Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern, Istanbul: Hours, Address, Basilica Cistern Reviews: 4.5/5

Basilica Cistern
4.5
Historic Sites • Ancient Ruins • Architectural Buildings
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
Temporarily Closed. 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.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Sultanahmet
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.
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
Restaurants
4,765 within 5 kms
Attractions
922 within 10 kms
Popular mentions

4.5
31,277 reviews
Excellent
19,816
Very good
8,144
Average
2,595
Poor
495
Terrible
227

r8ter2018
Madison, WI164 contributions
Jan 2022
I'm sure this is worth seeing, but it's closed right now while they work out structural safety issues caused by vibration from the nearby tram.
Written 10 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

a h
Budapest, Hungary55 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
Charming insight. Rich history. Beautiful illumination or enlightning. Great place to shoot excellent pictures…..
Written 26 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Miserable-Old-Man
Turkey83 contributions
Dec 2021
Unfortunately this Cistern is currently closed which is a shame as it is incredible. Worth coming to Istanbul only to see this. There is another cistern which is quite close by and has just reopened. Theodosius Cistern. 100 Lira to get in which is a little heavy. Well refurbished and quite impressive but not same as Basilica Cistern
Written 12 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

davvers50
London, UK239 contributions
Dec 2021
the show are on the hour, you walk down the steps to view the columns and take a few pictures then after 10 mins a light immersive show goes on for about 10 mins and it is over!!!
Written 7 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

WorldTravelerCO
Thornton, CO867 contributions
Nov 2021
The history and presence of this Cistern is simply breathtaking and a bit overwhelming. Really impressive.
Written 29 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rohit Gupta
New Delhi, India213 contributions
Jul 2021
It lies in the prominent peninsula that is also home to Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Built by the infamous Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the year 542, the structure was used to meet the water needs of the palaces. The Basilica Cistern is a famous historical site that brings millions of tourists every year.
Written 23 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KMLondon22
London, UK159 contributions
Oct 2021
Currently closed for renovation (October 2021). Signs state that it will be closed for one year but do not give a date for reopening.
Posted for information, am sure that it is great when viewable again.
Written 29 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ramona Rorvik Art-Tour
Paris, France194 contributions
Oct 2020 • Business
An impressive underground place built by the Byzantines to serve as a water tank (deposit) for the city of Constantin (Constantinople). The Byzantines (the Romans from East) built to last forever. Their legacy still impress the visitors. The place is just nearby of Ayasofya. It is definitely a place worth visiting.
Written 26 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ynstheguide Istanbul Tours
Istanbul, Turkey31 contributions
Sep 2021 • Solo
One of the absolute must-see places in the city, despite the fact that there are hundreds of water storages in this city, water has always been a problem.this is the largest water cistern built to solve this problem.a place that will make you feel like you are in the middle from the moment you enter the interior
Written 20 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HEROS A O S
Miami, FL102 contributions
Aug 2021
The basement for the basilica is the cistern . The dimensions will impress anyone, The age and conditions are amazing for such an old building. even today it would be hard to build like that and last this long.
Written 8 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern is open:
  • Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:30
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