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Basilica Cistern

Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
+90 212 512 15 70
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Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
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Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
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Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia
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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.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good25%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“medusa heads” (1,217 reviews)
“fish swimming” (204 reviews)
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
Sultanahmet
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Website
+90 212 512 15 70
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"medusa heads"
in 1,217 reviews
"fish swimming"
in 204 reviews
"underground water"
in 145 reviews
"water supply"
in 139 reviews
"interesting place"
in 191 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 412 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 557 reviews
"audio guide"
in 319 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 205 reviews
"museum pass"
in 185 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 372 reviews
"old city"
in 138 reviews
"columns"
in 2,058 reviews
"inferno"
in 215 reviews
"carp"
in 185 reviews
"reservoir"
in 177 reviews
"eerie"
in 445 reviews
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7,281 - 7,290 of 13,431 reviews

Reviewed October 31, 2014

Basilica Cistern wasn't originally on our list of places to visit, but we looked it up after seeing the queue to enter, and decided to have a look. Nothing prepares you for the amazing view once you get down there - columns and columns all...More

Thank littlemissredsoles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2014

Definitely worth a look if you have an hour or two spare in Istanbul. Sometimes there can be a bit of a queue and will be quite busy at peak times, so give yourself sometime or choose the start or end of the day. If...More

Thank NzSimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2014

Good place to visit if you're in the area. The medussa head stones are the main reason people visit, including me, It was interesting, We did Hagia Sofia- this place- grand bazaar- local bazaar-spice market. Was a long day but pretty good, pretty pretty pretty...More

Thank elwooderino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 31, 2014

Yerebatan Sarnici is located in the shadow of Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, but just as interesting. 1.500 years ago constructed as a water storage for the Palace of emperor Justinianus. It is a welcome alternation amidst a dozen of mosques to visit. You will...More

Thank ludovicvn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2014

A few steps down and your in total amazement of the beauty of this cistern. This is truly fascinating...the history...the construction and how well it is preserved. Madura awaits you there.

Thank Valli C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2014

Went here after visiting the blue Mosque as it had a very short queue. Access was easy and the underground cistern was very well presented considering the age of it.

Thank sandybee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2014

Underground palace with dim illumination and fishes swimming in the water. You will feel really special being here, like you go back in time or are in some magic story. Once I had luck to hear live orchestra playing between the columns.

Thank AntoninaR55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2014

I had been several times to Istanbul and had heard about this famous location (used in James Bond's From Russia with Love). The location is in Sultanahmet, across the Hagia Sofia, under a square. The entrance is off the Main Street, but Ask around. We...More

Thank MarySL00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2014

We've been to many places but never seen anything quite like this, it's amazing down there.Two sculptures of Medussa's head have been incorporated into the caver's structure. It's difficult to describe this place but you really must go and see it for yourself. One negative...More

Thank neilrobins_4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2014

This was just amazing. It is huge, created 1,500 years ago, and is still standing. The line was long on the day we decided to see it but it was so worth it. Don't forget to see Madusa at the end.

Thank JC0420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Nearby
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
...More
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Questions & Answers
Abdulelah S
January 21, 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from SALAH M | Reviewed this property |
Hi. Good Day 20 Tl less than 4.30 €
0
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Abdulelah S
January 21, 2018|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from Nick M | Reviewed this property |
we paid 20 Tl each
2
Votes
JKomiss
September 15, 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Erica F | Reviewed this property |
Unfortunately, I don't believe there are any concerts in the Cistern, but Hagia Irene near Hagia Sophia seems to have concerts on a regular basis and is just gorgeous!
1
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