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.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
Phone Number:
+90 212 512 1570
09:00 - 17:30
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:30
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes

The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns...

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) and is capable of holding 80,000 cubic meters (2,800,000 cu ft) of water. The ceiling is supported by 336 marble columns.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Small-Group Istanbul Tour: Skip-the-Line Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern...
More Info
and up
Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
More Info
and up
Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 23,874 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 8206
  • 3316
    Very good
  • 825
  • 105
  • 42
eerily beautiful

Amazing spot to visit, unimaginable that after all this time it still holds water. Close to the Blue Mosque, a must visit!

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Michelle C
Add Photo Write a Review

23,874 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 12,494: English reviews
Level Contributor
82 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Amazing spot to visit, unimaginable that after all this time it still holds water. Close to the Blue Mosque, a must visit!

Thank Michelle C
Chandigarh, India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Located near hagia sophia, used to be serve as underground water storage during the ottoman empire, you can also throw a coin in the water to make a wish if you want. P.S.- Dont forget to see the medusa located towards the end.

Thank chitwan138
Level Contributor
83 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Worth a visit. Entry fee is 20l and there is no real queue to get in. The entrance can be hard to locate. It's just a little building across from the metro station (pic below). Inside there is no real story and not much to see other than an impressive building.

Thank Alan F
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

This place is just impressive and amazing! Not only famous because the movie Inferno, but also really old. for sure a must see in Istanbul.

Thank Daphne d
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Very old cistern roman time a lot of history you can actually get close to medusa head upside down and take photos

Thank beemeerman
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

It was my first time experience underground museum. The atmosphere is super awesome, you feel like you were in ancient times. Overall, it is good to try to enter this museum if you have additional budget)

Thank Arie D
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

You must not miss this place. You would never know it was there. Opposite Hagia Sophia. Fascinating and interesting. A must on your list of things to do.

Thank Bridget W
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

It is indeed a special underground construction, saving water to supply the city in the past, and that's all about it. The most important thing you should know is that the price rises again! It costs you 20 TL per person if your are a foreigner, more than double of the price for locals.

Thank Dekker L
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

A romantic hour so far away in the history and his mistery. Very good for children but also for all the lovers of ancient monuments.

Thank Antonio C
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

You might recognize the cistern from the movie INFERNO but it has a history all its own. It was built to hold 70 tons of water for a century, or that the pillars are mismatched because they're recycled from various (mostly Greek) temples? Pretty interesting place to visit .

Thank aRJay V

Travellers who viewed Basilica Cistern also viewed


Been to Basilica Cistern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Basilica Cistern and other visitors
22 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (22)

Questions? Get answers from Basilica Cistern staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

Staying in Sultanahmet

Neighbourhood Profile
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 retain an air of peace and calm. It offers visitors a significantly less celebrated but nonetheless pleasant network of quaint lanes and side streets, majestic panoramas of the Bosphorus, and an impressive assortment of accommodation options for all budgets and tastes.
Explore this neighbourhood