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Skip the Line Tickets to Basilica Cistern

Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
Flexible Duration
Audio Guide
Guided Tour
  • Meet your guide and say goodbye to long lines through the fast track entry into the Basilica Cistern.
  • Appreciate the cathedral-sized cistern better with an English-speaking guide.
  • 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.
  • Enjoy an immersive experience with an informative audio guide.
  • Upgrade your ticket and avail the Highlights Tour to explore further.

This ticket has the following options you can choose from:

  • Basilica Cistern STL Tickets with Audio Guide
  • Basilica Cistern STL Tickets with Highlights Tour
  • These tickets can't be cancelled or rescheduled.

Combo: Hagia Sophia + Topkapi Palace or Basilica Cistern Tickets

Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
Flexible Duration
Audio Guide
  • Save with this VIP Combo Ticket time and money, and enjoy hassle-free access to the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and the Basilica Cistern.
  • Skip the lines at Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern (Hagia Sophia does not have fast-track entry tickets) 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.
  • Combo Ticket Istanbul is valid for 3 Days: Your name will be on our list 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.
  • The guided tour in each of the museums lasts for 30-45 minutes.
  • Following this, feel free to explore the museums at your own pace and listen to the interesting commentary on your audio guides.

This ticket has the following options you can choose from:

  • Entry to Hagia Sophia & Topkapi Palace Only
  • Entry to Hagia Sophia & Basilica Cistern Only
  • Entry to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern
  • Free entrance tickets to Hagia Sophia
  • Skip the line entry tickets to Topkapi Palace (optional)
  • Skip the line entry to Basilica Cistern (optional)
  • Guided tour
  • Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace audio guide (English, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Chinese, Turkish)
  • 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.
  • The tickets to Hagia Sophia do not provide skip-the-line access.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Istanbul Welcome Card

Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
168 hr.
Audio Guide
  • Take your time to explore the Turkish metropolis with a 7-day validity from first use.
  • Enjoy free rides on the public transportation system across Istanbul.
  • Float on the magnificent Bosphorous on a cruise and view Istanbul from a different perspective.
  • Enjoy English-guided/audio-guided tours of ancient sights like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Basilica Cistern, depending on the option chosen.
  • At the time of booking, add the date of arrival along with your accommodation details so that that pass can be delivered to you.
  • Simply display your card in order to use it and exercise hassle-free redemption.
  • The Museum Pass included with the card is valid for 5 days from first use. Only one-time entry is allowed at each museum.
  • 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
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Visiting Basilica Cistern, an Underground Relic in Istanbul 

With 2500 years of history, stunning architecture, sculpture art, and a vibrant cosmopolitan nightlife, Istanbul has something for every traveler. Straddling both Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a multicultural blend. Among the many architectural marvels that the city has to offer, Basilica Cistern is one such unmissable landmark. One of the city’s best-kept secrets, Basilica Cistern is an underground relic that met the water needs of the people during the Byzantine rule. 

The Basilica Cistern is a spectacular testament to the water system of the 6th century AD. Illuminated by electric lights, the 336 colonnades stand at a crossroad between modernity and historicity. Read on to find out more about the Basilica Cistern, Basilica Cistern tickets, how to reach there, its timings, and other necessary tidbits of information that can help you plan a delightful trip.

Why Visit the Basilica Cistern?

Basilica Cistern Tickets

Historical Importance

The Basilica Cistern embodies the essence of Istanbul in its use of modern technology to illuminate the decades-old smoothened columns. It is stunning proof of the advanced water system of the Byzantine Empire.

Basilica Cistern Tickets


Inside the Basilica Cistern, one of the columns is separated by carvings of trees, branches, and peacocks in memory of the 7000 slaves who sacrificed themselves during its construction period of almost 38 years. Resembling falling tears, this column is called the ‘Weeping Column.’

