See the Beauty of the Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey

Have a Splendid Time at the Basilica Cistern
Tourism in Istanbul

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Best time to visit

Mar - Sep

Ideal Duration

6-7 Days

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Rs. 22,999
  • Ideal for friends
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Basilica Cistern, Istanbul (Turkey)

Cistern is basically a public tank built for storing and supplying water to the inhabitants of the city. Earlier, these cisterns were made up of many materials. Istanbul is one such place where one can find a number of cisterns. One of the most famous cisterns is the Basilica Cistern. The Basilica Cistern is known as one of the largest cisterns in Istanbul due to which it attracts lots of visitors every year.

History of Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern was built during the reign of Emperor Justinian 1. As per the history of Basilica Cistern, it had been damaged too during wars and attacks but even after that, it was reconstructed by the emperors. The magnificent cistern looks no less than an ancient temple built under the sea. The Basilica Cistern eve has its own share of history and legends. The name Basilica was given as the cistern was built upon a huge Basilica during the 3rd and 4th centuries. There are several legends which are attached to the Basilica Cistern. It is said that around 7000 laborers were required to build this magnificent cistern. One can even find water in here though in a small quantity. Fish can still be found as they help in keeping the water in the cistern clean. Even after so many destruction and reconstruction, Basilica Cistern has not yet lost its charm and attracts lots of visitors every year.

The Basilica Cistern now holds a lot of importance for the Istanbul tourism. Basilica Cistern is even added in many itineraries and is visited by tourists from all around the globe.

Interesting Facts about Basilica Cistern

With an estimate of more than 80 underground ancient cisterns, Basilica Cistern is the largest cistern in Istanbul.

The giant structure is supported by 336 Corinthian style columns.

This famous Istanbul underground cistern is 65 meter wide and 143 meter long, and has the capacity of holding  up to 17.5 million gallons of water.

This attractions also houses an artificial lake of the size of two hugely sprawled fields.

This popular attraction is also referred to as ‘the Sunken Palace’.

There are many sculptures too which can be viewed in this beautiful cistern. The sculpture of Medusa head is one of the most famous sculptures due to its life like structure and the designs that are carved in the sculpture. There are many such places that would fascinate you about this place.

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    • Trip to Istanbul

      Was organised well, went as planned. Abhishek was very helpful in customising the week long holiday. Was very prompt in replying to all our queries and ensured that there was no need to contact him during our vacation. His local knowledge came very handy in addressing our queries. Istanbul Skyline from Galata tower and the cruise along the Bosphorus was awesome.
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      Nagarajan Rajagopalan

      Chennai, 9 days ago

    • Trip to Istanbul

      This was our honeymoon trip and we booked the turkey experience with offbeat trippers. We went to three cities and had the most amazing tour experience. All hotels provided where really good in terms of interior, food and the central location from where all major tourist attraction where in a walking distance. The different city tours were really well organised and focussed on the experience part for the tourist. All pickups and drops were exactly on time. Special thanks to Abhishek for taking care of all small details. We visited Istanbul, capadoccia and Antalya and it was an unforgettable experience.
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      Asad Abrar

      Bangalore, 3 months ago

    • Trip to Istanbul

      Turkiye Cumhuriyeti! (i.e. Turkey!) It was an amazing experience. Thnz to Mr Sunil Sahu. The trip was properly planned out: flights, transfers, hotels and tours - all was well sorted and Sunil had advised and helped us right from getting the visa done. All the stays were fantastic, the airport transfers were royal and tours were enjoyable. Apart from one or two hiccups, our honeymoon was memorable! Once again, thnz to Mr Sahu, Aionz Sojourn, for his professional management. Antalya is a beautiful town! Hot air balloon was an amazing experience. Do book atleast a month in advance as prices will shoot up very high later. Istanbul too is a very clean city. You get to experience Europe at half the price and half the distance from India!
      RP

      Rucha Pathari

      Mumbai, 4 months ago

    • Trip to Istanbul

      We have always been travelers who like to explore city at their own pace, but this time around with a toddler we decided to take a guided tour to Turkey and it was the best decision we took. Coming to the tour, overall, it was a good experience with few let downs .There were some issues pertaining to our Cappadocia trip where , the itinerary stated it to be a two day tour but given the domestic flights that were booked , we only got one day to cover Cappadocia. Nevertheless , tour operator compensated by giving us 1 day private tour at Cappadocia , which helped us cover everything and a complementary Turkish Bath ! As we hadn't planned to experience Turkish Bath initially , it was very relaxing and helped us rewind during the travel . So no regrets there :) We were most disappointed with our experience at Grand Yavuz Hotel ,Istanbul, the staff seemed unhelpful . As we were travelling with a toddler , we had constant need of warm water for Preparation of Milk and food , but the hotel staff didn't seem to help , unresponsive and rude . Thankfully there was a very nice cafe just adjacent to Grand Yavuz - Mivan restaurant, where the staff was very courteous and helpful , they arranged hot water for the baby food every-time we went there.. We were so impressed by their service that we ended up having all our meals in Istanbul there - -It's a must visit and a gem hidden in the old city. To summarize , it was a good experience all in all barring few hiccups . Thumbs up to the tour operator for his punctuality and very good tour guides under him ,who were very helpful and understanding and tried to work with our pace ; not rushing through sightseeing ;)
      SS

