Basilica Cistern


Located in the southwest of Hagia Sophia, there is an enormous underground structure established by Emperor Justinian in the sixth century. The structure is known as the “Yerebatan Cistern” among the public because of the underground marble columns. One of the most attractive sights within the cistern are the two medusa heads, which are used as supports under the two columns at the northwest edge of the cistern. This mysterious venue is an integral part of the Istanbul travel plans and must visit locations in Istanbul lists.


Travel Times: 11 KM – 45 Min by Private Transportation

Recommended Visit Hours: 9 AM – 11 AM weekdays when it is less crowded

Recommended Span of Visit: 30 Minutes – 1 Hours depending on availability.

Tips and Things to Know Before You Visit: Make sure to bring some coins with you so you may toss them into the waters of the cistern and make a wish. The Cistern is humid and cold, it is a good idea to bring an extra layer even if you are visiting in warm weather. The line to enter the cistern can get very long depending on the day, it is a good idea to purchase your tickets online before visiting, which our concierge can assist you with.