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

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 23,603 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 8134
  • 3290
    Very good
  • 816
  • 104
  • 41
A hidden gem

Below the sprawl of Istanbul lay the dark beauty of the cisterns, and insight into the brilliance of the East Roman Empire - with sights rarely seen in such a capacity anywhere... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Jesse W
via mobile
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23,603 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12,385: English reviews
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Below the sprawl of Istanbul lay the dark beauty of the cisterns, and insight into the brilliance of the East Roman Empire - with sights rarely seen in such a capacity anywhere else in the world.

Thank Jesse W
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Was a really neat sight right in the downtown area near the mosques. Quick to enter and a good deal to see. Take the touristy pics, it's fun. Just ask for the framed picture it's cheap. The rest of the walk around is really cool. Loved it.

Thank Erik S
Level Contributor
266 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This place offers a magical atmosphere as you walk along the tracks over the water in this ancient cistern built during roman times. The top place to visit when in Istanbul if you are a fan of old architecture and mystical places. Do not miss!

Thank NilsOMoelleby
Port Alfred
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

We went there as part of tour and was blown away with serenity and tranquility of the place. Just beautiful

Thank wayne m
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The place is totally below the zero level. tickets are available at the entrance. They don't accept credit cards, Euros or dollars. Only Turkish Lyra. The ticket is a bit expensive. The place is well illuminated and very cool music track is played in the background. There're a cafe and souvenir shop.

Thank Tamer-Elsherbiny
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

By far one of the coolest parts of my time in Istanbul. While the tourist traps at entrance detracted from the experience, it was still enjoyable. Such an amazing feat of history and architecture.

Thank moonem1
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

An interesting place to visit and quite unique. I thought it was well priced. I got the audio tour which was a mistake as the information in the audio tour was simply someone reading the same information word for word on the information signs.

Thank 1cosmo
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

A very nice attraction to visit when you are in Istanbul. A city with full of history, many attractions in the same area.

Thank NM-2gether4ever
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Istanbul’s Basilica (Yerebatan) Cistern, was on the silver screen all around the world thanks to the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s thriller “Inferno" directed by Ron Howard. The Basilica Cistern, also hosted some scenes of the latest James Bond series “Skyfall” as well as Australian actor Russell Crowe’s film “The Water Diviner.” The Basilica Cistern, one of the magnificent historical... More 

Thank Mustafa Kemal C
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

One of many of the must sees in Istanbul. It's beautiful and the historical value is amazing. If you are interested in learning more the headphones that you can rent are worth getting.

Thank chindalen

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Staying in Sultanahmet

Neighbourhood Profile
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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