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“Lovely surprise”
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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$115.21*
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
Ranked #6 of 1,089 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 February 27, 2013

Although the Basilica Cistern was on our list of "things to see," we happened upon it one day when the Blue Mosque was closed for prayers and the Hagia Sofia had a long line.

It is a hauntingly beautiful place, much larger than I had anticipated. The pictures give you a sense of what you will see, but to experience it in person is entirely another story.

One suggestion: wear good, non-slip walking shoes. I am in the midst of recovering from a broken leg and still walk with a single crutch/stick. The stairs were a bit tricky but I took my time and made it down (and then back up) okay. The floors were a bit moist/slippery, particularly around the far end/Medusa columns. Other that paying some close attention to this, I see no reason why it can't be on the site list for someone that has some mobility issues.

Thank Holly J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10,507 - 10,511 of 25,236 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2013

We really enjoyed our visit to the Cistern, and you can easily combine it with your visit to the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. If you are really feeling ambitious, you could also visit the Topkapi palace in the same day, and have all the major sites taken care of so you can concentrate on getting to know the city.

1  Thank viajeroLongBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

very unusual site, you could just feel it's long history by walking around within it. Hard to believe what the Romans we able to accomplish so much so many years ago. A half hour visit should do it unless you are a real history buff.

1  Thank jerseyjoenorthernNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

Don't miss this small mosque which is located near the Egyptian bazar. There you can take time to admire mosaics in a peaceful atmosphere.

Thank dede1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

We were in Istanbul in the end of November so there were no queues to the place. I'm happy that I decided to go there as the cisterns proved to be one of my favourite attractions in Turkey. The place is huge, dark, massive, impressive, mystic, creepy...The huge columns remind us of the Roman days and the mastery of the ancient urban engineering. It reminds us all once again what an impressive city Istanbul has been for centuries!
I strongly recommend to visit!

Thank Marianne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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