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“Old and dark”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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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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US$113.54*
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
Ranked #6 of 1,071 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Old and dark”
Reviewed 20 June 2014

If you get a kick out of really old stuff then this is a cool site. Walk through a giant water storage tank 1500 years old. Not a huge amount to see but very atmospheric. The line was quite short when we went and I suggest getting there about 30 minutes before closing to get straight in. You don't need more than 30 minutes inside.

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Shrewsbury
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Stunning and atmospheric”
Reviewed 20 June 2014

Best moment of being in Istanbul, can't believe someone had the vision and determination to build this. It's incredible.

Visited June 2014
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Thank peapeaShrewsbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The beauty and power of the underground Cistern”
Reviewed 20 June 2014

The underground Cistern is a beautiful maze of huge colummns which makes one feel as walking over sacred water. That seems to be a common feeling, since the visitors make less noice than at other monuments.

Visited June 2014
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Thank Sastrano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Memphis, Tennessee
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Absolutely fantastic”
Reviewed 20 June 2014

It is located opposite the blue mosque and has an entrance fee of about 20 turkish linars. The place has a different atmosphere to it and that is why it makes for a great place to visit. Make sure you have the audio guide to have a more interesting visit with knowing what exactly you are seeing around the place combined with its fascinating history. Also compared to the hot and humid weather outside this place is cool and an absolute getaway on a real hot day.

Visited June 2014
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Thank Jannik B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
191 reviews
146 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“Go there outside of "popular" hours”
Reviewed 20 June 2014

The Istanbul sightseeing will not be completed without the underground visit in Basilica Cistern. I remember the first time I saw it in the James Bond movie and was mesmerized by a “thousand” columns submerged in a dark-dark water. The delicate light at each column keeps this place dark, but makes unreal. It is the best to go there first thing in the morning (I think it is open at 9:30 am) when all people are visiting the Istanbul major attractions like: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Sultan Palace. Because the underground cistern is approx 150 m. from these attractions, the crowd is going to show up there later. And I think, too many people may simply destroy the enchanted atmosphere of this place.

Visited May 2014
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Thank tzd60820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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