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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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Cistern time

Amazing how at that time period humans were able to build something so spectacular for their citizens . It was a great site to see those pillars . I am happy to have seen the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Husna Q
via mobile
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22,797 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,036: English reviews
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Amazing how at that time period humans were able to build something so spectacular for their citizens . It was a great site to see those pillars . I am happy to have seen the cistern

Helpful?
Thank Husna Q
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

The basis of this cistern is not all too clear. The upside down medusa head doesn't actually have any meaning along with the near perfect walls and columns under ground. However it is a really interesting place to visit. There are plenty of unanswered questions adding to the mystery of the location and the purpose. However there are underground systems... More 

Helpful?
Thank holidaytester
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Cool architecture, amazing place, amazing symmetry, amazing colors. I really recommend this place. Also, too close any kind of transportation.

Helpful?
Thank Ionuț T
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Although there are a lot of historical places to visit around Sultanahmet area, and mostly Ayasofya and Topkapi Palace is recommended , you shouldn't miss visiting here. Better to visit in the mornings to escape long queues

Helpful?
Thank HsynShn
Level Contributor
54 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

It is my favorite in the district. Lights, smell , music and ambiance makes me relax. If you can make see a concern in the place.

Helpful?
Thank Belma Y
Cape Breton
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The vast underground cistern wasn't crowded so it felt very intimate and beautiful. A photographers dream.

Helpful?
Thank jstub
Level Contributor
41 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Inexpensive and just a great place to see. Underground waterways and the columns are awe inspiring. Medusas head is there, just take a moment to find it :)

Helpful?
Thank Melanie L
Swieqi, Malta
Level Contributor
97 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Despite long lines of tourists this attraction is well worth a visit. A beautiful cistern beneath the ground and the bustling city above you, very atmospheric with the lighting and noise of water giving it a film set look, it has been used in many films. Walk around and see the beautiful stonework and pillars including those showing medusa.

Helpful?
Thank paul t
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

To think this Cistern used to be the largest of several hundreds of underground cisterns in Istanbul holding 100,000 tons of water is pretty amazing!!! This cistern was built in the 16th century by Byzantine Emperor Justinan to service the Royal palace Topkapi! Walking through hearing the echo and water is eery and breathtaking! Must see!

Helpful?
Thank JDBSYD
Greece
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

The Cistern is very unique and charming from the architectural stand point. Is certainly a great example of combination of sense of art and practicality for building a necessary element for the sustainability of the city. As every touristic corner it is full of stuff for tourist: at the entrance a set for pictures looking like a Pasha or sultan,... More 

Helpful?
Thank franivalmx

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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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