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

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2 travelers
What to Expect
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Stop At: Basilica Cistern, Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410 Turkey

Fifty two steps, a jungle of three hundred and thirty six columns, an enchanting and uncanny darkness, and the phosphorescence of the water...like 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.

Duration: 30 minutes
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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
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Reviews (9)
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Reviewed 1 week ago

The place is interesting, but I was very much insisted on going and therefore I was expecting something more impressive. Takes about 15 min to see and learn about it.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Jenny_Bertin
Reviewed July 9, 2019 via mobile

Underground ancient Roman water cistern, dug out and supported by huge marble columns. Two of the columns have medusa heads at its base. Very unusual, a sense of quiet and calm. Stop awhile and hear the gentle music, a quiet meditation. Amazing, a must experience....More

Date of experience: June 2019
1  Thank Carol N
Questions & Answers
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September 15, 2019|
Response from Carol N | Reviewed this property |
We had no guide. There were guides with some other groups.
Key Details
  • Basilica Cistern
  • Duration: 30m
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Instant confirmation
  • Languages Offered: English
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