Serefiye Cistern Guided Tour

Normal ticket value: €15

Temporary Unavailable
Free with Istanbul E-pass

Istanbul E-pass includes Serefiye Cistern Tour with English speaking Professional Guide. For details, please check "Hours & Meeting".

Serefiye (Theodosius) Cistern Istanbul

Serefiye "Theodosius" Cistern was built between 428-443. Emperor Theodosius ordered the construction of this Cistern in Istanbul, which is why it is called his name. One of the three cisterns of Significant Costantinopolis (with the 4th-century  Binbirdirek Cistern and the 6th-century Basilica Cistern). The water was brought to the city from the Belgrade Forest by the Aqueduct of Valens.

What time is the Serefiye Cistern open?

It is open every day between 09:00 - 19:00. The last entrance is at 18:00.
Note that entrance can only be done with our guide.

How much is the entrance fee for the Serefiye Cistern?

The entrance fee for the museum is 150 Turkish Liras. You can buy tickets at the entrance. Guided tours of the cistern are free with Istanbul E-pass with no waiting time at the entrance.

Where is the Serefiye Cistern located?

It is located between the Sultanahmet Square area and the Cemberlitas Square area.

From Old City Hotels;  Get the T1 Tram to Cemberlitas station. From there, the museum is a short 2 minutes walk away.

From Taksim Hotels; Take the funicular to Kabatas and get the T1 Tram to Cemberlitas.

From Sultanahmet Hotels; The museum is within walking distance.

How Long Does it Take to Visit the Serefiye Cistern and What is the Best Time to Visit?

Visiting this Cistern takes around 10 minutes if you see it by yourself. Guided tours generally take about 20 minutes. We recommend visiting the museum around 11 o'clock while fewer tourists prefer to visit.

General Information About the Serefiye Cistern

The Cistern was built between 428 and 443.  Emperor Theodosius named the Cistern after himself. It was part of the main water system of the city. There was a lack of water sources in the town. This leads the Byzantines to build lots of cisterns to save as much rainwater as they can, in these cisterns. They used the water from these cisterns, only in an emergency, during droughts or sieges.

The Cistern is made of brick, local limestones, and hydraulic mortar. It is around 24x40 meters. Thirty-two marble columns, with Corinthian-style capitals, are supporting the roof. It was restored very well recently and opened as a museum to the public.

The Final Word

The Serefiye Cistern Istanbul is among the many wonders that give you a sneak peek into the past. It is an excellent example of the complex infrastructure developed by Byzantines. This is a beautiful place to visit and let you know about the architectural techniques of its builders.

Serefiye Cistern Tour Times

Serefiye Cistern guided tour is at 08:50 am every morning.
Extra visit added at 11:45 on Sundays.
The entrance can be done with a tour guide only.
To reserve, please contact customer support.

Istanbul E-pass Guide Meeting Point

Meet with the guide at the entrance of Serefiye Cistern
Our guide will hold the Istanbul E-pass flag at the meeting point and time.

Important Notes: 

  • Serefiye Cistern Tour is in English language
  • Admission price and a guided tour is free with Istanbul E-pass.
  • Istanbul E-pass is available only with a guided tour for Serefiye Cistern.
  • Photo ID will be asked from child Istanbul E-pass holders.
Know before you go

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