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Basilica Cistern

Imran Oktem Cad. No:4 D:5 Sultanahmet, Fatih | Near St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey (Sirkeci)
+90-212 522 12 59
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As featured in 3 days in Istanbul and 1 other guide
Ranked #9 of 646 attractions in Istanbul
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Type: Ancient Ruins
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Traveler Description: The Basilica Cistern (Turkish: Yerebatan Sarayı - "Sunken Palace", or Yerebatan Sarnıcı - "Sunken Cistern") is located in opposite of Sultan Ahmed... more »
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Moscow, Russia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

Cold and dark, and alien underground place. It breathes in history and breathes out tourists, whose lives are too short for this huge and mind-boggling construction. One of the biggest impressions from Istanbul.

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Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
14 attraction reviews
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

If you read Dan Brown's Inferno, you have read about the cistern. We enjoyed visiting. The temperature was cool. We had visited other places in Turkey where the original columns in the cistern had come from.

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Perth, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

A great attraction for the whole family. Our boys ( 8, 10, 12) loved it. Worth our wait in the queue.

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Canberra, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

Eerily spooky and because it is underground can be easily missed beside some of the big ticket items in Istanbul. But really worth a visit although at 20 lira is a fraction overpriced.

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Sydney, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

We stumble across the queue for this place. Walked over and read the sign and went ah Divinci Code...it was amazing.

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Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
23 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

Very nice experience to visit a place with more than 1,500 years and still "alive". Not a lot of thing to see, but the medusas make the visit a must.

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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
32 attraction reviews
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

This place is truly awesome (in the strict sense of the word). Eerie atmosphere, irrespective of the many visitors this place attracts .... it's amazing that fish thrive in this environment. The first view from the entrance is quite spectacular.

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Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

This is the best place in Istanbul especially in these hot days. Sİnce it is not only my favorite place, there is always long ques for entrance. Cool athmosphere, intesting sight, the music they play inside is peacefull. I love to go there over and over again.

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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
31 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

We were really looking forward to visiting Basilica Cistern, after seeing photos of it. It was definitely worth a visit, and only took an hour or so from start to finish, so it's a great place to visit if you have a short time to kill. The medusa head column bases are amazing, and the age and history of the... More

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Halle (Saale), Germany
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

Probably not a must-seen of the city, but interesting enough to get away for a bit from the overwhelming crowd of the surface. Just as per mostly sites in Istanbul: information on the spot is poor, so if you are a history or architecture geek, be prepared to DIY.

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