A Guide To Bosphorus Cruise

Bosphorus Cruise
Sin Yee
Sin Yee 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 3 min read

Connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and bordering the magnificent city of Istanbul, the Bosphorus is one of the busiest commercial waterways in the world. A fun fact about the Bosphorus is that this very strategic waterway divides the Asian and European parts of Istanbul, with each side having its own history and culture. You’ll be charmed by the rich culture and beautiful views this place offers. A cruise down the Bosphorus Strait is definitely something that you should experience at least once in your lifetime. If you wish to see this magnificent city from the water, check out this guide to Bosphorus Cruise for all the information you need before embarking on your adventure.

Tip from tour guide

Rose

Rose
Istanbul

Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge

One of the must-visit attractions on the Bosphorus Strait is the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge. Unlike the other two Bosphorus bridges, this bridge is designed for road and rail vehicles as well as pedestrians. Completed in 2016, the hybrid stay cable suspension bridge was built to carry long-distance traffic between the two continents in a wide arc around the city. With a height of 322 m (1056 ft) and a width of 59 m (193 ft), it is one of the widest and longest suspension bridges in the world for rail and road traffic. 

Tip from tour guide

Rose

Rose
Istanbul

Video of the views from the Bosphorus Cruise shared by Turkey tour guide, Rose.

Things to do / Highlights

Bosphorus 20190727 (15)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sakhalinio used under CC BY-SA 4.0

There are various cruise tours that are available, and you can choose the one that best fits your interests and your itinerary.

Şehir Hatları

The city’s official ferry company offers a variety of tours, including the Short Circle Bosphorus Cruise and the Full Bosphorus Cruise. Most of them are guided tours, so you’ll get to learn more about the rich history and culture of Istanbul.

Hop-on-hop-off boat tour

If you are an avid explorer and you want to explore the city on foot as well as on water, you can opt for a hop-on-hop-off tour. Alight at any of the stops and discover the beautiful mosques, museums, and landmarks near the Bosphorus. Just hop onto the next ferry to go to your next destination and have fun exploring this beautiful city at your own pace.

Bosphorus Tour Istanbul

Bosphorus Tour Istanbul offers various cruise tour options for you to choose from. If you are up for a private adventure, you can even charter a yacht to take in the beautiful view of the Bosphorus River with your loved ones. Aside from that, they also have various lunch, dinner, and buffet cruises. A meal overlooking the water is an experience that will be hard to forget.

Tip from tour guide

Dilek

Dilek
Istanbul

While on the cruise, feed some passing seagulls! The seagulls will grace you with their smooth dance, adding a delightful touch to your ride. Almost every daytime ferry ride in Istanbul offers the chance to witness seagulls following the ferries, eagerly competing for the food provided. Feeding these iconic ferry-associated creatures adds to the joy of the experience.

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What to eat

Turkish food
Source: Pixabay

If you wish to enjoy a meal by the Bosphorus Strait, there are a few dinner cruises for you to choose from.

Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise

Usually lasting three to four hours, the Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise offers a memorable dinner right by the water. Aside from the authentic Turkish cuisine on offer, you will also get to enjoy panoramic views of the charming city at night and watch special folk dances and music shows. Most dinner cruises have belly dancers so you’ll have the complete experience.

Ciragan Bosphorus Grill

Exploring the area on foot? There are a lot of restaurants and bars for you to choose from. Chill with a cocktail at the nearby Ciragan Bosphorus Grill and enjoy charming views of the city right by the famous Bosphorus Bridge (15 July Martyrs Bridge). The restaurant offers both traditional Turkish and international cuisines so you’ll be spoilt for choice!

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Travelers tips

Istanbul - Bosphorus
Source: Photo by user Jean & Nathalie used under CC BY 2.0

Choose a reputable cruise company

Although there are a lot of Bosphorus cruise tours to choose from, remember to do your research and choose a reputable cruise company because if you are not careful, you might get scammed. Several less reputable ferry companies target uninformed tourists and offer them cruise rides for double the price and shorter durations. You might even get a ferry that doesn’t meet the basic safety requirements. Look out for official ferry companies like Şehir Hatları. You can also check out Bosphorus Cruise Tours in Istanbul, another reputable ferry company that offers tours at great prices.

