The Basilica Cistern is an absolute should if you’re in Istanbul.

This underground water storage system was constructed within the sixth century and has fascinating historic significance. The atmosphere inside this construction is actually fascinating, making it a novel expertise.

Right here’s the whole lot you want to find out about getting Basilica Cistern tickets and what to anticipate when visiting this fascinating Istanbul attraction.

Right here is an outline:

Commissioned by Emperor Justinian and constructed with columns salvaged from ruined temples, the cistern boasts a grandeur in contrast to some other Byzantine structure that has survived to at the present time.

With its symmetrical design and colossal measurement, exploring this underground marvel on scorching summer season days gives a much-needed respite from warmth exhaustion, whereas leaving guests spellbound at each flip!

The Byzantine Cistern in Istanbul is actually a sight to behold! It’s wonderful how they used 336 columns – some rescued from historical temples with superbly carved capitals. The symmetry and grandeur of the place is solely breathtaking. And on scorching summer season days it’s a nice escape into its huge depths.

See additionally: How to Buy Dolmabahce Palace Tickets & What to Expect

Visitors at the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.
Guests on the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.

Shopping for tickets for the Basilica Cistern – the Sunken Palace

To effectively plan your go to to the Basilica Cistern, plan to spend roughly 45 minutes exploring. Admission is roughly 30USD per particular person.

To keep away from lengthy strains upon arrival, it could be best to purchase tickets online upfront! With these tickets additionally, you will skip the lengthy ready strains exterior. In case you ebook through our hyperlink, you’ll even get a 5% low cost!

Good to find out about visiting the Basilica Cistern

The cistern is open each day between 9 and 5, so don’t miss out on experiencing certainly one of Istanbul’s most iconic landmarks in the present day.

When you’ve positioned your order, you’ll get your affirmation and all of the obtain particulars on your Basilica Cistern Audio Information. Once you arrive on the Cistern, merely present this to your Istanbul Welcome Card information who might be ready for you.

Because of their skilled steerage, you’ll not solely be capable of skip these pesky ticket strains, but in addition take pleasure in an unique tour of all of the highlights that make up this unbelievable attraction!

Only one caveat: whereas it’s nice to skip the strains (who doesn’t love feeling like a VIP?), please understand that safety checks can take as much as half-hour throughout peak season. However no less than you gained’t have to attend within the infinite line for the ticket. It’s greatest to hitch one of many first excursions of the day as there’ll be much less folks.

If you wish to go to different close by sights just like the Topkapi Palace or the Hagia Sophia, then you definately’ll have to buy a multi-site ticket. These are simply across the nook and in addition price visiting.

Is the Basilica Cistern price visiting?

Sure, it’s positively price a go to! This place is solely beautiful and can go away you in awe. It has lately reopened as of summer season 2022 with some new artwork installations that add to its appeal – particularly once they change colour!

The paths are cleverly designed so that individuals don’t block your view as you are taking footage from all types of angles. You’ll positively need to snap away at this stunning spot and seize each colour variation potential.

Inside the colorful Basilica Cistern - The Sunken Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.
Contained in the colourful Basilica Cistern – The Sunken Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.

VIP Basilica Cistern ticket and guided highlights tour

The Basilica Cistern is a must-see museum in Istanbul that draws many guests all year long, particularly within the spring, summer season and fall. Nonetheless, ready in lengthy queues on the ticket workplace will be irritating. Happily, our accomplice affords you fast entry to this wonderful website so that you don’t have to attend for hours!

As soon as contained in the Cisterns, take on a regular basis you want as a result of there’s no rush – discover it completely at your individual tempo whereas listening to fascinating tales about its previous on the audio information.

Value: €29 / $30

Low cost: 5%

  • Skip the strains and get contained in the quickest method
  • Highlights tour in English with a official Basilica Cistern tour information
  • Limitless time to remain inside
  • Basilica Cistern Audio App for IOS and Android in 7 languages (English, German, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish)

Book here!

Rebook or cancel your Basilica Cistern tickets

Don’t fear if you happen to missed your assembly time! We’ve received you lined. Simply be part of on the subsequent scheduled assembly or on the day that works greatest for you. And if it’s important to cancel, don’t fear – you possibly can cancel at any time they usually’ll refund your reservation with no trouble. Although I’d suggest you to go to it. I used to be actually positively shocked by this tour.

Columns and hand at the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.
Columns and hand on the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.

Extra details about the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern

It’s an enormous construction, 143 meters lengthy and 65 meters broad. One of the best half is its roof, which is supported by a formidable array of marble columns – all both Ionic or Corinthian!

There are a whopping 336 columns in all, every measuring 9 full meters in size.

And get this: they’re spaced each 4 meters to kind twelve rows with twenty-eight columns per row. Now that’s what we name architectural genius!

