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Address: Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
Phone Number: +90 212 512 1570
09:00 - 17:30
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:30
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes

The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 23,615 reviews
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A must see

Tge basilica sistern is a must see if you are in istanbul;impressive artchitecture from constanipole teaces of the living at the time still alive todays, the story behind the... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed today
rohan b
via mobile
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23,615 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,396: English reviews
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed today NEW via mobile

Tge basilica sistern is a must see if you are in istanbul;impressive artchitecture from constanipole teaces of the living at the time still alive todays, the story behind the statue of head medusa lyinf aside is impressive

Thank rohan b
United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
61 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

No istanbul visit is complete without a trip to Sultan Ahmed area and Bascilia cistern Best way to get there is tram. A morning visit is recommended and in 4 hours you can see Hagia Sophia, blue mosque, Bascilia cistern and have lunch

Thank Khalidelamin
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
148 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Ex-aqueduct, now a tourist attraction and sometimes event space, the Cistern is wonderful,especialy if you like dark places with the sound of water dripping and flowing. (Caves, etc) Not suitable for claustrophobics.

Thank SpirosK81
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
79 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

I visited the Basilica Cistern in September 2016. The entrance fee is 20 Turkish Liras and the place is frequented by tourists. The Basilica was nice, but there was not much to see. It is an underground cavern/cave with dim lighting. I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes as there is a decent amount of walking. In one corner of the... More 

Thank Sharry D
Tbilisi, Georgia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Basilica cistern is old Byzantine water reservoir, with an unique atmosphere inside. I felt like inside of "Indiana Jones" movie or something. It's not big, and the entrance to the cistern isn't impressive at all, but inside it's amazing. By the way, you will see so called medusa pillars, with the head of Medusa Gorgona upside down.

Thank zurabparjiani
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Ancient Roman water reservoir. Enjoy a walk through this monument and take romantic photos with statue jellyfish.

Thank Martin H
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,534 reviews
1,044 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,051 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The Basilica Cistern is located near the Hagia Sophia, it easy to get to as long as you realise that entrance is by cash only. We got here early in the morning so no crowd issues. It is an underground cistern built in 542 by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I to provide water to the palace and later irrigate the... More 

Thank PrestonGuild
Level Contributor
51 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This historical and imposing structure is a very interesting and different experience. Right in the centre os Sultanahmet Square it should be visited along with the other important monuments of the area.

Thank annasafrica
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
20 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This was an unexpected treat as the cisterns took you under the streets of Istanbul to reveal gorgeous marble pillars holding up the ceiling with walkways scattered throughout the city's former water supply. Gas lights reveal the path ahead of you creating a moody atmosphere. Cheesy photo stand opportunity at the start of your visit but sights along the walkway... More 

Thank Thomas T
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This costs 20lira and it's a short walk through the cistern on raised pathways. I went by myself on a rainy day and it's a beautiful architectural creation and an amazing insight into how previous eras lived.

Thank Adele W

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Staying in Sultanahmet

Neighbourhood Profile
With so many unmissable attractions within a mere stroll of each other – and all set around the site of an ancient Byzantine hippodrome – Sultanahmet is an overwhelmingly popular tourist destination, and a prime location for visitors to be wowed on a truly epic scale. Beyond the wonders of the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and more, this relatively small area of Istanbul somehow manages to retain an air of peace and calm. It offers visitors a significantly less celebrated but nonetheless pleasant network of quaint lanes and side streets, majestic panoramas of the Bosphorus, and an impressive assortment of accommodation options for all budgets and tastes.
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