Check the schedule

The time and availability of boat tours will vary according to the season. Remember to check the timing and schedule online before choosing one so you know which tour will best suit your itinerary.

Tip from tour guide

Rose

Rose
Istanbul

Make the most of your Bosphorus Cruise experience by booking it on a sunny spring day!

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How to get there

Europe Eurasia Turkey Constantinople Türkiye "Eminonou district" "Golden Horn" "Galata Bridge" "Istanbul public transport" taxi "Fiat taxi" "Istanbul yellow taxi" "empty cab" "taxi driver" "Istanbul local resident"
Source: Photo by user shankar s. used under CC BY 2.0

There are several docks right by the river where you can purchase your cruise tickets from, and you can find most of them at Eminönü. There are various ways for you to get here via public transport.

Bus

There are several buses that pass by Eminönü. Depending on your location, you can choose one of these buses and alight at Eminönü bus station to get to the pier.

Train

Take the Marmaray commuter rail line. Alight at Sirkeci and make a transfer at the tram station to Eminönü Station.

Tram

Take the T1 line and alight at Eminönü Station.

Taxi

Taxis are available throughout the city, so you can either hail a taxi off the streets or download the app BiTAKSi. It finds the nearest registered taxi and directs them to you. Make sure to ask the driver to set the meter.

You will need the Istanbul Kart to access public transportation. You can get them at the metro or bus station and top-up the card as needed.

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Istanbul Tour Guide

Rose TheGuide

Rose The Guide

Professional Tour / Travel Guide and Photographer Certified by Turkish Republic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. I am a knowledgeable and motivated individual with years of experience in organizing group tours in several areas; have the ability to motivate different sets of audience; have the ability to communicate effectively and possess high degree of energy and enthusiasm.

Istanbul Tour Guide

Dilek Orubegarcia

Dilek Orubegarcia

My name is Dilek, a national-licensed tour guide. I am 40 years old and have been guiding for 12 years. My husband is from Mexico as a Mexican Turkish family and with our two young kids we live in Istanbul. When I don't work I spend most of my time outdoor with my family, enjoying Istanbul as much as we can. We go out, try to discover new restaurants, new museums, art galleries, children's acti... Read more

Istanbul Tour Guide

Safiye Kaban

Safiye Kaban

Hi there, this is Safiye from istanbul. I am a professional licensed tour guide and travel expert over 12 years. I have guided thousands of travellers from all around the world. I love meeting with new people, making new friends and building bridges. I orgnize cultural, historical, shopping and food tours to small groups, I mostly guide to private tours. I am also a foodie, I love discovering n... Read more

Istanbul Tour Guide

Guide Hamide

Guide Hamide

Hello, everyone! I'm Hamide, a professional tour guide in Istanbul. I studied archeology, mithology, history of art, anatolia, and religions. After my bachelors' degree graduation, I started to work in Cappadocia for 4 years. I came and settled in Istanbul when I realised that Istanbul has a very deep history, a unique multiple culture and stunning geography! I still keep experiencing new taste... Read more

Tours by Guide

Bosphorus Cruise information

Bosphorus Cruise to Anadolu Kavagi @ Istanbul
Source: Photo by user Guilhem Vellut used under CC BY 2.0

Bosphorus Cruise

Address: Emin Sinan Mah, Emin Sinan Hamam Sok, Beyzade Han No: 6 Kat: 2 Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

Cost: from 33.5 USD (30 EUR)

Official website: Bosphorus Cruise

Department of tourism: How to Istanbul

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bosphorus cruise |

Half-Day Bosphorus Cruise Tour

Duration: 4 hour

95 reviews
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In light of the February 2023 earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria, Trip101 urges you to be apprised of the latest news if you have any plans to travel to Eastern Turkey. Other parts of the country remain open to travelers.

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Sin Yee is a small-business owner, freelance writer, and content creator. At Basic Theory, she specializes in crafting all-natural, synthetic-free skin and body care products. Beyond her business,...Read more

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