      Saloni Sood

      Delhi, 4 months ago

    • Trip to Istanbul

      We have always been travelers who like to explore city at their own pace, but this time around with a toddler we decided to take a guided tour to Turkey and it was the best decision we took. Coming to the tour, overall, it was a good experience with few let downs .There were some issues pertaining to our Cappadocia trip where , the itinerary stated it to be a two day tour but given the domestic flights that were booked , we only got one day to cover Cappadocia. Nevertheless , tour operator compensated by giving us 1 day private tour at Cappadocia , which helped us cover everything and a complementary Turkish Bath ! As we hadn't planned to experience Turkish Bath initially , it was very relaxing and helped us rewind during the travel . So no regrets there :) We were most disappointed with our experience at Grand Yavuz Hotel ,Istanbul, the staff seemed unhelpful . As we were travelling with a toddler , we had constant need of warm water for Preparation of Milk and food , but the hotel staff didn't seem to help , unresponsive and rude . Thankfully there was a very nice cafe just adjacent to Grand Yavuz - Mivan restaurant, where the staff was very courteous and helpful , they arranged hot water for the baby food every-time we went there.. We were so impressed by their service that we ended up having all our meals in Istanbul there - -It's a must visit and a gem hidden in the old city. To summarize , it was a good experience all in all barring few hiccups . Thumbs up to the tour operator for his punctuality and very good tour guides under him ,who were very helpful and understanding and tried to work with our pace ; not rushing through sightseeing ;)
      SS

      Saloni Sood

      Delhi, 4 months ago

    • Trip to Istanbul

      We had a wonderful 12 nights , 13 days stay in Turkey. We visited Cappadocia , Kusadasi , Pamukkale, Antalya and Istanbul. Each place was unique and memorable , taking us back several hundreds of years back in history. Mr Mehmet Erdem did a really good job organising things for us. We did face an issue with our luggage allowance on the flight from Istanbul to Kayseri- we were allowed 20kgs per passenger but the Turkish airlines computer system was only allowing 15kgs per passenger. So we had to pay for an extra 7 kgs @ TRY 8 - however this was not on account of Mr Erdem' s oversight but due to some problem with Turkish airlines. We also took a day tour to Bursa and this wasn't a great experience as the place was too far away. Shopping in Istanbul was fun and inexpensive. Our hotels were good and all pick up were generally at the scheduled time . Thanks Mr Erdem Istanbul was an absolute delight and the must see places are theTopkapi (including the room of the holy relics)and Dolmabahce palaces . We also thoroughly enjoyed the Bosphorous day and night cruise. In all Turkey is a place where the 'ancient ' sits beautifully with the 'modern'
      PJ

      Paul James Sandys

      Kolkata, 5 months ago

    • Trip to Istanbul

      It was a short but sweet trip suitably catered around our areas of interest. We were very impressed with the Hotel in Istanbul particularly it's location which gave us the opportunity to explore the city within a short span of time. Visit to Hagia Sophia, Bosphorus boat ride and close visit to the cave houses in Cappadocia
      PM

      Pujarini Maulik

      Bengaluru, 5 months ago

    • Trip to Istanbul

      Booked Turkey tour via aionzsojourn(sunil sahu). He made all the right suggestions and even changed our hotel at 11th hour in Istanbul. Good agent with decent knowledge of the country. Had a great trip
      RK

      Rahul Kadian

      Delhi, 5 months ago

    • Trip to Istanbul

      1. Hotels and service in Capaddocia & Kusadasi were fabulous 2. Istanbul & Antalya hotels could have been better 3. Co-ordination and communication of tour schedules by Fez could have been better including missing Pamukkale tour due to wrong communication by Fez Travels SPOC 1. Hotel stay & services at Kusadasi and Cappadocia 2. Excellent guides in Ozhan ( Istanbul) , Deliz( Capadoccia) & Faizullah( Kusadasi)
      PC

      Pramod Chandrasekhar

      Bengaluru, 5 months ago

    • Trip to Istanbul

      horrible support from traveltriangle agent and their agent (holiday ink). dinner cruise istanbul shows
      SS

      Saurabh Sharma

      Bangalore, 6 months ago

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    FAQ's of Istanbul

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    During the Byzantine period, emperors used to built numerous cisterns to store water during crisis, especially wars. And, this attraction was one of them. The attraction came in picture when Pitrus Gyllius discovered it in 1545.

    Rebuilt by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, this structure was constructed under beneath a large public square, called the Stoa Basilica, and thus derived its name from that place. However, this cistern got recognized by Gyllius when he came to Istanbul to conduct research.

    The last tickets are sold 1 hour before the closing time.

    The best time to visit the place would be in between 9am to 11am when the crowd is less.

    The tickets can be bought on the day of the visit too.

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