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“Aya Sofia, a must!”
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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$115.84*
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
Ranked #6 of 1,088 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 June 11, 2013

It is a place that every tourist should see. The only problem is that there are very long lines to buy tickets. Depending on when you get there , you can wait over 45 minutes.

Thank NellinaI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9,916 - 9,920 of 25,203 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2013

An underground water storage system with carved columns & great history. Check out the website for the history. A great place to try out your camera's power.
This is right across the street from Hagia Sophia & part of the Hippodrome and easily accessible with a TL 10 ticket & short lines even on the days the cruise ships are in port.
Once you enter via the steps, its quite dark & there is water all around & signs are posted saying the floor could be a bit slippery...wear good walking shoes. On one side there is a professional taking pictures of tourists dressed in traditional royal outfits...which is a nice diversion. A CD is the best value for money & it can be tested in their DVD player before leaving.
A short walk around to see the column with the evil eye design and further down to the 2 columns constructed over the Medusa head. Not much room around to take pictures, especially with many tourists trying to take simultaneously. Signs are posted to walk towards the Medusa columns. Water has many fish swimming & is a good diversion for kids.

1  Thank VasusTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

Do not miss the visit.
Impressive Cistern and very well setup.
You better go early in the morning to avoid croads.

Thank EmiliaR50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

great to do on a hot day, fish in the water and the pillars are all lit up, I used a small trippod to get good photos as it is dark.

Thank PamOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

It's a small pace but actually romantic! It's not in the museum pass but you only have to pay 10tl and 5liras for the audio.
You don't pay a lot for the audio but you can read everything that and the travel books have actually more information!

2  Thank Claudia2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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