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“A most unforgetable experience”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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$38.75*
and up
Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
Ranked #6 of 1,115 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 March 1, 2014

it's the most amazing place I have ever visited... the lights are perfect, the music nice, and you will never forget this experience

Thank LMJCB92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9,059 - 9,063 of 26,076 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2014

Amazing for its history, architecture and tranquility. A must-see! Hard to find - the entry is not well marked, but once you find it you'll remember where it is - so you can take friends.

1  Thank JBFOAE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

A cistern? Doesn't sound too inviting does it?

But actually, this was one of the highlights of our visit to Istanbul. You can hear the exclamations of amazement as people come down the steps and catch their first glimpse of the spookily lit pillars... then further gasps as they see the huge fish swimming around under the spotlights.

Yes, it's just a vault half full of water, but the atmosphere of the place is really amazing. Great photo opportunities. Just imagine that this was built in 532 AD!

At the back of the cistern are columns standing on Medusa heads. These were recycled from an even more ancient building. Why is one upside down and the other reclining on its side? No-one knows. It's a mystery!

Only 10 TL entrance - the cistern is really worth seeing, and is just a stonesthrow from the Haghia Sophia. There's a cafe down there if you want to stay longer to soak up the atmosphere. Kids can dress up in Sultan/sultana costumes and get their photos taken, if they so wish,

Thank FionaL_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

It is a nice stroll under the ground. Very impressive thinking it was built in Ioustinian era. Medusa column amongst others is worth seeing. Throw a coin and make a wish.

Thank myrtia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2014

Should be high on your list of places to visit.
Admission is only 10tl (€3)
Didn't feel rushed through, however would recommend that you slip in behind a large group as they are on a busy schedule and you will very quickly have the place pretty much to yourself

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

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