On this 30-minute tour, visit the 4th-century Basilica Cistern and discover the mystery of Medusa heads from Greek mythology.
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What people are saying about Basilica Cistern
The meeting point is very clear then a quick visit to the Basilica Cistern. The guided tour was at 3 different points inside the cistern and the guide was detailed and informative, the tour took about 30 min then we were left on our own to explore further or leave. The cistern is not too large so spent about 20 mins walking around and taking some photos. This ticket definitely saves time as there was a decent line for the general admission tickets.
The guide took us underground to see the cistern which is no longer in use but was used as a water reservoir for Istanbul for many centuries. We can only marvel at the ability of people all those centuries ago to bring water to Istanbul from outlying areas and provide the city with a water supply. We saw the Medusa heads and heard the legends about Medusa.
It was great to skip the line. Well organised and easy to book on my phone. Our guide was very good. The Basilica was amazing but the atmosphere was seriously degraded by the unnecessary tacky area where tourists could dress up in costume for photographs. Slinging that outside would improve the experience by a mile.
I did the one day tour. I would highly recommend it if you have a short time in Istanbul. My guide tailored the tour to include something extra that was recommended to me by me cutting short my Grand Bazaar visit. Tip - wear your walking shoes.
It's only a brief tour, with not a lot to see. However the guide knew all about the history of the basilica, and it was very interesting. Shame that so much of it is under renovation and no water is in it. But still worthwhile seeing.