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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 #8 of 632 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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romania
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
17 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014 NEW

It was a big surprise to get from the noise of the street in this underground realm, countless columns, with many shapes, taken from all parts of the city. I am grateful that they aloud us to visit the cistern even above time closing. It was a really pleasure!

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Buxton, Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW via mobile

For a hole in the ground this place is so pretty! The lighting used gives the area an eerie glow and sets the mood perfectly. Watch your feet though as there tends to be water on the walkway. Great for escaping the heat of day.

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Reading
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
10 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW

Don't be put off by the lengthy, constant queues for this attraction - it's worth it! Once you descend under the surface of Istanbul into this amazing piece of history the spaces and the incredible atmosphere envelop you. The lighting and presentation of the columned chamber creates a geometry that fascinates and delights the eye. Perhaps the biggest surprise is... More

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Algeciras, Spain
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW

After waiting in a long row, I expected seeing an amazing cistern, but it turned out to be normal, although I loved the fish. Maybe because I have seen natural cistern in Lebanon that were amazing.

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Cyprus
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
10 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW

This actually was my favourite visit and one definately not to be missed, the underground water system is absolutely amazing and you can only stand in awe at how it was possible to have built this, it is genius , beautiful and was the biggest surprise of my visit.

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Lisbon, Portugal
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW

The atmosphere in the Basilica Cistern is great. It's so dark with lit columns, creating a dramatic. History buffs will also like seeing the ancient columns and the Medusa heads that act as bases for two of the columns.It won't take you long and well worth visiting

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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW

It is definitely worth a visit and should not take long time to complete if the queue outside is not very long. Short walking distance from Aya Sophia and costs 15 TL entry fee. It is also an impressive piece of engineering and we found the story of its discovery by Petrus Gyllius pretty interesting.

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Gothenburg
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW

On a recent trip to Istanbul, this was the one place my husband requested we visit... We had passed by a couple of times during the days prior to our own visit, and seen the line getting longer and longer as the day went... Because of this, we went there as soon as they opened in the morning! There might... More

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW

After visiting Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Gulhane Park, do visit the Basilica Cistern, just across the road. The mysterious place hidden underneath is a must see and you will not feel how time passes. The purpose of architecture was as name suggests, cistern to hold water for emergency situations. Entry fee of TL 10 is worth. You... More

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Copenhagen, Denmark
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5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW

Basilica Cistern is truly one of the wonders of the world. I could hardly believe that such an impressive monument is hidden under the surface. It is a place that you must visit. The entrance fee is OK too and the experience that you get for it is unforgettable.

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