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Basilica Cistern Tickets

4.3(3.7K Ratings)

Visit the Basilica Cistern, one of the largest ancient water cisterns in Turkey. It is the perfect model of Byzantine architecture and is home to interesting attractions such as Hen’s Eye Column and Medusa Pillar Bases. Book Basilica Cistern tickets here to enjoy skip-the-line entry and guided tours.
Basilica Cistern Tickets

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Skip-the-Line Tickets to Basilica Cistern with Audioguide
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Guided tour

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Istanbul Tourist Pass: 85+ Attractions & Services
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Istanbul Tourist Pass: 85+ Attractions & Services
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Istanbul Welcome Card
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Istanbul Welcome Card
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Istanbul Museum Pass: Guided Tour + Skip the Line
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Istanbul Museum Pass: Guided Tour + Skip the Line
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from €107.76
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Combo: Hagia Sophia + Topkapi Palace or Basilica Cistern Tickets
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3-Day Skip-the-Line Attraction Ticket to Top Attractions of Istanbul
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3-Day Skip-the-Line Attraction Ticket to Top Attractions of Istanbul
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Basilica Cistern: Skip The Line Ticket With Guided Tour

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Skip-the-Line Tickets to Basilica Cistern with Audioguide
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Skip-the-Line Tickets to Basilica Cistern with Audioguide
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€27.27€24
Save up to 11%
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Istanbul Tourist Pass: 85+ Attractions & Services
City Passes
Istanbul Tourist Pass: 85+ Attractions & Services
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4.3
from €135.10
Free cancellation
Istanbul Welcome Card
City Passes
Istanbul Welcome Card
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3.7
(4)
€84
Duration
Flexible
Flexible
7 days
Inclusions

Skip-the-line entry to the Basilica Cistern

Highlights tour with English-speaking guide (optional)

Topkapi Palace skip-the-line tickets (optional)

Hagia Sophia historian guided tour (optional)

Audio App for all 3 attractions in 9 languages for IOS and Android (English, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Chinese, Turkish)

More Inclusions
3/5/7-Day Tourist Pass
Skip the line entry and guided tours
Unlimited Wi-Fi
Discounted one-way private airport transfer
Free pick-up and drop-off from selected areas for dinner cruise
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10 transportation tickets
Skip-the-ticket-line entry to several museums and attractions (except Hagia Sophia)
Guided tours of the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, and Topkapi Palace
Discounts at top sights, attractions, and activities
Bosphorus cruise
Audio guide app
City map
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Cancellation Policy
These tickets can't be cancelled or rescheduled.
You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Basilica Cistern Tickets Guide

Nine meters under the streets of Istanbul is an ancient subterranean cistern that runs an astonishing 9,800 square meters of surface area. Capable of holding 80,000 cubic meters of water, this gargantuan receptacle was used to supply water to the Constantinople palace, and for irrigation. Created in the 6th century, it is said that 7000 slaves were used in its construction. Visit this ancient underground cistern to experience its ambient halls and learn about its intriguing history with the best Basilica Cistern ticket options.

All Your Basilica Cistern Tickets & Tour Options

In our collection of Basilica Cistern tickets,  you can choose from skip-the-line tickets to guided tours and combo tickets at great prices. Skip-the-line tickets give you the ability to bypass long queues and head straight. A guided tour ticket will give you access to the attraction along with an expert tour guide you will elucidate on the cistern’s fascinating structure and history. A combo ticket on the other hand will allow you access to the Basilica Cistern as well as other attractions in Istanbul. 

Skip-the-Line Tickets

Guided Tours

Combo Tickets

Skip-the-line tickets can be used to bypass ticket and admission queues at the site and head straight inside the cistern. Opt for skip-the-line tickets if you are in a hurry and would like to gain swift entrance to the site. These Basilica Cistern tickets are priced very modestly.  

