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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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Don't miss it!

I found out about this site by accident. So glad I did. Magical and haunting - a must see in Istanbul

Reviewed 3 days ago
Robyn578
,
Berridale, Australia
via mobile
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24,582 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,786: English reviews
Berridale, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

I found out about this site by accident. So glad I did. Magical and haunting - a must see in Istanbul

Helpful?
Thank Robyn578
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

It is only 20TL to enter and if you have the time it is a beautiful place to visit. However when I went (May 2017) they were doing some renovation work and it really took away from the experience. Dark and eeriy underground cistern but then sound of power drills cutting through the quietness. Best check that they have finished... More 

Helpful?
Thank wingting
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

This is one of the important historical sites to visit, apparently. Good to take notice, budget 30 minites for this and take a jersey/ warm jacket along! Bernice South Africa

Helpful?
Thank ehlersbernice
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
43 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

As an underground cistern it is really dark (hard to take good pictures because everyone is using their flashlights all the time, some of the internal lamps also interfere on getting good pictures). They are charging 20tl (~€5 as of May 2017) for the entrance fee and an extra 10tl for the multi language audio guide. I honestly don't think... More 

Helpful?
Thank ijpvm
Khartoum, Sudan
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

This was my second to the Basilica. First one was during a concert a good few years ago. Recommended as a pristine example of the cisterns still in existence in Istanbul. Best viewed early morning when less crowded or during one of the events held here at night. At the time of our visit the water was drained and part... More 

Helpful?
Thank Cupoftea_TIA
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Very muggy place and not impressive. We walked the underground alleys and didn't know how to walk out faster.

Helpful?
Thank Gabrielko67
Level Contributor
47 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

Fascinating place historically, but not really much to see when you're down there. The attraction is cheap enough to visit and definitely worth going to, but don't expect too much.

Helpful?
Thank Asad M
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
54 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,134 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

A must to see place. This is a very interesting to Istanbuls history, located across the street from Blue Mosque. You will be fascinated by the structure of water reservoir at that period of time. Amazed to know the ways the water was stored in ancient days. This was a water reservoir for the Topkai Palace , but not in... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Mulhimaam
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

It was build as a water reservoir. One of the great roman relic in the area. It shows how amazing people in that era, build such a place that still stands untill today.

Helpful?
Thank Renaud A
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

fee is 20 TL you would go back in time and walk in an amazing underground area, you will see the medusa and the crying columns, certainly worth a visit. its a walking distance to the sultanAhmet area.

Helpful?
Thank nemocali

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Staying in Sultanahmet

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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.
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