Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıcı), Istanbul

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıcı), Istanbul (must see)

The Yerebatan Sarnıcı or the Basilica Cistern translates as “Cistern Sinking Into Ground” and is one of the many ancient cisterns that are present in the city of Istanbul. Located near the Hagia Sophia, on the peninsula of Sarayburnu, it was built in the 6th century AD by the Byzantine emperor Justinian the first. The name is derived from the Stoa Basilica upon which it was built. The Basilica was said to be built by Ilias and housed many structures and gardens. Historical texts state that over seven thousand slaves were involved in the construction of the Cistern.

The cistern used to provide a filtration system for the water for the Great Palace of Constantinople and surrounding buildings on the historic First Hill. After the Ottoman conquest, it continued to provide water to the Topkapi Palace and continues to do so in modern times. It has undergone many restorations, both by Ottoman emperors and the Roman emperors before them.

Today, the cistern is open to visitors and houses many historical relics like the Medusa columns and triumphal arches. The former can be viewed in the cistern's North West corner.

Why You Should Visit:
Great (spooky) atmosphere that makes for magnificent photos and the preservation of history is done remarkably.
Right next to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque, so easy to fit it in along with the other attractions.

Tip:
Watch your step as some parts (near Medusa heads) can be extra slippery, and take a jacket especially if you get cold easily.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5:30pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Istanbul, Turkey within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıcı) on Map

Sight Name: Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıcı)
Sight Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Istanbul, Turkey

Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

Creating your own self-guided walk in Istanbul is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Byzantine Heritage Walking Tour

Byzantine Heritage Walking Tour

Being an imperial capital for over a millennium, Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) still contains numerous sites that testify to the greatness of the Eastern Roman Empire. This self-guided walking tour will take you through the most noteworthy of historical traces, giving you a glimpse of medieval Europe's most prestigious and flourishing city – the "crown jewel" of Byzantium.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Istanbul Old City Walking Tour

Istanbul Old City Walking Tour

Situated at the heart of Old Istanbul, the Sultanahmet neighborhood is a fascinating hub of historical timeline. The former administrative center of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, this area abounds in historic sites, such as the Great Palace of Constantinople – the former residence of Byzantine emperors, the Topkapi Palace – a place where the Ottoman sultans used to live, plus a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Mosques Walking Tour

Mosques Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
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In the Ottoman era, Beyoğlu (then known as Pera) was, along with Galata, the European Quarter of Istanbul. Home to embassies and trading centers, as well as fine 19th-century, Parisian-style apartment houses, the area was much-loved by the city's non-Islamic minorities, with names of Greek and Armenian architects still adorning the fronts of some of Istiklal Avenue's grander buildings. ...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Istanbul Shopping Tour

Istanbul Shopping Tour

Istanbul can easily claim to be one of the most colorful cities in the world. Located on the very edge of Europe, it later expanded into Asia resulting in a mixture of both cultures. When it comes to shopping, you will be amazed with the variety of goods available to buy here and the way everybody bargains - even in a grocery store. Take this tour and explore the legendary bazaars of Istanbul.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Istanbul Introduction Walk

Istanbul Introduction Walk

Formerly known as “Byzantium”, “Constantinople” and “New Rome”, Istanbul is the main city of Turkey, straddling the Bosphorus Strait, and as such, bridging the gap between Europe and Asia, both geographically and culturally. This ancient transcontinental metropolis embraces cultural influences of the many empires and civilizations that once ruled and flourished on this land.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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