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Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) Tours

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18 Reviews
Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi)
Beautiful yet eerie, Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) isn’t your average underground well. Dating back to the Byzantine era, the huge cistern was built in the mid-500s on the former site of a basilica. More than 300 marble columns provide a grand, serene atmosphere to what was essentially subterranean water storage. 
 
The Basics
Located in the Sultanahmet district (Istanbul’s “old town”), Basilica Cistern is easy to visit during a day of sightseeing. Many tours and attraction passes include the cistern along with other top sites such as Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Measuring 450 feet (140 meters) long and 230 feet (70 meters) wide, the cistern is reached via 52 steps leading down to walkways over the water. Look for the two columns with carved Medusa heads. 
 
Things to Know Before You Go

  • Wear comfortable, nonslip shoes to traverse the steps and the often-wet ground.
  • The entrance for wheelchair users and other visitors with mobility challenges is at the cistern’s exit.
  • As the cistern is underground, the setting is damp and cool. Take a layer if you don’t want to feel the chill.
 
How to Get There
Enter Basilica Cistern from Yerebatan Caddesi (street) in Sultanahmet. It’s a 20-minute walk from the Spice Market, the Eminonu tram station, and the Eminonu pier, where the ferries arrive.
 
When to Get There
The cistern is open daily from morning till evening. In summer, it’s particularly popular in the middle of the day to escape the heat.
 
Where You’ve Seen Basilica Cistern

The basilica has been mentioned or featured in several books and movies, most famously From Russia with Love, one of Sean Connery’s James Bond films from 1963. It’s also a setting in Dan Brown’s Inferno, the sequel to his previous works The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons.
Address: Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, Fatih, Istanbul 34110, Turkey
Admission: Varies
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133 Tours and Activities to Experience Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi)

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Istanbul: Basilica Cistern VIP Tickets

Istanbul: Basilica Cistern VIP Tickets

star-4
Skip the lines at the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul with a tour that includes your ticket to this popular attraction. Your guide shares commentary about the cistern, which is the largest water cistern built in ancient times. Once your guide has lead you into the cistern and provided commentary, feel free to further explore the landmark at your own pace.
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  • 15 minutes to 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$12.34
From
$12.34

VIP Istanbul Combo Ticket: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Baslica Cistern

VIP Istanbul Combo Ticket: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Baslica Cistern

star-4.5
Experience Istanbul like a pro, when you buy a skip-the-line combination ticket for the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern. Upon arrival at each location, your guide escorts you past the long queue for fast entrance. After a brief overview, you’re ready to explore at your own pace. Enjoy the freedom to see the three world-famous attractions in any order that works for you. (Note: Cistern admission at 11am only.)
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  • 2 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$49.35
From
$49.35
Taking safety measures

istanbul half city tour

istanbul half city tour

Istanbul half city tour with guide .Private tour included hagia sofia musuem,basilica cistern,blue mosque.Skip lines . icludes:museum tickets
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$400.00
per group
From
$400.00
per group

Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Tour

Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Tour

star-5
Prepare to be awed by Istanbul’s magnificent architecture, rich history, and eclectic bazaars as you discover the unmissable highlights of the Old City on this 1-, 2-, or 3-day private tour. Marvel over the glorious Hagia Sophia, learn how the Blue Mosque earned its famous nickname, and see the ancient Basilica Cistern. Tour Topkapi Palace to gain an insight into the lavish lifestyles of the Ottoman sultans and their harem, and browse the legendary Grand Bazaar, where you find everything from carpets to Turkish delight.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$125.00
per group
From
$125.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia

Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia

star-4.5
Fit all of Istanbul's attractions at the top of your bucket list into one packed day, with the help of an expert local guide. Stroll Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet neighborhood, brimming with iconic buildings and storied streets. Tour the Blue Mosque, one of the most important sites in the Muslim world. Delve into history of the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Istanbul Hippodrome as well as the 'sunken palace' of Basilica Cistern. And you won’t want to miss the and the bustling Grand Bazaar or savory 3-course lunch.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$65.00
From
$65.00
Taking safety measures

7 Nights Seven Churches of Revelation Tour including Istanbul

7 Nights Seven Churches of Revelation Tour including Istanbul

Turkey, the second holy land. Follow in the footsteps of St. Paul's journeys in Turkey and the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. It includes the religious sites and places such as Pergamum, Philadelphia, Laodicea, , Ephesus, Smyrna, Thyatira, Sardis . A must pilgrimage for all the Christians and true believers.
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  • 8 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,199.00
Price varies by group size
From
$1,199.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airport & Hotels

Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airport & Hotels

star-5
Take advantage of extended layover time in Istanbul on a round-trip tour of city highlights from the airport, customized to suit your interests and schedule. Zip with ease between iconic sights such as the Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, or Topkapı Palace, and benefit from historic and cultural insights provided by your professional guide.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$160.37
Price varies by group size
From
$160.37
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Istanbul Layover Tours & Activities