Recommended experiences

Skip long cumbersome queues and head straight to the Basilica Cistern. Explore the cavernous reservoir at your own pace with a nifty audio guide in multiple languages. You can also opt for the highlights tour with an English-speaking guide.
Familiarize yourself with the historical context in which these underground reservoirs were built (the Basilica Cistern being the largest) and learn in detail amazing facets about the structure itself with an expert tour guide in a guided tour. 

Recommended experiences

Want to learn more about the fascinating history of the Basilica Cistern? Then take an in-depth guided tour with an expert tour guide who will show you the most interesting parts of this sixth-century wonder.  
Visit the Basilica Cistern and see more of the historical city of Istanbul. Ruled under the Byzantines and then the Ottomans, modern-day Istanbul has preserved important structures from these eras that you can view with combo tickets. These tickets are perfect for history enthusiasts and those who want to explore more of the city.

Recommended experiences

  • Istanbul Tourist Pass: All Top Attraction & Services
    Get guided tours of and skip-the-line entry to the Basilica Cistern and also legendary places like the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and much more. Save up to to 75% on these tickets and also get a one-way private airport transfer at discounted rates. 
  • Istanbul Museum Pass: Guided Tour + Skip the Line
    Gain skip-the-line entry access and guided tours of the Basilica Cistern as well as other important historical structures in the city like the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Irene, and Dolmabahce Palace. 
  • Combo Ticket: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern
    In these tickets, get skip-the-line access to the Basilica Cistern and the Topkapi Palace, as well as a guided tour of both the sites, including one of the Hagia Sophia. You can also avail of an audio guide facility that you can use post the guided tour at your leisure.  
  • 3-Day Skip-the-Line Attraction Ticket to Top Attractions of Istanbul
    Get fast-track access to the Basilica Cistern, the Topkapi palace, and the Hagia Sophia with a 30-minute highlight tour of the sites. Included in this is a relaxing Bosphorus Cruise on the Bosphorus waterway. 

Which Basilica Cistern Tickets Should You Go For

If you are on a budget

If you are on a tight budget, we suggest going for skip-the-line tickets. Not only will these tickets give you admission to the site, but they will also get you fast-track access by allowing you to skip the lines while being extremely affordable.

If you are looking for an in-depth tour

Given its tremendous age, the origins of the Basilica Cistern and the significance of its structures are still a topic of much debate among historians. Get unique perspectives into the making of this Byzantine reservoir by expert tour guides with our guided tour tickets.

If you are looking to explore more in Istanbul

Want to explore more of Istanbul? Then our combo tickets will help you visit the major museums and historical sites that date back to the Byzantine era when the city was known as Constantinople.

Basilica Cistern Tickets Discounts & Offer

Free Entry

Get discounted rates on tickets for children 12 years and below. Entry is free for infants 3 years and under. 

Cashback

Get up to 5 % cashback on your purchase of Basilica Cistern tickets.

