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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
Closed 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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Small-Group Istanbul Tour: Skip-the-Line Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern...
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Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
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Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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An architectural wonder

You won't spend much more than 20 minutes here, but since it is located between the Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, you might as well visit. It is an architectural... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Airfrere
,
Rome
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24,058 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,562: English reviews
Rome
Level Contributor
53 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

You won't spend much more than 20 minutes here, but since it is located between the Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, you might as well visit. It is an architectural marvel considering its age.

Helpful?
Thank Airfrere
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Lying below the city of Istanbul, it was a huge water reservoir in the days gone by. Walking through it is an experience not to be missed by anyone. There is no sunlight. The illumination is by orange lamps giving an eerie feeling. There were goldfishes in the water that had probably never seen the light of the day.

Helpful?
Thank okamo50
Stanger, South Africa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

20 Turkish lira to visit this place that does not offer much. A dark hall that has a pool of water. The only fun aspect was the people that let you dress up in ancient Turkish attire and take pictures. However the pictures where pricey as well.

Helpful?
Thank nabz_1509
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

absolutely an amazing place especially on a hot humid day definitely worth seeing - please go into it

Helpful?
Thank Paul T
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago 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 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago 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 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 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
22 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 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 6 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 1 week ago 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

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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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