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“Very Cool”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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$114.04*
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
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$50.00*
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Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
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$38.75*
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Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
Ranked #6 of 1,103 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

It costs 10TL and the line gets long, so get there early. It's also nearby the other sights, such as the Ayasofya, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, etc.
It's fairly dark in there and smells musty. But, the sheer enormity of the cavern and the columns takes your breath away. I would suggest wearing tennis shoes since there are parts of the walkway that are wet and can be slippery.

1  Thank Sabrina I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11,379 - 11,383 of 25,585 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2012

We knew that it is big and that is is underground but when we finally entered the Basilica Cistern we were truly amazed. Such magical place. And when you realise that it was built so long ago and than it staid undiscovered for almost a century it makes even bigger impression.

Thank Ania P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

The Basilica Cistern is a fascinating site to visit while in Istanbul, especially if you are there in warm weather. As one of the primary water storage systems for the city in ancient times, the Basilica Cistern offers visitors a chance to cool down and learn more!

Thank Karen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

If you didn’t already know what you were going to see you wouldn’t expect to find this under your feet. You don’t need to spend hours here, but it worth a visit. It’s just across from the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) and if you get there before the long lines up you can do it in about an hour. You don’t really need to bother with the audio guide. As other have said some areas can get a bit wet so watch your step.

Thank Londondesign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

If you didn’t already know what you were going to see you wouldn’t expect to find this under your feet. You don’t need to spend hours here, but it's well worth a visit. It’s just across from the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) and if you get there before the long lines up you can do it in about an hour and a half.

Tips - You don’t really need to bother with the audio guide and as other have said some areas can get a bit wet so watch your step.

1  Thank Londondesign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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