Historical past of the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern

The Cistern in Istanbul, like many different websites within the metropolis, has an enchanting historical past. Initially known as the Basilica Cistern as a result of it was situated beneath the Stoa Basilica on the primary hill, this spectacular construction had an vital position to play. It was storing as much as 80,000 cubic meters of water from reservoirs close to the Black Sea through aqueducts and supplying the Nice Palace and surrounding buildings.

Nonetheless, after the Byzantine emperors moved out of the Nice Palace, it fell into disuse and was forgotten till Petrus Gyllius rediscovered it in 1545 whereas researching Byzantine antiquities.

Though the Ottomans known as it “Yerebatan Saray” (which means “Underground Palace“), they didn’t present any respect for its historic significance, so over time folks began utilizing it to dump all types of rubbish, together with corpses! It wasn’t till the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality cleaned and renovated the location that guests have been capable of witness its true magnificence when it was reopened to the general public in 1987.

At this time, strolling by way of this magnificent underground palace will go away you mesmerized – seeing ghostly carp swimming round below vaulted ceilings dripping with water will make you are feeling transported again to centuries in the past the place life revolved round these historical buildings constructed so way back, however nonetheless standing robust in the present day thanks largely to the efforts made to protect them through the years passed by.

Each couple of minutes the sunshine adjustments, which supplies this distinctive spotlight of Istanbul a distinct ambiance and lots of extra photograph alternatives.

Is images allowed within the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern?

Sure, images is allowed contained in the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern. Truly it’s best to plan in some further time throughout your go to in case you are into images. There are such a lot of photograph alternatives, because the altering mild creates completely different ambiance. There are as nicely artwork items properly positioned within the water, which offer much more photograph alternatives.

Paths are cleverly designed so folks don’t block your view as you shoot from completely different angles. You’ll need to snap away at this stunning spot and seize each potential colour variation.

White atmosphere at the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.
White ambiance on the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.

What are you able to anticipate on the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern?

The 2 heads of Medusa

Stroll all the best way right down to the far left nook of the cistern. You’ll get an incredible view of two Medusa heads casually used as column bases – one the other way up and the opposite tilted on its aspect. It’s nonetheless unclear the place they got here from or how they received there, however rumor has it that they have been recycled from an historical constructing in late Roman occasions.

Background story of Medusa

Medusa was as soon as an attractive sea nymph who caught the attention of Poseidon and made like to him within the temple of Athena, infuriating her a lot that she turned Medusa right into a monstrous beast with snakes for hair and a face that would flip folks to stone simply by them!

Actually, through the Byzantine interval, it was frequent apply to engrave the picture of Medusa on sword hilts or place them the other way up on the base of columns in order to not trigger hurt by turning folks into statues!

Perseus finally beheaded her in her sleep and even used her head as a weapon till he returned it to Athena, who positioned it on her defend.

Curiously sufficient, when Medusa was decapitated after earlier coupling with Poseidon; Pegasus (a winged horse) emerged together with Chrysaor – the golden sword bearer we all know little about in the present day!

All through historical past, each previous and current have used photos of Medusan faces towards evil forces.

Two heads of Medusa at the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.
Two heads of Medusa on the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.

Column of tears

There’s a column within the cistern often called the “Weeping Column” or “Column of Tears”. It received this identify as a result of it stays moist all yr spherical and has tear-shaped patterns on its floor. Not like the opposite pillars within the cistern, this one is all the time moist!

Columns of tears at the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.
Columns of tears on the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.


Discover the ‘Deeper Beneath‘ exhibit on the Basilica Cistern Museum! Because of in depth restoration work, guests are provided an thrilling new exhibit with a contemporary method.

Deeper Into” takes you on a mysterious journey by way of time as you marvel on the works of Ali Abayoğlu, Aslı İrhan, Berkay Buğdan and lots of others. The artwork displayed right here is impressed by the life-giving water – simply as creativity can encourage us all!

The historic significance of this cistern makes it an excellent setting for modern artwork exhibitions; come and see what artists have created in response to its wealthy previous.

As you discover the works, you’ll even have the distinctive alternative to see the story of the Basilica Cistern unfold by way of an immersive digital video mapping expertise that takes you from its wealthy historical past to the current day.

Jelly fishes at the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.
Jelly fishes on the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.

Cisterns in Istanbul

Istanbul has a wealthy historical past of cisterns relationship again to the time when it was often called Constantinople. With restricted sources of recent water, the locals have been pressured to gather and retailer water for future use. The Byzantines ingeniously constructed aqueducts and reservoirs (cisterns) that have been used along with one another, offering clear rainwater or supplying recent water by way of an intricate community system.

Every cistern had its personal distinctive design – some collected rainwater, whereas others relied on piped provide programs. They may very well be discovered below fortresses, palaces, church buildings, and even rich houses all through town.

Whereas many have dried up over time or fallen into disrepair, there are nonetheless a number of underground cistern museums price visiting in the present day! These vital websites supply guests a glimpse into Istanbul’s fascinating previous whereas offering a refreshing break from trendy life above floor.

