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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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Fascinating!

A must-see. Atmospheric, fun, awesome history, well preserved. How did they build it? Lots of slaves and incredible feats of engineering in ancient times.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Russ L
,
Woking, United Kingdom
via mobile
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24,051 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,560: English reviews
Woking, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

A must-see. Atmospheric, fun, awesome history, well preserved. How did they build it? Lots of slaves and incredible feats of engineering in ancient times.

Helpful?
Thank Russ L
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
558 reviews
316 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 907 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The Basilica Cistern, located near Hagia Sophia, was built during the reign of Justinian I. Along with other cisterns, it provided water for Constantinople. This underground chamber is a large space with 336 marble columns (salvaged from ruined temples and feature fine carved capitals) supported by strong columns and arches.

Helpful?
Thank denver60
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

I felt like am on a movie set in terms of architecture and lighting except this was the real thing, the place is awsome and makes you think how was it built, the only down side was that it is a little bet dim that you can't get a decently led photo. It is just on the opposite side of... More 

Helpful?
Thank Adel K
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

It is one of the best places to see when visiting Istanbul, a byzantine cistern, very impressive,not to miss

Helpful?
Thank bg592016
Istanbul Province, Turkey
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

One of the oldest place in Istanbu/Sultanahmet. For child also l recommend. For photographer the best... Have to see. Have to go.Historical place. Thousand years ago built for bribg water to the Istanbul city.

Helpful?
Thank tijenz
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
195 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

It is unbelievably beautiful, amazing place. You will love to be in this place. Historic Basilica Cistern. Beautifully lightened, mistic. Excellent for photegraf lovers, you can get beautiful shots. If you are in Istanbul you have to visit. Close to Sultanahmet Place and Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace.

Helpful?
Thank nevinsalman
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
161 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul is a must visit if you only have a few hours. Although the day was cool in February, it was still relatively comfortable walking within. Be sure to go all the way back to view the Medusa head.

Helpful?
Thank SheryC
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

This is the most popular one of the many underground cisterns in Istanbul from the Byzantium era. Very nice with attractive lighting and music, interesting medusa heads, so many columns, everything under the water. Worth seeing.

Helpful?
Thank nic0median
Istanbul, Turkey
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

Fantastic place. I went there many times and I will go again. You have to see. Take an audio guide...

Helpful?
Thank YesimT
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

The tour of Basilica Cisterne is memorable and fascinating. In Cisterne you can feel a touch of the past and magic.

Helpful?
Thank Tatyana_Zagreb

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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.
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