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“Dark, Spooky, Fun”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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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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$50.00*
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Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
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$111.44*
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
Ranked #6 of 1,058 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.
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Dark, Spooky, Fun”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

A huge hit for kids. Take a break from the heat and walk through the dripping and spooky columns of this ancient cistern. Finding Medusa's head was the highlight. Don't miss this.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank hoppityhop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Pretty and interesting”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

It was really neat to go underground to see this. There wasn't much to it, and I can't really remember exactly what it's all about (my tour guide was boring and history was never my favorite subject!) It was a little chilly but felt good to get out of the humidity for a few minutes. I loved that there are fish in the water!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank fixureyes81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Interesting Site”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

If the line isn't long this is worth the visit. It is located close to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. They only accept cash for the entrance fee though. There are over 300 pillars that hold up the roof of the cistern and they are all different. You walk on elevated walkways above the water that has fish in it. There are two columns that are set up on Medusa heads that are amusing. It is dark and can be slippery so you have to watch where you are going. There is a small cafe in one corner but unless you want a quick drink there are much better places to eat. The whole visit is an hour or less so if the line is long go back when you don't have to wait to get in.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank JPVM13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monza, Italy
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Impressive! not to be missed”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

It's one of the most impressive attractions in Istanbul, still less popular than others, I cannot understand why. The place is already impressive itself, and also it is presented in a very appealing way. Not to be missed.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Maria Luisa F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level 6 Contributor
16 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

This was built under the city for supplying water.Only a visit can explain the experience.The huge columns and height of the ceiling and pathway is truly worth seeing.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Satyajitsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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