Bosphorus Boat Tour, Istanbul
One great and relaxing experience is to take a ferryboat trip up or down the Bosphorus on one of the old ferryboats. Ferryboats run from Eminonu pier and go most of the way up the Bosphorus, stopping at various places on both shores on the way. It's a great, relaxing way to visit the areas along the Bosphorus while it provides an interesting and different view of the city. There is also a constant supply of hot tea available (of course) and the boats are quite comfortable. They still use lovely old ferries as well as some newer ones.
You can take the boat which makes a round tour in Bosphorus. It is the best way to see both Asian and European sides of Bosphorus while the boat goes quite close to the shoreline. The boat trip starts from Eminonu (European side), but it also collects passengers from Uskudar (Asian side). It takes about 90 minutes. Don't assume that it is only preferred by tourists. You will find the boats filled with locals who want to enjoy the fantastic Bosphorus panaroma with some sea breeze. The cruise costs 12 TL per person and only cash is accepted.
There are number of trips available. Unless you have money to burn or wish to do the night time photo shots, the day time ferry rides are worth it. We travel as four so the price will never be cheap. Turn up at the harbour side Eminönü ferryboat docks. Small ferries or large. Get there early if you want a good site and take the sun tan lotion. You will burn while waiting for the boat to fill. Be warned. Where you wait to board the boat does get really hot inside and packed.
We paid 100 lira (Turkish) round trip for 4. The ride of 90 minutes plus is excellent.
Anadolu Kavağı is the last stop. I mentioned hills and steepness! It prepares you for the climb to come. This one is really steep, like lean fore-ward and hope your legs take the strain. Its funny to! You do the walk in stages through some cafes and stall sellers, but the view is impressive and you can enjoy lunch. Is cheaper up the hill, than by the ferry dock. Do take your camera for this trip.
Shorter boat ride is good to and prepares you for the photo opportunities on the longer ride. Look for the houses fashioned from wood on the right side of the boat as you depart. Pick up a leaflet before departing.
Don't get of the boat and just enjoy the ride there and back. Food and drink available or pack your own. Have ID if you wish to use the tapes available or you pay a big deposit, refundable.
All trips are booked without a third party involvement. Pay at the ferry station.
Ortakoy is a very lively spot on European side of Bosphorus. Many cafes, restaurants, shops and art galleries are located in this area. There are boat trips organized regularly which make a roundtrip between the two bridges on Bosphorus. The tour takes about 30-45 minutes. When you catch a good weather, don't miss this beautiful boat trip and you will definitely enjoy the fresh air and the sea.
I have taken many times the boat which takes you around Bosphorus. One of the best tours was this February, it was a cold rainy day, and you could see everything beside Bosphorus in fog and mist!
Dont forget this tour.