Private Istanbul Layover Tours & Activities

star-5
Istanbul Layover Tours is mainly specialized on layover tours from Istanbul Airports. Meet and Greet: It is easier to find your driver at the airport now. You will be met and accompanied to the vehicle by a welcome host at a spesific spot / time. Timely & Safe Logistic; Enjoy comfortable round-trip transfer from/to airport with private and spacious van. . Fast Track Entry: Be VIP and save precious time at the museums ticket desks thanks to the accredited tour guides from Ministry of Culture and Tourism Professional and Enthusiastic Guides: Our guides are not only a good historian but also your travel companion. Learn about culture, politics & religion through personal stories and anecdotes. Eat like a local: Taste delicious, reasonable non-touristy local food at the eatiers where the only locals eat. Various food restrictions are welcomed
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$155.00
Price varies by group size
From
$155.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

star-4.5
Experience the finest attractions in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district during this private, guided day tour of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Marvel at these famous monuments alongside your expert guide who will give you individual attention on this private voyage.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$95.00
Price varies by group size
From
$95.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Guided Museum Pass Istanbul: Skip-the-line Tickets with Guided Tours

Guided Museum Pass Istanbul: Skip-the-line Tickets with Guided Tours

star-4
Enjoy skip-the-line guided tours at five top Istanbul museums— Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Basilica Cistern, Hagia Irene and the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum—valid over a five-day period. Choose from multiple tour timings, six days a week, making this a perfect fit for busy vacation schedules. You’ll shave off hours of precious vacation time with no-wait admission.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.45
From
$60.45

Istanbul Sightseeing Tour Including Süleymaniye Mosque and Lunch

Istanbul Sightseeing Tour Including Süleymaniye Mosque and Lunch

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Take in two of Istanbul’s most iconic sights and two of its lesser-known gems on this unique full-day sightseeing tour, including hotel transfers and a delicious 3-course lunch. Marvel over the spectacular Süleymaniye Mosque, the biggest in the city, then venture underground to explore the eerily beautiful Basilica Cistern, which dates back to Roman times. Spend time browsing the myriad stalls of Istanbul’s legendary Grand Bazaar, then prepare to be dazzled as you tour Topkapi Palace, the lavish former residence of the Ottoman sultans.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$70.00
From
$70.00
Taking safety measures

Istanbul layover tour.

Istanbul layover tour.

star-5
If you are in Istanbul for a shortlayover why not treat to yourself %100 personalized tour.I personally come to airport to meet you and our tour start just from the airport.You will be transfered to city center with a luxuries car.I'll show you the highlights of the city such as Hagia Sophia ,Blue Mosque.Grand Bazaar,Basilica Cistern etc.Or we can make tailor made tour depending on your interests.You will be transfered to airport on time to catch your next flight
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$320.00
per group
From
$320.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Top Sights in One Day

Istanbul Top Sights in One Day

Explore the highlights of Istanbul, where Turkey’s Ottoman and Byzantine empires located before. Visit the Hagia Sophia, breathe taking Blue Mosque and famous Hippodrome with an expert guide. Learn all history about extravagant sultans and discover Ottoman and Byzantine era architecture.Visiting Spice bazaar. Cruise along the waters of the Bosphorous on this guided 1.5-hour boat tour. View the Asian and European sides of Istanbul and admire the palaces, wooden villas, bridges and all of the unique maritime landscapes.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$85.12
From
$85.12

Istanbul Private Guiding Service

Istanbul Private Guiding Service

star-5
This fully customizable private guided tour of Istanbul ticks off the highlights with a bespoke itinerary, tailor-made just for you. Arrange to be picked up at your hotel or port, making this an ideal option for first-time travelers or cruise ship passengers. Get enriching background commentary on your choice of attractions, from ancient relics to Ottoman splendors, as you take in the history-packed city at your own pace.
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$90.00
From
$90.00
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Highlights Half-Day Tour

Istanbul Highlights Half-Day Tour

This is a Half Day Guided Tour Which is suggested to the Cruisers. During this Skip The Line Tour you will see St. Sophia, Blue Mosque, Underground Roman Cistern, and Grand Bazaar. Explore the Local Sites of Istanbul and visit some of the most renowned architecture and its surroundings.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$98.69
From
$98.69

Byzantion Istanbul

Byzantion Istanbul

star-5
This program includes inside Byzantium monuments ... please also check out our other programs ..
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$197.38
From
$197.38

Top Sites Of Istanbul: Half Day or Full Day Private Walking Tour

Top Sites Of Istanbul: Half Day or Full Day Private Walking Tour

star-5
Get an in-depth exploration of Istanbul on this full-day or half-day private tour. Enjoy personalized attention from your guide and stroll through the Sultanahmet neighborhood. Visit the Hippodrome, the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, and the Grand Bazaar. Choose to add Topkapi Palace to a full-day itinerary.
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  • 5 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$123.36
Price varies by group size
From
$123.36
Price varies by group size

