First of all, despite the category heading, the Bosphorus is NOT A RIVER! It is a sea, connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, separating Asia and Europe. SEA, not river, got it?! Good...now, if you walk along by the ferry terminals in Eminonu, no doubt someone will approach you to persuade you to take a Bosphorus cruise. Sounds nice, but what they don't tell you is that their tour cruises only go as far as the first bridge and dump you back on dry land a couple of hours later. instead, look for the pier marked Bogaz Hatti (Bogaz is Turkish name Bosphorus), which is the local ferry stopping almost everywhere along both European and Asian coasts, finally reaching the small village of Anadolu Kavagi. There might not be loud music, garbled commentary and false merriment on these boats, but you will see a lot more and save a few lira to boot!
Leaving Eminonu, your first stop is commercial Besiktas, where some tourists opt to join the boat. Passing the impressive beautiful-ugly Dolmabahce Palace, the Swissotel Ciragan Palace and the trendy village of Ortakoy, you soon reach the first bridge. The boat pushes further on without stopping, so you can only admire Arnavutkoy, swanky Bebek and the two fortresses of Rumeli Hisari and Anadolu Hisari from afar, passing under the second bridge to pull into Kanlica on the Asian side. Famous for its yoghurt, a couple of sellers climb onboard to sell you pots of the stuff. Next stop is upmarket Yenikoy, home to a number of European consulates during the summer months. On to Sariyer, quite a conservative sort of place famous for its fish restaurants, and Rumeli Kavagi, a tiny village with a couple of beaches nearby. If this is your first time, I suggest continuing to Anadolu Kavagi, where you can spend a couple of hours waiting for the next ferry back. You can get off at any of the previous stops, but then that ruins your return ticket for some reason, and you'll have to take a bus back to Eminonu. Use the cruise to get an idea of what you want to visit later on.
I chose to do the Bosphorus cruise with the public ferry. It departed at 10.35am and back in Istanbul at 4.30pm.
This cruise is very popular, so make sure you arrive early.
I arrived half hour early, and already the queue was long. They started letting you on not long after I arrived, later, people were standing!
The ferry pulls in at a few wharfs on the way, to on/off load passengers, before its arrival at Anadolu Kavagi. This is as far as it goes. You have enough time here for lunch, and for a walk to the Castle ruins, so it works out just fine. The sights are wonderful from the water, you get to see so much.
On the ferry there is a kiosk where you can buy food & drinks. A steward also comes around selling tea/coffee and Yoghurt.
It is best to sit on the left hand side, this way you are not looking into the sun, so you can get good photos.
It departs from the Eminonu wharf.
There are three departures each day—10:35am, 12:00 noon, and 13:35 (1:35pm)
Leaves from Eminonu 10.35am, Besiktas 10.50, Kanlica 11.15, Yenikoy 11.30,
Sariyer 11.45 Rumeli Kavagi 11.55, Anadolu Kavagi,12.05
These are the times for the ferry that I caught.
COST IN 2009 was 20t/l
Departs 10.30 - Returns 4.30pm
Website for ido ferries is.................www.ido.com.tr/en/index.cfm -
Cruising on the Bosphorus is an unusual experience.
Going up on the left you see Europe, on the right you see Asia.
The cruise lets you see many palaces, buildings, homes, slums etc of the area.
At the top end you are greeted by restaurant owners waving to get you to their restaurants for lunch.
The village is wonderful, the locals friendly and there is a Naval Commando Base just north of the village.
From Eminönü there is a ferry going up through Bosphorus to Anadolu Kavagi, stopping at a few places on the way, both on the European and on the Asian shore. The ferry leaves three times a day and a returnticket was in 2003 6 600 000 TL. From Eminönü to Anadolu Kavagi it takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
If the weather is nice you probably want to sit outside but then you have to be early as those seats fill up quickly.
If the throngs of tourists and merchants in Istanbul wear you down, one great way to escape for a while and still see a lot of very interesting sights is to take a cruise up the Bosphorus. The best way is to take the state-owned Turkish Maritime Lines (TDI) boats that depart from Eminonu.
