Mosques are much more than just holy places of worship; they are awe-inspiring works of craftsmanship. The most beautiful mosques in the world are breathtaking structures that boast an equally beautiful heritage and history. They attract tourists from around the world, who admire their beauty as much as the architectural excellence and finesse. A mosque—called masjid in Arabic—is a sacred place where Muslims gather to perform Salat or offer prayers. Literally, it means ‘a place of ritual prostration’. Mosques continue to be a testament to the faith of millions of Muslims for centuries.
10 Most Beautiful Mosques In The World
This blog is a curation of 10 most stunning mosques in the world and quick peep into their historical and religious significance.
1. The Al-Haram Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia
The Al-Haram mosque is one of the most prominent places of worship in the world. The mosque is annually visited by millions of people for Hajj and Umrah rituals and is mentioned in the Quran as the first place built for worshipping Allah.
The largest mosque in the world
Spread over an area of 400,800 sqm, the Al-Haram mosque is not just the largest Islamic shrine but prettiest among the most beautiful mosques in the world. It is one of the most prominent places of worship globally, visited annually by millions of people for Hajj and Umrah rituals. It is mentioned in the holy book of the Quran as the first place built for worshipping Allah. It is also known as the forbidden mosque as fighting is forbidden in its vicinity. Regarded as one of the most important mosques in Islam, Al-Haram houses the holy Kaaba and the sacred black stone. It has other significant sites in Islam, such as Maqam Ibrahim and Zamzam well. The hills of Safa and Marwa are also situated within the premises of the mosque. Since it was built, Al-Haram or the forbidden mosque is continuously expanding to accommodate more and more pilgrims. It has ranked as the largest mosque in the world, with a total capacity of 4 million worshippers.
Address: Al Haram, Makkah al-Mukarramah 24231, Saudi Arabia
Suggested clothing for visiting Masjid al-Haram: For visiting the mosque, men usually prefer wearing long pants. Women are advised to dress up in a loose-fitted white or black Abaya, if not performing Hajj or Umrah.
2. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE
With 82 gleaming white domes, several beautiful hand-knotted carpets, and many Swarovski-covered chandeliers, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque definitely deserves a spot among the most beautiful mosques in the world. It is an architectural marvel with a capacity for allowing more than 40,000 worshippers at one time. Also, it has a pool that reflects the mosque columns and looks charming during the night time. The mosque has 1096 columns embedded with amethyst and jasper. Further, it has the prized owner of Guinness Book of World Records for housing the largest hand woven carpet. The mosque has calligraphic writings on the walls and arches encouraging the Muslims to maintain patience and spread peace.
Address: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street، – 5th St – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 2 419 1919
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Timings: The mosque remains open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. between Saturdays and Thursdays. On Fridays, visitors are allowed between 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. only.
3. Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
The Hagia Sophia mosque is a must-visit site for all Muslims not only for its unparalleled beauty but for its significant history. One of the most beautiful mosques in the world, this sacred place is a surviving example of Byzantine architecture. It was originally built as a Christian church, however during the Ottoman rule (1453-1935), it was converted into a mosque. The building shows the religious transformations that the mosque has seen in the past. It has long minarets and inscriptions in Arabic relating to the Muslim culture while the beautiful mosaics tell about the storied Christians past.
Address: Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Timings: Open 24 hours
Phone: +90 212 522 17 50
Dress code for women entering the Hagia Sophia Mosque: Women are not allowed to enter the mosque without a headscarf. Also, shorts or any revealing clothes are not permitted.
4. Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan
Located in one of the busiest streets in the northern city of Lahore, the Wazir Khan mosque is a must-visit site for all religious tourists. This place of worship was constructed back in the 17th century and is adorned with beautiful Fresco paintings and tiles. Built in Indo-Islamic architectural style, the mosque serves as one of the best Islamic structures that displays breath-taking mosaic tile work from the Mughal period.
Address: Shahi Guzargah، Dabbi Bazar, Chota Mufti Baqar Walled City of Lahore, Lahore, Punjab 54000, Pakistan
Wazir Khan Mosque Visiting Hours: The Wazir Khan mosque can be visited between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m.
5. Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran
Known for its kaleidoscopic beauty, Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque is constructed to uniquely blend the play of light and the act of worshipping Allah. It dates back to the 19th century when it was built under the order of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir of the Qajar dynasty. It is beautified with a lot of pink tiles, and is therefore also known as the Pink Mosque. The mosque has a beautiful rectangular pool in the compound surrounded by flowering plants adding to the overall elegance of the structure.
Address: Fars Province, Shiraz, Lotf Ali Khan Zand Street، Iran
Timings: Opens 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: +98 71 3224 1661
Suggested Attire for visiting Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque: Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque follows the regular Iranian dressing guidelines for both men and women.
6. Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
Also known as Blue Mosque because of the Blue Iznik tiles that adorn its interiors, Sultan Ahmed Mosque is an awe-inspiring sight. The mosque dates back to the 17th century when it was constructed under the rule of Ahmed I. This structure featuring six high-rising minarets and five main domes is believed to be the last great mosque of the classical era.
Address: Sultan Ahmet, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Sultan Ahmed Mosque rules: For entering Blue Mosque, women are required to wear a headscarf while men need to wear full pants. Also, visitors must remember that flash photography is not allowed inside the mosque premises.
7. Islamic Centre Mosque in Rijeka, Croatia
This mosque is a beautiful amalgamation of contemporary and traditional Islamic art. Featuring curved geometric shapes and patterns, the mosque has a uniquely styled dome, shaped in five separate parts that visually make a single object. The Islamic Centre Mosque was designed by the well-known Croatian sculptor, Dušan Džamonja. A popular tourist site today, the mosque was built as a result of years-old aspiration of the Islamic community of Rijeka to have a dedicated space for offering prayers.
Address: Ul. Ante Mandića 50, 51000, Rijeka, Croatia
Phone: +385 51 317 059
Islamic Centre Mosque Timings: Visitors are allowed inside the mosque premises between 9 a.m. up and 10 p.m.
8. Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India
Located in New Delhi, Jama Masjid that was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1650 and 1656 is the largest mosque in India. This place of worship has a capacity for allowing 25,000 worshippers and is made from red sandstone and white marble. Featuring Indo-Islamic architecture, the mosque has three domes, two minarets, and three gates and is deserving of a spot in the top 10 most beautiful mosques in the world. The mosque’s architecture is inspired from the hindi and jain religion spread as the majority in the country. It was completed by around 5000 laborers working day and night to build the mosque at 1 million rupees at that time.
Address: Jama Masjid Rd, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006
Phone: 011 2336 5358
Timings: Jama Masjid stays open from 7 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. during all days of the week.
9. Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria
The beautiful mosque that has stood the test of times since it was completed over 1000 years ago in 715. It features three high-rising domes and a large courtyard where several Muslims gather every day to offer prayers. Interestingly, the mosque is believed to have a shrine that holds the head of John Baptist, a Jewish itinerant preacher from the early 1st century AD, also known Prophet John (Yaḥyā) in Islam.
Address: G864+MMC, Damascus, Syria
Umayyad Mosque Timings: Tourists must visit this famous mosque between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.
10. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman
Designed to accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman is a beautiful place of worship. It was opened in 2001 and was built to celebrate 30 years of rule by Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman. The mosque features five minarets representing five pillars of Islam and has colourful mosaic patterns and fine crystal work that make it one of the most beautiful mosques in the world.
Address: Sultan Qaboos St, ولاية بوشر، Oman
Timings: 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. ; Closed on Fridays
Phone: +968 24 505170
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Rules: The mosque allows non-Muslim tourists to visit the mosque every day except for Fridays. Tourists are expected to dress up in a way befitting a place of worship for entering the mosque.
Mosques, with their beauty and brimming spirituality, are the best place to spend some time and soak in the devotion that flows in the premises. Pilgrims offer prayers to Allah and seek forgiveness, prosperity and rewards. The magnificent architecture and aesthetics put them high on the places-to-see list of devout Muslims, travelers, architects, and historians, among others.
Most Beautiful Mosques In The World FAQs
What are the suggested clothing for visiting Masjid al-Haram?
For visiting the mosque, men usually prefer wearing long pants. Women should dress up in a loose-fitted white or black Abaya.
What are the timings to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque?
The mosque remains open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. between Saturdays and Thursdays. On Fridays, visitors are allowed between 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. only.
What is the history of the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey?
Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul was originally built as a Christian church; however, it was converted into a mosque during Ottoman rule (1453-1935).
What is the structure and capacity of Jama Masjid, New Delhi?
This place of worship has a capacity for allowing 25,000 worshippers and is made from red sandstone and white marble. Featuring Indo-Islamic architecture, the mosque has three domes, two minarets, and three gates.
Why was the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque built?
It was opened in 2001 and was built to celebrate 30 years of rule by Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman. The mosque features five minarets representing five pillars of Islam and has colorful mosaic patterns and fine crystal work.
How many workers were involved in building Jama Masjid?
Around 5000 workers built Jama Masjid.
When was the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus constructed?
It was completed in 715 AD.
Which country has the highest number of mosques on the list?
India has the highest number of mosques in the world with more than 3 lakh mosques.
Are these mosques open to the public?
Yes, most of the mosques mentioned above are open to visitors in specific periods of the day.
Are there any specific architectural features that make these mosques stand out?
Yes, these features include stunning minaret, expanding prayer halls, beautiful calligraphy and ornamentation, water pools, and peaceful gardens.
Are there any historical or cultural significances associated with these mosques?
Yes, Al Haram Masjid is known to house the Kaaba, while Al-Masjid an-Nabawi houses tomb of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).