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.
Create an itinerary including Basilica Cistern
Tours to Basilica Cistern
$95 BOOK WITH VIATOR Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
Duration: 8 hours
$115 BOOK WITH VIATOR Top Sites Of Istanbul: Half Day or Full Day Private Walking Tour
Duration: 5 to 8 hours
$135 BOOK WITH VIATOR Istanbul Super Saver: Small-Group City Sightseeing Tour plus Turkish Dinner and Show
Duration: 12 hours
$45 BOOK WITH VIATOR Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand Bazaar
Duration: 4 hours
$51 BOOK WITH VIATOR VIP Istanbul Combo Ticket: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Baslica Cistern
Duration: 2 to 4 hours
$80 BOOK WITH VIATOR Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar
Duration: 4 hours
$29 BOOK WITH VIATOR Istanbul Old City: Hagia Sophia - Suleymaniye Mosque - Spice Bazaar
Duration: 4 hours
Basilica Cistern reviews
I'm sure this is worth seeing, but it's closed right now while they work out structural safety issues caused by vibration from the nearby tram.
I'm sure this is worth seeing, but it's closed right now while they work out structural safety issues caused by vibration from the nearby tram. more »
Charming insight. Rich history. Beautiful illumination or enlightning. Great place to shoot excellent pictures…..
Charming insight. Rich history. Beautiful illumination or enlightning. Great place to shoot excellent pictures….. 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.
Plan your trip to Istanbul
Get a personalized tripA complete day by day itinerary based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Istanbul
Historic Sites in Istanbul
Hidden gems in Istanbul
Museums in Istanbul
Shopping in Istanbul
Nearby attractions in Istanbul
Trips in Basilica Cistern by other users
31 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM ISRAEL Selcuk Mugla Pamukkale 3 days in Istanbul & Sapanca BY A USER FROM TURKEY Istanbul Sapanca 19 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Paris Barcelona Rome 9 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM KUWAIT Antalya Goreme Istanbul 6 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM KUWAIT Istanbul 16 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM Istanbul Ayvalik Selcuk