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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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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014 NEW

I was surprised that I found this attraction so appealing. The peacefulness and calming reflection of the lights was a pleasant hiatus from a bustling city.

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Hought-le-Spring
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014 NEW

This attraction is a MUST if you visit Istanbul, built in the 6th century then lost until the mid 20th century when a house was being demolished and what had been thought of as a well in the garden used daily by the owners turned out to be a hole in the roof of the cistern. The 336 columns have... More

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Islamabad, Pakistan
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014 NEW

This was a fascinating place to visit. The engineering that went into this place was incredible. The only thing I didn't like was the amount of people, It was very crowded.

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Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014 NEW

One of the most mystical places I have ever visited. Again, it will cost you 10 lira more than written on the Internet (no discount for students or children or anyone), but it is worth the money! Wonderfully lit, the cool and soothing Cistern is a peaceful place, right underneath the buzzing city. Make sure to visit the two Medusa... More

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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014 NEW

This was the highlight of Sultanahmet for me. It is breath taking and really historically interesting. I recommend getting an audio guide and just walking around, soaking up the atmosphere.

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2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014 NEW

it was good, and attractive, we enjoyed it recommend to visit it was good, and attractive, we enjoyed it recommend to visit it was good, and attractive, we enjoyed it recommend to visit

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Nanjing, China
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014 NEW

I really enjoyed visiting the Basilica Cistern. While it may not sound exciting to visit what is essentially an underground water tank the place is very beautiful and has a great sense of history (and mystery!) The ambient lighting, echoing acoustics and glimpses of fish swimming in the reservoir all give you a feeling of being somewhere quite special. Skip... More

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Barcelona, Cataluña, Spain
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014 NEW

fresh atmosphere, different place, interesting history of the place. Not a not-to-be-missed monument, but good enough if you are looking for something a little original.

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Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014 NEW

Didn't even know about this place until we did quite a bit of research prior to our trip to Istanbul. It's amazing - hard to believe that such a beautiful piece of architecture was never intended to be seen. Make the time to go and visit. Istanbul is full of amazing things but this was the highlight for me.

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Bahrain
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014 NEW

well maintained place, crowd is a usual problem in turkey any time of the day. Will need to stand for at least 15 minutes anywhere.

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