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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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USD 50.00*
and up
Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
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USD 114.26*
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
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Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
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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” (1,198 reviews)
“fish swimming” (203 reviews)
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Hours Today: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
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 (25,384)
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5,101 - 5,110 of 13,156 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2015

Must be seen. This underground basilica has amazing ceiling and overall construction idea that was implemented over 1500 yeas ago!!

Thank Ola B
Reviewed 28 June 2015

The cistern is 1 of Istanbul's must see it is amazing & how huge it really is. For your best visit you must line up before 0900 to get in before the huge lines of people arrive. Then you see it at its best while...More

Thank Joy J
Reviewed 28 June 2015

We loved it. Atmospheric. Could have done with a few less tourists , but worth seeing. Nice to have a tea or coffee and soak up the feel of the place.

Thank Anne L
Reviewed 28 June 2015

I would argue that you have to stroll through the cisterns while in Istanbul. You could spend as little as 15 minutes or as long as a few hours. Either way, you will walk out having learned a little and with a cooler, more calm...More

Thank MR_Wanderlust76
Reviewed 28 June 2015

Located in Sultanahmet area very near to the other big attractions in Istanbul. Istanbul Museum card is not valid and price is on the upper limit for a visit which will take 20 min plus queuing time. Recommend to arrive either early or late in...More

Thank Mike T
Reviewed 28 June 2015 via mobile

So it's very easy to miss the entrance to the cistern unless you see the line of people outside waiting to get in. The two medusa heads inside are very interesting to see and being underground like that is a bit eerie while the water...More

Thank Ekgator
Reviewed 28 June 2015

We found the Basilica Cistern to be a great Byzantine Empire engineering feat. We feel it is amazing that it has lasted for more than a millennia and still could be operational if desired. The upside pillar of Medusa was particularly interesting given the myths...More

Thank bfg1943
Reviewed 27 June 2015

Really atmospheric space beneath the old quarter. A little spoilt by the volume of visitors but I imagine very tranquil with less tourists. Certainly worth 30 minutes if you are in the area. Cost of 20tl per person.

Thank ashleypair
Reviewed 27 June 2015 via mobile

A mesmerising place, just to stand in. When you put the history with it its mind blowing. As you stand in different areas you get a different perspective of the space. It's huge!!

Thank Ruth C
Reviewed 27 June 2015

The cisterns are amazingly beautiful! They were built by the Romans to store water but the architecture is so beautiful. It is definitely a must see on any Trip to Istanbul.

Thank moesamad
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
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!
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.