Book Cistern Basilica tickets

4.3(16.6K Ratings)

Headout is an authorized and trusted partner of the venue, offering curated experiences to enjoy this attraction.




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Tickets
4.4(4.3K)

Skip-the-Line Tickets to Basilica Cistern

from
€30
Extended Validity
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
30 min. - 5 hr. 30 min.
Audio Guide
  • Skip the long lines and visit the biggest ancient water cistern with the 2 very famous Medusa heads.
  • Marvel at this sunken palace and discover an artificial freshwater lake the size of two football fields.
  • Witness facets of the cistern which were featured in popular Bond movies and see the Weeping Column of Medusa which continues to weep.
  • Upgrade your ticket to benefit from an in-depth audio guide in 8 languages.
  • Choose to make your experience even better by upgrading your ticket to include Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Blue Mosque guided tour.
  • Skip the long lines and visit the biggest ancient water cistern with the 2 very famous Medusa heads.
  • Marvel at this sunken palace and discover an artificial freshwater lake the size of two football fields.
  • Witness facets of the cistern which were featured in popular Bond movies and see the Weeping Column of Medusa which continues to weep.
  • Upgrade your ticket to benefit from an in-depth audio guide in 8 languages.
  • Choose to make your experience even better by upgrading your ticket to include Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Blue Mosque guided tour.

Inclusions

  • Skip-the-line entry to the Basilica Cistern
  • Multilingual audio guide in (optional)
  • Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia English guided tour (optional)
  • Tip: Since the cistern is underground, it can be quite humid, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing that won’t make you too hot.
  • These tickets can't be cancelled. However, you can use them any time until 23 January, 2025.
  • These tickets are valid until 23 January, 2025.
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Guided Tours
4.3(769)

Guided Tour of Basilica Cistern with Skip-the-Line Tickets

from
€35
Free Cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
1 hr.
Audio Guide
  • Avoid waiting in line outside the ancient Basilica Cistern with these skip-the-line tickets.
  • Meet your expert English-speaking guide at the designated meeting point and enter the monument.
  • The Basilica Cistern was built back in 532 AD and is one of Istanbul’s many hidden underground water reservoirs.
  • According to Greek mythology, Medusa used to guard this building herself - you can even see two Medusa heads at the base of columns here.
  • See the illuminated marble and granite columns and learn about how different eras used different materials to build them.
  • Explore two more of Istanbul's iconic landmarks, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque with an upgrade.
  • Avoid waiting in line outside the ancient Basilica Cistern with these skip-the-line tickets.
  • Meet your expert English-speaking guide at the designated meeting point and enter the monument.
  • The Basilica Cistern was built back in 532 AD and is one of Istanbul’s many hidden underground water reservoirs.
  • According to Greek mythology, Medusa used to guard this building herself - you can even see two Medusa heads at the base of columns here.
  • See the illuminated marble and granite columns and learn about how different eras used different materials to build them.
  • Explore two more of Istanbul's iconic landmarks, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque with an upgrade.

Inclusions

  • Expert English-speaking guide
  • Skip the line ticket to Basilica Cistern
  • Hagia Sophia guided tour (optional)
  • Blue Mosque guided tour (optional)
  • Audio guide app in 8 languages
  • Tip: Ensure your shoes have a good grip as the floors can become very slippery and safeguard your camera from water droplets falling from the ceiling.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
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Guided Tours
4.2(286)

Combo: Basilica Cistern + Blue Mosque + Hagia Sophia Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line Tickets

