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Basilica Cistern

Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
+90 212 512 1570
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US$ 38.75*
and up
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US$ 50.00*
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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” (1,169 reviews)
“fish swimming” (201 reviews)
Open Now
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Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:30
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
+90 212 512 1570
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Reviews (24,761)
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1 - 10 of 24,761 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

Across the road from Ayasophia. Doesn't accept Museum Pass. Inside there is hardly any water in the cisterns. Makes for a good few photos of the dimly lit columns and the (God knows why) famous Medusa's head.

Thank yashgupta25
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Another must see. We managed to see a part of it but unfortunately a lot of it was closed off for renovations, a necessary evil to make it safe for every one. Again so much history thousands of years old. Nearby to the trams and...More

Thank RJnJA
Reviewed 2 days ago

As children we used to come here in summers and spend some time. It is usually cool. In history its importance is that of a water reservoir.It is a place with a lot of history and must visit.

Thank brightlight82z
Reviewed 2 days ago

One of the oldest cistern. Massive place, great history behind, and you can feel like a part of Inferno movie.

Thank Ирина Б
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

different place different atmosfer different history really when was be in there i fell different so wonderfull underground place so nice fishes in there if u go Istanbul definitely u must visit there

Thank Ramazan C
Reviewed 3 days ago

This was an amazing experience, we loved the columns, the weird Medusa heads and the fact that we cooled off during a hot day! Very nice to visit and cheap (20 lira admission fee).

Thank Diana B
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

Really worth seeing. Very close to the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi palace. They are renovating the outside but you can still visit. Amazing to think this old water system is underneath the city. Make sure you read all the information on boards around the way....More

Thank 515Donna
Reviewed 4 days ago

.... not to be missed. I leaves you wondering why and how such an impressive construction would be built underground. Do not be deceived by the inconspicuous entrance during reconstruction.

Thank foredeckchick
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

We loved this incredible retreat from the midday heat in Istanbul. It is a remarkable feat of Roman/Byzantine engineering - one of over 80 cisterns under Istanbul fed by an aqueduct system bringing pure fresh water to the ancient city. It was fascinating to learn...More

Thank CRACKA3762
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Wonderful underground attraction. It cost 20 lira to get in. Amazing how things were build even that long ago! Great way to kill half and hour or the escape the heat!!

Thank Rick G
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 & AnswersAsk a question
Imra-atu Y
hi. how much is the audio guides at the basilica cistern?
5 June 2017|
Answer Show all 2 answers
Response from bas t | Reviewed this property |
same as the previous answer about 20 turkish lire
Can i use museum pass for this place???
15 April 2017|
Answer Show all 8 answers
Response from ahjahanshir | Reviewed this property |
No. you cannot. Museum pass is basically for the museums, and basilica cistern is not a museum.
Can you pay by USD or credit card? Which credit cards?
29 January 2017|
Answer Show all 4 answers
Response from orkenvandrer | Reviewed this property |
It was cash only (Lira only) when we visited in October 2016, both for the entrance fee and at the little cafe downstairs. The photobooth and the souvenir-shop accepted credit-card, both. Enjoy your visit!
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