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“Unique” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
Imran Oktem Cad. No:4 D:5 Sultanahmet, Fatih | Near St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
+90-212 522 12 59
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Ranked #8 of 503 Attractions in Istanbul
Type: Ancient Ruins, Cultural
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Liverpool, UK
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Unique”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

We found the basilica cistern to be a completely unique attraction. It doesn't take long to visit but it is worth the admission fee. It is quite astounding to see such an elaborate structure underground.

Visited October 2013
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Singapore
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Interesting Slice Of History”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

As many fellow reviewers have noted, it's pretty easy to miss this architectural wonder of the ancient world - the entrance is humble and looks like a tourist police outpost. And the way Dan Brown sold it in his latest book "Inferno", you might like me be a bit surprised at the humble entrance.

Inside this humble entrance however holds an amazing architectural wonder - words won't do it justice but it is totally worth going. The audio guide is only slightly useful and you could do without it, but the Cistern is worth the 10 TL entrance fee.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hagerstown, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Think, Phantom of the Opera”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

Three days in Istanbul in the rain made us avoid standing in the long lines to get into this site. Finally we went first thing in the morning on our last day in town and the line was doable. We were rewarded by an interesting but not overwhelming experience. The Cistern is beautifully lit and even with swarms of tour groups was eerily quiet. When one factors in how early in history this engineering accomplishment was achieved, it earns a healthy "Wow." And, it reminded me of the lake under the Opera in the Phantom. Well worth the 10 Turkish Lira ($5), but bring Turkish money as they don't accept American dollars, Euros or credit cards. Our friends waited in line and got shut out because they did not have enough local currency.

Visited October 2013
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“pleasant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

Five minute walk from the blue mosque, this was an interesting find....Got there soon after opened, and had to queue for five minutes, but once inside it felt spacious, no fighting for space.
I'm one that likes to take photos, and didn't feel I was in the way at all trying for minutes to get my settings right.
Really nice rows of columns, the fish a bit of a surprise, and just nice for a wander around...didn't get much out of seeing medusa at the end, but you'd be silly not to dinner you were there.
Definitely worth seeing, for its unusualness.

Visited October 2013
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Blacko
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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Excellent food and ambience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013 via mobile

I visited Istanbul with 14 members of my family to celebrate my mother-in-laws 80th birthday. As we were arriving early evening we booked by e mail to eat here based on Trip Adviser reviews. I am so glad that we did. We had good communication by e mail prior to arrival including menus and the restaurant opened (when it would normally be closed) just for us. They even came to the hotel to walk us to the restaurant so that we could find it in the myriad of narrow streets. It is a beautiful old building with a superb ambience, quite compact and oozing atmosphere. The food was excellent - everyone enjoyed their meal immensely. We did eat somewhere else the next night but the day after everyone unanimously wanted to return here to eat and the food was just as good. The restaurant owners couldn't have done more to make the evenings special - including giving us a birthday cake and a present for mother-in-law. I cannot recommend this place highly enough - if you are in Istanbul make sure that you eat here at least once.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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