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“A unique experience”
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*
and up
Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
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$113.44*
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
Ranked #6 of 1,070 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.
Portland, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A unique experience”
Reviewed September 9, 2013

The Bascilica Cistern is easy to find and wasn't too crowded. As long as your are visiting the sights in the old town area of Istanbul, be sure to include this sight.

Visited September 2013
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1 Thank Portmac1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Rude staff”
Reviewed September 9, 2013 via mobile

The place is OK, but the staff is not very friendly. The Cistern is populated with koi fish, which reduces the "historical ruins" feeling you would normally get while visiting this kind of place.

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Thank Tudor R
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good piece of history”
Reviewed September 9, 2013

My wife and I went here the same day as the blue mosque and aya sophia. We really enjoyed it. We got a really funny picture taken and walked around and really cooled off down there. Afterwards we walked down the street and ate a little snack which was good as well. If you're there and you have some Lira on you, it's worth the visit.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Chet H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guri, South Korea
Level 6 Contributor
1,763 reviews
538 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 385 helpful votes
“Very special place”
Reviewed September 9, 2013

C1 ( 2013.08.11 )
There was a very special and surprising place. This cistern was consist marble pillars, and size was big. I surprised at cistern's capacity and beautiful inside. Marvelously, head of Medusa was used base of the column, but no one know why head was in here. This place was very cool in hot outside weather.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank HanJuyoung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Worth seeing”
Reviewed September 9, 2013

Interesting to see and worth a 15 minutes of your time. It's near all the attractions so why not! Don't miss the Medusa columns at the end of the Cistern. Not sure if you need a guide for this though. Just read up on it.

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

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