Basilica Cistern: Skip the line Ticket with Guided Tour

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Basilica Cistern: Skip the line Ticket with Guided Tour

Get skip-the-line admission with your talented guide and visit the famous underground cistern.

Duration: 1 Hour
Skip The Line:
Live Guide: English
Pick-up Services: Not available


  • Venture into the eerie darkness of the vast Cistern and be amazed!
  • Learn the stories behind the unusual Medusa Pillar Bases and Hen’s Eye Column.

Full Description

The Basilica Cistern was built by Justinian I. It is a huge space of 9,800 square metres and can store about 100,000 tons of water. It is sometimes called the "Underground Palace" or "Cistern Palace" due to its beauty and numerous columns. It's hard to believe this wonderful place was built just to store water!  After the conquest of Constantinople, water from the cistern was used to water the gardens of Topkapı Palace.

One of the strangest things about the cistern is the unusual Medusa head pillar base you can see there. According to Greek myth, the head of Medusa protects the place where it's located. Find out more legends, theories and history about this fascinating place from your expert guide. 



  • Entrance fees.
  • Professional guided tour in English.
  • -

Meeting point

Guided tours start at the Bigbus Bus Stop in front of the Hagia Sophia museum.
Our guide carries a flag with the logo of Istanbul Tourist Pass.
Please meet the guide at the meeting point 5 minutes before the tour start time.


Know Before You Go

  • This tour ticket does not allow you to enter the museums alone. You need to meet with the guide at scheduled time.

About your Host

Cityberry Tourism

Your local friends in Istanbul curating and providing unique priceless tours, experiences and travel services for over 20 years.
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Customer Reviews

8.50 Based on 4 reviews
5 stars
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1 stars
Finnegan - February 01, 2019


Jeffery - July 14, 2019

So much mystic place. Like as so much dark. With my wife s wheelchair we could get in. Guide assisted us so much. Thank her.

Brooke - August 30, 2019

We spend 30 minutes inside with our guide. He mentioned about the Cistern s history. Tour might be more than thirty minutes. It was so crowded inside and dark. Everybody take pictures.

Bessie - August 19, 2019

He was really a funny guy. Our guide. I never joined a tour in my travels like this. 30 minutes added my life hundreds laugh. Worth to visit.

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