When looking for top things to do near Basilica Cistern, the first thing that comes to mind is visiting the Galata Tower. This Cylindrical tower offers a 360-degree view of Istanbul's most famous and historic city. One of the most popular landmarks in Istanbul, you can go high up the tower through the elevator to a nightclub and watch some fantastic Turkish shows. You can also find numerous restaurants and cafes on the tower and try out some authentic Turkish dishes.
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Considered one of the great mosques of the Ottoman Empire, exploring the Blue mosque is surely one of the best things to do near Basilica Cistern. Built in 1609, this mosque has 6 minarets and is a functioning place of worship. If you are someone who loves architecture, the Blue Mosque has a unique style and one of the most beautiful interiors from Ottoman times. Located at Hagia Sophia, the Blue mosque is hand-painted in blue and beams in white under the moonlight.
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Another top activity to do near Basilica Cistern is going on a Bosphorus Sightseeing Cruise and exploring the historic city of Istanbul. The cruise goes through some of the most historic buildings such as Ciragan Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, Galata Tower, Beylerbeyi Palace, Uskudar, and many more. This 90-minute tour starts from Kabatas and then goes on to explore Istanbul from the sea and look at both European and Asian parts of the city. Most of the cruises have a guide to help you learn the history or also an audio guide in 10 languages.
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A church, a mosque, a museum and now again a mosque, the Hagia Sophia has gone through many changes over the centuries but is still strong and one of the most iconic and magnificent landmarks in all of Istanbul. One of the top things to do near Basilica Cistern is to just admire the beautiful architecture from the Byzantine and the beautiful Ottoman calligraphy engraved on the upper galleries. Although the mosque was completely destroyed by a fire, Roman Emperor Justinian rebuilt the Hagia Sophia within five years.
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Head over to the Dolmabahce Palace to take a look at this 19th century glamorous palace where many Sultans from the Ottoman era have lived. The Palace has European styled architecture and is also known to have the greatest collection of Baccarat and Bohemian chandeliers in the world. This is the largest Palace of the Ottoman Sultans and now has a guided tour where you can learn facts and history from a professional. Visiting the Dolmabahce Palace is surely one of the best things to do near Basilica Cistern.
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Known as the Hippodrome, strolling at the Sultanahmet square is one of the most popular activities to do near the Basilica Cistern. Surrounded by many historical landmarks such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Egyptian Obelisk, and Serpentine Column, Sultanahmet Square serves as a central point for all of these historical sites. You can peacefully enjoy the atmosphere here or also head over to a wide range of cafes and restaurants around major attractions.
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Shopping at Grand Bazaar is surely one of the best things to do near Basilica Cistern, especially if you are a shopaholic or if you are looking to purchase souvenirs to take back home. This Grand bazaar is the largest covered market on this planet with over 4000 shops. One of the most famous handicrafts at the bazaar is the famous Turkish carpets and kilims. You can also purchase lamps, lanterns, ceramics, turkish metal ware, Nargile which are the water pipes for smoking fruit-flavored tobacco, and also jewelry among many others.
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If you love learning history and looking at artifacts, this Archaeology Museum is one of the top things to do near Basilica Cistern. With three sections namely the Museum of the Ancient Orient, the Main Archaeology Museum, and the Tiled Pavilion, the place has over 1 million artifacts. The main Museum has many tombs and statuary from Sidon and Lebanon and you can also see Istanbul's history through the years. You can also head over to the Ancient Orient displays to look at various artifacts from the Middle East's pre-Islamic heritage.
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Built as a tribute to Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, this Mosque took eight years to complete. This stunning mosque has a dome of 47 meters high and is known for its amazing interiors. It is built with many semi-domes to emphasize space and light to illuminate the mosque with natural light. Another important monument from the Ottoman era, you can also witness the tombs of the Sultan Suleyman, and his wife Hurrem. A guided tour at the Suleymaniye mosque with a professional is surely one of the top activities to do near Basilica Cistern.
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Is the Grand Bazaar worth it?
Visiting one of the oldest Bazaars on the planet is surely worth it. You can choose from over 4000 stores and look at many authentic and traditional Turkish souvenirs such as carpets, ceramics, and Turkish metalware among many others.
What is Hagia Sophia and why is it important?
Hagia Sophia was built as a church but was later converted into a mosque after Sultan Mehmed 2 conquered Constantinople. The Hagia Sophia is one of the most important religious centers and is currently a functioning mosque. Visitors are allowed to enter inside when there are no prayers held.
What is Dolmabahçe Palace known for?
Built by Sultan Abdulmecid, the Dolmabahçe Palace is the first European-styled Palace and is known for the biggest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat Crystal Chandeliers on the Planet.
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Who built Hagia Sophia?
Hagia Sophia was built by the Roman Emperor Justinian between 532 and 537.
Is Hagia Sophia a mosque now?
The Hagia Sophia has been a Museum since 1935 but in July 2020, the council of state decided to make Hagia Sophia a mosque. Visiting the Hagia Sophia definitely needs to be on your list of activities to do near Basilica Cistern.
Who destroyed Hagia Sophia? How much time does it takes to visit Dolmabahçe from here?
Hagia Sophia was destroyed in a fire during a riot after the Banishment of St.John Chrysostom. It was rebuilt by Roman emperor ConstansIt takes just 30 minutes to reach Dolmabahçe Palace from Hagia Sophia.
Why is the Blue Mosque famous?
The Blue Mosque is famous for its 6 minarets and interior design, which is the main attraction of the place apart from its religious significance. The mosque is built to have a lot of natural light.
Why is Medusa's head upside down in the Basilica Cistern?
There is a famous tradition that says that the head is upside down as the blocks are oriented sideways to negate the power of Gorgon's gaze.
Why is the Süleymaniye Mosque important?
Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the most important monuments from the Ottoman era as it has a great religious significance. The mosque is also a tribute to Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.
What are the best experiences near Basilica Cistern?
Some top activities to do near Basilica Cistern are to stroll around the Sultanahmet and look at some of the iconic historical buildings, and visit Hagia Sophia, and the Blue mosque. Another interesting thing to do near Basilica Cistern is to explore Istanbul by the sea and hop on a Bosphorus Cruise and look at the famous historical monuments and learn about Turkey's history.
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