Guided tour

Istanbul: Basilica Cistern Tour and Skip The Line with Guide

Activity provider: Istanbul Welcome Card
Guided tour

Istanbul: Basilica Cistern Tour and Skip The Line with Guide

Activity provider: Istanbul Welcome Card

From US$ 31.44 per person

Discover the Basilica Cistern beneath the streets of Istanbul with a guided tour. Skip the long queues and wonder at the ancient site as you admire the architecture and Medusa heads.

About this activity

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Duration 30 minutes
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the line through express security check
Live tour guide
Private or small groups available


  • Treat your eyes to the beauty of Basilica Cistern of Istanbul on a guided tour
  • Benefit from skip-the-line entry tickets with a guide and avoid the long queue
  • Listen to informative commentary and learn about the history of the cistern
  • Learn about the engineering and other facts of the building during the tour
  • Explore all the corners of the cistern at your own pace after your guided tour
Full description

Discover the Basilica Cistern under the streets of Istanbul on a guided tour. Be amazed by the stunning architecture of the cistern during the tour and gaze at the Medusa Heads. Skip-the-line and avoid the long queue, as you follow your guide through history.

Meet your guide in front of the exit gate of the Basilica Cistern and enter together. Skip the long lines and enjoy a highlights tour and learn interesting facts about the water cistern with an audio guide.

Marvel at the engineering of the cistern while hearing the history with a downloadable audio guide. After your guided tour, stay and explore the building at your own pace. 

  • Tour guide
  • Skip-the-line entry
  • Entry fee (if group option selected)
  • Entry fee (if private option selected, approx. €29)

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Meeting point

Meet your guide at the exit gate of the Basilica Cistern. Look for the Istanbul Welcome Card flag. Entry is not possible without a guide.

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Important information

Know before you go

  • You will skip the ticket lines, but you cannot skip the security line
  • During high season the security check can take up to 30 minutes
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.3 /5

based on 321 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service

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My tour of Turkey was excellent, a very educational and enjoyable time. The guide book was very helpful for activities and points of interest. The only complaints I would make are that too much of the guide’s content is given over to restaurant and accommodation recommendations. I can easily find such reviews online and they are more current- maybe cut back on the “advertising” as this is not why I, at least, buy a Guide book.

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March 22, 2023

LOVED IT, PLEASE DO IT!!! I have done a lot of tours and experiences in istanbul (agya sophia, tour old city, bosphorus cruise, grand bazaar, uskudar, some workshops to make your own lamp and your painting) but this has been the absolute highlight so far. This place itself along with its history is stunning and I did not want to leave. The mixture between the old structure with the new sculptures is fabulous. Finally, the tour was very organised, easy to contact the tour guides and the explanation from our tour guide Emre was thorough and insightful. I will come back to an event they will host in a few weeks time because this place is unbelievable.

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December 30, 2022

A site not to miss. With introduction of modern art pieces into the Basilca Cistern’s interior it acquired a new breath, bridging the 6 and 21 AD. It seemed that collecting large groups isn’t plausible as there is one guide and what he was saying was not audible as the place is somewhat noisy with many visitors. Maybe guides should tell the story of BAsilica Cisterns outside of it, before taking people into the BC. The guide, Hussein, was wonderful and answered all questions to best of his knowledge. Thanks!

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October 9, 2022

Product ID: 427059