Explore the largest of hundreds of ancient cisterns located below the city at Basilica Cistern. This fascinating chamber of the underground water systems, commissioned in 532 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian, is remarkable for its practical and artistic value. After a complete renovation in the 1980s, the cistern became one of the most popular tourist sites in Istanbul's Sultanahmet district. Walk along the wooden platforms beneath the dark, vaulted ceilings of this cathedral-sized cistern and see its famous Medusa-head pillar and Hen's Eye column. Put Basilica Cistern at the forefront of your travel plans using our Istanbul holiday planning website.
Tours to Basilica Cistern
$65 BOOK WITH VIATOR Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia
Duration: 8 hours
$95 BOOK WITH VIATOR Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
Duration: 8 hours
$135 BOOK WITH VIATOR Istanbul Super Saver: Small-Group City Sightseeing Tour plus Turkish Dinner and Show
Duration: 12 hours
$80 BOOK WITH VIATOR Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar
Duration: 4 hours
$70 BOOK WITH VIATOR Istanbul Sightseeing Tour Including Süleymaniye Mosque and Lunch
Duration: 8 hours
$120 BOOK WITH VIATOR Top Sites Of Istanbul: Half Day or Full Day Private Walking Tour
Duration: 5 to 8 hours
$53 BOOK WITH VIATOR VIP Istanbul Combo Ticket: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Baslica Cistern
Duration: 2 to 4 hours
Basilica Cistern reviews
We wanted to visit Basilica Cistern badly but it was completely fenced off for renovation until when who knows, they were saying next year. Well, we will definitely visit it the next time we are in..... more »
With the entrance being tucked inside a small building, a visit to the Basilica is a must. Taking you back years with the astounding architecture. The way old buildings were used to build this... more »
This is one of my BEST experiences in Istanbul. If i can give it a 10 star i would. The whole atmosphere and interior of the whole space is just beyond your imagination. I would definitely recommend to buy the pictures as they dress you up in the authentic Turkish costumes. I still have it as an amazing souvenir. I loved every minute of this.
Cool place! I enjoyed wandering through the columns with the eerie soundtrack they played. The lighting was effective and really added to the experience. It is excellent value for money, but watch your step, it's very slippery down there. The wishing pool is a place to those a coin in and make a wish, only there was no pool, the water was very low. I know this is completely out of their control and my rating does not include this. I just thought it was funny watching people throwing money onto concrete and hoping something magical will happen. Definitely good you're in the area.
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