from
€89
Free Cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Extended Validity
Instant Confirmation
4 hr.
  • Enjoy a guided tour of 3 of Istanbul’s iconic attractions with this one combo ticket that you can use in 1 day or over a span of 2 days.
  • Skip the lines and enter the 4th-century Basilica Cistern, an underground reservoir from the Byzantine times, with an expert English-speaking guide.
  • Admire the artwork here with raised wooden platforms and aesthetic vaulted ceilings as you to the mystery of Medusa heads from Greek mythology.
  • Soak up the architectural charm and beauty of the Blue Mosque as you admire the hand-painted blue tiles that adorn the mosque’s interior walls.
  • See the 5 main domes, 6 minarets, and 8 secondary domes and learn about Byzantine and Ottoman heritage, Islam and Istanbul’s rich heritage from your guide.
  • Enter Hagia Sophia with skip-the-line access, an important monument both for the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires and admire its architectural beauty.
  • Enjoy a guided tour of 3 of Istanbul’s iconic attractions with this one combo ticket that you can use in 1 day or over a span of 2 days.
  • Skip the lines and enter the 4th-century Basilica Cistern, an underground reservoir from the Byzantine times, with an expert English-speaking guide.
  • Admire the artwork here with raised wooden platforms and aesthetic vaulted ceilings as you to the mystery of Medusa heads from Greek mythology.
  • Soak up the architectural charm and beauty of the Blue Mosque as you admire the hand-painted blue tiles that adorn the mosque’s interior walls.
  • See the 5 main domes, 6 minarets, and 8 secondary domes and learn about Byzantine and Ottoman heritage, Islam and Istanbul’s rich heritage from your guide.
  • Enter Hagia Sophia with skip-the-line access, an important monument both for the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires and admire its architectural beauty.

Inclusions

Basilica Cistern

  • 30-min guided tour of the Basilica Cistern
  • Skip-the-line ticket to Basilica Cistern
  • Expert English-speaking guide

Blue Mosque

  • 60-min guided tour of the Blue Mosque
  • Entry to the Blue Mosque
  • English-speaking guide

Hagia Sophia

  • 60-min guided tour of Hagia Sophia
  • Skip-the-line tickets to Hagia Sophia
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Audio guide inside Hagia Sophia

Basilica Cistern

  • Tip: The underground cistern is dark and damp, which can lead to a drop in temperature. It’s best to carry a light cardigan to keep yourself warm.

Blue Mosque

  • Tip: Look out for decorations and items inside the mosque inscribed with the names of the caliphs and verses from the Quran.
  • Please note that the security line can take up to 60 minutes in the high season.
  • If you do not have a scarf or body cover, you can buy them at the entrance (a scarf is 1€ and a body cover is 3€).

Hagia Sophia

  • Tip: Don’t forget to make a wish at one of Hagia Sophia’s columns, known as the ‘wishing column.’ Legend has it that if you poke your finger through a hole in the column and your finger emerges wet, your wishes will come true and you’ll be cured of any illness. No harm in trying!
  • Please expect a considerable wait time as you enter the attraction, especially during holidays and weekends.
  • Security checks at Hagia Sophia take approximately 30 minutes.
  • Since it is a religious place, guests are requested to wear clothes that cover their arms and head.
  • While photography is allowed, all visitors are requested to refrain from turning on flash and using bulky accessories like tripods.
  • Hagia Sophia may be closed during prayer times as it is a place of religious worship.
  • These tickets are valid for 2 days from the date of experience.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
  • These tickets are valid for 2 days from the date of purchase.
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Tickets
4.4(1.1K)

Combo: Hagia Sophia Guided Tour with Optional Topkapi Palace or Basilica Cistern Skip-the-Line Tickets

from
€85
Free Cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
1 min.
Audio Guide
  • Save time and money with this combo ticket valid for 3 days, and enjoy hassle-free access to the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and the Basilica Cistern.
  • Skip the lines at Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern and enter all the 3 museums to start your guided tour.
  • Get the most important information and orientation tips from an official tour guide and benefit from an audio guide app available for Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in 9 languages.
  • Following this, feel free to explore the museums at your own pace and listen to the interesting commentary on your audio guides.
  • Save time and money with this combo ticket valid for 3 days, and enjoy hassle-free access to the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and the Basilica Cistern.
  • Skip the lines at Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern and enter all the 3 museums to start your guided tour.
  • Get the most important information and orientation tips from an official tour guide and benefit from an audio guide app available for Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in 9 languages.
  • Following this, feel free to explore the museums at your own pace and listen to the interesting commentary on your audio guides.