Basilica Cistern Tickets

Sculpture Art

The two columns at the north-western part of the Basilica Cistern display some of the most beautiful sculpture art. This historical building also features two Medusa heads beneath the base of the Basilica Cistern. It was believed that Medusa, one of the Gorgon monsters in Greek mythology, would guard the Basilica.

Your Basilica Cistern Tickets Explained

Basilica Cistern Tickets
Basilica Cistern Tickets
Basilica Cistern Tickets

Super Flexible Cancellation Policy

Enjoy a Super Flexible Cancellation Policy with your Basilica Cistern tickets by booking them online. You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hrs before the experience begins and get a full refund. For more information, make sure to check your details before purchasing.

What is the Best Way to Book Basilica Cistern Tickets? Get them Online! 

The Basilica Cistern is one of the most popular architectural marvels in Istanbul. Since it is an important part of Byzantine rule in Istanbul, it is often swarming with tourists. You have to plan your tour well in advance and book tickets early to avoid missing out on these experiences. You can book your tickets online to reserve your spot and enjoy a hassle-free experience.

  • Convenience: With online booking systems in place, you can book a ticket easily and enjoy your tour without queuing up in long lines outside the attraction.
  • Secure Bookings: Since online reservations are taken early, you do not have to worry about missing your attraction. Your spot will be secured.
  • Great Deals: Like the Skip the Line Basilica Cistern ticket or the Combo offer, online bookings offer great discounts on a variety of experiences. You will also find added features like guided tours and audio guides to make your experience memorable.

Basilica Cistern Highlights

Basilica Cistern Tickets

Long Colonnades

The spectacular stone architecture of the Basilica Cistern makes for an unforgettable tourist experience. The colonnades are reminiscent of their Roman roots and are a standing testament to the multicultural history of Istanbul. The subtle lights illuminate the underground cavern and create an eerie atmosphere.

Basilica Cistern Tickets

Medusa’s Heads

Once upon a time, the cavern used to hold 80,000 cubic meters of water. After the water receded, two Medusa’s heads emerged from the base of the cavern. The two Medusa heads form the base for the 336 columns situated on the northwest side of the Basilica Cistern. The Gorgon monster’s head is still shrouded in mystery.

Basilica Cistern Tickets

Weeping Pillar

To commemorate the sacrifice of 7000 slaves during the construction of the Basilica 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. An interesting lore suggests that if you put your thumb in the swirling patterns of this pillar and complete a 360 turn inside without taking out your finger, you will come into some good fortune. Give it a try while you are there! 

Basilica Cistern Tickets

An Underground Relic

The Basilica Cistern is one of the best-preserved marvels of Byzantine architecture. You have to descend down a flight of 52 stairs to take a walk through the shadowy depths of the Cistern. Although the water was drained during its restoration, you will find a few carp swimming lazily in shallow pools. The Yerebatan Palace, as the locals fondly call it, is well-lit and stands splendidly as a historical marvel of the yesteryears.

Plan your Visit to the Basilica Cistern

Getting There
Visitor Tips
Basilica Cistern Tickets

Mon to Sun: 9 am to 7pm. 

April to October: 9 am to 6:30 pm.

November to March: 9 am to 5:30 pm. 

Opening Hours on National holidays: 1 pm

  • Duration Of Visit: It is recommended that you spend at least one hour and 30 minutes in the Basilica Cistern. 
  • Best Time to Visit: It is recommended that you visit the Basilica Cistern in the morning hours from 9 am to 10 am in the summertime as the day hours are mostly crowded. November to March are the ideal months to visit Istanbul as the winter sun makes walking around the city a pleasant experience.
Basilica Cistern Tickets

Address: Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey.

Find on Maps.

