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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%
Travellers talk about
“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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5,101 - 5,110 of 13,290 reviews

Reviewed 5 July 2015

Great place to visit really enjoyed it, just as I imagined it. Not a place for people with walking difficulties .

Thank Sylvia M
Reviewed 5 July 2015

The pillars are impressive and the water filled with fish was interesting to see. Be sure to see the Medusa and upside down Medusa

Thank Karenvanh
Reviewed 5 July 2015

This is definately worth visiting. Found in the heart of Istanbul almost between the blue mosque and Hagia Sophia. Pan interesting insight to early city architecture

Thank Julie A
Reviewed 5 July 2015

Visited here with my family, we first stayed in a line and waited for like, 5 min then we paid and entered the underground place. The view from the stairs is awesome but your not allowed to wait and take photos but a Chinese couple...More

Thank mohadeseh_12
Reviewed 5 July 2015

A quite shockingly amazing place. this ancient water reservoir has been tidied up and turned into a tourist attraction and is worth the small amount of queuing and the small amount of money to get in. Quite extraordinary and Worth the visit...... and dont begrudge...More

Thank Taron
Reviewed 5 July 2015

A bit mystical place with relevant music playing. The most impressive in the basilica is the reason for which it was built. It will take you about 45 minutes and as I remember ticket price was 20 or 25 TL which worth it

Thank soso g
Reviewed 5 July 2015 via mobile

What a great experience to be able to walk through the cistern with 336 columns in 12 rows, it was dark and eerie and the underground space was huge and well lit with orange lighting that made you feel you were back in the roman...More

Thank JazzzSay
Reviewed 5 July 2015

We went late in the afternoon, the long queue moved very quickly. Beautiful inside, so glad we went, intriguing

Thank qlddebo
Reviewed 5 July 2015

A great place to wander around under Istanbul. Goo in the late afternoon early evening to beat the queues. Look for the tree like columns.

Thank paloma057
Reviewed 5 July 2015

This must be part of seeing Istanbul, it is breathtakingly large and amazing that it was planned and build so many many years ago and the foresight they had in those days to see how important it would be.

Thank SouthamptonJen
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.