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

Imran Oktem Cad. No:4 D:5 Sultanahmet, Fatih | Near St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey (Sirkeci)
+90-212 522 12 59
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #9 of 646 Attractions in Istanbul
Book Now

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 »
Write a Review

10,687 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    7,235
    2,778
    577
    73
    24
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English 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
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Toulouse, France
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014 NEW

I visited twice - always lots of visitors but they cannot take away from the beauty and atmosphere of this site. The Medusa heads are fascinating and the lighting well done; the water shimmers and casts shadows on the ancient pillars with their beautifully carved tops. A must see!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
9 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014 NEW

This was a fascinating place to visit, so much history and being dark but with clever lighting lighting the columns made it moody yet with great atmosphere. The Medusa heads were incredible.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Virginia Beach
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

Great place to visit with kids when deciding what attractions to see. It's dark. There are fish in the water. Look for the upside down Medusa statue.Fun and educational.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Sheffield
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
27 attraction reviews
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

This is not far from the Agia Sofia and is well sign posted. You can't use your museum card to visit this but the entry fee is reasonable. The stairs leading down to the cistern can be quite wet and slippery. Its an amazing place, and is very atmospheric. It still has water in it and there are quite a... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
United States
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
20 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

After reading Dan Brown describe this place, it became a must-see during our trip to Istanbul. While the area open for public viewing is not that large, it is quite a sight. The structure is dimly lit giving it both an eerie as well as a mysterious feel to it. The ingenuity that went behind its creation is worth admiring.... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

It was a beautiful and different attraction. Amazing to think it was build so many years ago. It is a quick tour, but I would say the money is well spend. It only gets four stars because I wasn't able to spend a long time there and the trip is not very informative. You will have to read a bit... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

Who would have thought such a space existed. Dark, cool and evocative. The headset guided tour is worthwhile. Before you leave sit and have a hot chocolate to recharge to soak up the atmosphere.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Bewdley
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
27 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

It is quite unbelievable how small the entry point is to this building before descending down the stairs to the Cistern. Before being converted to a cistern, a great Basilica stood in its place, built between the 3rd and 4th centuries during the Early Roman Age as a commercial, legal and artistic centre. This cathedral-size cistern is an underground chamber... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
johannesburg,south africa
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

cool and beautiful landmark which is unmissable, though not as quiet and peaceful as described. I think it has become a major tourist attraction, so it is very busy. friends visited later in the day and said it was quieter and less crowded then, compared to midday when we visited

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Durban, South Africa
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
30 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

The cistern was fantastic to see and you have to go there to appreciate the sheer size of the cistern. We got there early to avoid the long queues but it was annoying to have the guided tours jump the queue and get in before us. Our only disappointment was that there was that it is all over quite quickly,... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed Basilica Cistern also viewed

 

Been to Basilica Cistern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Do you own or manage Basilica Cistern?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing