The way to Purchase Basilica Cistern (The Sunken Palace) Tickets & What to Count on

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 charming, making it a singular expertise.

Right here’s every little thing it is advisable 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 dimension, exploring this underground marvel on sizzling summer time days offers 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 historic temples with superbly carved capitals. The symmetry and grandeur of the place is solely breathtaking. And on sizzling summer time days it’s a nice escape into its huge depths.

See additionally: The way to Purchase Dolmabahce Palace Tickets & What to Count on

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 preferrred to buy tickets on-line upfront! With these tickets additionally, you will skip the lengthy ready strains exterior. For those who ebook by way of 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 one among Istanbul’s most iconic landmarks right this moment.

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

Because of their professional steering, you’ll not solely be capable of skip these pesky ticket strains, but in addition get pleasure from 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 a minimum of you received’t have to attend within the limitless line for the ticket. It’s greatest to affix one of many first excursions of the day as there’ll be much less individuals.

If you wish to go to different close by points of interest just like the Topkapi Palace or the Hagia Sophia, you then’ll must buy a multi-site ticket. These are simply across the nook and likewise value visiting.

Is the Basilica Cistern value visiting?

Sure, it’s undoubtedly value a go to! This place is solely beautiful and can depart you in awe. It has lately reopened as of summer time 2022 with some new artwork installations that add to its allure – particularly after they change shade!

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 undoubtedly wish to snap away at this lovely spot and seize each shade 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 pulls many guests all year long, particularly within the spring, summer time and fall. Nonetheless, ready in lengthy queues on the ticket workplace might be irritating. Fortuitously, 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 totally at your individual tempo whereas listening to charming tales about its previous on the audio information.

Worth: €29 / $30

Low cost: 5%

  • Skip the strains and get contained in the quickest approach
  • 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)

E book right here!

Rebook or cancel your Basilica Cistern tickets

Don’t fear for those who missed your assembly time! We’ve bought you coated. Simply be a part of on the subsequent scheduled assembly or on the day that works greatest for you. And if you need to cancel, don’t fear – you possibly can cancel at any time they usually’ll refund your reservation with no problem. Although I might advocate you to go to it. I used to be actually positively stunned 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 huge. One of the best half is its roof, which is supported by a powerful 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 referred to as the Basilica Cistern as a result of it was positioned beneath the Stoa Basilica on the primary hill, this spectacular construction had an necessary position to play. It was storing as much as 80,000 cubic meters of water from reservoirs close to the Black Sea by way of 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 referred to as it “Yerebatan Saray” (which means “Underground Palace“), they didn’t present any respect for its historic significance, so over time individuals began utilizing it to dump all types of rubbish, together with corpses! It wasn’t till the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality cleaned and renovated the positioning that guests have been in a position to witness its true magnificence when it was reopened to the general public in 1987.

At the moment, strolling via this magnificent underground palace will depart 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 historic buildings constructed so way back, however nonetheless standing sturdy right this moment thanks largely to the efforts made to protect them over time passed by.

Each couple of minutes the sunshine adjustments, which provides this distinctive spotlight of Istanbul a unique ambiance and lots of extra picture alternatives.

Is pictures allowed within the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern?

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

Paths are cleverly designed so individuals don’t block your view as you shoot from completely different angles. You’ll wish to snap away at this lovely spot and seize each potential shade 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 way in which all the way 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 wrong way up and the opposite tilted on its aspect. It’s nonetheless unclear the place they got here from or how they bought there, however rumor has it that they have been recycled from an historic constructing in late Roman instances.

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 might flip individuals to stone simply by taking a look at them!

Actually, through the Byzantine interval, it was frequent follow to engrave the picture of Medusa on sword hilts or place them the wrong way up on the base of columns in order to not trigger hurt by turning individuals 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 protect.

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 right this moment!

All through historical past, each previous and current have used photographs 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 referred to as the “Weeping Column” or “Column of Tears”. It bought 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 via 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 a really perfect setting for up to date 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 via 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 referred to as 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 at the side of one another, offering clear rainwater or supplying recent water via an intricate community system.

Every cistern had its personal distinctive design – some collected rainwater, whereas others relied on piped provide techniques. They might be discovered below fortresses, palaces, church buildings, and even rich properties all through the town.

Whereas many have dried up over time or fallen into disrepair, there are nonetheless a number of underground cistern museums value visiting right this moment! These necessary websites provide guests a glimpse into Istanbul’s fascinating previous whereas offering a refreshing break from fashionable life above floor.

Istanbul Combo Tour: Hagia Sophia & Basilica Cistern

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

Expertise Istanbul’s prime points of interest 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 this planet for a millennium earlier than turning into a mosque 500 years in the past, and the Basilica Cistern, an underground water reservoir that’s over 1,500 years previous.

The English-speaking information will offer you all of the important info and insider ideas it is advisable to get essentially the most out of your go to. And if English isn’t your first language, don’t fear – we’ve bought you coated with our audio app, accessible in seven completely different languages!

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

Meet your information at Yeşil Evi in Sultanahmet Sq. they usually’ll handle every little thing 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 native 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

Possibility 1: You’ll be able to get pleasure from each excursions in simply three hours with the identical information, making it tremendous handy.

Possibility 2: For those who desire a extra relaxed tempo, break up the excursions over two days and discover at your individual tempo. Your pleasant guides are straightforward to identify as they carry flags at every attraction.

Plus, in order that your journey to Istanbul will probably 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 allow dwelling!

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

E book this tour right here!

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

Worth: €86

Low cost: 5%

  • Bestseller Tour
  • Instantaneous Affirmation
  • Free Cancelation
  • Immediately Out there

You might 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 lets you 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 instances, 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.

E book this tour right here!

The Premium Card is legitimate for 7 days

You’ll be able to go to all three museums in someday or at completely different days. Your identify will probably be on the record for seven days. Merely arrive on the accessible instances on the assembly factors and go to along 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 E book and Map

Be aware, that you may’t skip the Line Service for Hagia Sophia and on the entrance into Harem of the Topkapi Palace.

Essential info

You’ll be able to skip ticket strains with guides, however cannot skip the safety strains.

Your benefits

  • Be versatile: You identify the beginning time and tempo
  • Particular person journey: You don’t rely upon a gaggle!
  • Consumer pleasant
Colorful light at the Sunken Palace Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.
Colourful gentle 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 take advantage of your go to and totally recognize the wonder and historical past of this historic marvel.

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

  • Travel Dudes

    I am certain you have had comparable experiences I had while touring. You are in a sure place and a fellow traveler, or an area, tip you off on a little-known seaside, bar or lodging. Nice journey ideas 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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