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Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

4.4
#3 of 6,370 in Things to do in Turkey
Must see · Architectural Building · Ruin
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Explore the largest of hundreds of ancient cisterns located below the city at Basilica Cistern. This fascinating chamber of the underground water systems, commissioned in 532 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian, is remarkable for its practical and artistic value. After a complete renovation in the 1980s, the cistern became one of the most popular tourist sites in Istanbul's Sultanahmet district. Walk along the wooden platforms beneath the dark, vaulted ceilings of this cathedral-sized cistern and see its famous Medusa-head pillar and Hen's Eye column. Put Basilica Cistern at the forefront of your travel plans using our Istanbul holiday planning website.
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Basilica Cistern reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
31,321 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • One of our favourite things we did in Istanbul. Recently reopened after renovation. Definitely get a guide - not because you need one to explain everything ( there’s information inside ) but to skip.....  more
    One of our favourite things we did in Istanbul. Recently reopened after renovation. Definitely get a guide - not because you need one to explain everything ( there’s information inside ) but to skip.....  more »
  • Brilliant Place must see place in Istanbul. Right at Haifa Sofia. We will go back again, nice restaurants close by. 
    Brilliant Place must see place in Istanbul. Right at Haifa Sofia. We will go back again, nice restaurants close by.  more »
Google
  • It's not that bad to see this building underground but it's not amazing for me .lots of columns ,low light
  • The place is a nice engineering work. However, it is without a guide or audio explanation, and without additional value it does not worth the money (120 TL). You will just enter, see a 5 minutes video with light effect on the walls and columns, listen at audio effects and music. This can be the same with video online. Unfortunately I feel no additional value was provided. The place has history, people are interested in knowing something. If I would like to be impressed I would've go to magic tricks show. 4 stars to the place itself, 1 star for the added value.

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