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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%
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“medusa heads” (1,208 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
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11 - 20 of 13,287 reviews

Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Truly an ancient engineering marvel. Used for storing water in ancient times and is essentially an underground reservoir. The columns are amazing the sheer size of it is hard to fathom. Wear a pair of shoes with good traction as the ground may get slippery....More

Thank TheScruffyTraveler
Reviewed 5 days ago

located in sultanahmet Area just cross the road from Aya sofia, tickets for 20 TL, the tour takes about 30 to 1 hour maxiam

Thank Mohammad D
Reviewed 5 days ago

Unforgettable experience gives you understanding of historical value of the place. Nice music and illumination creates additional spirit.

Thank Kashkin
Reviewed 6 days ago

Such a sight to see you can feel the history on the water. lights and the atmosphere are fabulous. I recommend to see if pass by

Thank BeerGourmet
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Scene from several movies, great historical site, to me it’s on the must see list. Built a zillion years ago and still works today.

Thank westlinn
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Nice to visit. 20 liras. Attention to the fake Cisterna not far from the Arena. The fake one is the oldest but nothing to see inside (10 liras to.enter and now is a discoteque). 20 minutes inside are enough.

Thank Jonathan M
Reviewed 1 week ago

Been to Istanbul a few times but never did this trip. I recommend it, very eerie feel. Only need an hour and for that maybe entrance fee is a little high?

Thank IandZ-London
Reviewed 1 week ago

Its a interesting place in the basilica you can find also blocks carved with the visage of Medusa. Some people also call this place as medusa temple .ITs must see place in istanbul sultan ahmet area

Thank Mehmet D
Reviewed 1 week ago

Get into this place! Fascinating! Extremely well preserved, be sure to look up and admire the structure built by the Romans! Incredible place, well worth the visit.

Thank BVABubbles
Reviewed 1 week ago

it is an interesting place but it is better to do it before visiting the blue mosque and haya Sofhia because after that it is not so impressing and it does not deserve a deception

Thank martingomez2014
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.