Whirling Dervish Show in Istanbul

15 Reviews

  • Location: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)
  • Tour code: 5744ISTDERVISH
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.

Highlights

  • Free snacks included
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 1.5-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 1.5 hours, 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.

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Schedule details

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Departure Dates:
Departure Point:
Sirkeci, Istanbul
Departure Time:
6:30pm

Pricing information

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Pricing information

Whirling Dervish Show in Istanbul

Whirling Dervish Show in Istanbul

Inclusions:
  • Entrance fee
  • 1 drink Turkish Coffee, Tea or soft drink
  • Turkish delight
    Exclusions:
    • Gratuities (optional)
    • Hotel pickup and drop-off
    • Additional food and drinks
    Additional Information:
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Minimum age is 6 years
    • Adult pricing applies to all travelers
    Voucher Info:
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    Traveler Reviews

    Reviewed by: Anonymous, July 2014

    This was very moving and mesmerizing. I was expecting something more "touristy" and "folksy" and I was surprised by the seriousness and commitment of the dancers. I found out during this evening that this Sema ceremony was a tradition and act of faith, meaningful of spiritual ascent. It was amusing to learn that the high hat was symbolizing the tomb headstone of one's ego.Definitely high in symbolic

    Reviewed by: Anita M, USA, July 2014

    This is simply one of those things you have to truly experience to understand. I booked our tickets through Viator and we got up front seats! We honestly had Dervish skirts brushing our legs as they twirled. Believe me, this isn't merely men twirling around, it's a meditative state they enter....and they DON'T move from their spot as they spin....until they intend to. It's really a wonder to watch.

    From $31.37

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    Tour code: 5744ISTDERVISH