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Address: Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
Phone Number:
+90 212 512 1570
Website
Today
9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
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

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Amazing

Fantastic underground site really eerie. There's gold fish in the water and large koi carp at far end, medusa heads at bottom of 2 columns, mystery of why they are there but great... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
mac700
,
Grimsby, United Kingdom
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24,048 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,558: English reviews
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

To be honest it was interesting enough to read about it on the outside but I didn't feel compelled to visit it

Helpful?
Thank Lubna I
Grimsby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Fantastic underground site really eerie. There's gold fish in the water and large koi carp at far end, medusa heads at bottom of 2 columns, mystery of why they are there but great to see. Really dark and damp but makes for a spooky atmosphere. Great visit.

Helpful?
Thank mac700
Iraq
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

You can't spend that much time here as it's essentially an underground cistern, but it's really interesting to go and be there if you know the history, or if you want to learn. It's fascinating to see.

Helpful?
Thank Caitlin M
Olney, Maryland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

It is beautiful but dark, keep battery with you. photo session is fun with Turkey costume and jewelry. Nice experience of old time technology.

Helpful?
Thank art410
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

It's a nice place to visit and see, but really hard to get photos there , as it's quite dark inside, I have enjoyed seeing it more in James bond movie 007 lol .

Helpful?
Thank Suzan R
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

For me ut was normal i just liked the idea and how smart pol were at that time .. and hat i enjoyed most is the photo session wearing sultana dress and my sultan husband only

Helpful?
Thank Rola H
Istanbul, Turkey
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

It is an amazing place, very old in history but also very interesting as well. Must see if you are in Istanbul

Helpful?
Thank Tuncko
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Must seen Medusa👍 Water storage of Byzantium Nowadays some restoration, check the dates Wear waterproof 👠

Helpful?
Thank AYS1971
Woking, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

A must-see. Atmospheric, fun, awesome history, well preserved. How did they build it? Lots of slaves and incredible feats of engineering in ancient times.

Helpful?
Thank Russ L
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
542 reviews
307 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 906 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The Basilica Cistern, located near Hagia Sophia, was built during the reign of Justinian I. Along with other cisterns, it provided water for Constantinople. This underground chamber is a large space with 336 marble columns (salvaged from ruined temples and feature fine carved capitals) supported by strong columns and arches.

Helpful?
Thank denver60

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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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