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“Spend an hour in the cool.”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
Ranked #7 of 1,162 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 26, 2012

Not a major attraction but worthwhile or we thought so. Also down below is the opportrunity to don robes and a fez or turban and get snapped looking like a fierce Turk or a Sultans wife, very reasonable too.

Thank joethegas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"medusa heads"
in 1,272 reviews
"fish swimming"
in 201 reviews
"underground water"
in 147 reviews
"water supply"
in 144 reviews
"interesting place"
in 199 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 439 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 585 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 209 reviews
"audio guide"
in 317 reviews
"museum pass"
in 194 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 388 reviews
"old city"
in 143 reviews
"columns"
in 2,090 reviews
"inferno"
in 239 reviews
"reservoir"
in 181 reviews
"eerie"
in 451 reviews
"engineering"
in 418 reviews
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12,310 - 12,314 of 28,097 reviews

Reviewed October 26, 2012

A definite must if you go to Istanbul. Not a long visit, and we didn't wait long to get in. Incredible structure; be sure to see the Medusa heads while you're down there.

Thank kravmaguffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2012

you think is just a waist of time but its not . Yes you do spend 20 mins in it and it costs around 10 lira but inside its overwhelming. And the medusa heads are a must see

Thank xmariemx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

I walked past the entrance to the Basilica Cistern several times without even knowing it. It's amazing how large this is once you get underground. If you're at the Blue Mosque or Aya Sofia, take the time to walk across the street to this attraction.

Thank Judy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 25, 2012

The drip drip of water follows you through the cavernous halls and the fish--how do they survive in the darkness?--are ripples in the clear water. The Medusa travelled a long way to her final resting place--sideways!--in the cistern.

Thank 28,130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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