Basilica Cistern Guided Tour with Skip the Line Entrance

Basilica Cistern Guided Tour with Skip the Line Entrance


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  • Explore the impressive Basilica Cistern with an experienced guide.
  • Learn the intriguing tale of the Medusa Heads.
  • Spot a scene featured in the James Bond movie "From Russia with Love."
  • Mobile Voucher accepted, no need to take the print!


Step back in time as you visit the Basilica Cistern, a colossal water storage structure dating back to the 4th century, later expanded in 532 AD. This marvel served as a crucial water source during the Byzantine era. Descend down fifty-two stone steps into the cistern, surrounded by a sturdy firebrick wall. The cistern's colossal capacity of 80,000 cubic meters of water was supplied through a network of aqueducts spanning 20 kilometers from a reservoir near the Black Sea.


Begin your tour by descending fifty-two stone steps into the entrance of the Basilica Cistern. Marvel at the massive firebrick walls, four meters thick, layered with waterproofing mortar. The cistern's firebrick walls, four meters thick, still stand strong.
Learn about the fascinating history of the Basilica Cistern, constructed during Emperor Justinian I's reign in 532 A.D. Its purpose was to supply water to the Great Palace, utilizing aqueducts that stretched over 20 kilometers.
Discover how water from the Eğrikapı Water Distribution Center in the Belgrade Forest reaches the Basilica Cistern. This journey spans the 971-meter-long Valens Aqueduct and the 115-meter-long Mağlova Aqueduct, both commissioned by Emperor Justinian.
Your guide will unravel the mysteries of the Medusa heads, drawing from Greek mythology, adding an extra layer of intrigue to this ancient site. Listen as your guide unravels the enigma of the Medusa heads, intriguing relics that add a touch of ancient mythology to the cistern's history. 
Recognize a scene from the James Bond movie "From Russia with Love," which was filmed in the atmospheric surroundings of the Basilica Cistern.
Conclude your guided tour enriched with historical knowledge and memorable experiences, ready to continue your exploration of Istanbul. 
Remember to bring along your passport or ID card. Please note that this attraction can only be visited with a guide. Additionally, children will be required to present a valid passport at museum entrances to verify their age.
Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to explore a piece of Istanbul's rich history!


Timings: 09:00 am, 10:00 am & 04:30 pm (Please reach 20 min prior to the start time)
Duration: Approx 20 minutes.
Meeting Points: The main Bus stop for BUSFORUS ISTANBUL at Sultanahmet Square.
Ending Point : Same as meeting point 
(Please check the calendar to know about availability)


  • Skip-the-line Ticket to Basilica Cistern
  • Professional English Guide


  • Hotel Pick up and Drop off
  • Tips

Redemption Info

You can show your mobile or printed voucher at the main Bus stop for BUSFORUS ISTANBUL at Sultanahmet Square.
In loss of voucher/ticket, company is not liable for any refund.
Ticket/ Voucher is valid to the travel date you choose.

Know Before You Go

Wheelchair or stroller accesssible : No.
Voucher Information : Both Mobile and Printed Voucher are accepted.
How to Get at the Meeting Location :-
To get to Sultanahmet Square, take the T1 Bağılar - Kabataş tram and get off at Sultanahmet station. Walk towards Hagia Sophia and keep an eye out for the Big Bus stop.
Our Guides carry a white flag with the Logo of Istanbul Tourist Pass®.
Please carry your Passport/ID card on the day of your travel.
Children will be asked to present their valid passport at the entrance of the museums in order to validate their age.
The visit duration and time can vary depending on the cleaning and disinfectant schedules of the authorities.
The museum is only open for half a day on the first day of Ramadan and the Sacrifice Festivals.
Skip the line is for the ticket line, not security control. You will still need to wait in line at security.
Please note that this attraction cannot be visited without the guide.
You cannot carry a suitcase inside the attraction.
Disclaimer: The Service provider reserves the right to  close or cancel  certain shows, attractions, entertainments, restaurants, shops or ancillary facilities without notice. There will be no refund provided in that case.

Cancellation Policy

No Cancellation Charges up to 24 hours before the chosen travel date. 100% cancellation fee applied within 24 hours of travel date.