We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Open today: 09:00 - 17:30
Book In Advance
All photos (10,209)
Full view
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good25%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“medusa heads”(1,270 reviews)
“fish swimming”(200 reviews)
“water reservoir”(147 reviews)
The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns beneath the city that provided a water filtration system for the buildings nearby. This underground chamber measures approximately 138 meters (453 ft) by 64.6 meters (212 ft...more
Closed Now
Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:30
See all hours
Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
As featured in 3 Days in Istanbul
Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
+90 212 512 15 70
Ways to Experience Basilica Cistern
from US$38.75
More Info
from US$50.00
More Info
from US$113.10
More Info
from US$100.00
More Info
Reviews (27,086)
Filter reviews
13,864 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsmedusa headsfish swimmingwater reservoirwater supplyinteresting placeworth a visithagia sofiaentrance feeaudio guidemuseum passblue mosqueold citycolumnsundergroundinfernoengineeringeerie
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 13,864 reviews
Reviewed today via mobile

Set underground below the city. Contains upside down medusa heads, with myths of how and why they are their

Thank khurram178
Reviewed today

I've been there 3 times in three differents trips and I always enjoy there. It is a really particular place, with silence and a lot of history, it is not expansive, but sometimes there is a huge line to wait. Anyway it's a must in...More

Thank Livia S
Reviewed yesterday

This place used to provide Istanbul water. It's so clam and dark. At the end you can see Mendoza statue which was so interesting for me (specially if you saw odysseus king of ithaca movie).

Thank moradimahsa2633
Reviewed yesterday

What a marvelous work of architecture! wow! I found this attraction as very different form what we generally see around. Has immense story and history to it to appeal you and make u sad as well. Very dark inside yet very visible so no worries...More

Thank indian352
Reviewed yesterday

I know that this is on the list of "places to see" but it didn't do it for me. It is dark and damp, and must have been an engineering challenge to build, but aside from a few nice photos with the lanterns lit in...More

Thank Vivian T
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

An important piece of history as it showcases fragments from the Istanbul’s past. The darkness inside definitely gives a feel as to how far underground it is. In spite of its significance, I was unable to enjoy the experience as I felt that there was...More

Thank SafiMK
Reviewed yesterday

With "worthless" columns from antique pagan gods temples, Justinian order to construct this marvel of engineering with the goal to stock water to the city in a case of siege! This is one of the first examples of recycling in history! ;-)

Thank Bruno M
Reviewed yesterday

Before visiting the cistern, I read up a little on the history and evolution of the cistern - making the visit much more significant and relevant. For only a 20 TL entrance fee, you get to enter and explore the dark and ancient cistern. And...More

Thank t0mmytraveler
Reviewed 2 days ago

By far the worst attraction I have even been to in my life. Dark, wet, with nothing interesting to see. I don't understand the hype.

Thank AlexDee86
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Good to see. 20 Lira entrance fee. It's a bit dark and tread carefully. You don't need much time (30-45 mins). Highlight is Medusa column.

Thank Ray D
View more reviews
With so many unmissable attractions within a mere
stroll of each other – and all set around the site of
an ancient Byzantine hippodrome – Sultanahmet is an
overwhelmingly popular tourist destination, and a
prime location for visitors to be wowed on a truly
epic scale. Beyond the wonders of the Blue Mosque, the
Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and more, this
relatively small area of Istanbul somehow manages to
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Mirey N
11 June 2018|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from lynnbarbosa | Reviewed this property |
Hi, how are you? I was in Basilica Cistern last year. The pictures that i uploaded was last year too. The last time I was in Istanbul is March 2018, i dont know If it’s under renovation, I saw long line of people outside the... More
Deborah B
4 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Durga M | Reviewed this property |
There is no concert there it is a underground place
27 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Dimitris L | Reviewed this property |
Yes, it is open every single day! Even when some other museums are closed on certain days, the Basilica Cistern is still open!Just watch out for periods of religious holidays, as during those times opening times may vary... More