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Guided Tour of Basilica Cistern & Topkapi Palace

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  • Mobile ticket

With this cost-effective combo ticket, enjoy a guided tour and skip-the-line access to Istanbul's captivating Basilica Cistern as well as the magnificent Topkapi Palace.

Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in history and skip the lines as you see hundreds of ancient cisterns in the Sunken Palace beneath Istanbul.

  • With a guide, witness the 336 well-preserved columns from Byzantine times and two Medusa heads.

  • Get insights into the Topkapi Palace, the residence of Ottoman sultans during the 15th century, with your expert guide.

  • Experience the splendor of the Topkapi Museum Palace's centuries-old, distinctive art and architecture, and listen to the Topkapi Palace audio guide.

  • Fun Fact: The Topkapi Palace was the epicenter of the Ottoman Empire, serving as both the sultan's abode and home to its governmental functions.

Inclusions

Basilica Cistern

  • Skip-the-line entry

  • Free time to explore more

  • 20-minute guided tour

  • English-speaking tour guide

Topkapi Palace

  • Skip-the-line entry

  • Free time to explore more

  • 60-minute guided tour

  • English-speaking tour guide

  • Topkapi Palace audio guide app

Exclusions

Topkapi Palace

  • Admission to the Harem

Cancellation policy

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

Reviews

3.8
89 reviews
5/5
33
4/5
31
3/5
8
2/5
11
1/5
6
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Italy
  • Canada
  • Hungary
  • Australia
  • Spain
  • India
  • Singapore
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Italy
  • Canada
  • Hungary
  • Australia
  • Spain
  • India
  • Singapore
Guests from United States, United Kingdom, France and over 22 countries have loved this experience
Gregory Anthony Perez

Gregory

5/5

May, 2024

Topkapi Paula's was our 3rd booking through Headout. The process went very smoothly. Any glitches were quickly and easily resolved. The tour guides are extremely nice, helpful, and informed. Topkapi Palace is very big and extensive. We pooped out without getting through everything but that's ok. We loved what we saw. I point out that these days you may have people who behave entitled. The guards and ushers in the museum are quick to correct those who break the rules. As it should be.
Anna Nefedovich

Anna

4/5

Dec, 2023

We had an audioguide for the Basilica and the palace but were not able to use it in the basilica for there is no mobile network connection there. That is of course a shame when one downloads an audioguide in advance and pays for it. In the palace, however, the live guide was very good and knowledgeable. The tickets really were skip-the-line which worked very well.
Margarita Castellanos

Margarita

4/5

Oct, 2023

I liked the knowledge of the guide and his relaxed way of explaining the historical data and the specific sites of the tour. I did not like the initial mess and the change of the tour start time.
View original review in Spanish
Kevin kimpel

Kevin

4/5

Oct, 2023

The Skip the line feature was a great idea. As a solo traveler it is not fun to stand in line alone and wait. I will gladly pay to not stand around in endless lines. There was a bit of confusion about the meetup point. I made it to the designated meet up point in plenty of time for the 10am tour. But then was told my Palace tour meet up point was at a different location. Then was told after my palace tour to return to the initial point at noon for my cistern tour. While on the palace tour, the guide urged us to explore the palace for a few hours after the tour ended . I asked him how I could do that and still make the cistern tour at noon. He told me I could go to 2 or 4 pm tours instead. That was a relief to hear. But if I had been told about the 2 and 4 pm tour options for the cistern I would have been more informed planning my day.
Rhonda Jean Wash

Rhonda

5/5

Oct, 2023

The guide was very knowledgeable and explained things well. My hotel was around the corner from the meeting place so that made it easy to find it.

Pick this super-saver combo which includes access to two of Istanbul's must-visit attractions.

Basilica Cistern

Start your 20-minute tour of the mysterious, well-preserved underground reservoir known as Yerebatan Cistern. You will walk down 52 steps and pass 336 columns arranged in the 12 rows used to build it. Built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian the First (527–565) to meet the water needs of Constantinople, you will be amazed by the marble pillars and the artificial freshwater lake, which is the size of two football fields. Your tour guide will take you to the locations where the first James Bond film, "From Russia with Love," was shot in the 1960s. Your guide, while giving you an in-depth tour, will show you the ancient Hen's Eye Column and will narrate the story of the mysterious Medusa Heads from Greek mythology. Once your guided tour is over, stay back and explore the maze of the cisterns at your own pace.

Topkapi Palace

Your skip-the-line tickets mean you bypass the large crowds and head straight for the security check. Take a 60-minute guided tour of the beautiful Topkapi Palace, a museum with exhibits of imperial collections from the Ottoman Empire. Your guide will regale you with stories and the colorful history of the palace, once the former residence of the Ottoman Sultans. You will see 30,000 archived documents. Visit the holy relics and the imperial kitchens and see magnificent Chinese porcelain. Step out to the outside terraces to catch views of the Golden Horn. After the tour, stay longer and delve deeper into its history with an audio guide.

Operating Hours

Basilica Cistern

  • Daily: 12pm, 1pm and 3pm

Topkapi Palace

  • Wed to Mon: 10am, 12pm and 2pm
  • Your voucher will be emailed to you instantly.

  • Display the voucher on your mobile phone with a valid photo ID at the meeting point.

  • Please arrive at the meeting point 15 minutes before the scheduled time of your visit to avoid any delays.

Meeting Points

  • Meet your guide at Dsign Cafe.

  • Address: Binbirdirek, At Meydanı Cd No:10, 34093 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye.

-Landmark: Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, Hippodrome.

  • Your guide will be waiting for you at the meeting point with Headout or Istanbul Welcome Card Flags.

Get Directions to the Meeting Point

  • Emergency Number: + 90 533 894 05 60 (Also available on Whatsapp)

Important Information

  • The tour guide speaks English.

  • Please download the audio app before your tour.

  • Do not forget to bring your earphones.

Instructions for Audio Guide

  • Step 1: Go to Apple Store or Google Play Store and search for "YourMobileGuide"-

  • Step 2: Download "YourMobileGuide"

  • Step 3: Click "All Audio Tours"

  • Step 4: In the search bar, type the activation code "ymg7" for "Basilica Cistern" tour and for Topkapi Palace please use ''ymg5''

  • Step 5: Click on "Start this tour"

Missing any information?

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