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“Love d medusa head!”
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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$114.89*
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
Ranked #6 of 1,090 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 December 22, 2013 via mobile

The basilica cistern is located in between hagia Sofia and the blue mosque! Look for the police station it is accross the street! It's a bit confusing since the cistern is underground. You will have to enter a small building that leads you underground. Pay as you enter and it was very inexpensive! I love the medusa head and the cistern ; nice picture taking inside and you can also dress like sultans and have picture taken it was cheap too if converted to dollar! Overall, it was a pleasant experience!

Thank rosie718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8,930 - 8,934 of 25,236 reviews

Reviewed December 22, 2013

This roman cisterne is located on the other side of the road of the hippodrome. It is an enchanting place. When you walk through it, it feels like a filmset of the Lord of the Rings. Big fish swim in the water and on the far northwest side of the cisterne you can see 2 pillars with medusas head underneath it. At the entrance you can get a photograph of yourself as a Sultan, which is good fun for 5 euro. Overall a very cool place to walk through

Thank jongNL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

The entrance to the Basilica cistern is right on the street near Ayasofya. After,queuing up for 15 minutes in a rainy and cold Istanbul day, it was a relief to come in from the cold. We finally went down the slippery stairs of this underground cavern. This attraction is historical and very interesting. The lighting effect on the pillars adds to the mystique of the place.

But as I look back, walking in dark, damp, and slippery pathways was not exactly fun. Feeding some fish on the cistern may be done also. There was 5 minute wait to line up to have your pictures taken with the 2 Medusa heads. This is too much. To sum up this visit, this cistern is a tourist trap. It even has a Turkish costume photo booth.

Thank GreenThumb331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

How did they build this? The ceiling is so ornate and perfect and so high. The countless columns with the back lighting provide so much atmosphere, so how did they build this 1,500 or 2,000 years ago? Personally I would have liked more information about the building of the cistern, and who built it, how many slaves, what country of origin of the slaves, who ran the cistern once it was built, how high the water was, how did they get the water there (donkeys or a pipe?) and all this. There was only basic information offered once you were in there, but the wander through was amazing. Its a controlled temperature so much warmer than the cold winters day that was outside. Worth a visit.

Thank grynda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

Simply put, an awesome field of columns that stretches into the distance. A must see since its all located in the old city district. But it was packed with tourists, there is a long queue in the daytime, and while it's an impressive sight, there's not really that much to see and you'll be finished in 30 minutes. Don't miss the Medusa heads.

Thank FuzzyBear43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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