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Tour code: 5744ISTDERVISH
Marvel at the mystique of whirling dervishes as they gracefully dance the ceremonial ‘sema’ Mevlevi at the emblematic Hodjapasha Dance Theater in Istanbul. Enjoy a cultural evening in Istanbul during this age-old performance of choreographed spiritual dancing accompanied by traditional music and Persian chanting. Before the show, set the mood with Turkish delight and a drink at the bar. Then, admire the dervishes as they elegantly twist and turn in their white flowing gowns. 


  • 1.5-hour whirling dervish performance in Istanbul
  • Enjoy a drink and some Turkish delight as the show starts
  • Watch the UNESCO-listed ceremonial dance inside the Hodjapasha Dance Theater
  • Be captivated as the semazens dance and chant their way around the stage
  • Listen to traditional Persian and Turkish music from a live orchestra

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Whirling Dervish Show in Istanbul

Whirling Dervish Show in Istanbul

Arrive in the neighborhood of Sirkeci and step into the Hodjapasha Dance Theater for your Istanbul Whirling Dervish Show. Enjoy the architecture of this 15th century building, originally used for Turkish baths and now home to ceremonial performances and traditional Turkish dance. Head to the bar and indulge in a few pieces of Turkish delight and a drink (own expense) before taking your seat in the main hall for your 1.5-hour show.

Kick-off the show with 15 minutes of wonderful traditional Turkish music. Then, witness a company of semazens (or whirling dervishes) perform the Mevleviye sema dance. Watch as this 800 year-old ritualistic dance is performed over 45 minutes. Observe these expressive Dervish’s whirl and glide along and see why this dance is included on UNESCO’s Intangible World Heritage List.

Feel the passion of the dance as each Dervish spins in a choreographed motion like a white top to Persian and classical Turkish music. Hear the kettledrum, flute, and cymbal conducted by the theater’s musicians and enjoy ancient Persian prayers and poetic songs.

Once the performance concludes, feel free to remain at the venue to relax with a drink or a snack at your own expense. 

Customer Reviews

Maryan F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 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.

anjum United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Fantastic - would recommend for all. The price was reasonable and the front desk staff was superb

Jing L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Just magical! A must-do in Turkey. No photos allowed.

Linda K Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Very good , I loved it , it is well worth seeing .

Marguerite L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Really inspiring!
I recommand it.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

A very impressive ceremony. Definitely worth the cultural experience in an historical setting.

Marjorie C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Except for the fact that we once again were dropped off in the wrong place by taxi drivers in Istanbul, this show was delightful! I would certainly recommend it to anyone, and would go see it again!

Evelyn H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Went last night it was a unique experience, we had a good half hour of the Dervishes dancing and the music was different but enjoyable. I'm pleased I went.

Kevin K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This tour was amazing!

Jacqueline B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

We loved the whirling dervish show after we found the theater. The theater was tucked away on a small street several streets removed from the main throughfare in the area. Precise directions to the theater from some landmark such as the Aya Sophia church would have been nice. The performance was mesmerizing and we enjoyed it and the accompanying music very much.

From USD $ 27.30

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