Guided Exploration: Basilica Cistern Tour in Istanbul

Basilica Cistern Tour Meeting Point

  • Meet with the guide in front of the Busforus Sultanahmet (Old City) Stop.
  • Our guide will hold the Istanbul E-pass flag at the meeting point and time.
  • Busforus Old City Stop is located across the Hagia Sophia, and you can easily see red double-decker buses.

Highlights of Basilica Cistern Tour

  • Avoid the lengthy queues and explore the largest ancient water cistern housing two renowned Medusa heads.
  • Enhance your understanding of this cathedral-sized cistern by joining a guided tour conducted in English.
  • Be captivated by the submerged palace and uncover an expansive man-made freshwater lake equivalent in size to two football fields.
  • Experience elements of the cistern that played a prominent role in beloved James Bond films.


  • Entry to the Basilica Cistern
  • Skip the ticket line
  • 20 minutes tour with Professional English Speaking Guide


  • Meals are not included in the package.
  • Hotel transfers are not provided as part of this offer.

Discover Istanbul's Hidden Treasures: 

Guided Tour of the Basilica Cistern beneath the vibrant streets of Istanbul lies a world steeped in secrets and centuries of history. Our Basilica Cistern Guided Tour invites you to explore the mysterious depths of this subterranean wonder, once a lifeline to Constantinople's inhabitants. As you wander through softly illuminated chambers, you'll encounter the mesmerizing spectacle of 336 majestic columns, some adorned with the captivating gaze of the legendary Medusa. Our team of seasoned guides will transport you through time, narrating captivating stories of emperors, visionary architects, and enduring legends that have left an indelible mark on this awe-inspiring underground masterpiece. Secure your place today for an adventure that seamlessly connects the past with the present.

The Basilica Cistern is an underground water storage system constructed during the 6th century under the reign of Emperor Justinian I. It supplied water to the nearby Great Palace of Constantinople and other significant structures, showcasing ancient engineering marvels.

Certainly, Basilica Cistern guided tour tickets are available for purchase with English Speaking guide.

Yes, with your Basilica Cistern ticket with tour, you can skip the queues and enjoy priority access.

We recommend buying Basilica Cistern tickets online for a time-saving and cost-effective option. Online bookings often offer great discounts and allow you to secure your spot in advance.

The Basilica Cistern boasts captivating features including extensive colonnades, dimly-lit interiors, the Medusa Heads, and the Weeping Column, each accompanied by intriguing legends and stories.

In order to access the Basilica Cistern, it is recommended to use the tram system and disembark at the Kabataş station, which is conveniently located within a 10-minute walking distance from the site. In addition, one may choose to use public transportation options such as buses or taxis for convenient accessibility.

The Basilica Cistern is open daily from 9 AM to 7 PM year-round.

While the Cistern provides accessibility features, visitors on wheelchairs should exercise caution due to the damp and slippery conditions inside the underground chamber.

Yes, photography is permitted in the Basilica Cistern, but please refrain from using tripods or commercial equipment that may disrupt other visitors.

Yes, purchasing Basilica Cistern tickets in advance is advisable, as it has become a popular tourist destination in Istanbul. Its historical significance, dating back to Emperor Justinian I's reign, and the fascinating underground space make it a must-visit attraction. Buying tickets ahead of time ensures a seamless experience and helps avoid long queues.

To enjoy a more peaceful atmosphere inside the cistern, we advise arriving early—at least before noon or just after the morning rush hour. If you want fewer crowds, it is best to stay away from weekends and federal holidays. Weekdays are recommended.