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Address: Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
Phone Number: +90 212 512 1570
Website
Today
09:00 - 17:30
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:30
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description:

The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns...

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.

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Small-Group Istanbul Tour: Skip-the-Line Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern...
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Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
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Surreal atmosphere

This historical and imposing structure is a very interesting and different experience. Right in the centre os Sultanahmet Square it should be visited along with the other... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
annasafrica
,
italy
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23,609 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,390: English reviews
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,532 reviews
1,043 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,051 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

The Basilica Cistern is located near the Hagia Sophia, it easy to get to as long as you realise that entrance is by cash only. We got here early in the morning so no crowd issues. It is an underground cistern built in 542 by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I to provide water to the palace and later irrigate the... More 

Helpful?
Thank PrestonGuild
italy
Level Contributor
51 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

This historical and imposing structure is a very interesting and different experience. Right in the centre os Sultanahmet Square it should be visited along with the other important monuments of the area.

Helpful?
Thank annasafrica
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
20 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

This was an unexpected treat as the cisterns took you under the streets of Istanbul to reveal gorgeous marble pillars holding up the ceiling with walkways scattered throughout the city's former water supply. Gas lights reveal the path ahead of you creating a moody atmosphere. Cheesy photo stand opportunity at the start of your visit but sights along the walkway... More 

Helpful?
Thank Thomas T
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

This costs 20lira and it's a short walk through the cistern on raised pathways. I went by myself on a rainy day and it's a beautiful architectural creation and an amazing insight into how previous eras lived.

Helpful?
Thank Adele W
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Nice and historical place if you like medusa you must go and see this place very nice and amazing place

Helpful?
Thank Siavash T
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Below the sprawl of Istanbul lay the dark beauty of the cisterns, and insight into the brilliance of the East Roman Empire - with sights rarely seen in such a capacity anywhere else in the world.

Helpful?
Thank Jesse W
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Was a really neat sight right in the downtown area near the mosques. Quick to enter and a good deal to see. Take the touristy pics, it's fun. Just ask for the framed picture it's cheap. The rest of the walk around is really cool. Loved it.

Helpful?
Thank Erik S
Level Contributor
266 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This place offers a magical atmosphere as you walk along the tracks over the water in this ancient cistern built during roman times. The top place to visit when in Istanbul if you are a fan of old architecture and mystical places. Do not miss!

Helpful?
Thank NilsOMoelleby
Port Alfred
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We went there as part of tour and was blown away with serenity and tranquility of the place. Just beautiful

Helpful?
Thank wayne m
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The place is totally below the zero level. tickets are available at the entrance. They don't accept credit cards, Euros or dollars. Only Turkish Lyra. The ticket is a bit expensive. The place is well illuminated and very cool music track is played in the background. There're a cafe and souvenir shop.

Helpful?
Thank Tamer-Elsherbiny

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Staying in Sultanahmet

Neighbourhood Profile
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 retain an air of peace and calm. It offers visitors a significantly less celebrated but nonetheless pleasant network of quaint lanes and side streets, majestic panoramas of the Bosphorus, and an impressive assortment of accommodation options for all budgets and tastes.
Explore this neighbourhood