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.

“Not as glamorous as seen in movies but worth the visit.”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
Book In Advance
More Info
US$38,75*
and up
Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia...
Ranked #8 of 1 133 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 weeks ago

Basillica is only 40 m NW from Hagia entrance just walk a cross a street and you will see. Lines are not that long, like Hagia you can only pay with 20TL. No CC or other currency. Security check is just quick opening of bags and walking down the stairs to see the main cistern. It is very dark down with lots of spot lights but still very dark. Medusa head columns are towards the back part. Cistern is mostly empty except at the back park and had some fishes in them.

1  Thank Ashank1m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (26 433)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages
All reviews
"medusa heads"
in 1 235 reviews
"fish swimming"
in 199 reviews
"underground water"
in 146 reviews
"water supply"
in 138 reviews
"interesting place"
in 195 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 423 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 565 reviews
"audio guide"
in 315 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 205 reviews
"museum pass"
in 186 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 376 reviews
"old city"
in 138 reviews
"columns"
in 2 037 reviews
"inferno"
in 221 reviews
"reservoir"
in 176 reviews
"carp"
in 146 reviews
"eerie"
in 443 reviews
Filter

55 - 59 of 26 436 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago 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
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 weeks ago

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
See more reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago 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

Travellers who viewed Basilica Cistern also viewed

 

Been to Basilica Cistern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing