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Basilica Cistern

Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
+90 212 512 15 70
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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.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good25%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
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“medusa heads” (1,208 reviews)
“fish swimming” (203 reviews)
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
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1 - 10 of 13,287 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

I was not expecting the cistern to be as large as it was. The columns arch up to the vaulted ceilings, the lighting is just enough to see things, but remains eerily dark and spooky. I'd personally like to get accidentally locked in at night,...More

Thank cabaret99
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

It is very nice and historical area,also near to the sultan ahmet.The atmostphere is very authentic.

Thank amalalkattaf90
Reviewed 2 days ago

Not far away from Aya Sophia this very atractive basilica cistern is the MUST place to visit in Istanbul.

Thank nevenjerkovic
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Totally surreal but not a lot to see once inside. Ok as we were on a group tour so missed the big queue

Thank Peter M
Reviewed 2 days ago

The Basilica Cistern is located across the road from the Hagia Sophia Mosque (which, in Dec 17, is currently closed for internal viewing to visitors) Built around 525AD it is an incredible site to see. Easy to access, you need to buy a ticket which...More

Thank simonpinkney
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

What a wonderful feat of engineering. The colums are recycled from other construction so everyone is unique. Early in the morning because there is less tourist. The site opens at 9h00. Dont miss the medusa heads at the end of the path. Definitly worth your...More

Thank Michel L
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We visited this place at the beginning of December. We paid approximately £8 per ticket and to be honest I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. It's under renovation and definitely no water in there, rather like puddles instead. The most exciting part...More

Thank Gizzy02
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We were blow away by this! It was incredible to walk through the underground basilica and understand the scale and ingenuity of ancient design and architecture. Only half of the basilica is open to public as it is undergoing restoration, but still a must see...More

Thank QSabroad
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Disclaimer - am not a history buff at all. However went here as had read about it in. the INFERNO, felt very disappointed as it was nowhere close to being as intriguing and mysterious as described, maybe it was due to the renovations, don't know

Thank SamLad00
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

We visited this place about seven or eight years ago, and were excited to visit it again in early December 2017. We were disappointed as it is being renovated so there is no water in most of it. I remember beautiful reflections from the lights...More

Thank chrisdsouth
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
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Questions & Answers
September 15, 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Erica F | Reviewed this property |
Unfortunately, I don't believe there are any concerts in the Cistern, but Hagia Irene near Hagia Sophia seems to have concerts on a regular basis and is just gorgeous!
Imra-atu Y
June 4, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from bas t | Reviewed this property |
same as the previous answer about 20 turkish lire
April 14, 2017|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from ahjahanshir | Reviewed this property |
No. you cannot. Museum pass is basically for the museums, and basilica cistern is not a museum.