Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern, is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul, Turkey. The cistern, located 150 metres southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.

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Basilica Cistern: Tours & Tickets

Planning Your Istanbul Visit

How many days?

Istanbul is a cartographical labyrinth with sights and experiences awaiting you round every corner. How long to stay depends on how immersed you want to get, but a week should be enough to cover the most famous attractions.

How to get from the airport to the city?

Havataş Shuttle Buses are available from outside the terminal and leave every half an hour for Taksim between 4:00AM and 1:00AM. Taking a taxi is, however, the most convenient way, and shouldn’t be more expensive than the shuttle service between a group of four. Be sure to ignore the hustlers inside the airport and take an official vehicle from the taxi rank at the terminal exit.

Where to stay?

The key touristic areas are Fatih and Taksim, and which to stay in depends on the nature of your stay. Fatih is the old town and home to many of Istanbul’s historic landmarks. Taksim, on the other hand, is modern and appeals more to those visiting the city to shop, dine, and party. Traveling between the two is simple, so don’t worry if you fancy hitting the dancefloors after the Hagia Sophia!

What people are saying about Basilica Cistern

★★★★★ Excellent option for a layover in Istanbul

Guide with good knowledge. On time, looking for what we must visit and as well, time permitting, what could be interested for us.

★★★★★ A great tour to visit all the major attractions

Our guide Caner was very knowledgeable and tailored the tour to our needs and interests. It was fantastic to have a fast pass service to visit the monuments, no need to stay in the long lines to enter. This is worth every penny.

★★★★★ A great day out, entertaining and enlightening!

Volkan was a great guide, very knowledgeable, passionate about the history of Turkey and Istanbul. We enjoyed talking to him about not just the history but the current situations and politics of the day. He was attentive but knew when to give us some time and was great at taking photos! He also added some local insights for us as we specifically asked for a few recommendations and they turned out great.

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