As we arrived in Istanbul by ship in the late afternoon, the weather was overcast and misty. This was of some concern because I had booked a dinner cruise on the Bosphorus and I didn't want it to be spoiled by bad weather. However, by the time we reached our dinner boat docked on the Bosphorus, the weather had cleared enough to be at least very pleasant and while cruising it was wonderful to see the lights on shore twinkling as evening began to fall.
We were welcomed on board by a very courteous and efficient staff and were able to select one of the many tables for 8 next to the very large windows. Each table was wrapped in crisp, white linen which was very pleasing. The interior of the boat was not elegant but well constructed with rich woods and a lovely bar. Our table soon filled with other guests and we began our dinner which consisted of several courses and each was excellent. The portions were very generous and beautifully presented. I really enjoyed the meal very much.
After dinner we were free to visit the bar or find our way to the upper deck where we could get an even better view of the special places we passed as we slowly cruised. Some of those special places were Dolmabahçe Palace, Galata Köprüsü (Galata Bridge), Galata Kulesi (Galata Tower), etc.
More to follow!
A cruise on the Bosphorus, the strait that separates European Istanbul from Asian Istanbul, is a great way to get a different view of the city from the waterside.
There are many tour operators so check prices and tour-routes before booking. I took one of the shorter tours (little more than one hour), but it was still very interesting. You'll sail beneath the huge Bosphorus Bridge - and pass the Dolmabahce Palace, the Rumeli Fortress, many old villas, and much more...
Take a boat ride along the Bosphorous straits. The Marmara Sea and the Black Sea meet at certain points. The Asian and the European sides are on either side and this entire stretch is so picturesque. Do take a guide along or hop on to a guided ferry. The ferries start from the Golden Horn area.
A cruise on the Bosphorus is probably an obligatory activity while you are staying in Istanbul. At first I was scared by chaotic ferry port but one day I took a cruise on the Bosphorus and it turned out to be a great fun. The ship had some stops and one is in Kalinca where yoghurt was delivered. I bought one. Delicious. The cruise was not to long that I could be bored. I took a lot fantastic pictures. I recommend it.
Leave at 10:30 arrive at Anadolukavagi at noon.
Eat lunch and then climb to Yorus Castle.
The climb is a bit steep but it takes only 20/25 minutes if you do not stop.
View the Black Sea.
Boat returs at 3:00
Back in Istanbul by 4:30
Take a public ferry up and down the Bosphorus. Jump off if you want to eat, drink, or look around somewhere (wait till the boat stops at a pier, of course).
Very cheap, very fun. Just buy a token (jeton) each time you get on.
They have eats & drinks on the boats as well.
It's a great way to see outlying parts of the city and villages further up towards the Black Sea. You'll be amazed by the other traffic on the waterway, especially if you pass a big tanker. Impressive!
If you visit in the summer, the trip will be a great escape from the heat of the city. Any other time, make sure you have clothes to keep you warm enough!
I'm not keen on singling out "must do" things, but I'm inclined to make an exception for this
One of the most enjoyable night-time activities in Istanbul. The cruise we took included dinner, entertainment and drinks.
We left from Kabataþ. The buildings along the Bosphorus is beautifuly lit.
I would reccomend this cruise.
Bosphorus is the strait between the Black sea and the Sea or Marmara and if you come to Istanbul you shouldn't miss its main attraction - Bosphorus Cruise which will give you the chance to view the finest palaces and pavillions along the shores.
There are different ways how you can arrange this trip. First of all, you can buy it at the hotel reception. Usually they have booklets from diffrent travel agencies and the approximate cost is 50 euro. Secondly, there's a state boat that leaves Eminönü port at 10.30 am. It costs 17,5 Liras and it takes it 6 hours to get back to the port. And you can also make a short 2 hour trip with a private boat, which costs 20 Liras.
During the Bosphorus Cruise you can see Rumeli Fortress (the biggest fortification of Istanbul), city walls which were breached only twice in 1600 years, Bosphorus Bridge linking Europe and Asia, Dolmabahce Palace etc.
At some point in a trip to Istanbul, you have to get out on the water and see the city from a boat. There are cruises available but you can also just hop a ferry going from one of the city's three sides to another. I got on the wrong ferry and took about an hour after it landed to figure that out. But I got to see parts of the city I hadn't planned on seeing and still enjoyed the ferry rides.
The Bosphorus is the name of the strait which lies between Europe and Asia which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea and is approximately 30 km long. The Bosphorus Cruise is a must-see tour for the Istanbul visitors because it is a wonderful opportunity to observe both of the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.
There are municipal ferries which operate daily three times from Eminonu, port number 3 (Bogaz Hatti). The first ferry is at 10.35 am, the second one is at 12.00 pm and the last one is at 1.35 pm. The ferry is a traditional one, which has seats inside and outside the interior. After the ferry departs, it first makes a stop in Besiktas, which is the downtown of the city. The Dolmabahce Palace could be seen here.
Later, you see the beautiful houses along the European Side, the Ciragan Palace Hotel and many other lovely buildings from the 19th and early 20th century. On the way, the ferry passes by the huge European Fortress which was constructed by Sultan Mehmed II in 1452 before he conquered Istanbul.
Then the ferry moves to the Asian Side and you see the old restored Turkish Houses which are just on the waterfront. After that, the ferry passes through Kanlica, a lovely village which is famous for its yoghurt. Next, it passes to Yenikoy on the European Side and makes another stop. Then the ferry goes back to the Asian Side and comes back to Europe, to a fishing village called Sariyer. If one likes, he/she may leave the ferry and come back to the city after having a walk in Sariyer or if one wants to enjoy it all day long, he/she can stay till the ferry comes to Anadolukavagi. It is a great place to have fish, fresh vegetables, fruits or apple tea. After staying there for two hours, the ferry comes and heads back to Eminonu.
The boat tour of the Boshphorus is AWESOME. We took a private boat, so it was a very romantic affair as well. They took us around the coast of two continents for about a couple of hours. Its magical. You can also go in a public boat which takes a smaller route and lesser time, but I guess must be worth it too. Its best to time it late evening, when u can see the city by twilight or light and then the lit up city as well. Its fascinating. If in Istanbul, don't miss it.
Geat experience! take the boat either in Eminonü, Karakoy or Besiktas. Take care: it is cold with the wind and humidity