Istanbul Combo Tour: Hagia Sophia & Basilica Cistern

Uncover 2 of the TOP sights in Istanbul: Hagia Sophia & The Basilica Cistern

Expertise Istanbul’s prime sights with out the trouble and stress with this Combo Ticket! You’ll skip the lengthy strains and revel in quick entry to 2 must-see websites: Hagia Sophia, as soon as the most important Christian church on the earth for a millennium earlier than changing into a mosque 500 years in the past, and the Basilica Cistern, an underground water reservoir that’s over 1,500 years outdated.

The English-speaking information will give you all of the important info and insider suggestions you want to get probably the most out of your go to. And if English isn’t your first language, don’t fear – we’ve received you lined with our audio app, out there in seven completely different languages!

Situated subsequent to one another on Sultanahmet Sq. within the Outdated Metropolis of Istanbul, these iconic landmarks are really unmissable sights on any journey right here.

Meet your information at Yeşil Evi in Sultanahmet Sq. they usually’ll maintain the whole lot from there. Your licensed tour information will present you the highlights, then allow you to discover extra at your individual tempo with our thrilling, story-filled audio guides.

With this handy bundle provided by Istanbul Welcome Card local guides, you’ll not solely save time but in addition cash whereas having fun with some unforgettable experiences!

This nice combo deal has two completely different choices to select from

Choice 1: You possibly can take pleasure in each excursions in simply three hours with the identical information, making it tremendous handy.

Choice 2: In case you choose a extra relaxed tempo, cut up the excursions over two days and discover at your individual tempo. Your pleasant guides are simple to identify as they carry flags at every attraction.

Plus, in order that your journey to Istanbul might be wonderful, they provide skip-the-line tickets and fast-track entry (excluding Hagia Sophia). With the native specialists guiding you thru iconic websites like Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cisterns, utilizing the audio app in your smartphone is a breeze – even earlier than you permit dwelling!

We hope this provides as much as an unforgettable expertise throughout your keep in Istanbul!

Book this tour here!

Premium Card: Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, Bosphorus Cruise, Audio Information App and Public Transportation Card

Value: €86

Low cost: 5%

  • Bestseller Tour
  • Instantaneous Affirmation
  • Free Cancelation
  • Straight Accessible

Chances are you’ll cancel these tickets as much as 48 hours previous to the beginning of the expertise to obtain a full refund.

This VIP combo ticket will prevent money and time because it means that you can simply go to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Sunken Palace, plus doing a Bosporus Cruise. And it’s useful, because it contains 10 rides with the general public transport, so that you simply’ll get to the completely different sights simply.

After your reservation, you’ll obtain a affirmation with assembly locations and occasions, in addition to obtain particulars for the Audio Apps. Your information will meet you in entrance of Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern.

You’ll skip the ticket strains (besides Hagia Sophia) and revel in a 30 min highlights tour with a licensed native tour information inside every museum. Afterwards, you possibly can keep at every sight so long as you need and take heed to thrilling tales in your included audio information apps in your smartphone.

Book this tour here!

The Premium Card is legitimate for 7 days

You possibly can go to all three museums in someday or at completely different days. Your identify might be on the checklist for seven days. Merely arrive on the out there occasions on the assembly factors and go to together with your Istanbul Welcome Card information.

View onto the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.
View onto the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.

Highlights of Istanbul with the Premium Card

  • Skip the Line Service and all Ticket & Entry Charges
  • Hagia Sophia Highlights Tour & Audio Information
  • Topkapi Palace Highlights Tour & Audio Information
  • Basilica Cistern Highlights Tour
  • Limitless keep inside every Museum
  • 90 min. Bosphorus Cruise & Audio Information
  • 10 Rides with Public Transportation
  • Digital Information Ebook and Map

Notice, you can’t skip the Line Service for Hagia Sophia and on the entrance into Harem of the Topkapi Palace.

Essential info

You possibly can skip ticket strains with guides, however cannot skip the safety strains.

Your benefits

  • Be versatile: You establish the beginning time and tempo
  • Particular person journey: You don’t rely upon a gaggle!
  • Person pleasant
Colorful light at the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.
Colourful mild on the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.


Total, visiting the Basilica Cistern (The Sunken Palace) is an unforgettable expertise that shouldn’t be missed throughout your journey to Istanbul.

By following these easy steps to buy your tickets and realizing what to anticipate, you possibly can benefit from your go to and totally respect the sweetness and historical past of this historical marvel.

So don’t hesitate so as to add the Basilica Cistern to your Istanbul itinerary and prepare for an journey that may take you again in time!

  • Travel Dudes

    I am certain you have had related experiences I had while touring. You are in a sure place and a fellow traveler, or a neighborhood, tip you off on a little-known seaside, bar or lodging. Nice journey suggestions from different vacationers or locals all the time add one thing particular to our travels. That was the inspiration for Journey Dudes.

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