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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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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” (1,216 reviews)
“fish swimming” (204 reviews)
Closed Now
All 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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1 - 10 of 13,375 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Need to buy ticket, museum card doesn’t include here. It’s amazing I would say, but the place isn’t so big as the picture shows. If you don’t have enough time to visit all Istanbul, I will recommend visit Ayasofya, Blue Mosque. Basilica Cistern is not...More

Thank Christineshulin
Reviewed yesterday

I got feeling this amazing Basilica gets forgoten due the Mosques but its right on par with them.Inside is dark,very magical atmopshere lighted with torches.Amazing range of columns supporting the cistern.And where interesting "crying column"

Thank Marika S
Reviewed yesterday

The place is not that interesting, only its history, there is not much to see now. If You have plenty of time, than go for a visit, otherwise You can spare this, it is not such a big attraction.

Thank IldikoJanka
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

It is a unique experience and a must see in İstanbul. It's located across Topkapı Palace and Sultanahmet Square. It is an underground (cistern) which used to be used for water storage during Byzantine period. Don't miss the reverse (upside down) Medusa sculpture at the...More

Thank Berivana2013
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Basically an underground marvel. Specially pleasant with the classical music airing through the speakers. Try to catch some live musical events happening throughout the year. Do wander around all the corridors. You never know what you may run into!

Thank 2bwyou
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

When you go inside you feel like you are in a journey to another century. You cannot believe your eyes... Its very difficult to explain. Giant statues inside the water. You could visit these statues with small boats but now its not possible. You must...More

Thank umranuyarist
Reviewed 2 days ago

I'm not really into dark places... so my point of view a bit biased! It's dark and very slippery, wear your good shoes or crocs will do! A bit pricey I say, just to see the medusa head column and underground photobooth. Anyway, good for...More

Thank Hazim M
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

This is a must go destination in Istanbul. The name doesn't sound so fancy as nowadays we don't expect much from a cistern. However the Romans made the water reserves of the time a magnificent monument to posterity. When you go down the stairs you...More

Thank Francesca R
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We went here with our guide for the daily and were amazed so many cisterns still exist under the city. This is the biggest one for tourists to see. You really feel you were in the Dan Brown movie Inferno. Part of the cistern is...More

Thank Retired_teacher_56
Reviewed 3 days ago

I could imagine citizens meeting and chatting while filling their vessels with water for day to day use. Still dont understand how they regulated the level of the water in the cistern!

Thank Annie J
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
Abdulelah S
21 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from SALAH M | Reviewed this property |
Hi. Good Day 20 Tl less than 4.30 €
0
Votes
Abdulelah S
21 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Nick M | Reviewed this property |
we paid 20 Tl each
1
Vote
JKomiss
16 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Erica F | Reviewed this property |
Unfortunately, I don't believe there are any concerts in the Cistern, but Hagia Irene near Hagia Sophia seems to have concerts on a regular basis and is just gorgeous!
1
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