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Basilica Cistern Opening Hours | Best Time to Visit, Visiting Days, & More

Basilica Cistern opening hours

Basilica Cistern Opening Hours

Best time to visit the Basilica Cistern

Best time to visit the Basilica Cistern

Peak season vs. low season

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. 

Best time to visit the Basilica Cistern

Weekday Vs Weekend:

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.

How long should I spend at Basilica Cistern?

The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul is famous for its long colonnades, tranquil waters, and Medusa Heads, which are said to have been repurposed from an ancient Roman building. You can spend around 30 minutes to an hour exploring its interiors. Basilica Cistern guided tours also last for around 30 minutes to an hour. You can continue exploring on your own after your tour ends. 




Book Basilica Cistern tickets & tours

Skip-the-Line Tickets to Basilica Cistern
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Guided Tour of Basilica Cistern with Skip-the-Line Tickets
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1 hr.
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Combo: Hagia Sophia + Topkapi Palace + Basilica Cistern Guided Tours Tickets
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Combo: Basilica Cistern + Blue Mosque + Hagia Sophia Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line Tickets
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4 hr.
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Headout Saver: 3-Day Skip-the-Line Tickets to Top Istanbul Attractions
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Combo (Save 9%): Basilica Cistern Skip-the-Line Tickets + Busforus 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Istanbul
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Frequently asked questions about Basilica Cistern’s opening hours

Is the Basilica Cistern open every day?

The Basilica Cistern is open throughout the year from 9 AM to 10 PM. 

When is the Basilica Cistern closed?

The Basilica Cistern is open throughout the year. 

How long should I spend at the Basilica Cistern?

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. 

What is the best time to visit the Basilica Cistern?

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. 

Is the Basilica Cistern open on public holidays?

The Basilica Cistern is open to visitors every day of the year from 9 AM to 7 PM.