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“Quite standard, be careful with the “photo” tourist scheme ”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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US$38,75*
and up
Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia...
Ranked #8 of 1 176 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 2 April 2018 via mobile

Whilst the overall architecture is amazing, the size and details are not that grandeur. It’s definitely an easy half an hour tour that you can do yourself. There is option to take photo with Turkish style right after the first stair from entrance which promoted for TL 25/picture. You get to wear some interesting costume but they take so many shots, you might end up wanting to buy them all. Just something you might want to be aware of.

Thank Yuliana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"medusa heads"
in 1 270 reviews
"fish swimming"
in 200 reviews
"water reservoir"
in 147 reviews
"water supply"
in 142 reviews
"interesting place"
in 202 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 432 reviews
"hagia sofia"
in 198 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 211 reviews
"audio guide"
in 316 reviews
"museum pass"
in 191 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 383 reviews
"old city"
in 143 reviews
"columns"
in 2 086 reviews
"underground"
in 1 674 reviews
"inferno"
in 241 reviews
"engineering"
in 412 reviews
"eerie"
in 451 reviews
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352 - 356 of 27 093 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2018

The cistern is a very interesting and historical location to visit. Istanbul would not exist without the cistern! Be sure to look at the columns as you make your way back to the Medusa heads!!

Thank Sheila S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

This a must see, but choose your moment. Avoid school holidays and festivals. Our visit was spoiled by hundreds aid screaming children in what should have been a tranquil setting. Will go back to enjoy this. Fewer people after 2PM.

Thank warwick652
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

We visited this place on a Saturday.
There is no way to skip the queue, but we arrived at 4 pm and didn't have to wait for a long time (I think it took us 15 or 20 minutes to get in).
The place is interesting. You could get beautiful pictures there.
You can also see 2 Medusa heads and some fish there.
Tripods are not allowed. They took it from us and we had to pick it up on our way out.
I recommend this place.

Thank Karla G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 April 2018

The Basilica Cistern is a large space alongside Hagia Sophia for storing water. It has been featured in movies and is a unique space.

Be sure you walk to the end, so you can see the Medusa heads at the base of two of the columns.

Thank GL_from_NYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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