The boat takes you up the Bosphorus toward the Black Sea, allowing you to see all the interesting structures along this historic waterway (see photos below). It makes six stops during the journey including a great one at Anadolu Kavagi on the Asian side, where it stops for several hours, allowing passengers to explore the area, get a meal, and relax.
A couple warnings about the cruise: First, you will be offered orange juice as you board the boat by neatly dressed attendants. They fail to mention that, after you finish your drink, they'll be around to collect a very high charge for the juice. This angered us substantially, but after our other experiences in Istanbul I suppose we should have known better. The other annoyance on the cruise was that the attendants spend every single second of the trip walking back and forth on the decks trying to sell everything imaginable, from various kinds of food, to postcards and even Izod sweaters at one point. Once you get used to just ignoring these people the trip becomes more enjoyable.
The only reason I didn't include the Bosphorus cruise in the "must-see" category is that you can visit nearly all the sites we saw along the shore from land, thus getting a much better view of them than we did. However, the cruise was a very enriching experience and made our trip to Istanubl an overall much better time after our rocky start. I definitely highly recommend taking this cruise.
on the 3rd day we went to the waterline - there are alot of people trying to convince u to buy tickets to their ride but its very expensive - just go to platform 3 and buy the ticket there - 6.5 mill round trip
it leaves at 10:35 or 13:00 and get back at 15:00 or 17:00
we stoped at the last place - anadolu kavagi
on the way back u can slo stop at dolombache palace
If you are going between Eminönü and Anadolu Kavagi you will all the way have Europe on one side and Asia on the other. And the ferry is going back and forth between both sides. It feels quite special to look at those two continents at the same time, so close to each other.
The photo is taken leaving Anadolu Kavagi, towards the Black Sea.
There are many places by the Bosphorus which are an absolute delight but let's focus on these few:
Ortakoy. Ortakoy is a very popular hangout place here. It's 2nd only to Taksim for nightlife, many concerts in clubs and many very trendy places indeed. But it also boasts an excellent restaurant area where you can eat outside and admire the gorgeous Ortakoy Mosque against the great Bosphorus bridge, particularly when it's lit up in the night.
Beskitas is great for shopping. Many students live here and the atmosphere is youthful and rather great amongst the pedestrianised streets. Lost of cheap shops, some restaurants and a generally nice place to hang out.. Sometimes I like to sit by the water and watch the boats as they come in.
Moda, on the Asian side (take a ferry from Besiktas), there is a charming tea garden here where you can have your Turkish tea and a truckload of sugar. Also some nice bars, good restaurants AND some of the best ice cream in Turkey! (Ali Usta). There's also a great walk along the water's edge. Very nice and quieter than other places.
"Does it ever reverse flow and go back towards the Black Sea?" This would mean that the tidal levels between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara are trying to equalize.
Well damnit. This thing always seems to flow towards the Marmara. It could be the pressure of the water flowing into the Black Sea (primarily the Volga and the Danube) forcing it out.
The best that I can figure out is that the atlases I have are lazy, leaving out a piece of info - that the Black Sea is higher than sea level.
So I have some maps on order that should tell me.
Ships, ships, ships all the time. One of the most strategically important waterways in the world.
the boats take off every hour. actually, i waited about an hour after getting on the boat because of the delay. but the tour is really worthy of that.
the boat begins its tour near Galata Bridge in Eminonu, and starts moving to North on a very close route to the European shores. here you can see the Dolmabahce Palace, Galata University, Ortakoy -and the mosque-, you go under the two bridges and see the Rumeli Hisar; then tou get closer to the Anatolian side and travel near the Yali's (the great houses close to the Bosphorus), several beautiful houses and palaces, Kiz Kulesi and finally you turn back to Eminonu just after seeing the Sarayburnu (Topkapi Palace) from the sea.
the tour may captivate and charm you by the beauty of Istanbul. if you are interested in photography, i suggest you take the tour in an hour close to the sunset; that will enable you to take silhouette photos of the city. especially Ortakoy + Bosphorus Bridge; and Suleymaniye + ships combinations are good.
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