Inclusions

  • Skip the line entry to Hagia Sophia
  • Guided tour of Hagia Sophia
  • Skip the line entry to Topkapi Palace (including Harem section) & guided tour (optional)
  • Skip the line entry to Basilica Cistern & guided tour (optional)
  • Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace audio guide (English, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Chinese, Turkish)

Exclusions

  • Headsets
  • Hotel transfers
  • Meal inclusions
  • Please download the audioguide app in your smartphone prior to your tour.
  • The audio guide is available for Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in the following languages: English, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Chinese, and Turkish.
  • This ticket is valid for 3 days. You may come at the available times, to the meeting points and visit these with your Istanbul Welcome Card guide. You can visit all 3 museums in 1 day or on different days.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
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Combos
4.2(2.7K)

Combo: Basilica Cistern Skip-the-Line Tickets with Audio Guide + Bosphorus Daytime or Sunset Cruise

from
€43
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
Audio Guide
  • Unlock the magic of Istanbul with this cost-saving combo that grants skip-the-line access to Basilica Cistern and a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait.
  • Witness the majestic grandeur of Basilica Cistern, a 6th-century marvel, and discover its Byzantine history from your audio guide.
  • Explore the historic site with an audio guide, including famous attractions like the Hen’s Eye Column and Medusa Pillar Bases.
  • Set sail on a relaxing 2-hour Bosphorus cruise, capturing the beauty of Istanbul and its skyline viewed from a unique perspective.
  • Benefit from the multilingual audio guide, acquainting you with the fascinating tales of the landmarks you cross like the Bosphorus Bridge and Hagia Sophia.
  • Unlock the magic of Istanbul with this cost-saving combo that grants skip-the-line access to Basilica Cistern and a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait.
  • Witness the majestic grandeur of Basilica Cistern, a 6th-century marvel, and discover its Byzantine history from your audio guide.
  • Explore the historic site with an audio guide, including famous attractions like the Hen’s Eye Column and Medusa Pillar Bases.
  • Set sail on a relaxing 2-hour Bosphorus cruise, capturing the beauty of Istanbul and its skyline viewed from a unique perspective.
  • Benefit from the multilingual audio guide, acquainting you with the fascinating tales of the landmarks you cross like the Bosphorus Bridge and Hagia Sophia.

Inclusions

Basilica Cistern Skip-the-Line Tickets with Audio Guide

  • Skip-the-line entry to the Basilica Cistern
  • Multilingual audio guide

Bosphorus Daytime or Sunset Sightseeing Cruise

  • 2-hour Bosphorus cruise
  • Audio guide available in 8 languages

Basilica Cistern Skip-the-Line Tickets with Audio Guide

  • Tip: Try the Medusa Heads Challenge - Find the two Medusa heads in the northwest corner of the cistern. One is upside down while the other is sideways.
  • It's recommended to wear comfortable shoes.
  • The attraction is wheelchair and stroller-accessible.

Bosphorus Daytime or Sunset Sightseeing Cruise

  • Tip: Buy and sample some of the delicious local Turkish snacks available on the boat.
  • Don’t forget to bring along your headphones to listen to the audio tour.
  • The audio guide is available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, and Chinese.
  • There is limited internet at the pier so please download the app before the tour.
  • The app does not require internet once it has been downloaded but ensure you have activated GPS.

Bosphorus Daytime or Sunset Sightseeing Cruise

  • Galata Tower
  • Dolmabahce Palace
  • Ciragan Palace
  • Ortaköy Mosque
  • Bosphorus Bridge
  • Beylerbeyi Palace
  • Üsküdar
  • Maiden Tower
  • Topkapi Palace
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Seaside Villas
  • These tickets can’t be cancelled. However, they are valid for an extended period of time.
  • These tickets are valid for an extended duration. The exact details will be present on the ticket.
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Guided Tours
4.5(261)

Istanbul Top Museums 3-Day Pass: Guided Tour with Entry Tickets

from
€159
Free Cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
1 min.
  • Enjoy a guided tour of Istanbul’s best iconic attractions with this one combo ticket that you can use in 1 day or over 2 or 3 days.
  • Learn about the illustrious history of each of these landmarks from your expert English-speaking guide.
  • Gain valuable insights about the iconic Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque from your guide before you enter.
  • Explore Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern while listening to interesting stories through an audio guide app available in 8 languages.
  • Sail away on a relaxing 90-minute cruise of the Bosphorus Waterway as you admire the architectural beauty of Istanbul from a different perspective.
  • Enjoy a guided tour of Istanbul’s best iconic attractions with this one combo ticket that you can use in 1 day or over 2 or 3 days.
  • Learn about the illustrious history of each of these landmarks from your expert English-speaking guide.
  • Gain valuable insights about the iconic Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque from your guide before you enter.
  • Explore Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern while listening to interesting stories through an audio guide app available in 8 languages.
  • Sail away on a relaxing 90-minute cruise of the Bosphorus Waterway as you admire the architectural beauty of Istanbul from a different perspective.

