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Yerebatan Sarayi (Basilica Cistern)

Atmospheric music, rosy flood lighting and the lilting sound of water lapping on marble – entering the Underground Cistern known in Turkish as Yerebatan Sarayi - or Basilica Cistern, is an experience that charms all the senses. Built to store ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

Gulay was really nice tour guide. You see sooo much on this tour. I wish all Viator tours packed so much in like this one. All tickets and skip the lines are included. You have plenty of time to take photos.
BLue Mosue, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace museum, Cistern, only one hour at the Grand Bazaar.
Lunch is included drink separate as usual.
Tip: when you are at the gardens of the Topkapi Palace and taken to the scenic coast view, spend time there taking pictures, you wont have enough free time to see all the side bits and get good coastal pics.
Also, keep in mind this is mostly a walking tour. If you have difficulties moving around and walking up inclines, you might want to reconsider and take a private or self tour.

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

Anthony W
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2014

Stunning places on this trip. We enjoyed it immensely. Highlight for us was the visit to the Cistern - which is curious as we didn't even realise we were going there!

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2014

Perfect way to begin our stay in Istanbul. Tibet was a wknderful guide and tailored our tour to our specificatioons. Having a guide meant minimal waiting in line at the various spots. Loved the Cistern and Tibet enthusiastically joined in oir search for the "perfect" treasures. The stop at the rug store was informative and fun. Lunch was also a treat and Tibet gave us great recommendatins for the rest of our stay.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

Grand Bazaar was closed since I did the tour on a Sunday but the rest of the tour was great! Excellent organization, tour guide very nice and accurate. I highly recommended viator to anyone visiting istanbul! Please don't miss Basilica cistern!!!

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

Our guide Onur ("honor" in English) was terrific. He was very knowledgeable and passionate about the places we visited. Our tour went flawlessly. We were picked up on time from our hotel. We had the same bus and toured with the same group of ~10 people the entire day which wasn't the case with a couple other tours I took. Onur explained the different sites to us and then gave us free time to explore as well. The Roman cistern with the Medusa heads was the highlight of the trip for me. It was very serene and mysteriously beautiful. To top it off we had a very nice lunch in a restaurant that was near the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) church. My husband and I were very pleased with this trip.

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

this gave us everything we needed to see in one day , the tour guide was very well informed and gave us a lot of information , this is a nice way to explore the City of Istanbul , walking the tour and the underground Cistern was amazing .

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

this gave us everything we needed to see in one day , the tour guide was very well informed and gave us a lot of information , this is a nice way to explore the City of Istanbul , walking the tour and the underground Cistern was amazing .

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2013

Note that this trip is 99% a walking trip, so wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes! The car simply picks you and the rest of the group up from the hotel and drops you off at the first sight--you don't see it until much later in the day. Overall it was a great trip, the price you pay here includes all your entrance fees into Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and the Basilica Cistern. I did feel a bit rushed at the Basilica Cistern, but make your concerns clear to your tour guide and they will usually try to accommodate you as much as possible. Lunch is also included, it consisted of kabobs, rice, salad, and dessert. Drinks were NOT INCLUDED in the price and we had to pay that out of pocket. Later in the day our tour guide dropped us off at a carpet shop where they served us tea and gave us a pitch to try and sell us the ridiculously expensive handmade rugs. It was a complete waste of time and we couldn't find our guide for a while, but the employees at the shop are hospitable and not too pushy. Afterwards we went to the Grand bazaar which was nice, but don't just accept the price they give you, HAGGLE them down. My suggestion for tourist shopping: Go to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, it is much smaller but has many of the same items at the Grand Bazaar and for much cheaper!

We were so happy with out Old City tour that we purchased tickets for the next day's Bosphorus Sea Tour. It was overpriced for sure, but worth the convenience of being picked up and having people that talk English. The entire ship was our groups (not public)and the tour guide pointed out the landmarks we were passing by over the microphone, but we could barely hear him and sounded somewhat boring and monotonous.

We loved Turkey and wish we could go back again! Definitely recommend this tour if you have a day or 2 in Istanbul and want to cover all the major attractions.

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2013

Private guide picked us up on time, took us to the Hagia Sophia, Cistern, and Bazaar, gave us private time, and transferred us back to the hotel. Could not have been better.

Doing what: Imperial Istanbul Half-day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2013

Our guide was fantastic. He can be considered a walking historian. The best thing is we skip the line when we visited the underground cistern ( or else we had to wait at least 1 hour due to the queque). Enough time to venture at all places and most importantly, they were punctual when they pick us up at the hotel.

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

Vincent H
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2013

Very good tour, which was booked at the last minute. The pace was just right and the content was informative without being overbearing. The guide spoke excellent English and she tweaked the agenda to suit the group. We all agreed to skip the grand bizaar in order to spend some time at the cistern basilica. Lunch was also very good. Much better than the normal expectation for a tour so all in I would and have recommended bith the guide and the tour to collegues travelling to Istanbul.

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2013

I would recommend the full day tour, but we only had a half day available. Good tour guide and interesting tour. Suggest you copy what is on tour (its not on the voucher), as our tour guide would have left out the Roman Cisterns (which was a highlight), if I had not reminded her.

Doing what: Imperial Istanbul Half-day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2013

Once again our tour guide, Omar was very knowledgeable. The Blue Mosque was amazing. The Palace is a must see! I quite enjoyed the cistern--what advanced thinking on the part of the architect. Both the tours I took were outstanding and made my trip to Turkey better than expected!!

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2011

Love love loved this tour!! Omar our tour guide was amazing!!!! He was so informative and gave us such a personalized account of Istanbul. We were picked-up where our ship docked, and were taken to all the great sites Istanbul has to offer. We were given ample time to take pictures and have free time at each stop. We had a delicious lunch, and even got to see the cistern and some amazing carpets. This was such an amazing tour and I would do it again!!!

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2011

i booked this at the last minute. the guide was incredibly friendly and helpful. our group was about 9 people, all wonderful. there were 20 somethings and 60 somethings. the tour was great and an outstanding value. i had some doubts going into it, but after this experience i will keep coming back. i wish i had known about this earlier! had a wonderful time. my only suggestion is that the add one more stop, the cisterns, as it is so close to everything else and can be done in 30mins or less. if you only had one day in istanbul this would be the only way to do it!

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

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