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Basilica Cistern

Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
+90 212 512 15 70
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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.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good25%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“medusa heads” (1,205 reviews)
“fish swimming” (199 reviews)
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Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:30
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
Sultanahmet
CONTACT
Website
+90 212 512 15 70
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Reviews (25,573)
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8,991 - 9,000 of 13,233 reviews

Reviewed 16 January 2014

Very magical place to visit, well set out and enjoyable to see. Doesn't take long to visit and located centrally in Sultanameht.

Thank Mikachip
Reviewed 16 January 2014

The sounds that echo in this water-filled "basilica" add to the intrigue of the "recycling" of stones and carvings in the low light below ground.

Thank nanacake
Reviewed 15 January 2014

We've heard about the Basilica Cistern on the Hotel Televion - it's not that well known like the blue mosquee or haghia sophia but it was one of the best thing of our whole trip. This place is just beautiful. Entry was 10 Turkish Lira

Thank webdawson
Reviewed 15 January 2014 via mobile

We already visited the underground basilica 10 years ago bit again the place was fantastic . We arrived quite late in the afternoon and there were not so many people. The entrance fee is very reasonable and the place is quite well lit and the...More

Thank paolok66
Reviewed 15 January 2014

Really seeing is believing!! You would probably never know it was there except for the sign board and the long line of people to get in. Once you get in, the interior is a real marvel. A gigantic underground chamber with 336 marble pillars supporting...More

Thank Geethajan
Reviewed 15 January 2014

Our tour guide chose this site for us. I had not idea what we were about to see. From the entrance, it looks like nothing since the entire site is underground. This peaceful, beautifully-lit underground site is full of stories of hard work and humor...More

Thank Katrina F
Reviewed 15 January 2014

The Basilica is hidden underground opposite the hagia Sophia. It has a small door opening that leads to the underground area. It was the ancient city's water storage facility. Now you can walk along and check out the pillars and how it was. There's fish...More

Thank Will5024
Reviewed 14 January 2014

The basilica cistern is one of those attractions that is easy to overlook but definitely worth the excursion. Part of what makes it so interesting is the fact that you would never, ever know that such an incredible structure was under your feet if someone...More

Thank FrontierPsychologist
Reviewed 14 January 2014

You will be surprised to find this engineering marvel right by Hagia Sophia, Blue mosque. We did not expect much but once you pay, take a couple of steps down to the cistern, you will be taken aback by the foresight of the Roman emperor...More

1  Thank Will_Travel_Lite
Reviewed 14 January 2014

We were there in January so, thank goodness the lines and crowds weren't too bad. We skipped the "dress like an Ottoman and get your photo taken" thing as it was pretty hokey.

1  Thank Chris S
Nearby
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
...More
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Questions & Answers
JKomiss
15 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Erica F | Reviewed this property |
Unfortunately, I don't believe there are any concerts in the Cistern, but Hagia Irene near Hagia Sophia seems to have concerts on a regular basis and is just gorgeous!
1
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Imra-atu Y
5 June 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from bas t | Reviewed this property |
same as the previous answer about 20 turkish lire
1
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farkhi
14 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from ahjahanshir | Reviewed this property |
No. you cannot. Museum pass is basically for the museums, and basilica cistern is not a museum.
1
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