Istanbul Tourist Pass: 35+ Top Attractions/ Services

Istanbul Tourist Pass: 35+ Top Attractions/ Services

star-4
Save time and money on Istanbul’s top attractions with an Istanbul Tourist Pass, with a choice of 3- or 7-day digital city pass. This comprehensive sightseeing pass grants you: skip-the-line admission to Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace museums; a hop-on hop-off city bus tour and Bosphorus Strait boat tour plus an evening performance of whirling dervishes, and Istanbul SEA LIFE Aquarium.
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  • 7 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$141.87
From
$141.87
Taking safety measures

Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand Bazaar

Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand Bazaar

star-3.5
Venture to imperial monuments rich with history and discover the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar during this half-day guided tour in Istanbul. Gaze at the Hagia Sophia’s massive columns and dome during a visit to one of the world’s largest basilicas and most popular museums in Turkey. This tour will take you underground to Basilica Cistern which was once the backbone of the Great Palace of Constantinople. Enjoy a trip to the Grand Bazaar where you can barter for souvenirs and feel the pulse of one of the oldest and largest covered markets on the planet.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
From
$45.00
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Tour in Mercedes Vito with Private Driver

Istanbul Tour in Mercedes Vito with Private Driver

star-5
This private time-saver tour allows you to customize your own Istanbul sightseeing itinerary. Travel comfortably between locations in your own chauffeured and climate-controlled vehicle, stopping at must-see sites, from Topkapi Palace to the Grand Bazaar to the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. Round-trip hotel transfers are included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$296.08
per group
From
$296.08
per group

Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

star-4.5
Make the most of Istanbul from the time you land with this comprehensive introduction to the city where east meets west. Save time with airport transfers and fast-track museum entry without compromising on price; this package includes discounts at local attractions, shops and restaurants as well as three free journeys on public transit. Spend a little less time stressing over trip planning by bundling airport transfers, attractions and transport together.
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  • 7 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$112.61
From
$112.61

Small-Group Istanbul Old City Sightseeing Tour

Small-Group Istanbul Old City Sightseeing Tour

star-4
See the unforgettable landmarks of Istanbul’s old city on a full-day, small-group sightseeing tour with a professional art historian. Enjoy a comfortable seat on a luxury coach as you make your way to Hagia Sophia, descend into a stunning below-ground cistern system and explore a Roman-era hippodrome. Pause for a 3-course lunch before continuing to the Blue Mosque, the Ottoman Topkapi Palace and the bustling stalls of the Grand Bazaar, and get an insider’s perspective on the back stories and secrets of each place.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$74.02
From
$74.02
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Super Saver: Small-Group City Sightseeing Tour plus Turkish Dinner and Show

Istanbul Super Saver: Small-Group City Sightseeing Tour plus Turkish Dinner and Show

star-4
Discover the enchanting city of Istanbul on this convenient two-in-one tour that saves you 10% off the normal price. By combining two of Istanbul’s best-selling tours, you’re guaranteed to see the best of this historic city in one convenient trip. Don’t miss sites like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Take advantage of some time on your own to explore, then savor a 4-course Turkish dinner and with belly dancing and live traditional Turkish folk music.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$135.00
From
$135.00
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Layover Day Tour

SPECIAL OFFER

Istanbul Layover Day Tour

star-3
You don’t have to sit in the airport all day if you have a long layover in Istanbul. With a stop of more than four hours it is possible to visit a number of the city’s must-see sights. The tour is customizable so you can change things to suit your interests and available time. You’ll also skip the lines—making sure that you don’t miss your connection!—with pre-booked tickets.
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  • 5 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$144.00
$180.00
$36.00 savings
From
$144.00
$180.00
$36.00 savings
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Old City: Hagia Sophia - Basilica Cistern - Blue Mosque - Spice Market

Istanbul Old City: Hagia Sophia - Basilica Cistern - Blue Mosque - Spice Market

star-4.5
Discover the highlights of Sultanahmet, Istanbul's historic 'old town' on this half-day walking tour. Join your guide for a curated Istanbul experience, and avoid common Sultanahmet experiences like getting lost or being targeted by aggressive touts. Learn all about storied sites like the Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern from your English-speaking guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$37.01
Price varies by group size
From
$37.01
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2 Day Private Tour

Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2 Day Private Tour

star-5
From Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) to Topkapi Palace, Istanbul’s packed with must-see destinations, but simply covering the highlights of the historic center can be a challenge if you have limited time. Join a private guide for a personalized tour of Istanbul’s key sites, choosing from a menu of options that tailor the experience to you, and ensure that you don’t miss the destinations that matter most.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$120.00
per group
From
$120.00
per group

Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar

Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar

star-4.5
Explore the fascinating history of Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar during this half-day privately guided tour of imperial Istanbul. Discover the ancient church, former mosque and now internationally famous museum, the Hagia Sophia. This tour will wind you through the Grand Bazaar where you can haggle for Turkish treasures and then take you 500 feet below ground into the historic Basilica Cistern where a James Bond once thwarted evil plans.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
Should I book Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) can get crowded. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 133 Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) 2020?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) costs USD 12.34. Guided Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) tours start around USD 12.34 per person. See all 133 Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi)?