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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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US$38.75*
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Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
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US$50.00*
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Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
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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.
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good25%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“medusa heads” (1,235 reviews)
“fish swimming” (199 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
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
Ways to Experience Basilica Cistern
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Write a ReviewReviews (26,461)
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All reviews
"medusa heads"
in 1,235 reviews
"fish swimming"
in 199 reviews
"underground water"
in 146 reviews
"water supply"
in 138 reviews
"interesting place"
in 195 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 423 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 565 reviews
"audio guide"
in 315 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 205 reviews
"museum pass"
in 186 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 376 reviews
"old city"
in 138 reviews
"columns"
in 2,037 reviews
"inferno"
in 221 reviews
"reservoir"
in 176 reviews
"carp"
in 146 reviews
"eerie"
in 443 reviews
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9,011 - 9,020 of 13,588 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2014

There's not much to do inside but the place is a must see attraction in Istanbul. Lighting is very well made and it gives the place that extra elegance touch ...

1  Thank Sherif E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

we weren't expecting to see such an amazing structure by going into the small building. The music and lighting add to the atmosphere- definitely worth a visit.

1  Thank FMJ241
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

What a neat place! It's history is rich, and it's beauty is simple... symmetry galore! Definitely check out the detail on some of the columns. Doesn't take a ton of time and is a great little tour. :)

1  Thank mollyhh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 April 2014

Entering the just barely lite cistern is certainly something to behold. To imagine that for hundreds of years no one knew what was beneath the city streets is amazing. In the 6th century they brought water from 12 miles away to fill the cistern with...More

Thank SDLolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2014

It's a short walk from the Blue Mosque/Hagia Sophia and is really quite amazing. It's something very different and an Istanbul must-see.

1  Thank DACWgtn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2014

this is a unique structure and is well worth spending half an hour or so on. The lighting underground with the water make for some good photos

Thank Fachtna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2014

from outside it is only a small room where you can buy a ticket, and you cannot expect what is there once we entered and went couple steps down, everything changed lovely under ground activity just think how they built it and how it sustain...More

Thank NouranYa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2014

Much larger than expected and very unique. Make sure to walk all of the way to back to see the two Medusa Columns. Also interesting to see the fish that now reside in the water and hear the history of how they used this area.

Thank Megan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2014

The cistern is eerily beautiful and serene, despite all of the people. What a fascinating and interesting spot. Go when they first open to avoid the longest lines.

Thank CityPrincess_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2014

only 10TL entrance fee. For me this was the best attraction.Unbelievable that something like this still exists.The fish swimming about in the waters are so large and give the place extra tranquillity.

Thank Jan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
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
1
Vote
mechesister13
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
1
Vote
nanbarbie
20 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Tracey G | Reviewed this property |
yes, there is a ticket office at the entrance.
1
Vote