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Basilica Cistern

Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
+90 212 512 15 70
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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.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good25%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“medusa heads” (1,214 reviews)
“fish swimming” (204 reviews)
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
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1 - 10 of 13,367 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

We went here with our guide for the daily and were amazed so many cisterns still exist under the city. This is the biggest one for tourists to see. You really feel you were in the Dan Brown movie Inferno. Part of the cistern is...More

Thank Retired_teacher_56
Reviewed yesterday

I could imagine citizens meeting and chatting while filling their vessels with water for day to day use. Still dont understand how they regulated the level of the water in the cistern!

Thank Annie J
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Very dark at first but as your eyes become accustomed to it its amazing. Make sure your camera is good in low light. No water in ut at oresent as repairs were being done but still a fantastuc feat of ancient architecture.

Thank Nick M
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

I am so happy a visited Istanbul. I always had it on my list to visit. The visit reminded me of the rich history of Istanbul..... When I got back and saw city reviews about Istanbul and its star attractions....Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque...More

Thank Nanwor M
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

We visited the Basilica Citern in January; as it was one of the places on my list to visit during our trip to Istanbul. It was a very interesting place to visit. Photography is allowed & flash photography is necessary as although there is lighting,...More

Thank Mishy_D06
Reviewed 2 days ago

Very interesting, beautiful spot that can be even more enchanting when free of crowds. In the summer, this is a greta spot to beat the heat.

Thank Dana Loustalot D
Reviewed 2 days ago

When you go in from the main street this place seems like unreal! It's really fascinating! I had a feeling that I have entered a movie screen. A lot of high pillars and fishes. And even thought there are fishes in the water, people are...More

Thank NewHotelSarajevo
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

I have been advised that it is an interesting place to see once u r in sultanahmed area, and it was. It is an original thing never seen something like this before. It doesn’t take long and no waiting in a queue easy access and...More

Thank Nathalie N
Reviewed 4 days ago

It is indeed a very special place, where you feel in another century. It is not too crowded and worth going. A visit will not take more than 45 minutes.

Thank Inna S
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

After watching Dan Brown’s Inferno on the flight from Kathmandu to Istanbul it only seemed right to visit here! It’s an intriguing place and well worth seeing. Enjoy.

Thank JaneTess31
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
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Questions & Answers
Abdulelah S
21 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Clara Y | Reviewed this property |
20 TL which is less than 4.5€
Abdulelah S
21 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Nick M | Reviewed this property |
we paid 20 Tl each
15 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Erica F | Reviewed this property |
Unfortunately, I don't believe there are any concerts in the Cistern, but Hagia Irene near Hagia Sophia seems to have concerts on a regular basis and is just gorgeous!