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Whirling Dervish Show in Istanbul

Duration: 90 minutes
Destination: Turkey, Marmara, Istanbul
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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.


  • Free snacks included

What You Can Expect

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.

Cancellation Policy

Package is cancellable prior to three days from the commencement of the service.


  • Entrance fee
  • Unlimited Tea, water and juice 


  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Additional food and drinks

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 6 years
  • Adult pricing applies to all travelers

Voucher info

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

Departure Point

Sirkeci, Istanbul

Departure Time



90 minutes

Tour Options


7:00 PM

User's Reviews

Image - 23 Jun 2018 -


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

Image - 20 May 2018 -

Michelle H

Highly recommend - such an amazing experience.

Image - 14 Apr 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.

Image - 18 Mar 2018 -

Ross L

Great show

Image - 08 Dec 2017 -

Jonathan P

A must-see experience in Istanbul.

User's Picture Gallery


Whirling Dervish

A Fantastic Experience!!!


Whirling Dervish Show in Istanbul

Model at the Hodjapasha Theater


Whirling dervishes

Totally worth the experience


Totally in sync

the white robes fly smoothly


Swirling away

amazing to see the whirling dervishes being so focused


whirling dervishes

taking turn on the front scene


Whirling dervishes

start of the dance


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