Basilica Cistern
Activities

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Our most recommended Basilica Cistern Activities

Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3 Day Private Guided Tour

1. Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3 Day Private Guided Tour

Discover the best of Istanbul on this 1, 2, or 3-day private tour that covers the major attractions, such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the iconic Blue Mosque, the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, and the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. A few of the possible attraction you'll visit on your tour include: The Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome, and the Duomo in Florence. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. The Blue Mosque, more officially known as the "Sultanahmet" Mosque has striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years. Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. The Hippodrome is the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handcraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there. The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of Bosphorus. There are also magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them. Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name — in Turkish, Dolma means "filled" or "stuffed," and bahce means "garden". Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars, and from there, it's an interesting and scenic 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area. See this and more depending on which length tour option you select. Possible Itinerary for each day of the tour: Day 1: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome Day 2: Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal, Galata Tower Day 3: Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Church, Fener/Balat Districts, Pierre Loti Hill

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Istanbul: 3 Day Skip-the-Line Ticket to Main Attractions

2. Istanbul: 3 Day Skip-the-Line Ticket to Main Attractions

Enjoy hassle-free access to the main attractions of Istanbul. Get the most important information from a guide and benefit of an audio guide app. Meet your guide at the museums and get inside the fastest way. Inside each museum enjoy a 30 min. highlights tour with a local guide. After the tours and orientation tips stay inside the museums as long as you want and listen to the exciting stories and information in the included audio guide on your own smartphone. Saver Combo Ticket for Istanbul is valid for 3 Days: Your name will be on the list for 3 days. You can come at the available times, to the meeting points and visit with your local guide these top museums. You can visit and experience all 3 museums and the Bosphorus cruise in one or more days. Hagia Sophia Meeting Times Daily at: 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM Topkapi Palace Meeting Times Daily except Tuesdays at: 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 14:00 PM, 15:00 PM Basilica Cistern Meeting Times Daily at: 12:30 PM, 13:30 PM, 15:00 PM Bosphorus Cruise Departure Times: Daily at: 13:00 PM, 15:00 PM and 17:00 PM

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Istanbul: Museum Pass and Bosphorus Boat Tour

3. Istanbul: Museum Pass and Bosphorus Boat Tour

You can visit up to 10 of Istanbul's museum. You do not need to wait in long queues to get admission tickets so you will save time and save money. The museums included are the Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapı Palace Museum and Harem, Chora Church Museum, Hagia Irene Church Museum, İstanbul Archaeological Museums, İstanbul Mosaic Museum,  Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam, Fethiye Church Museum, Galata Mevlevi House Museum, and Rumeli Hisar Museum.  The 1.5-hour Bosphorus boat tour is a guided cruise and departs at 10:00 AM or 2:00 PM.  The Bosphorus Strait connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and splits the European and Asian sides of Turkey. This romantic cruise along the Bosphorus will allow you to admire the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Beylerbeyi Palace, and the Ciragan Palace. See ancient wooden villas and bridges and all the wonderful unique maritime landscapes.

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Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

4. Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

Meet your private guide at your hotel to being your tour. Marvel at the iconic tiles and minarets of the Blue Mosque, built in the 1600s for Sultan Ahmet. Feast your eyes on the mosaics of the Hagia Sophia and discover a stunning and seamless blend of Christian and Islamic influences. Amble through the world's largest (and oldest) covered market on a tour of the Grand Bazaar and see the Basilica Cistern, an underground water storage. Travel back further to the Byzantine Empire, when the city was known as “Constantinople” at the Hippodrome and its 4 monuments; the Fountain Of Wilhelm II, the Obelisk Of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column, and the Column Of Constantine. Go to Topkapı Palace to see the last Imperial residence of the Ottoman sultans, and the seat of the Parliament.

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Istanbul: Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia

5. Istanbul: Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia

Begin the tour of the Sultanahmet district in the heart of old Istanbul at Hagia Sophia. Built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, this church is a marvel of world architecture. Its massive dome dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is famous for its mosaics including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses. Then discover the Basilica Cistern, s the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul; was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. Explore the Grand Bazaar which was the commercial heart of the old city. Its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods.

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Bosphorus Boat Trip and Old City Tour For Layover Passangers

6. Bosphorus Boat Trip and Old City Tour For Layover Passangers

Meet your guide at the airport. He will be waiting for you holding a sign with your name. You'll then drive to Buyuk Valide Han, one of the best spots for taking photos of Istanbul, After that, it's off to Taksim Square to visit Istiklal Street. You can walk along the Istiklal Street and taste some Turkish food. Next, it's Bebek where you can get your 1-hour private Bosphorus boat tour. Other highlights of the tour are exploring the old city and learning about Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern. Depending on the time and your interests you can visit some of this sites too. Please note that Hagia Sophia is closed on Monday, Topkapı Palace is closed on Tuesdays and the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Basilica Cistern

Want to discover all there is to do in Basilica Cistern? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Basilica Cistern

OMG I am not sure where to start our guide Cicek was amazing she was pleasant and very knowledgeable,she made us feel at home and walk us through all the main landmark ,caring she allowed us to customize the tour how we see fit and go with our pace,showed us great hidden jam in one word my friend and I had a great time and we're happy with the tour and Cicek's lovely service! this is definitely a great way to explore Instanbul we did the one day option and enjoyed it!

We were lucky that we had Ayla as our guide. She is a very competent, experienced and always polite woman. Ayla speaks German very well. She has a very personable manner and explained everything to us in a very understandable way. We would book it again and again or recommend it to others. Thank you Ayla for this wonderful day.

Fantastic two days. The guide (Kadir) was a wealth of historical knowledge at every stop. Packs a tremendous amount in two days. Highly organized and allows time for insights at every stop. Perfect experience

Excellent time, very attentive guide who speaks perfect French, without his sympathy. His explanations, his implication was irreproachable. Thank you very much for this wonderful day

Everything was as described in the tour, Mirey excellent guide in Spanish, with much knowledge of history, important dates, mosques, Palaces and more. Highly recommended.