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Address: Imran Oktem Cad. No:4 D:5 Sultanahmet, Fatih | Near St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Phone Number: +90-212 522 12 59
Website
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description: The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns...
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.
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Fascinating

Grey attraction - you'll never see anything else quite like this. Really atmospheric, almost unbelievable. Wonder where all those pillars come from!

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 3, 2015
Bpurple
,
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
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13,856 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015 NEW

Grey attraction - you'll never see anything else quite like this. Really atmospheric, almost unbelievable. Wonder where all those pillars come from!

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Zagreb, Croatia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015 NEW

Unlike any other place I have ever visited, this huge cistern was built 1400 years ago to store water for the city of Constantinople by Emperor Justinian. It is called Basilica cistern, because a basilica was standing in its place before it was built. It really makes you wonder how people were able to build such amazing structures 1400 years... More 

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015 NEW

When last visited with a you g boy touting carpets - he supplied the torch! We were impressed. Today the lighting and access walkway are superb. Recommend not to miss.

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Woking, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
36 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015 NEW

This is a very special place and I wish I would have had the check to be in there alone, or at least during a concert. It is very dimly lit and the Medusa heads are truly spectacular. Another One queue to get in. "Official guides" try to lure you in, promising a private tour for the entrance fee (quoting... More 

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UK
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
13 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015 NEW

This is an interesting place, which gives an insight into the engineering skills and the vision of the Romans but it is not mindblowingly impressive. Worth a visit but if the queue stretches around the corner, I'd give it a miss. It's not included on the Museumpass and costs TL20 for a visit that takes around 30 mins.

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Berlin, Germany
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
38 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015 NEW

Beautiful underground water pool filled with fish. The lighting is great for long exposure flash free photos. Even the mobil phone took great shots. It is colder and damp underground. Medusa photographs well. If you prebuy your ticket through a tour you avoid the line and go through the short or no line at the left door.

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Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015 NEW

Do not miss the Cistern. Absolutely fabulous. You will not be disappointed. Close to all the other big touristy stuff.

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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015 NEW

This place is great, so atmospheric. Step back in time. See the clear pools full of fish and the carved heads of Medusa. A magical place.

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Quimper, France
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
30 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015 NEW

Very cool! The ticket cost 20 lira(7€) per person and if you want to skip the lineup you can look around for a tour guide who can help you skip the line for 20 more lira. Keep in mind, the museum pass is not valid here.

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Caloundra, Australia
Top Contributor
376 reviews 376 reviews
157 attraction reviews
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015 NEW via mobile

Our tour guide said this was the busiest he has ever seen this attraction. We were queuing for about 30 minutes outside before entering, but this did not matter because the cisterns are absolutely amazing. Spend as much time looking around and exploring. You will not be disappointed.

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?