  • By Train: A direct train operates from Istanbul to Basilica Cistern. It departs from Aksaray and reaches Sultanahmet.
    Nearest Stop: Sultanahmet
  • By Tram: The Taksim Square Tram T1 operates from Kabatas to Sultanahmet.  
    Nearest Stop: Sultanahmet
  • By Car: Grab a taxi from Taksim Square or from your location to reach the Cistern.
    Nearest Stop: Entrance gate of the Basilica Cistern
  • From the Airport: Take a shuttle taxi or a town car to reach the Basilica Cistern from the Istanbul airport.
    Nearest Stop: Entrance gate of the Basilica Cistern
Basilica Cistern Tickets
  • Near the tram line of Alemdar Street, there is a lift that helps guests in wheelchairs to visit the attraction. After getting down at Alemdar Street, proceed downhill towards the exit to find this entrance. 
  • Please note that the entrance stairs are not accessible for wheelchairs. The cistern is very damp and slippery, so it is not the most comfortable place to visit on wheelchairs. 
Basilica Cistern Tickets
  • Multimedia Guide: There are guided tours and audio guides available coupled with your Basilica Cistern tickets 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
  • Hagia Sophia: The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque is a standing testament to the changing dynasties in Istanbul. Originally built as a Greek Orthodox Church, the Hagia Sophia is now a grand mosque and a museum. 
  • Topkapi Palace: The Imperial Harem, where the Ottoman emperors housed their multiple concubines is an unmissable part of the Topkapi Palace. The world-famous Spoonmaker’s diamond and the Topkapi dagger also carry major historical significance that is housed in the museum section of this palace. 
  • Blue Mosque: The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque is known for its interior ceramic art, central dome, minarets, marble structures, and landscape art. 
  • Taksim Square: Known for its luxury hotels, little red trams called trolleys, and authentic Turkish restaurants, Taksim Square is an ideal place to get friendly with the locals. The street art in Taksim Square complements the mosques and museums in a curious blend of modernity and historicity. 
Basilica Cistern Tickets
  • The cavern is a wet and slippery place given the water accumulated there for centuries. Wear comfortable shoes when you come here. 
  • Since the Cistern is a damp place, there is a significant drop in temperature underground. Carry a light cardigan on your visit there. 
  • Try to arrive early. Early mornings are cool and pleasant and is the best time to avoid crowds.
  • Audio guides are available in 9 different languages- English, Arabic, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, and Turkish for a more personalized experience.

All Your Questions About The Basilica Cistern Answered

Q. Do you need tickets to visit the Basilica Cistern?

A. Yes, you need to buy Basilica Cistern tickets to visit the attraction.

Q. Where can I buy tickets for the Basilica Cistern?

A. Get your Basilica Cistern tickets online for a hassle-free touring experience.

Q. Are there any discounts available on Basilica Cistern tickets?

A. The Basilica Cistern combo tickets providing access to the Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace are a great steal for their price. 

Q. Do I need a guide to visit the Basilica Cistern?

A. A guide will familiarize you with the history of the place. However, you can visit the Cistern alone as well.

Q. When does the Basilica Cistern open for public viewing?

A. The Basilica Cistern remains open from 9 am to 6:30 pm on all days of the week for public viewing.

Q. Is the Basilica Cistern wheelchair accessible?

A. The Basilica Cistern has a life near its exit gate to take in wheelchair guests, however, the slippery interiors are the least ideal conditions to visit in a wheelchair. 

Q. What was the Basilica Cistern used for?

A. The Basilica Cistern stored almost 80,000 cubic meters of water during the Byzantine reign.

Q. How long does it take to visit the Basilica Cistern?

A. Reserve at least an hour and 30 minutes when you visit the Basilica Cistern.

Q. How old is the Basilica Cistern?

A. The Basilica Cistern was built in the 6th century AD by Byzantine Emperors. 

Q. Why was the Basilica Cistern closed?

A. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and renovations, the Cistern had been closed. It was reopened on 23rd July 2022. 

Q. Can I take pictures in the Basilica Cistern?

A. You can click pictures with a mobile phone or camera inside the Basilica Cistern, but tripods are prohibited.