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Basilica Cistern Online Tickets, How To Get It & Tips

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The Basilica Cistern is a stunning underground reservoir in Istanbul, Turkey, that dates back to the 6th century. It was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to store water for the city. The cistern is also known as the Sunken Palace or Yerebatan Saray in Turkish, because of its majestic marble columns and vaulted ceilings. The cistern can hold up to 100,000 tons of water and covers an area of 9,800 square meters.

If you want to visit the Basilica Cistern, you need to buy a ticket at the entrance or online. The ticket price is 60 Turkish Liras (about 7 USD) for adults and free for children under 8 years old.

You can also join a guided tour for an extra fee and learn more about the history and architecture of the cistern.

The cistern is open every day from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, except on national holidays.

To get to the Basilica Cistern, you can take public transportation or a taxi. The cistern is located in the Sultanahmet district, near the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. The nearest tram stop is Sultanahmet, which is a few minutes’ walk from the cistern. You can also take a bus or metro to Eminönü or Kabataş and then walk or take a tram to Sultanahmet.

Some tips for visiting the Basilica Cistern are:

  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, as the cistern can be humid and slippery.
  • Bring a flashlight or use your phone’s light to see better in the dark.
  • Don’t miss the two Medusa heads at the base of two columns in the northwest corner of the cistern. They are believed to be from Roman times and have different orientations.
  • Enjoy the music and light show that create a magical atmosphere in the cistern.
  • Take photos and videos, but without flash or tripod.

There are also some prohibitions for visiting the Basilica Cistern, such as:

  • Smoking, eating or drinking inside the cistern.
  • Touching or climbing on the columns or walls.
  • Throwing coins or objects into the water.
  • Making noise or disturbing other visitors.

The Basilica Cistern is one of the most impressive and unique attractions in Istanbul. It offers a glimpse into the ancient history and culture of the city. It is also a place of beauty and mystery, where you can admire the artistry and engineering of the Byzantines. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the hidden underground world of Istanbul!

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