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

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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US$120.00*
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Small-Group Istanbul Tour: Skip-the-Line Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern...
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US$38.75*
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Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
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US$60.00*
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The Best of Istanbul Skip the Line Hagia Sophia Basilica Cistern and Blue Mosque

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A must see in Istanbul!

What a great attraction, it's like you went back in time! Make sure you arrive earlier in the day as the lines can get long, we waited approximately 25 minutes at around 11:30am... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 19 May 2015
Chriskjfk
,
Stamford, Connecticut
via mobile
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24,248 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,644: English reviews
Stamford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2015 via mobile

What a great attraction, it's like you went back in time! Make sure you arrive earlier in the day as the lines can get long, we waited approximately 25 minutes at around 11:30am on a Sunday in March. Make sure you see the two Medusa heads while your down there!

Helpful?
Thank Chriskjfk
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
194 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2015 via mobile

I have seen pictures of this sort of thing but did not realise how interesting it would be. Well present tourist spot with lots of history and well worth a visit if in the area but be prepared for the crowds if in the touristy season.

Helpful?
Thank 23PeterJ
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
202 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2015 via mobile

This was a good stop, which didn't take too long. The bonus is that's it's across the road from some of the big sites (Hagia Sophia and blue Mosque) and on your way to grand bazaar. It costs 20 lira entrance fee. It's a very interesting stop with lots of history, however the down fall about it is there is... More 

Helpful?
Thank Yachal_D
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
44 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2015

You won't believe the columns which support the cistern. Some of them have the face of Medusa. Must be seen. Very close to St. Sophia and Palace.

Helpful?
Thank oymakas
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2015

It smelled like centuries old mold, probably because it was full of centuries-old mold. The history was much more interesting to me than actually being there. One good thing is that it's quite cool in there, for obvious reasons, so it's a decent escape during the hot months. There were people eating and drinking at the cafe... eew

Helpful?
Thank 25001km
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2015

This is such a unique and mysterious attraction. It's fascinating to see how the city's water needs were met. The Cistern is beautifully lit and the subtle Turkish music they pipe in adds to the beguiling ambience.

Helpful?
Thank amy g
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
132 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2015

This cathedral size cistern was built in Constantinople in 532 to meet the water needs of the great Palace . And you should not miss the medusa heads column bases

Helpful?
Thank Pethabmia
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2015

Amazing structure built hundreds of years ago. Unbelievably well preserved and shows the high level of architectural technology at that time. Worth spending time.

Helpful?
Thank Kei1958
Surabaya, Indonesia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2015

This cistern is amazing. Very close to the Aiyasofia and Blue Mosque yet provides very different experience.

Helpful?
Thank Jexen2013
Greater Accra, Ghana
Level Contributor
73 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2015

Worth the small entry fee. We went with a very knowledgeable guide which was well worth it. Need a camera with flash for this. Probably not great with a heavy pram. Ours folds and is light. Some guides will indicate that the ticket area will hold prams but this was not the case on our visit. If you are combining... More 

Helpful?
Thank pipnkent

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Staying in Sultanahmet

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Sultanahmet
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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