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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$ 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” (1,182 reviews)
“fish swimming” (201 reviews)
Closed 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 15 70
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Reviews (25,029)
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5,101 - 5,110 of 12,990 reviews

Reviewed 13 June 2015

Everything in Istanbul dates from the Romans or later and is all well preserved. Fortunataly, the Turks have a clear sense of their duty to preserve their and our heritage.

Thank Dave-Marilyn-15301
Reviewed 13 June 2015

this was a place i did't really know about till i did some research. i just loved the cistern. really atmospheric and got some great pictures and memories. Don't miss this highlight on your trip to Istanbul.

2  Thank Orcadian1968
Reviewed 13 June 2015

Nice place to spend an hour or so. If possible, in summer keep this visit for the afternoon, so as to chill a bit underground!

Thank zetalaformica
Reviewed 13 June 2015

This was an unexpected surprise. This underground cistern was very interesting the way they were laid out and the history behind them. One of the more interesting sites we saw in Istanbul.

Thank Merritt47
Reviewed 13 June 2015 via mobile

We had a 7-hour layover in Istanbul, which gave us plenty of time to see Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque, and Cistern Basilica (all conveniently located in one area). The cistern is definitely unique in its own right, but it's more or less the same...More

Thank Ruth D
Reviewed 13 June 2015

Absolutely amazing attraction, must see, best to go here early, bit hard to find but locals very friendly and helpful with directions.

Thank Rick E
Reviewed 13 June 2015

It's not very big, but it's history is quite interesting. Be careful, it's easy to just walk right on by and not see the entrance.

Thank kmccauleysb
Reviewed 13 June 2015

An amazing example of the engineering and work that the ancients were capable of doing. Although it is called a cistern, it is anything but. It is a huge underground water storage system that is really something to see. Almost did not go because of...More

Thank Bomani
Reviewed 13 June 2015

Worth seeing! Only waited 5minutes to get in. Underground but like another city. We had fun dressing up in old sultan clothes and having our pics taken as well.

Thank Holiday8464
Reviewed 12 June 2015

Great place to visit, and close to other attractions. Make sure to see the Medusa heads. Can get slippery, so watch your step.

Thank blue7735
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
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.
29 January 2017|
AnswerShow 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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