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“Weird but wonderful!”

Whirling Dervishes Istanbul
Ranked #8 of 100 Concerts & Shows in Istanbul
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Ceremony is in the Real Monasteries near Fatih, Yenikapi, Silivrikapi and Galata areas where the local & the Sufi Community lives. We are the member of the community since the 90's and have a culture center in Sultanahmet. Every Mondays and Thursdays at 20:00 we meet in our place, give a little lecture about the ceremony and go to our monastery with our Car. Its an authentic Ceremony and not a tourist show like in Sultanahmet. The Duration is app. 2 hours with Zikr ( meditation ), Sufi Music & Dervish Ceremony. In the end of the ceremony we return back to Sultanahmet. The Dress Code is long Sleeves & you can take a few photos without flash and disturbing the ambiance. We only take limited number of guests soo please let us know in advanced.. You are all welcome in our monastrey..
Reviewed 20 May 2016

We went to this service which is held once a week on Sundays at 5pm and we were lucky enough to be in town at the time and were curious to see what it was like. Surprised to see just how many people were there and it started off very slowly, lots of speeches in Turkish and music before the Dervishes actually came into the main area. We were all given a leaflet which explained all about it and it was very interesting to know why they dress as they do and what the service means. There was a lot of walking around and bowing and then the whirling started, it was quite mesmerising and amazing how they never got dizzy or bumped into each other. It was so weird and different from anything we have been to before and you could see that they were all clearly totally engrossed in it. This is a religious service and certainly different from any other I have been to, but it was very interesting to see and learn more about it.

Thank jerseykathyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 - 18 of 112 reviews

Reviewed 17 January 2016

You may have seen them on the TV or read the reviews and wondered if it was worthwhile. Do not spend too long thinking about it. Where else will you see this show? Book your tickets well in advance. your hotel will probably book them for you. Not cheap, but a world renowned attraction so what do you expect? The show is fascinating and how they do not get dizzy and fall over I do not know. However, it is very long and young children will not be able to keep their attention. No photos allowed and no noise during the performance. I would not go back, as I have seen this, but I am glad I made the effort.

5  Thank The_Review_Queen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2016

This was the highlight of my stay it is so relaxing with the music which hits you right in the heart it is a sound which is at one with your inner self, and the dancing is mesmerising. This is a religious performance they use this dance to be at peace and they generate so much love and peace to the people there, I am not religious but the Whirling Dervishes dance and music touches my soul it is so beautiful to witness.

3  Thank GandT101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2015

To be clear, I didn’t really get to see the Dervishes at Istanbul, but I feel my attempt could be of interest. For starter, I visited Mawlawi House Museum in Istanbul. So my interest in seeing Dervishes is genuine and I felt/feel seeing Dervishes is a must while visiting Turkey. However my attempt to see them in Istanbul tells me maybe I should rethink this. I was approached by a kid selling me tickets for Dervishes show at Marmaray Station. The show would have been at the same station that evening (and some other) at 7:00 pm. Fifty liras that all. But if I gave him the money now he could give me a student discount (I am a little older than any student I know of)… 40 liras. Oh don’t worry, he was genuine and ticket O.K. But what is 10 liras difference(about only $3 plus in U.S.). So I decided to pay full price when I am good and ready to see the show. Oh, the show is genuine also. I seen their advertisement around the town and they advertised three potential locations with Marmaray station (Sirkeci) being the best place to see it (as I am told). A few days later while passing thought Marmaray station around 6:45 pm(that is Dec 1, 2015), I stopped by the ticked sales area and met up with the boy again. Well, he did remember me and made sure that I knew of that. I decided to see the show that night and offered to pay the full 50 liras. I was told right there and then that there was no show that night. The ticket for next day’s show would be available and he promised me that the show would be more spectacular being the last of the performances. Well, I got a little curious, so I ask a little more about the show. He promised me that the show would not take me out of my busy schedule, It is only an hour long and I’ll be served çay during the performance. Also there would be full “four” dancers and full “four” musicians to entertain the audience. Well, I decided that my first Dervishes experience would be a little more than 4 devotees therefore it is going to me on my next visit at another location recommended by other trip advisor writers. Not that there is anything wrong with the Marmaray station performance.
So, if you are in a hurry and not coming back to Turkey soon, maybe the one hour Marmaray Station deal is right for you. As long as you know the deal, I think it is O.K.
p.s., I later learned that there was a pipe bomb explosion that evening at Bayrampaşa metro station a few kilometers away (not too bad, hardly any noise, only a few injured.)… I wonder why was the show cancelled… may be some premonition on the part of some right people…

1  Thank TJungleL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 December 2015

I feel a little dumb, because the other travelers in my group apparently knew what to expect - but this show is literally just men spinning in circles the whole time. That is it. The descriptions of the show make so many claims about what an amazing, educational, cultural experience it is that I expected the show to tell a story, or teach about the history of the whirling dervishes. But no, it is literally just men spinning in a circle for an hour. It was relaxing at first, and then became super boring. Also, they covered the knees of any woman wearing an above the knee skirt, but men in shorts were left unmolested.

7  Thank C T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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