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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$ 50.00*
and up
Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
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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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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
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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” (1,208 reviews)
“fish swimming” (203 reviews)
Closed Now
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
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JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (25,715)
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1 - 10 of 13,291 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

Really they shouldn't charge the same rate when most of the cistern is closed and very little lighting. In fact, I was avoid this until it is fully renovated. This was the only attraction I wanted to see not knowing about the renovation.

Thank NomadicAdventurer
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We visited this place without really know what to expect. It is of course a cistern, quite wet with slippery floors but with such a mysterious ambient. The columns with the Medusa's heads leves you an impression of uncertainty, since the origin is unknown. It's...More

Thank Cristina r
Reviewed 3 days ago

Place full of magic, with a mystic beyond the tales. imagine yourself inside a warehouse with lots of liters of water that hit Istanbul, fantastic!...

1  Thank César P
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

A wonderful example of Byzantine engineering . Do remember that this was constructed before modern machines and equipment arrived! Perhaps this is not the top attraction in Istanbul but it is well worth a visit being only a short walk from the Aya Sofya mosque....More

Thank geoffrey v
Reviewed 4 days ago

I was not expecting the cistern to be as large as it was. The columns arch up to the vaulted ceilings, the lighting is just enough to see things, but remains eerily dark and spooky. I'd personally like to get accidentally locked in at night,...More

Thank cabaret99
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

It is very nice and historical area,also near to the sultan ahmet.The atmostphere is very authentic.

Thank amalalkattaf90
Reviewed 5 days ago

Not far away from Aya Sophia this very atractive basilica cistern is the MUST place to visit in Istanbul.

Thank nevenjerkovic
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Totally surreal but not a lot to see once inside. Ok as we were on a group tour so missed the big queue

Thank Peter M
Reviewed 5 days ago

The Basilica Cistern is located across the road from the Hagia Sophia Mosque (which, in Dec 17, is currently closed for internal viewing to visitors) Built around 525AD it is an incredible site to see. Easy to access, you need to buy a ticket which...More

Thank simonpinkney
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

What a wonderful feat of engineering. The colums are recycled from other construction so everyone is unique. Early in the morning because there is less tourist. The site opens at 9h00. Dont miss the medusa heads at the end of the path. Definitly worth your...More

Thank Michel L
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
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Questions & Answers
16 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!
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
15 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.