Inclusions

  • 60-min Topkapi Palace tour with skip-the-line entry
  • 30-min Basilica Cistern tour with skip-the-line entry
  • 60-min Hagia Sophia tour with entry
  • 90-min Blue Mosque tour with entry
  • 90-min Bosphorus Cruise ticket
  • English-speaking guide for all attractions
  • Audio app in 10 languages

Day 1

  • Hagia Sophia Mosque
  • Blue Mosque
  • Bosphorus Cruise Tickets

Day 2

  • Topkapi Palace
  • Basilica Cistern
  • Tip: Topkapi Palace's ground floor has the best Instagram potential. You get to photograph the stunning interiors and beautiful ceilings.
  • The audio guide is available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish.
  • Facilities: Pram/Stroller Accessibility.
  • For Hagia Sophia, Women are required to cover their knees, shoulders, and chest. Their hair should be partially covered with a scarf. Men are required to cover their knees and shoulders. If you don't have a scarf or covering, it can be purchased at the entrance, at your own expense.
  • With this admission ticket (except for Hagia Sophia), you will skip the ticket line, but not the security line. During high season, the security check could take up to 30 minutes.
  • This tour is not wheelchair accessible and is not suitable for pets.
  • Your guide will show you the way to each attraction, then you can set your own pace for exploring.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
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Combo (Save 9%): Basilica Cistern Skip-the-Line Tickets + Busforus 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Istanbul

from €67
€60.97

9% off

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Mobile Ticket
Audio Guide
  • Walk through the historic Basilica Cistern, also known as Sunken Palace and explore the best of Istanbul with 1-day hop-on hop-off bus pass.
  • Delve underground to admire the distinct architecture of the Basilica Cistern, guided by an informative audio guide.
  • Find the Hen's Eye Column, also known as the crying column. Legend says turning your hand in its hole while placing your thumb grants a wish.
  • With the pass, visit sites like Beylerbeyi Palace, the former summer retreat for Ottoman sultans, and Dolmabahce Palace, the house of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
  • Benefit from an audio guide in 8 languages, WiFi, and charging stations on the bus as you explore one route with over 11 stops.
  • Walk through the historic Basilica Cistern, also known as Sunken Palace and explore the best of Istanbul with 1-day hop-on hop-off bus pass.
  • Delve underground to admire the distinct architecture of the Basilica Cistern, guided by an informative audio guide.
  • Find the Hen's Eye Column, also known as the crying column. Legend says turning your hand in its hole while placing your thumb grants a wish.
  • With the pass, visit sites like Beylerbeyi Palace, the former summer retreat for Ottoman sultans, and Dolmabahce Palace, the house of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
  • Benefit from an audio guide in 8 languages, WiFi, and charging stations on the bus as you explore one route with over 11 stops.

Inclusions

Basilica Cistern

  • Skip-the-line entry to the Basilica Cistern
  • Multilingual audio guide in English, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Iranian, Arabic, and Turkish

Hop-On Hop-Off

  • 1-day unlimited hop-on hop-off pass
  • Audio guide in English, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Iranian, Arabic, and Turkish
  • Onboard Wi-Fi & charging points

Exclusions

Hop-On Hop-Off

  • Entry tickets to attractions
  • Guided visits inside attractions
  • Headset for smartphone

Bus Tour

  • First Bus: 10am from stop #1 (Sultanahmet Square)
  • Last Bus: 5pm from stop #1 (Sultanahmet Square)
  • Frequency: Every 60 mins
  • Popular stops: Taksim Square, Beylerbeyi Palace, Spice Bazaar & Dolmabahce Palace

Click here for the detailed route map and boarding points.

Basilica Cistern

  • Tip: Observe the carp swimming in the water. The fish add a dynamic element to the cistern, often visible from the raised platforms.
  • It's recommended to wear comfortable shoes.

Hop-On Hop-Off

  • Tip: Have a blast exploring Taksim Square! Marvel at the iconic Republic Monument in the heart of the square.
  • Facilities: Free Wi-Fi, Charging station, Recorded commentary.
  • The departure times and timetables might change due to traffic, road work, or weather conditions.
  • These tickets can't be cancelled or rescheduled.

