Basilica Cistern Tickets

4.8 / 5 (244 reviews)
5 Activities
5 options

Basilica Cistern Skip the Line Ticket & Audio Guide

Explore the Basilica Cistern at your own pace with a skip-the-line-entry and an audio guide on your smartphone.

  • Available

  • Duration: Flexible
  • Audio Guide
  • Skip The Ticket Line
  • Free Cancellation

Basilica Cistern Skip the Line Ticket and Tour

Skip the ticket lines at the Basilica Cistern, save valuable time and enjoy the tour with an official Basilica Cistern guide.

  • Available

  • 4.7 / 5 (205 reviews)
  • Duration: Flexible
  • Live Guide
  • Audio Guide
  • Skip The Ticket Line
  • Free Cancellation

Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern Combo

Enjoy flexible tours with passionate guides at legendary locations and the see the most magnificent monuments in Istanbul!

  • Available

  • Validity Days: 3
  • Free Cancellation

Combo: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern Tickets & Tours

Maximize savings with this 4-in-1 combo tickets & tours valid for 3 days. Explore Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque with an expert guide!

  • Available

  • 4.9 / 5 (900 reviews)
  • Validity Days: 3
  • Live Guide
  • Audio Guide
  • Free Cancellation

Saver Combo

Best Museums & Bosphorus Cruise. No need of public transportation? Then this saver combo is the right one for you. Explore the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and enjoy a Bosphorus cruise.

  • Available

  • 4.7 / 5 (115 reviews)
  • Validity Days: 3
  • Live Guide
  • Audio Guide
  • Free Cancellation

What is the Basilica Cistern?

The Basilica Cistern, one of Istanbul’s most visited attractions, was built as a water reservoir in the 6th century AD during the rule of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. With its significant role in Istanbul's history, this majestic underground structure offers a unique opportunity to explore the city's history and mystique. The cistern has become a crucial symbol for understanding the historical fabric of Istanbul.

Having undergone repairs in various periods, the Basilica Cistern stands resilient, surviving through the ages to the present day. The underground , which met the water needs of Istanbul for thousands of years, sheds light on the city's water history. Embark on our Basilica Cistern tour to take a brief Byzantine journey, unraveling the mysteries of history along the way.

Why Visit the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul?

Visiting the Basilica Cistern is a journey into the deep ancient history of Istanbul. This unique structure holds a significant place in Istanbul's cultural and historical heritage. The mysterious ambiance of the Basilica Cistern has become a center of attraction for anyone who wants to delve into the past by wandering between columns, some of which reveal hidden gems like the famous Medusa Heads. 

Join our Basilica Cistern tour to uncover the fascinating mysteries of the underground cistern, gain insights into its lesser-known facets, and immerse yourself in a cultural journey that promises not just discovery but enchantment.

What to Do in the Basilica Cistern?

Meander through the Basilica Cistern for an excellent opportunity to stroll between rows of columns and be enchanted by history. As you traverse the cistern, the play of light beneath the columns and the soothing sound of water create an unforgettable sightseeing experience.

In addition, the Medusa Heads inside Basilica Cistern are an important detail that attracts the attention of visitors. Beyond its role as a museum, the cistern also hosts concerts and visual feasts, such as light shows. Attending a concert event within this magnificent structure offers a dimensional transition, seamlessly bridging the past and the present.

How to Get to the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul?

The Basilica Cistern is located on the historical peninsula of Istanbul and is easily accessible from many points of the city. You can easily reach the cistern by public transportation or on foot. 

Here is an overview of the different options:

  • On Foot: A leisurely walk from the Blue Mosque will take approximately 5 minutes, about 20 minutes from the Grand Bazaar, and just 2 minutes from Hagia Sophia.
  • By Tram: The most convenient way to reach the Basilica Cistern is by tram line T1. Disembark at Sultanahmet station. From there, it's a mere 7-minute walk to the cistern.
  • By Metro: From Taksim, take Metro M2 towards Yenikapi, travel three stops to Vezneciler station, then walk five minutes to Laleli-Üniversite tram stop. Board T1 tram towards Kabatas for three stations, reaching Sultanahmet stop. A 3-minute walk from there brings you to the entrance of the underground cistern. The total journey time without transition times is also approximately 25 minutes.
  • By Train: For visitors arriving from the Asian side, arriving by train is recommended. The nearest train station to Basilica Cistern is Sirkeci Station on the Marmaray Line Marmaray Istanbul. Conveniently situated opposite the train station is the Sirkeci tram stop. You can hop on the T1 tram towards Bagcilar and comfortably reach Sultanahmet stop. This option proves to be much more comfortable than a 15-minute uphill walk.
  • By Bus: Numerous bus lines have stops in close proximity to the Basilica Cistern. Opt for buses 28T, 30D, 46Ç, 47E, 99A, BN1, EM1, and alight at either Sarayburnu or Akbiyik Station. From Sarayburnu station, it's an 18-minute walk to the Basilica Cistern, and from Akbiyik, it's an 11-minute walk.

