Heritage List.

Watch as the whirling dervishes glide around the stage in a flurry of movement, dancing in time to Persian and traditional Turkish music played by the theater’s orchestra. The flute, kettledrum and cymbal music is accompanied by songs and the chanting of ancient Persian poems and prayers.

The full performance lasts roughly 1-hour, and when the dancing finishes you can stay inside the venue to enjoy more drinks, if you wish. All additional food and drinks are at your own expense.

Inclusions

  • Unlimited Tea, water and juice
  • Entry/Admission - Hodjapasha Cultural Center
  • Entry/Admission - Whirling Dervishes Istanbul
  • Guaranteed to skip the lines

Exclusions

  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Additional food and drinks

Departure Time

7:00 PM

Departure Point

Sirkeci, Istanbul

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 6 years

Booking Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

This trip is fully refundable up to 96 hours prior to the commencement of your trip.

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on the last 24 recent reviews

Thoroughly enjoyed the spiritual experience. Only two things would have made a better experience: raising the height between rows of stadium seating and a lower temperature in the venue.
• Submitted 13 Aug 2019
The spiritual and symbolic Dervish Experience is well worth visiting when you are visiting Istanbul. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and now want to learn more of the history.
• Submitted 31 Jul 2019
If you know anything about this tradition, going to a Whirling Dervish experience is a great way to spend one hour in the evening during your trip to Istanbul. It was a little hard to find the actual place where the ceremony took place, but helpful people on the street gave good directions off the main road. The performance was moving despite some in the audience talking (sh!) and applause at the end (you don't applaud a ceremony...it isn't a concert). During my stay in Istanbul, this was one of the only times I actually heard traditional music in the city. I recommend this.
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019
this is a fantastic oppty to learn about what the dervishes represent . The venue and the show are fabulous and should be experienced by anyone who travels through Istanbul
• Submitted 23 Jun 2018
Highly recommend - such an amazing experience.
• Submitted 20 May 2018
I was concerned that this would feel a bit gimmicky but it was nothing like that at all. The show is done in a very respectful way- no photos, filming or clapping allowed. The premise of the performance is to share the Sufi tradition with the world and protect this very spiritual ritual from disappearing. It was a really wonderful experience and the pre-performance exhibition is really informative. I definitely recommend seeing this in one of your evenings in Istanbul. However, if you have children with you then give it a miss, they will be bored. Instead, do take them to see the Rhythm of the Dance show, also at Hodjapasha, which is brilliant.
• Submitted 14 Apr 2018
Great show
• Submitted 18 Mar 2018
A must-see experience in Istanbul.
• Submitted 08 Dec 2017
It was good for cultural experience.
• Submitted 31 Oct 2017
Amazing experience. It will really make you fall into trance. Amazing that they don't get dizzy.
• Submitted 11 Dec 2016
I always feel a bit uncomfortable seeing a religious experience / ritual turned into a tourist spectacle, but if it is to be done, these guys find a good tasteful way to do it. Not sure if there are competing dervish shows in Istanbul, but attend this one with confidence.
• Submitted 26 Nov 2016
It was beautiful and moving. I highly recommend it for anyone who appreciates people expressing their spirituality.
• Submitted 04 Oct 2016
Enchanting.
• Submitted 25 Sep 2016
This show is incredible and mesmerizing. I have never seen anything quite like it. Well worth a trip during your time in istanbul.
• Submitted 03 Aug 2016
Brilliant - Definitely Worth Experiencing!!!
• Submitted 25 Jul 2016
The Whirling Dervishes were truly spiritual. The venue was small enough to make the experience intimate and personal. We recommend this experience whole-heartedly to all visitor to Istanbul.
• Submitted 26 Jun 2016
This was an amazing experience, not to be missed. I was impressed by the information related before and during the presentation, and the 'non -touristy' atmosphere. Highly recommended if you're open to an alternative experiencie.
• Submitted 21 Jun 2016
It was a truly spiritual experience
• Submitted 22 Jun 2016
Very interesting show but I loved it. Amazing how they can perform 45 mins without getting dizzy. I would recommend for people who wonders what Whirling Dervish is. Others may find it slow but I loved it. Unfortunately we can't take photos.
• Submitted 24 May 2016
Wonderful setting and ceremony--well worth money, time, and effort to locate theater
• Submitted 01 Jun 2016
Fantastic - would recommend for all. The price was reasonable and the front desk staff was superb
• Submitted 23 May 2016
Just magical! A must-do in Turkey. No photos allowed.
• Submitted 13 Apr 2016
Very good , I loved it , it is well worth seeing .
• Submitted 03 Jan 2016
Really inspiring! Excellent I recommand it.
• Submitted 19 Nov 2015

In Brief

Location:
Istanbul, Turkey
Country:
Turkey
Duration:
1 hour 30 minutes
Operates:
Daily
Highlights:
Free snacks included