Basilica Cistern Opening Hours & Best Time To Visit
Beneath the ancient city of Istanbul, in Turkey, lies the largest subterranean cistern, the mysterious sunken palace or Basilica Cistern. This hidden underground reservoir is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Filled with hundreds of marble columns, statues, and two giant Medusa heads, which form the base of two columns, the cistern also holds concerts and movies and is mentioned in popular culture.
If you are in Istanbul, a trip to the Basilica Cistern is a must-have experience, so here is everything you need to know about the Basilica Cistern opening hours.
Basilica Cistern Opening Hours
- General Timings: The Basilica Cistern is open from 9 AM to 7 PM every day of the week.
- Special Timings: The historic landmark opens at 1 PM on special occasions like New Year's Day or religious holidays.
- Duration of Visit: It might take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to fully take in the beautiful and mysterious Basilica Cistern. Though it might take you more time to click photos.
Best Time to Visit
The basilica is open every day of the week but it might be more crowded during holidays or the weekend. Visitors can expect fewer people during weekdays when educational institutions and offices are open. The best time to visit the Basilica Cistern is during the early morning hours and late afternoons. This is generally when the basilica is quietest and you can take your time exploring the historic site. During the summer months, you might find more tourists in the cistern trying to find respite from the afternoon heat.
Istanbul's Basilica Cistern is best visited in the shoulder season from March through May and then from September through November. Istanbul experiences nice spring and fall weather. Istanbul experiences a high tourist season throughout the summer (June to August), which can result in expensive accommodation rates and long wait times at popular attractions. Although winters don't make for the most pleasant travel conditions, the good news is that it won't be difficult to find cheap lodging, and there are plenty of indoor activities available thanks to Istanbul's numerous attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Blue Mosque.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Basilica Cistern Opening Hours
The Basilica Cistern’s opening hours are 9 AM to 7 PM, Monday to Sunday.
Yes. The Basilica Cistern is open every day.
A. You should spend at least an hour at the Basilica Cistern.
A. The best time to visit Basilica Cistern is spring (March to May) and fall (September to November).
A. Yes, Basilica Cistern is open on public holidays but the opening hours may vary.