Visiting Basilica Cistern, Istanbul | An underground relic in Istanbul 

The Basilica Cistern, constructed in the 6th century under the directive of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, originally served as a water source for the Great Palace of Constantinople and its surrounding areas. Today, this renowned historical site, known for its notable features like the Weeping Column and Medusa's Heads, attracts approximately two million visitors each year. Read on to find out more about the attraction, how to book Basilica Cistern tickets, its timings, and other information to plan your visit.

Things to know before visiting the Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

  • Consider booking guided tours with an audio guide or an expert tour guide to learn more about the construction process and cultural relevance of the Cistern. The guided tours of Basilica Cistern are available in around 8 languages for your convenience.
  • The Basilica Cistern is partly wheelchair accessible: There is a lift that takes visitors in wheelchairs down to the columns, however, the ramp to enter the lift is quite steep. It is a little difficult to navigate alone. 
  • Opt for combo tickets if you want to explore more beyond the basilica: The Basilica Cistern is located in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, close to other major attractions like the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace. You can save money on individual tickets and transport fares by purchasing combo tickets.
  • Book your tickets in advance if you are planning a visit during the peak season, between March to May and September and October, to ensure guaranteed access. 
  • Wear non-slippery footwear: The Basilica Cistern has a walkway with wooden platforms and the floor is quite damp and slippery, so wear comfortable footwear when visiting the Cistern.

Why visit the Basilica Cistern, Turkey?

Why Visit the Basilica Cistern?

Which Basilica Cistern ticket is best for you?

Basilica Cistern Skip the Line Tickets

If you are short on time

Go for: skip-the-line tickets
Duration: around 1 hour
Guide: Multilingual audio guide

  • With these Basilica Cistern skip the line tickets, you can bypass long lines at the Basilica Cistern and spend more time exploring the beauty and history of the underground cistern.
  • You can also upgrade your ticket to include a multilingual audio guide or avail of a combo offer that includes access to the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

Recommended tours:

Basilica Cistern Combo Tickets

If you are a history enthusiast

Go for: guided tours
Duration: Flexible
Guide: Expert English-speaking tour guide and an audio guide in over 8 languages

  • This guided tour includes a professional tour guide to acquaint you with the construction process and cultural significance of the Basilica Cistern. 
  • Take advantage of skip the line access and a multilingual audio guide to learn about the Basilica Cistern museum in any language of your choice.

Recommended tours:

Istanbul City Cards & Passes

If you want to explore beyond

Go for: combo tickets and Istanbul passes
Duration: Flexible
Guide: Expert English-speaking tour guide or an audio guide, depending on the ticket option

  • Visit a variety of attractions like the Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and Blue Mosque with a single combo ticket. 
  • Enjoy discounts on combo tickets or get the Headout Saver Pass with 3 days skip the line acsess to Istanbul's top attractions.

Recommended tours:

What to see at the Basilica Cistern?

Basilica Cistern Tickets

Stone columns

The ceiling of the Basilica Cistern is supported by 336 tall marble columns, each 9 meters high. Check out the interesting designs and strange patterns on these pillars, which are even older than the Basilica itself.

Basilica Cistern Tickets

Medusa’s Heads

The Basilica Cistern has two Medusa heads at the base of two columns, with one positioned horizontally and the other inverted. These ancient artifacts capture attention with their unsettling aura and unclear historical background.

Basilica Cistern Tickets

Weeping Pillar

To commemorate the sacrifice of 7000 slaves during the construction of the cistern, a standalone pillar had been carved. Named the ‘Weeping Pillar’, it has trees, branches, and peacocks carved on its surface. It also resembles a hen’s eye with tears and angled branches.

Basilica cistern

Water reflections

Nowadays, the Basilica Cistern only has a shallow water level, letting visitors see the old structures that used to be underwater. The calm water creates beautiful reflections of the dimly-lit structures.