Basilica Cistern Opening Hours

Basilica Cistern is open from 09.00 to 22.00 every day of the week. However, it is useful to check the current opening hours before visiting.

Basilica Cistern Concerts

Night Shift at the Basilica Cistern is a one-of-a-kind program featuring surprise concerts and unexpected musical performances, adding a special touch to your visit in the atmospheric surroundings of the cistern. 

"Night Shift" surprise concerts occurs on specific days of the week, between 19:30 and 10 22:00.

Plan Your Visit to the Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

When planning your visit to Basilica Cistern, it is important to first set a time to experience the unique atmosphere of the Basilica Cistern. We recommend you make an online reservation before joining our Basilica Cistern tour. The museum is at its quietest in the early morning and at sunset. 

It may be more enjoyable to visit early in the morning, especially during the summer months when temperatures rise. It is important to dress comfortably for a visit because it is a cool and humid environment. Comfortable walking shoes will make it easier to navigate the narrow and sometimes slippery stone floor.

What Else Can You Do at Basilica Cistern?

After visiting the Basilica Cistern, you can take time to for the outside of Basilica Cistern and explore the surrounding historical sites. Top attractions, such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapı Palace are just a few minutes walk away.

Average Time to Spend in Basilica Cistern

On average, 1 or 1.5 hours is enough to explore the Basilica Cistern.

FAQ's for Basilica Cistern Tickets

<p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">The entrance to the Basilica Cistern is not free; there is an admission fee for visitors. However, it's important to note that admission is free for visitors with physical disabilities and an accompanying person, who must be a first-degree relative, upon presentation of appropriate ID.</span></p>

<p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">The duration of our Basilica Cistern Tour is 30 minutes. Immediately after your 30-minute guided tour, you can stay inside for as long as you wish and continue to explore the Basilica Cistern individually.</span></p>

<p class="ql-align-justify"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">During the Basilica Cistern Tour, you can see the architectural structure, columns, and historical details of the impressive underground museum. You will also get information about how the cistern was built, and other fascinating facts.</span></p>

<p class="ql-align-justify"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Yes, you can take pictures during our Basilica Cistern Tour. However, the use of flash may be prohibited in some areas. Please pay attention to the warnings from your guide.</span></p>

<p class="ql-align-justify"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Given the popularity of the Basilica Cistern as one of the key attractions in Istanbul, it is strongly advised to make a reservation for the Basilica Cistern Tour.&nbsp; By doing so, you can select your preferred tour times on your chosen date and avoid any waiting times.</span></p>

<p class="ql-align-justify"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Yes, our Basilica Cistern Tour is suitable for families with children.&nbsp;</span></p>

<p class="ql-align-justify"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Within 24 hours you have the right to free cancellation and refund.</span></p>

<p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">There is no dress code when visiting the Basilica Cistern. However, we recommend you wear comfortable and appropriate clothes for the cool and humid environment of the underground cistern. Especially pay attention to your choice of shoes. The floor may be slippery in some sections.</span></p>

<p class="ql-align-justify"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">It is important to pay attention to your guide's instructions during the Basilica Cistern tour. You should be especially careful in the corridors and on the stairs.</span></p>

<p class="ql-align-justify"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">There is no limit to the number of participants for the Basilica Cistern Tour.</span></p>

<p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Certainly, the Basilica Cistern is a must-visit historical site in Istanbul, featuring remarkable architecture and rich cultural importance. The captivating attractions, including the Medusa Heads and the exhibition, along with its mysterious ambiance, make it truly worthwhile. Notably, it served as the filming location for Hollywood movies like "Inferno." Consider joining our concise and insightful Basilica Cistern Tour for a deeper understanding of its historical significance and the discovery of hidden gems.</span></p>

<p class="ql-align-justify"><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">During our Basilica Cistern tour, you will learn about the history, architecture, and historical use of the Basilica Cistern and much more. You will also discover the importance of the cistern during the Byzantine Empire and its impact on the present day.</span></p>


Sanjay Kher
Wonderful part of history, well preserved....
18 July 2023
Thor / Norway
Amazing Basilica Cistern with a great guide! Definetely deserves a visit ! We really had an enjoyable time in there
06 July 2023
26 June 2023
Andrea Switzerland
Most amazing place I have ever seen. Many people but always had the chance for a good shot without anybody! A must do in Istanbul
05 June 2023
Atmani - Alger
Splendide visite que celle de la Citerne Basilique. Lieu historique par excellence que nous avons bien visité grâce à l’audio guide. Notre guide était à l’heure au rendez vous et nous a fourni toutes les informations utiles à cette visite.
11 May 2023
Happy Customer

2022 - 2023 Istanbul Welcome Card by