We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Basilica Cistern

Travelers' Choice award winner
Neighborhood:
Sultanahmet
Improve this listing
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Neighborhoods
Neighborhoods
Get directions
Address: Imran Oktem Cad. No:4 D:5 Sultanahmet, Fatih | Near St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Phone Number: +90-212 522 12 59
Website
Improve this listing
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.
read more
Book ahead on Viator
Special Offer
More Info
$295*
and up
Istanbul Super Saver: 2-Day Troy and Gallipoli...
Private Tour
More Info
$69*
and up
Private Tour: Custom Istanbul City Sightseeing...
Top Rated
More Info
$113*
and up
Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing...

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 16,936 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 11334
    Excellent
  • 4399
    Very good
  • 1035
    Average
  • 130
    Poor
  • 38
    Terrible
marvel

the most excellent part of my trip, I didnt know what to expect but being within in the cistern was a truly marvellous experience.

5 of 5 starsReviewed September 2, 2015
Jennifer F
Add Photo Write a Review

16,936 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Rate and write a review
Roll over, then click to rate
  Click to rate
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hungarian first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

the most excellent part of my trip, I didnt know what to expect but being within in the cistern was a truly marvellous experience.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
91 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

Its fascinating to walk inside and understand that this water system was created so many years ago - and how it still stands today its magnificent dim lightly. Hard to take proper pictures but worth taking time to soak in something of this magnitude and when it was created in history. Costs 10 TL to get in.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

A very cool place. You walk downstairs into a giant very old cistern with these beautiful columns everywhere. It was like nothing I've ever seen. Definitely worth the walk around!

Was this review helpful? Yes
*
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

Beautiful and peaceful (if not too many visitors) and interesting from a historical and archaeological point of view.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

I was recommended to see the cistern by a good friend and I am so glad I did. The magnitude of this underground water feature is breathtaking ..... a must see

Was this review helpful? Yes
Wendover, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

Subterranean cistern built by the Romans and incorporating sculpted heads of Medusa from a pagan temple. Lots of carp keep the algae under control. Fascinating place.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Boston
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

Out of all the places we visited in Istanbul this august, the Basilica Cistern was my favourite. It is inspiring and magical in some way. The fish are amazing too and the hidden Medusa statues.Just a shame its not on the Muze pass.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Mexico City
Level Contributor
61 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

If you like photography this is the place to take beautiful pictures of this old water underground cistern. Ligth is awsome and the place us peaceful, quite to enjoy the scenery. Is a must in Istamboul.

Was this review helpful? Yes
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

I loved this basilica. It was difficult to find because I was expecting a large church. I walked by several times and missed it. I had a map and even then I had difficulty finding it. It is a small little building where you purchase your tickets. Walk down stairs and what an amazing surprise. Huge underground basilica with water.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Nova Gorica, Slovenia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

It is an impressive monument. Entering you get surprised by this enormous underground (basilica like) cistern.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Basilica Cistern also viewed

 

Been to Basilica Cistern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Basilica Cistern and other visitors
16 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (16)

Questions? Get answers from Basilica Cistern staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
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?

Staying in Sultanahmet

Neighborhood Profile
Sultanahmet
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 retain an air of peace and calm. It offers visitors a significantly less celebrated but nonetheless pleasant network of quaint lanes and side streets, majestic panoramas of the Bosphorus, and an impressive assortment of accommodation options for all budgets and tastes.
Explore this neighborhood