Plan your visit to the Basilica Cistern

Timings
Location
Facilities
Visitor tips
Stay
Basilica Cistern Tickets
Basilica Cistern Tickets
Basilica Cistern Tickets
  • Accessibility: There are elevators and ramps at the entrance of the Basilica Cistern to help visitors with limited mobility in navigating the space. You have to bring your own wheelchair or stroller. 
  • Multimedia guide: Basilica Cistern guided tours and audio guides are available to make your visit a memorable one. 
  • Photography: You are allowed to take pictures with a mobile phone or camera inside the Basilica Cistern. However, you are not allowed to enter inside with a tripod. 
  • Gift shops: Located at the hub of Istanbul, the Basilica Cistern has several gift shops nearby. You will find many trinkets and souvenirs in these shops. 
Basilica Cistern Tickets
  • Wear comfortable shoes: The floor of the cistern is quite slippery, so make sure to wear your most comfortable, closed shoes to explore the interiors. 
  • Wear a cardigan: Since the Cistern is a damp place, there is a significant drop in temperature underground. Carry a light cardigan on your visit there. 
  • Mind the stairs: You have to descend around 52 stairs to reach the colonnades in the cistern. Mind your step when descending them.  
  • Arrive early: Early mornings are cool and pleasant and are the best time to avoid crowds.
  • Book guided tours: The most structured way to explore the long colonnades of the Basilica Cistern is to book guided tours. An expert tour guide will take you through the rich history and cultural significance of the cistern. You can also opt for an audio-guided tour and explore the cistern at your own pace.

Beyond the Basilica Cistern

Hagia Sophia
Topkapi Palace
Blue Mosque
Dolmabahce Palace

Frequently asked questions about Basilica Cistern tickets

Where can I buy Basilica Cistern tickets?

Purchase Basilica Cistern tickets online because it is less time-consuming, saves money, and secures your spot in advance. You can also chance upon great deals and discounts when booking Basilica Cistern online tickets.

What is the cost of Basilica Cistern tickets?

You can avail of Basilica Cistern skip the line tickets at €24. The Basilica Cistern guided tour tickets are around €26. These tickets also allow you to skip ahead of long lines at the cistern.

What are the different types of Basilica Cistern tours available?

There are 3 kinds of Basilica Cistern tours and tickets available for you to choose from- skip-the-line tickets, guided tours, and combo tickets. Basilica Cistern guided tours are perfect for exploring the cistern in depth while the combo tickets are perfect for visitors who want to plan a day trip in and around Sultanahmet. You can explore the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace along with the cistern.

Do my Basilica Cistern tickets include skip-the-line access?

Yes, you can avoid crowds and skip ahead of long lines with your Basilica Cistern tickets. Depending on the ticket you purchase, you can avail of an audio guide in over 8 languages with your skip-the-line tickets.

Are Basilica Cistern guided tours available?

Yes, Basilica Cistern guided tour tickets are available for purchase. You can choose between an English or Spanish-speaking tour guide. You can also enjoy priority access to the attraction with these guided tour tickets.

What is Basilica Cistern?

The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey, is an underground water storage system built during the 6th century. Constructed during the reign of Emperor Justinian I, this underground cistern provided water to the nearby Great Palace of Constantinople and other important buildings in the city. It is an engineering marvel of the yesteryears that offers visitors a glimpse into Istanbul's past.

What are some of the highlights of the Basilica Cistern?

The long colonnades, dimly-lit interiors, the Medusa Heads, and the Weeping Column are some of the most interesting highlights of the Basilica Cistern. Each of these features has legends and anecdotes surrounding them.

Where is Basilica Cistern located?

The Basilica Cistern, also known as the Yerebatan Cistern, is located on Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34110 Fatih in Turkey.

What are the timings of the Basilica Cistern?

The Basilica Cistern is open from 9 AM to 7 PM every day throughout the year.

What facilities are available in the Basilica Cistern?

The Basilica Cistern has ramps and elevators to accommodate visitors with limited mobility. You can also bring prams and strollers inside the cistern.

Is the Basilica Cistern wheelchair-accessible?

While the cistern offers ramps and elevators for visitors on wheelchairs, you have to be very careful inside the underground cavern. Although the water has been drained during the restoration, the inside is still quite damp and slippery.

Is photography allowed in the Basilica Cistern?

Yes, you can click pictures inside the Basilica Cistern. Try to avoid using tripods and other commercial equipment that may disturb other visitors.

Should I buy Basilica Cistern tickets in advance?

Yes, since its restoration in the 20th century, the Basilica Cistern has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Istanbul. So booking tickets in advance to secure your spot is a smart choice.