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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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 23,105 reviews
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It is a must see site if you are visiting Istanbul! It exhibits how the miracles happened in the past, no one knows how the Medusa got into the underground world! Amazing!

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
nimeau
,
Melbourne, Australia
via mobile
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23,105 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,164: English reviews
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

It is a must see site if you are visiting Istanbul! It exhibits how the miracles happened in the past, no one knows how the Medusa got into the underground world! Amazing!

Helpful?
Thank nimeau
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

In the heart of the old City Basilica Cistern is a place which is a must to pay a visit. Ideal place for those who have photography as a hobby since the combination of the light and water along with its architectural structure is ideal for taking superb photos.

Helpful?
Thank sunshinelove16
Moss Vale, Australia
Level Contributor
56 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This attraction came as a bit of a surprise. Close to the Blue Mosque and not readily apparent, but wow, once you get underground what a surprise. The architecture is amazing and is a site not to be missed.

Helpful?
Thank Rod E
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

No picture taken will capture the essence of this structure. It is magical and you will be transported to a trip of senses. A place very unique that you will never forget.

Helpful?
Thank David R
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Very nice place, located in amazing area, and too close to aya sophia and blue mosque. Tickets were 25TL per person. But it's not baby friendly because of the stairs.

Helpful?
Thank Yasmeen I
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
44 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

It is probably the nearest sensation that i get from a place to the what i imagined about the underworld. Yes, it is like you go down in the mythical Greek underworld. And bonuses, you get two great Medusa heads. There are maybe to scare persons that are trying to poison the water or...maybe there are what remains from a... More 

Helpful?
Thank rhadoo27
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is a super cool place to check out. The upside down Medusa head is cool to see. Definitely a must.

Helpful?
Thank deebkny
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

If you want know a beautiful and old place in Istanbul, don't forget the visit this place, because is so interesting. Inside, haves two famous Medusa's head.

Helpful?
Thank Dinho F
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

It would be a big mistake if you visit Istanbul and you don't visit the Basilica cistern,fabulous underground monument with the columns and the Medusa head,don't miss the crying column in the cistern and all this is only 30 meters away from Hagia Sofia.

Helpful?
Thank Nidal D
Grenoble, France
Level Contributor
54 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Well worth the visit This hidden and forgotten jewel of city planning is quite fascinating A walk down corridors of time

Helpful?
Thank NormMacdonald

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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.
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