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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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Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
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Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
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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.
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good25%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“medusa heads” (1,251 reviews)
“fish swimming” (200 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
Sultanahmet
CONTACT
Website
+90 212 512 15 70
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JPMiles / Payback Arrow
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"medusa heads"
in 1,251 reviews
"fish swimming"
in 200 reviews
"underground water"
in 146 reviews
"water supply"
in 138 reviews
"interesting place"
in 200 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 427 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 575 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 209 reviews
"audio guide"
in 315 reviews
"museum pass"
in 189 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 379 reviews
"old city"
in 140 reviews
"columns"
in 2,069 reviews
"engineering"
in 404 reviews
"inferno"
in 232 reviews
"photos"
in 784 reviews
"reservoir"
in 179 reviews
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5,111 - 5,120 of 13,753 reviews

Reviewed 10 August 2015 via mobile

This cistern covers 9800 square meters with a height of almost 10 m. You can imagine what it is like to hold almost 100,000 cubic meters of water ?!? This is 100 million liters !!! Ottoman stopped using it as a cistern as they had...More

Thank LebaneseTourist2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2015

This is a place that has always interested me, I have seen it in many documentaries, A Truly Spectacular Place to Visit, Its hard to believe that these Pillars are holding up part of a City.

Thank Geoff Lee-Anne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2015

We queued for about ten minutes and had a good walk around the underground cavern, which is very impressive, when you consider how did they ever engineer and construct such marvels all those centuries ago. I guess the visit lasted somewhere between 20 and 30...More

1  Thank Frank S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 August 2015

A cool place to visit, it is like you are in haunted underground cave. The medusa's head column was interesting. You see the presence of the Roman Empire. It is a bit musty and damp, so need to watch your step.

Thank jagshan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2015

A huge underground cistern, makes you wonder about the brilliance and foresight of people long gone by, the upside-down medusa pillar is an especially great attraction. We also did the dress-up in royal clothes for a photo-op and 100 Lira for the entire cd was...More

Thank Devayani T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2015

Wow! This was so interesting! This was something I wasn't expecting to see. Very worth the visit. It isn't expensive to go in and an hour will be easily filled in here. So much history.

Thank Nola M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2015

Stunning architecture and amazing to think how old it is and still sanding, you have to pay to enter and its not included in the museum pass but it is very much worth a visit, arrive early to avoid the queues in summer and allow...More

Thank LINDAJERSY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2015 via mobile

Really an amazing place! One of the best of attractions in Istanbul. A unique experience. You need to stay long in a line to buy tickets but it is worth it

Thank lacaramel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2015

At the end of our 14 day tour, we were taken to the Basilica Cistern, across the road from Hagia Sophia. As we were on a tour, there was no waiting. However, I would recommend going early as by 10am the queue is long and...More

Thank Janet1807
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2015

Istanbul is crammed with interesting places, and i appreciated the opportunity to see how water supply was managed before the current system. It really is a marvel and I found it beautiful. The elegant columns, their arrangement, and the Medusa heads made for yet another...More

Thank H4riata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nearby
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
...More
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Questions & Answers
Mirey N
11 June 2018|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from lynnbarbosa | Reviewed this property |
Hi, how are you? I was in Basilica Cistern last year. The pictures that i uploaded was last year too. The last time I was in Istanbul is March 2018, i dont know If it’s under renovation, I saw long line of people outside the... More
1
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Deborah B
4 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Durga M | Reviewed this property |
There is no concert there it is a underground place
1
Vote
mechesister13
28 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Dimitris L | Reviewed this property |
Yes, it is open every single day! Even when some other museums are closed on certain days, the Basilica Cistern is still open!Just watch out for periods of religious holidays, as during those times opening times may vary... More
1
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