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“Basilica/Yerebatan Cistern”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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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...
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$113.86*
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
Ranked #6 of 1,105 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 November 16, 2012

Basilica cistern, also known as Yerebatan cistern, is located near Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia Museum. This is the place the people storage water to supply the city long time ago.It is worth a 30 mintes visit and pictutes.

Thank BragaA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11,157 - 11,161 of 25,715 reviews

Reviewed November 16, 2012

This was discovered after centuries of non-use. They have lowered the water level so that you can walk among the Ancient Greek and Roman pillars. (The walk may be slippery in places).
It is dimly but well lit and there is mood music playing.

Thank jack96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

very unique, part of a james bond movie,quiet place and interesting! there is also a little restaurant. 10 TL p/p. ask when it is closed!

Thank anne-cisca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

Not very sure why the name here is "Cisterna Sotteranea". If we are talking about the Cistern near Hagia Sofia, then the signage calls it "Yerebatan Sarnici" or "The Basilica Cistern" (refer to attached photo).

I'm satisfied that I visited this place, you can only appreciate so much seeing mosques and ruins, but you don't get across underground cisterns much often on your travels.

Some Tips:
- The entrance is very obscure, If you are facing the entrance of Hagia Sofia, the corner of a small street on your left side is the entrance.
- Entrance is 10 TL, the queue is a bit long, but it moves pretty fast.
- Nothing fancy inside, it is just lighted columns that shows the structure of a cistern. It is underground, expect that it is dimly lit and a few dripping water along the way.
- If you want nice photo, bring a tripod.
- Bring fish food for the carp.

Thank Whiteliter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

A worthwhile visit - very interesting. Not necessary to have a guide. A quick tour, can be done in 30 minutes.

Thank Penny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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