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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*
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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” (1,189 reviews)
“fish swimming” (200 reviews)
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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 (25,192)
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5,111 - 5,120 of 13,065 reviews

Reviewed 21 June 2015

This is a huge underground ancient water storage area. It is a cool place to visit on a hot day as well as very interesting. It has vaulted ceiling and you can see schools of carp swimming in the water – Lots of atmosphere!

Thank Cher304
Reviewed 21 June 2015

There were so many people crowded inside it was like a cattle stampede. We could not see anything in a worthwhile way. Do not go if you have asthma or mold allergies. On a positive note, the architecture and history is interesting

Thank JimWDenver
Reviewed 21 June 2015

Long que but moved along very fast only 20 Lyra to enter we enjoyed our time there amazing to be able to walk down there I would say to anyone visiting Istanbul go there

Thank grannienette
Reviewed 20 June 2015 via mobile

On a warm day it is nice to go underground to admire something so ancient. Look for Medusa's head. Just watch your step. They only enforce the "no photography" rule at the costume photo place. Also they have lots of fish, but it is the...More

Thank Kristi B
Reviewed 20 June 2015 via mobile

Love this place. Wanna be there again. Underground water reservoir. Best place to visit. They receive the entry fee only in.Turkish Lira. So please arrange 20.Lira per person.

Thank Asad I
Reviewed 20 June 2015

A haunting atmosphere, an amazing feat of engineering considering its age. Very busy and wet under foot

Thank rainy44
Reviewed 20 June 2015

This subterranean cavern is well worth the line and hassle to see. Constantinople was regularly begs eager and this technolgy provided essential water. One of the best preserved cisterns I have ever seen. Plumbing matters.

Thank Bonnie B
Reviewed 20 June 2015 via mobile

If you are a fan of Greek and Roman history, you will love this cistern. This sister and holds natural water that still feeds Istanbul to this day. It is held up by columns taken from conquered lands. It is extremely impressive, and something you...More

Thank Jeffrey K
Reviewed 20 June 2015

This was a visit to the former underground cistern built by the Romans in the 4th century. The effect of the lighting and the coolness of the space make it a very picturesque visit. Be sure to visit the two Medusa heads at the rear...More

Thank Pandora_is_Eve
Reviewed 20 June 2015

Remarkably large underground space supported by row after row of marble columns with their connecting arches. Subtly lit. Extra interest in far corner with 2 Medusa sculptures. 20TL entry. Not on Museum Pass.

Thank srwdp
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 3 answers
Response from Usman M | Reviewed this property |
I'm not sure, I would suggest you ask your hotel concierge or a tourist shop there.
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.