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“Beautiful!”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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$114.04*
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Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
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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...
Ranked #6 of 1,103 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 April 23, 2014

For a hole in the ground this place is so pretty!
The lighting used gives the area an eerie glow and sets the mood perfectly.

Watch your feet though as there tends to be water on the walkway.
Great for escaping the heat of day.

2  Thank Alison k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8,586 - 8,590 of 25,585 reviews

Reviewed April 23, 2014

Don't be put off by the lengthy, constant queues for this attraction - it's worth it! Once you descend under the surface of Istanbul into this amazing piece of history the spaces and the incredible atmosphere envelop you. The lighting and presentation of the columned chamber creates a geometry that fascinates and delights the eye. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the large number of sizeable fish which reside in this subterranean, shallow watery world.

A tip if you don't fancy the queues accept the offer for the short guided tour from one of the many guides. We paid 20 lira on top of the standard ticket price which took us right past the lengthy queue. Well worth it at that price.

2  Thank SteadyTiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

After waiting in a long row, I expected seeing an amazing cistern, but it turned out to be normal, although I loved the fish. Maybe because I have seen natural cistern in Lebanon that were amazing.

2  Thank oralsurgeon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

This actually was my favourite visit and one definately not to be missed, the underground water system is absolutely amazing and you can only stand in awe at how it was possible to have built this, it is genius , beautiful and was the biggest surprise of my visit.

2  Thank JoyCyprus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

It is definitely worth a visit and should not take long time to complete if the queue outside is not very long. Short walking distance from Aya Sophia and costs 15 TL entry fee. It is also an impressive piece of engineering and we found the story of its discovery by Petrus Gyllius pretty interesting.

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

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