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Address: Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul, Turkey
Phone Number: 0 212 512 15 70
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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Basilica Cistern

This is just wonderful to watch , superb architecture at its very best. What a combo of Medusa's head and fish and lighting just a mesmerizing view. Must see place at Istanbul

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
souvikdgp
,
Durgapur, India
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23,077 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,153: English reviews
Durgapur, India
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

This is just wonderful to watch , superb architecture at its very best. What a combo of Medusa's head and fish and lighting just a mesmerizing view. Must see place at Istanbul

Helpful?
Thank souvikdgp
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Great little historical water tank, feels a bit like going into a cave. Originally built to supply water to in times of siege to Topkapi Palace and surrounding area. Loved the crying column apparently in dedication for the slaves who died during construction. There are also two random column with the head of Medusa lying at the base head first... More 

Helpful?
Thank Brooke H
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
128 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

I'd been to Istanbul 13 years ago, not sure if it was on the tourist map then or not, I didn't know it existed. The history of it is interesting. If you've got nothing else to do then it's an option.

Helpful?
Thank Theresa D
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

I would say if you love this kind of stuff and haven't seen one before, it worth a visit. Other than that, It is just a cistern ( not a super huge one as you might have imagined). One visit is enough, would never repeat it.

Helpful?
Thank Abdulmonim A
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

I personally liked this place. It's very near to Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. So you can visit all these places in one shot. The entry fee is 20 Lira. Do carry some coins to make a wish.

Helpful?
Thank Linton D
Level Contributor
55 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Totally worth a visit. It's a kind of sanctuary that you won't see, or at least be able to visit, in other country. It's a different experience. Very interesting, based in its history (that you should read it before entering (a summary)); and you would be able to expand your imagination of how, once in a while Istanbul was the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Emma A
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

It's worth visiting as it's a very special place, but I suggest you read about it in advance to be able to appreciate the construction of this cistern. I liked it, but it was a bit less impressive than I expected because I had plenty of questions without anyone to answer them. Probably, audio guide, which you can rent inside... More 

Helpful?
Thank Xenia T
Hyderabad, India
Level Contributor
61 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

The Basilica Cistern is the underground water cistern located near to the Mosque. The place requires an entrance fee and doesn't take too long to cover. The place is well lit up and looks nice thanks to the lighting. Oh and this place was used as a location in the 1983 James Bond movie - From Russia with Love!

Helpful?
Thank Sandeepbala
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

What a great place from the outside it looks like a little house but you go down the stairs and it blows your mind. It is the best 20 tl that we spent it is a must see if you visit Istanbul.

Helpful?
Thank Chris H
Arklow, Ireland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

love love this place. calm and quiet (we were there in Winter) dont go in summer ıts heaving! u can have coffee down there and some tımes there are musical performances.

Helpful?
Thank 848jennybabe848

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Staying in Sultanahmet

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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.
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