March to May and September to October attract the most number of tourists, owing to the pleasant temperatures in Istanbul. The weather is ideal for strolls around the city. During the winter season, there are lesser crowds and you will find better deals on tickets, hotels and restaurants. If you are a budget traveler and would not mind the chill, visiting the Basilica Cistern during the off-season is the best option.
It is best to avoid weekends and public holidays if you want lesser crowds at the Basilica Cistern. Weekdays are a better option. The cistern is open to visitors from 9 AM so we recommend you reach early, at least before 12 PM or right after the morning traffic rush to enjoy a relatively quieter atmosphere inside the cistern.
The Basilica Cistern is open throughout the year from 9 AM to 10 PM.
The Basilica Cistern is open throughout the year.
The Medusa Heads, the Weeping Column, and the 336 columns lining the roof are some of the most significant highlights inside the Basilica Cistern. You can spend around 30 minutes to an hour exploring these columns and arches.
March to May and September to October are the best months to visit the Basilica Cistern. You can enjoy pleasant temperatures in Istanbul during these months.
The Basilica Cistern is open to visitors every day of the year from 9 AM to 7 PM.