Basilica Cistern
Shore Excursions

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Basilica Cistern Shore Excursions

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

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

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

Explore Istanbul according to your own interests on a tailor-made sightseeing tour. A licensed guide will meet you in your hotel or port and work with you to create an itinerary that suits you best, leaving you satisfied that you have seen all of Istanbul. Marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern on the first day. On day two, take the public ferry to Bosphorus to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. From here, visit Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street and the spice market. Day three takes you on a walk through the streets of Fener-Balat neighboorhood. Enjoy a cable car ride and soak up views of Pierre Loti Hill, then visit Chora Church to see the mosaics and frescoes.

...
Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

3. 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.

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

4. 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.

...
Full-Day Sightseeing Tour in Historic Istanbul

5. Full-Day Sightseeing Tour in Historic Istanbul

Take in the famous sights of historic Istanbul, with this one-day tour that gives you a perfect introduction to the city that blends Asia with Europe. On this sightseeing tour of Istanbul you'll see the Blue Mosque, one of the most famous monuments of both the Turkish and Islamic worlds. Built in classic Ottoman style, the mosque has 6 towering minarets, 260 windows in its main chamber, and is decorated with more than 20,000 Iznik tiles, making it a truly breathtaking structure. After the Blue Mosque, you’ll visit the Hagia Sophia Museum, built in the sixth century by Emperor Justinian. Following the Ottoman conquest, the building was converted into a mosque, and now lives on as one of the world’s most magnificent museums, housing beautiful Byzantine mosiacs. The tour also includes a trip to one of the largest and oldest palaces in the world, Topkapi, the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire which overlooks the Golden Horn. Finally, visit the Grand Bazaar, a covered market featuring 58 streets and more than 4000 shops. While there, take in the sights and smells of the jewellery, leather, spices and carpets on sale.

...
Istanbul Full-Day Private Christian (Byzantium) Tour

6. Istanbul Full-Day Private Christian (Byzantium) Tour

Take a full-day tour of Istanbul and explore it from the perspective of the Byzantine Empire. See ruins of Byzantine churches, Byzantine stone houses, superb mosaics and frescoes at the Church of St. Saviour of Chora, the city’s underground cistern, and more. Traveling by air-conditioned coach, you will drive to the Church of St. Saviour in Chora. The Turkish word "Kariye" is derived from the ancient Greek word "Chora," meaning outside of the city. It is known that there was a chapel outside of the city before the 5th century when the city walls were erected. The first Chora Church was rebuilt by Justinianus and, in the era of Komnenoi, served as the court chapel for important religious ceremonies. Continue to the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the seat of Orthodox Christianity since Constantine the Great’s declaration of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. Visit Zeyrek Mosque, the former Pantokrator Church. Representing the most typical example of architecture of the Byzantine middle period in Constantinople, it is the second largest religious edifice built by the Byzantines still standing after Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia is your next stop. For centuries it 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 examples of Byzantine architecture in survival, and has been called “The 8th Wonder of the World” for its spectacular art and architecture. End your tour at the Basilica Cistern, or Yerebatan Sarayı ("Sunken Palace"), the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath Istanbul. Located 500 feet (150 meters) southwest of the Hagia Sophia, on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, the magical atmosphere of the underground palace dates back to the 6th century reign of Emperor Justinian I.

...

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

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 19 reviews

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!

Outstanding 3 days with Semih as my guide to Istanbul, saw all the major sites, but also lots of places that I probably wouldn't have got to without a guide. Semih's had lots of information on each site, and I came away with a much better understanding of the history of the city. This was the best way to get to learn about the city

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.

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

An unforgettable, impressive experience. Tour guide Ayla is just SENSATIONAL .... I can only recommend it !!