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.

Basilica Cistern

Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
+90 212 512 15 70
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
More Info
and up
Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
More Info
and up
Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
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” (1,182 reviews)
“fish swimming” (201 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:30
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410, Turkey
+90 212 512 15 70
Write a Review
Reviews (25,018)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages

5,111 - 5,120 of 12,988 reviews

Reviewed 12 June 2015

It's as you would expect, as you can see from the photographs and other reviews. The only thing I thought was special was the fish in the water. Huge carps, I think. Otherwise it's a dark, wet and slippery short walk around the columns. It...More

Thank OutOfSydney
Reviewed 12 June 2015

This is a large underground area that was used to store water for the city to be used by the palace should the city be under attack , as the besiegers would poison the external water supply. Lots of mis matched pillars were used to...More

1  Thank Maureen C
Reviewed 12 June 2015 via mobile

There was a totally different atmosphere from outside crowded area with a background eastern music. Try it

Thank Peyman A
Reviewed 12 June 2015

Go to get out of the heat and sun but just go as it is a really stunning sight with all the underground columns beautifully lit. A must see.

Thank DecKent
Reviewed 12 June 2015

What a wonderful place to see! This isn't included in the classical tours of Istanbul so best is to read up on it and then make your way there early. Entrance is 10TL and the lines get very long after 9am. The cistern is much...More

Thank knoesenm
Reviewed 11 June 2015 via mobile

The largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul Located behind the hagia sophia Mousqe only like 3 minutes walking Its still in a very good condition since its built, its was cold down there and worth the visit Got...More

Thank Tayseer9
Reviewed 11 June 2015 via mobile

This is such a beautiful place, you shouldnt miss this! Its easy to visit since its close to the blue mosque and Aya Sofia!

Thank Suuz V
Reviewed 11 June 2015

Nice remains of an Roman building, where once water was stored for the city. Nicely preserved, and there is a walkway build around the whole facility so you can visit it all. Some sections are lighted, others are in their original dark situation. Both Medua-heads...More

Thank jurgenjw
Reviewed 11 June 2015

There's nothing much to see here, or to experience of which you cant obtain from guide book paragraphs. So much so that they set up a costume photo booth right inside the cistern. But if you venture to the far end, you get to see...More

Thank Chen C
Reviewed 11 June 2015

This underground 6th Century structure was one of the highlights of our sightseeing in Istanbul. It is truly beautiful and well worth a visit. The cold damp air is in stark contrast to the beautiful surrounds.

Thank GillW27
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
Nearby Restaurants
Fuego Restaurant
1,559 reviews
.09 km away
House of Medusa
1,035 reviews
.07 km away
Balkan Lokantasi
237 reviews
.03 km away
Optimist Cafe
15 reviews
.04 km away
Nearby Attractions
Hippodrome (At Meydani)
569 reviews
.07 km away
Les Arts Turcs Tours
69 reviews
.05 km away
Milion Stone
69 reviews
.05 km away
Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Imra-atu Y
4 June 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from bas t | Reviewed this property |
same as the previous answer about 20 turkish lire
14 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from ahjahanshir | Reviewed this property |
No. you cannot. Museum pass is basically for the museums, and basilica cistern is not a museum.
28 January 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from orkenvandrer | Reviewed this property |
It was cash only (Lira only) when we visited in October 2016, both for the entrance fee and at the little cafe downstairs. The photobooth and the souvenir-shop accepted credit-card, both. Enjoy your visit!
Google Translation