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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
Open 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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Amazing

I never thought I would be this enthralled with water held underground. The architecture, and the history behind this was amazing. It was not super croweded when we visited and I... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Angela S
,
Elgin, United States
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24,071 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,568: English reviews
Elgin, United States
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

I never thought I would be this enthralled with water held underground. The architecture, and the history behind this was amazing. It was not super croweded when we visited and I took some of the coolest photographs in the Cistern.

Helpful?
Thank Angela S
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Glad we went there but it did give me bit of creeps due to lighting ! It's worth a visit but nothing too special.

Helpful?
Thank Shanaz Z
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Very impressive but there's no water there at the moment. I assume they're doing renovations at the moment as there was scaffolding in several places where there would normally be water.

Helpful?
Thank Ross F
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

it is fantastic structure inside waters..when you go there, you will feel so deep beautyness and tranquility...different structure to see it...very close to old city square just in waking distance maybe 15 minutes..

Helpful?
Thank DAVID N
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
94 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Kind of overwhelming to see how advanced their society was 1000 years ago. A short visit but we'll worth it and not something you will see elsewhere. Some steps but not bad. A portion is being renovated.

Helpful?
Thank CTF01
Level Contributor
80 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

This cistern lies beneath the city and thete are so many cisterns beaneath the istanbul city. Such a treat to eyes

Helpful?
Thank itzmelux
Rome
Level Contributor
53 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

You won't spend much more than 20 minutes here, but since it is located between the Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, you might as well visit. It is an architectural marvel considering its age.

Helpful?
Thank Airfrere
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Lying below the city of Istanbul, it was a huge water reservoir in the days gone by. Walking through it is an experience not to be missed by anyone. There is no sunlight. The illumination is by orange lamps giving an eerie feeling. There were goldfishes in the water that had probably never seen the light of the day.

Helpful?
Thank okamo50
Stanger, South Africa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

20 Turkish lira to visit this place that does not offer much. A dark hall that has a pool of water. The only fun aspect was the people that let you dress up in ancient Turkish attire and take pictures. However the pictures where pricey as well.

Helpful?
1 Thank nabz_1509
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

absolutely an amazing place especially on a hot humid day definitely worth seeing - please go into it

Helpful?
Thank Paul T

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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