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Open today: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
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  • Excellent66%
  • Very good25%
  • Average7%
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  • Terrible1%
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“medusa heads”(1,255 reviews)
“fish swimming”(199 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
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
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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
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Reviews (27,321)
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All reviewsmedusa headsfish swimmingunderground waterwater supplyinteresting placeworth a visithagia sophiaentrance feeaudio guidemuseum passblue mosqueold citycolumnsinfernoreservoireerieengineering
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1 - 10 of 13,967 reviews
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

The cistern was under renovations and therefore the water was drained out. They had also blocked off the Medusa head. So basically full price for 1/3 of the experience. Maybe wait until it’s finished renovations...

Thank Mark K
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

After a long queuing it was only 20tl and once we walked down the stair cases we did approach a water storage area from19th century's it was amazing to see all the columns and the stone heads where the best

2  Thank Anees V
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Nice and cool on a hot day, not that big of a place, I guess you could try and visit it one time, over priced !!

Thank Sam B
Reviewed 2 days ago

We dropped into the Basilica Cistern after enduring the Blue Mosque across the road, not knowing much about the structure beforehand we both stood at the base of the entry stairs and said exactly the same thing at the same time. "Wow". And wow it...More

1  Thank Mr_rossduncan
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Title speaks for itself. A nice reprieve from the heat. Some interesting Roman columns, 2 with a medusa head for theatrical effect. No water unfortunately as its undergoing some refurb which kills some of the romance. It's small so it should kill 30 mins of...More

1  Thank Nick F
Reviewed 2 days ago

Wonderful ancient cistern which has been so well preserved. Great atmospheric lighting, and I loved the works of art which were placed around the place.

1  Thank Susannah P
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

It’s nice being in the cool of the earth and it’s a great thing to see but at the moment there is quite a lot of restoration work going on. It’s still a sight to see but be prepared for some hoarded off areas

Thank ewanb99
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

If you read about the place in the book, and is itchy to see how mystically beautiful the place is, then not today... Toda the whole place is under reconstruction. Regardless the reconstruction Turkish administration is not closing the place and still is charching 20TL...More

1  Thank Olesya M
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Great place fo visit! Stay at the line if it necesary because the place worth so much. Another world under the ground constructed by Justinianus I, Byzantium emperor, it is a water reservoir with many marble columns, 2 of them having Medusa’s head at the...More

1  Thank Teodora132000
Reviewed 6 days ago

The cistern is really under-rated. I thought it was one of the top places to go in Istanbul. no line to get in, lovely and cool inside. It's dark and peaceful, a great place to get out of the heat. it is directly opposite Hagia...More

Thank Penelope L
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
Questions & Answers
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Weijian L
17 August 2018|
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Response from Matthew B | Reviewed this property |
Closed on this Monday for national holiday, open the rest of the week. Entrance is about 50 from the boards you spoke about. There will be a line of people outside to get in
8 August 2018|
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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|
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Response from Antoine D | 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