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Basilica Cistern(Istanbul): Skip the line Ticket with Guided Tour provided by Cityberry Unique Tours and Experiences

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Basilica Cistern(Istanbul): Skip the line Ticket with Guided Tour

COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this experience is taking.Read more
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Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during this experience
  • Face masks required for travellers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to travellers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Temperature checks for tour participants upon arrival
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Updated 28/10/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Basilica Cistern(Istanbul): Skip the line Ticket with Guided Tour
Thanks to our digitalized system, all admissions are online and contactless.
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Updated 28/10/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Skip the line and listen from your guide the story of The Basilica Cistern - is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. Venture into the underground palace that is filled ancient wonders such as the Medusa Pillar Bases, and the Hen’s Eye Column. This sunken palace has so much to hold that they shot scenes of Hollywood movies in it. Exploring had never been this adventurous!
  • You'll start at
    Big Bus Tours Istanbul
    Cankurtaran, Atmeydanı Cd. No:5, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
    The Big Bus stop is located 20 meters in front of Hagia Sophia. The guide will be holding a flag with the logo of Istanbul Tourist Pass. This museum CANNOT be visited without the guide.
    See address & details
  • 1
    Basilica Cistern
    Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included
    Fifty two steps, a jungle of three hundred and thirty six columns, an enchanting and uncanny darkness, and the phosphorescence of the a secret underground kingdom, which has waited for fifteen hundred years for the sun’s light to illuminate it. Don’t be mistaken when reading these incredible words: This historical and mysterious place actually exists in Istanbul. It is the water cistern, which was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian the First (527 – 565) in order to meet the water needs of Constantinople. Due to the fact that Constantinople era Istanbul was constantly besieged during the Roman and Byzantine periods, it was constantly in need of a regular supply of water. To meet this need, a great number of cisterns were constructed during both eras. The Yerebatan Cistern, which is also known as the Basilica Cistern, is the largest and most impressive of all of the cisterns in the city. The Yerebatan Cistern amazes all of its visitors with its marble pillars. Indeed, one might even think that such a magnificent space could, in fact, be a castle.
    Read more
  • You'll end at
    Basilica Cistern
    Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
    The tour ends inside the Basilica Cistern. Guests are welcome to stay inside the museum until it closes.
    See address & details
Important Information
Departure Point
Big Bus Tours Istanbul, Cankurtaran, Atmeydanı Cd. No:5, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Return Details
Basilica Cistern, Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
  • Professional guide
  • Admission Ticket to Basilica Cistern
  • Entry/Admission - Basilica Cistern
  • Lunch
  • Private transportation
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travellers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Traveller rating
  • 9
  • 16
  • 15
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  • 2
Traveller type
Time of year
Popular mentions
Ivan S wrote a review Oct 2020
Nea Mesagkala, Greece12 contributions1 helpful vote
Went there today with high expectations, unfortunately still no water due to repairs and not so much fun to watch.
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Response from Excursion10685311939, Guest Relations Manager at Basilica Cistern(Istanbul): Skip the line Ticket with Guided Tour
Responded 4 Oct 2020
Dear guest, Thanks for your feedback and we are sorry to hear that you are not fully satisfied with the tour. Renovations and technical rules of the museums or historical places are applied by official authorities and beyond our control. Hope to serve you again in Istanbul!
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mearsman wrote a review Mar 2020
Rome, Italy8 contributions
Worth the visit but at the moment no water due to restoration going on.Look up history of the Basilica Cistern before you go will make your visit more interesting.
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Date of experience: March 2020
VUS wrote a review Feb 2020
2 contributions
Excellent guide and tour. Worth the visit. Very interesting to see how water storage was devised for city in ancient times.
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Date of experience: February 2020
niksk001 wrote a review Jan 2020
Philadelphia, PA797 contributions187 helpful votes
Basilica Cistern was one of a few places, where skipping the lines was beneficial - else we would have waited quite a bit to get in. Having a good guide (we had an amazing person) helps to fully appreciate the place (e.g., seeing Medusas).
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Date of experience: December 2019
Alexis DomFlo wrote a review Jan 2020
Leon, Mexico4 contributions1 helpful vote
Although is only a half and hour tour, you get tons of information about this magical place. Guide has the patience to explain and provide information about the visit, and attended each question with enthusiasm and even provided a few jokes along the visit.
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Date of experience: January 2020
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Cityberry Unique Tours and Experiences
European influences in Istanbul
The tour was well organised, it is very mid 18th century architecture, furniture etc, as influences from around Eur
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Excellent! Highly recommend.
I booked this at the last minute. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group tours operated throughout the day were r
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Ticket was Invalid at the gate
I can't give an honest rating. I showed up at the palace a little early to get situated. The ticket was invalid and
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nice tour in Topkapi
Our tour in Topkapi was detailed and exhaustive, we had lots of historical information and anecdotes by our guide.
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Great Idea That Does not Work
The underlying idea is great and ITP looks like a great bargain. The reality is quite different - it is very diffic
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Sameer A
Guided tour through Topkapi Palace
My wife and I had a great experience with our guided, English speaking tour. The tour lasts about 90 minutes, after
Read more
A must visit
The palace is amazing but unfortunately, I purchased online tickets with a guide and I got a default time which was
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Istanbul Tourst pass
Istanbul Tourist pass is really good, I took a 7 day pass. The Bursa trip included in the pass was very good, The g
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It is a pity! You can visit just a few things because of restoration
The gardens, the buildings and the church are imposing, but unfortunately you can only see the buildings from outsi
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Great visit in Topkapi
I could truly recommend this guided tour.Our guide Ozzy was friendly and very knowledgeable.He has great gift of ma
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Brankica Š
Adam was our guide. He was fun, smart, full of information, very interested about what he was saying and helpful wi
Read more
Ramiz C
Excellent guide
Excellent guide through Top Kapi. Very polite guidance with lot of informations about Otoman empire and history. To
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The best place to see!
So much history here, make sure you get the pass with 3 of the sites. Takes about 3 hours, lots of walking but very
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Angela Z
Excellent tour guide
Our recent visit was made memorable by our guide Turkan. He had extensive knowledge of the building and its histor
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Friendly guides!
We did not manage to visit all the places within 3 days but have visited many attractions around Sultanahmet Area,
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Key Details
  • Duration: 30m
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Languages Offered: English
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