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.

Basilica Cistern

Closed Now: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Open today: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Book In Advance
All photos (11,043)
Full view
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good25%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“medusa heads”(1,270 reviews)
“fish swimming”(201 reviews)
“water reservoir”(147 reviews)
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...more
Closed Now
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
See all hours
Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
As featured in 3 Days in Istanbul
Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
+90 212 512 15 70
Ways to Experience Basilica Cistern
from US$ 100.00
More Info
from US$ 90.00
More Info
from US$ 134.00
More Info
from US$ 42.00
More Info
Reviews (28,074)
Filter reviews
14,273 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews medusa heads fish swimming water reservoir water supply interesting place worth a visit hagia sophia entrance fee audio guide museum pass blue mosque old city columns underground inferno eerie engineering
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 14,273 reviews
Reviewed today via mobile

You can’t go to Istanbul without visiting the Basilica Cistern. As soon as you walk downstairs you’re taken in by the magic of this place.

Thank sf_concas
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

When we visited there were no big queues to buy tickets. The cost was 20 lira per person. The Cistern is large and impressive. Although at this time parts of it were closed off for renovation. The sound of construction was noticeable. An the water...More

Thank CG101010
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

The most important aspect of viewing such a this atrraction is the unicity.It was really nice and they have nice dresses for photo there.

Thank 570arminh
Reviewed yesterday

Unique opportunity to see Roman architecture. There's no (or little) water but the water is not the point. How they made the place is amazing and the few sculptures were surprising but all in all, there is not much to see. I am glad I...More

Thank SEAPexplorer012
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

So very nice like magic place different fish inside looks so nice and very big inside long way so very great highly recomend and exellent Medusa👍🏻

Thank Maps19594165028
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Although its vast underground area is kinda unique in the city but the whole exprience can be summarized in a few pictures that you can find in the Trip Advisor’s reviews.

Thank farbodn2017
Reviewed 2 days ago

Although the place was drained of water it was easy to get a feeling of the importance and size of this cistern. We probably spent an hour in the cistern. A tip would be to plan your trip when the queues are relatively quiet. Its...More

1  Thank Roam05218638740
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

This was a really cool place to see! A lot of history to be learned here. It was drained of water for restoration when we visited, still, it was great!

Thank J5227VXerike
Reviewed 3 days ago

We had been recommended to visit this place without actually knowing what exactly it entailed. Imagine our delight when we descended into a vast underground Roman reservoir which is also referred to as the Sunken Palace. It is supported by 336 marble columns in 12...More

Thank nicheili
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

Maintenance is on going and there is no water or fish. You still get the idea, a great space and quick to walk round.

Thank Jacksonsinbrighton
View more reviews
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
Nearby HotelsSee all 1,291 nearby hotels
Ares Hotel
637 reviews
.05 km away
The Million Stone Hotel
118 reviews
.05 km away
Star Holiday Hotel
223 reviews
.08 km away
And Hotel
506 reviews
.09 km away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 15,427 nearby restaurants
Nars Brasserie
147 reviews
.02 km away
Fuego Restaurant
1,700 reviews
.08 km away
Balkan Lokantasi
315 reviews
.04 km away
House of Medusa
1,141 reviews
.06 km away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 2,904 nearby attractions
Les Arts Turcs Tours
84 reviews
.04 km away
Hippodrome (At Meydani)
664 reviews
.07 km away
Whirling Dervish Ceremony in Fatih
33 reviews
.05 km away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Weijian L
17 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from david p | Reviewed this property |
It was open three weeks ago. The entrance is diagonally opposite where the Big Bus Tours park by the Hagia Sophia. It is also just across the road from the Hagia Sophia
8 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from s_gilchrist62 | Reviewed this property |
you can message the basilica directly and ask, via their website nothing is listed for any concerts if you go to the website it will be in Turkish.... click on the top right, EN for the website in English
ruba t
3 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from 330antoined | Reviewed this property |
Hello Unfortunately i don t know Try to find the answer on the web But in general in istanbul touristic attractions are always open for public even religious sites such as Hagia Sophia and bleu mosque