We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“historical treasure”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
Book In Advance
More Info
$50.00*
and up
Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
More Info
$38.75*
and up
Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
More Info
$114.89*
and up
Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
Ranked #6 of 1,090 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 26, 2014

The history behind the basilica cistern is quite amazing, and the architecture is incredible. It is a must see for anyone visiting Istanbul. No need to get the audio while visiting, as it says the exact same things that the boards placed around the cistern. The medusa heads are pretty cool. Beware of the friendly people that give you information around this area, as they are just trying to get you into their rug shops. If you tell them you are from Montreal, they seem to leave you alone.

Thank Toni T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (25,236)
There are newer reviews for Basilica Cistern
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

8,609 - 8,613 of 25,236 reviews

Reviewed March 26, 2014

This is certainly a place worth visiting.
I found this to be unexpectedly lovely. They keep it incredibly clean.
It is a place not to be missed while visiting Istanbul.I would clearly rate it as my favorite amongst all the tourist attractions.The lightening adds to the beauty.Don't forget to look at the ' two medusa heads' & read their legend.
Higly recommended

Thank julia h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2014

This is for sure the most magical place I have ever visited. Very nice and special atmosphere, dark columns, water with fish and soft coloured lights.... I only can not understand how it was possible to built this cistern in 6th century so sofistically and also with beauty and harmony. Down in the cistern you may walk as you like, don t forget to go to the last left corner to see 2 medusa heads. Enjoy the magic of ancient times !

Thank AndySo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2014

This is certainly a place worth visiting.
I found this to be unexpectedly lovely. They keep it incredibly clean.
It is a place not to be missed while visiting Istanbul.I would clearly rate it as my favorite amongst all the tourist attractions.The lightening adds to the beauty.Don't forget to look at the ' two medusa heads' & read their legend.
Higly recommended

Thank tomas s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2014

So hard to believe that this cistern was built 1500 yeas ago.
This was breathtaking and unexpected. You have to see it to experience the impressive architecture underground.
Very close to the Hagia Sophia. Go early to avoid the crowds. If you get an audio guide, it starts automatically whenever you walk to a significant area.
If you visit Istanbul you must see.

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

Travelers who viewed Basilica Cistern also viewed

 

Been to Basilica Cistern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing