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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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Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
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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.
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good25%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“medusa heads” (1,251 reviews)
“fish swimming” (200 reviews)
Open Now
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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Write a ReviewReviews (26,886)
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All reviews
"medusa heads"
in 1,251 reviews
"fish swimming"
in 200 reviews
"underground water"
in 146 reviews
"water supply"
in 138 reviews
"interesting place"
in 200 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 427 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 575 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 209 reviews
"audio guide"
in 315 reviews
"museum pass"
in 189 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 379 reviews
"old city"
in 140 reviews
"columns"
in 2,069 reviews
"engineering"
in 404 reviews
"inferno"
in 232 reviews
"photos"
in 784 reviews
"reservoir"
in 179 reviews
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5,101 - 5,110 of 13,770 reviews

Reviewed 12 August 2015

At 25TL this is great value. You go down the steps into the cistern and you can walk around and see the columns and the roof very clearly. It is dark in there (although there is plenty of light to see where you're going) which...More

Thank TheOncomingStorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2015 via mobile

The Basilica Cistern is a one of a kind Cistern, 25 tl to enter. It has beautiful lighting inside that highlights the pillars and waterways.

Thank Alan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2015 via mobile

We were told by a tour guide to go and see this amazing place and we were not disappointed. The underground area is huge with water filling the lower floor area. Fish are still seen maintaining the clean quality of the water. It is well...More

Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 August 2015

Totally worth the visit. Different and peaceful place. The history, the architecture and the 2 medusa's heads are breathtaking. The most original place that we visited in Istanbul.

Thank GinaBolano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2015 via mobile

Byzantine water storage facility restored in the last twenty years. 20tl entrance fee provides half an hour or so of wondering how the system was constructed some 1500 years ago. A feat of engineering on a grand scale. Watch out for the Medusa columns and...More

Thank toooldforhostelsnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2015

This is a must when visiting Istanbul - if only to see the two Medusa Heads. Go early in the morning (0900) to avoid the queues. Very interesting place to see. There are two Cisterns in Istanbul the other being 1001 Pillar Cistern which is...More

Thank Johnmhouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2015

The Basilica Cistern is a mysterious place, with great lightning and magic background music. After we passed the line and went down the stairs we imagined ourselves in 2000 years ago. Great experience, the water, the fish and the Medusa, in my opinion it’s a...More

Thank Azam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2015

Even with seeing the pictures beforehand, nothing prepares you! Amazing!!! I loved poor medusa but the columns and rows are just so impressive.

Thank danigre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2015

Super cool (especially on a hot day in Istanbul!). This is an amazing underground adventure full of interesting and historical columns that support what was the main water source for this area back in the day. Worth the visit!

Thank Markculk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2015

Fascinating under ground water reservoir lenty of photo opportunities and there is a cafe down there as well. No toilets

Thank brandjr2444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
Mirey N
12 June 2018|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from lynnbarbosa | Reviewed this property |
Hi, how are you? I was in Basilica Cistern last year. The pictures that i uploaded was last year too. The last time I was in Istanbul is March 2018, i dont know If it’s under renovation, I saw long line of people outside the... More
1
Vote
Deborah B
4 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Durga M | Reviewed this property |
There is no concert there it is a underground place
1
Vote
mechesister13
28 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Dimitris L | Reviewed this property |
Yes, it is open every single day! Even when some other museums are closed on certain days, the Basilica Cistern is still open!Just watch out for periods of religious holidays, as during those times opening times may vary... More
1
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