3.5 star rating: Worth doing 16 Reviews

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  • Address: Yerebatan Caddesi 13, Istanbul 34400, Turkey
  • Hours: 9 am- 8 pm
  • Admission: 10 TL

Istanbul ATTRACTIONS See all

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 water, this has to be the fanciest and most enormous well you’ll ever see. The cistern dates back to Byzantine days when the city was called Constantinople.

Built by Emperor Justinian in the mid-500s, the cavernous underground water-storage area has a vaulted brick ceiling supported by a forest of Corinthian-carved marble columns.

If this eerie, magical place looks a little familiar, you may recognize it from a scene in the James Bond movie From Russia with Love.

On your walk around the Basilica Cistern, seek out the two pillars that have the face of Medusa carved onto their base.

Practical Info

The Basilica Cistern is in Sultanahmet. The entrance is opposite Hagia Sophia on Yerebatan Caddesi.

Tours & Tickets

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Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

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

4 star rating: Recommended 620 Reviews

Get a glimpse of Istanbul's fascinating Imperial legacies on this half-day sightseeing tour with an expert local guide. First visit Hagia Sophia, once one of ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $50.00
Small-Group Afternoon Tour of the Hippodrome and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Istanbul, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Small-Group Afternoon Tour of the Hippodrome and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 12 Reviews

A great afternoon tour to the history of two Empires ''Roman and Byzantine'' visiting the Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern on a small group. Perfect ...  Read more

Location: İstanbul, Turkey
Duration: 3 hours 18 minutes (approx.)

From USD $57.13
Full-Day Istanbul Culture and Food Tour, Istanbul, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Full-Day Istanbul Culture and Food Tour

This food and culture tour is one of the most popular daily Istanbul tours. Be ready for some amazing and unforgettable moments as you discover Istanbul along ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $342.79
Best of Istanbul Tour, Istanbul, Food Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Best of Istanbul Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Bosphorus Cruise, Cable Car to Pierre Loti Cafe, Rustem Pasa Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Underground Cistern, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome. This is a boutique tour with a ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $134.83
Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

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

4.5 star rating: Recommended 163 Reviews

Discover Imperial Istanbul on this private half-day sightseeing tour. Visit Hagia Sophia, which is today one of the most magnificent museums in the world and ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $38.75
The Best of Istanbul Skip the Line Hagia Sophia Basilica Cistern and Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Private ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

The Best of Istanbul Skip the Line Hagia Sophia Basilica Cistern and Blue Mosque

4.5 star rating: Recommended 24 Reviews

See the best of the historic Sulthanmet area of Istanbul on this intimate small group tour. Traveling with a hand-picked local guide, you’ll save hours ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $60.00
Istanbul Old City Private Walking Tour, Istanbul, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Istanbul Old City Private Walking Tour

How about discovering Istanbul's Old City on a private walking tour. We have an ideal tour to enhance the experience of your journey, including the most famous ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $95.98
Istanbul Old City Private Tour - Sultanahmet Tour, Istanbul, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Istanbul Old City Private Tour - Sultanahmet Tour

Have an ideal tour to enhance the experience of your journey, including the most famous attractions located in Sultanahmet area, such as Blue Mosque, Hagia ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $116.55
Istanbul Old City Tour Sightseeing, Istanbul, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Istanbul Old City Tour Sightseeing

Visit; St Sophia Museum. Visit; Roman Empire Hippodrome ans Monuments. Visit Under Ground Cistern. Visit;Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque. Visit Hagia Sophia, a ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $79.98
Private Full-Day Tour of Byzantine Empire Sites in Istanbul, Istanbul, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Full-Day Tour of Byzantine Empire Sites in Istanbul

If you are fan of the byzantine Art and Civilization and want to know more about Byzantium Empire this tour gives you a short introduction for you. Istanbul is ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $194.25

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