Plan Your Visit to Basilica Cistern

Opening Hours

Getting there

Guidelines & Facilities

What are the opening hours/timings of the Basilica Cistern?
The Basilica Cistern is open all days of the week from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. For guided tours please refer to the schedule on your tickets. 
What is the best time to visit Basilica Cistern?
The best time to visit the Basilica Cistern is immediately after the site opens, between 9 AM and 10 AM in the morning when the site sees fewer tourists and crowds at this point in the day. In terms of the time of year, November to March is considered ideal since the cool weather makes sightseeing in the city so much more comfortable.
How long is a Basilica Cistern tour?
The guided tour can take as long as 1 hour to 30 minutes. 
Where is Basilica Cistern located?
The cistern is a 3-minute walk from the Hagia Sophia, located in the Fatih district of Istanbul, Turkey. The Basilica Cistern address is - Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey 
Get Directions to the Location
How do I get to the Basilica Cistern?
You can take the tram to Sultanahamet Square. From there, the site is within walking distance. If you are in Taksim you can opt for the F1 funicular line to Kabatas and then take the T1 tram to Sultanahamet.  
Can I take the metro/train to the Basilica Cistern?
You can take the F1 funicular from Taksim to Kabatas. From Kabatas hop on the T1 tram and head straight to Sultanahamet, where the Basilica Cistern will be within walking distance.   
Can I take the bus to the Basilica Cistern?
To get to the Basicila Cistern you will need to get off at Yerebatan Sarnici. Bus numbers 28, 30D, 50E, 54E, 66, 77A, 91, EM1 will get you there. 
Is the Basilica Cistern wheelchair accessible?
Yes it is. From Alemdar street there is a platform lift that will take you down the stairs and into the cistern. 
Is storage facility available at the Basilica Cistern?
There are no luggage and storage facilities available at the Basilica Cistern. We suggest avoiding carrying large suitcases and luggage bags while visiting the site and leaving it in your hotel room instead. 
Is photography permitted at the Basilica Cistern?
Yes, photography is permitted while within the confines of the Basilica Cistern. Tripods, however, are not allowed. 
Are outside food and drinks permitted inside the Basilica Cistern?
No, food and drinks are not allowed inside the Basilica Cistern as this is a historic and archeological site. 
What are my dining options at the Basilica Cistern?
There are no dining options at the cistern. However, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the surrounding area that you can eat from. We recommend the Basilica Restaurant, the Omar Cafe, and Nars Brasserie for scrumptious Mediterranean and Turkish food. 
Are return transfers included in my Basilica Cistern tickets?
No, return transfers are not included in your Basilica Cistern tickets. 
Is there a dress code to visit the Basilica Cistern?
Unlike most other religious attractions in Istanbul, visiting the Basilica Cistern does not necessitate adherence to a particular dress code. 
What kind of clothing should I wear while visiting the Basilica Cistern?
The slippery interiors of the cistern can be a challenge, so make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear while you visit. That being said, there is quite a bit of walking in the guided tour, so walking shoes are recommended. 

What to See at the Basilica Cistern?

The Basilica Cistern, also known as the Turkish Cistern or the Byzantine Cistern is a structure infused with architecture and technology from various civilizations. While visiting, make sure you don’t miss these must-see parts of the cistern.

The Column of tears 

There is something fantastically riveting about this particular column in the entire cistern. You will notice curious engravings of Turkish eyes all over the length and circumference of this pillar. It is said that it was carved out by the slaves who erected it and is said to have wish-granting abilities.  

Medusa heads 

In the Basilica Cistern you will find two boulder-sized busts of the mythological figure Medusa at the bottom of supporting pillars. Its exact purpose is unknown but is said to be representative of the new gods replacing old ones by the Byzantine regime that took over the region. 

Colonnades 

Spread over an area of an entire football field, the Basically Cistern contains 336 columns in total, some with corinthian ornamentations and others plain, however, each one completely unique. The reason for the distinct nature of these pillars is attributed to the possibility that these pillars were recycled, taken from various parts of the city, and installed in the cistern. 

Waters of the Cistern 

The waters of the cistern are clear and pristine. A level of water is still maintained at the site, however, the structure was said to be able to contain 80,000 cubic meters of water. You will notice fish as well. It is speculated that fish were used by royals as a safeguard against poising. If the fish turned up dead, then you’d know that the water was unsafe. 

Installations 

Since its reopening in 2022, ever so often you will find a temporary installation within these dark chambers, placed there by the administration. These artistic installations complement the cistern so well that you would think that they were permanent parts of the structure.  

Top Things to See in Istanbul

When you are done viewing the Basilica Cistern, you might want to check out these other attractions in Istanbul to get the most out of the city. Here are the best things to do in Istanbul:

Hagia Sophia 

Originally built as a cathedral in the 4th century by Byzantine emperor Justinian I, it was later converted into a mosque by the Ottoman Empire in 1453. The structure embodies architecture from both the major religions of the classical Christian period and Islam of the middle ages and is truly marvelous to see. Visit this magnificent structure with Hagia Sophia tickets.

Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace Museum is a museum containing imperial collections of the erstwhile Ottoman empire, including a library of books and manuscripts from that era. Once a palatial administrative center, not only is the architecture stunning, its exhibits are sure to take you back to a time of sultans and Turkish regimes. Have a magical experience with Topkapi Palace tickets.

Blue Mosque 

Constructed in 1616, the Blue Mosque is a testament to the aesthetic genius of the Ottomans. The hand-painted blue tiles make the structure look ethereal in the moonlight, shining off its five main domes and glittering minarets. A visit to this mosque with Blue Mosque tickets is sure to leave you speechless. 

Galata Tower 

Built in the Byzantine era, this defense outpost was the largest tower along the walls of Galata. It has survived multiple regimes and wars, that have left it renovated and infused with Ottoman and Geonose elements. Climb this 219 ft. tower to get scintillating views of the historic city of Istanbul with Galata Tower tickets.  

Bosphorus Cruises

Hop aboard a cruise boat or yacht and sail the pristine waters of the Bosphorus strait. On these popular Bosphorus cruises, you will get a chance to see the city’s most prized landmarks such as the Dolmabahce Palace, Ortakoy Mosque, and the Hagia Sophia Museum while you have a delectable lunch and beverages.

Basilica Cistern Tickets & Tour FAQs

Are Basilica Cistern tickets available online now?

Yes, Basilica Cistern tickets are available online. Book in advance to get your preferred timings on guided tours and skip the line access with our secure bookings.  

What are the different types of Basilica Cistern tickets and tours?

In our Basilica Cistern tickets collection, we have skip-the-line tickets, guided tours tickets, and combo tickets as well. Skip-the-line tickets give you fast-track access to the site. For an in-depth tour opt for your guided tour tickets and if you want to see more historical sites in Istanbul, our combo tickets are ideal. 

Is skip-the-line entry included in my Basilica Cistern tickets?

Yes, skip-the-line access is available in our collection of Basilica Cistern tickets.  Skip the line tickets allow to you move past long tickets and waiting queues and head straight to the Basilica Cistern. Please refer to your selected ticket to ensure that this feature is available.   

Are return transfers included in Basilica Cistern tickets?

No, return transfers are not available for this particular ticket. 

Are guided Basilica Cistern tours available?

Yes, guided tours are available in our Basilica Cistern ticket collection. Get guided tour tickets or combo tickets to have an in-depth tour of the Basilica Cistern and other attractions by expert tour guides. 

What are Basilica Cistern opening hours/timings?

The Basilica Cistern is open on all days of the week. It opens at 9 AM and closes by 7 PM. For timings on guided tours, you can refer to the schedule mentioned on your tickets.

How do I get to the Basilica Cistern?

You can get to the Basilica Cistern by using trains, buses, trams, and taxis. 
  • Train
    F1 funicular runs from Taksim to Kabatas. Once you have reached Kabatas you need to get to Sultanahamet, either by tram, bus, or taxi. The cistern is very close to there. 
  • Bus 
    Use these buses to reach Yerebatan Sarnici, where the cistern is located 28, 30D, 50E, 54E, 66, 77A, 91, EM1 
  • Tram
    The Taksim Square Tram T1 will take you from Kabatas to Sultanahmet from where the cistern is within walking distance.   
  • Taxi
    Hail a taxi from either Taksim Square or from your location to reach the Cistern.

What is the best time to visit the Basilica Cistern?

The best time to visit the Basilica Cistern is in the early hours, just when the attraction opens its doors to the public i.e. between 9 AM and 10 AM. To avoid the tremendous heat of the summer, we recommend visiting the cistern between November and March.

Is the Basilica Cistern wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the site is wheelchair accessible. You will find at the entrance, a platform lift that will take you down into Basilica Cistern. We recommend caution since the interiors of the cistern can be quite slippery. 

How far is the Basilica Cistern from Hagia Sophia?

A hundred and fifty meters southwest of the Hagia Sophia, you will find the Basilica Cistern. It won’t take more than a 3-minute walk.
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