Bosphorus Tour

Address: Eminönü İskelesi, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: 0212 444 18 51

- Expensive


Great views abound while cruising the strait that famously divides east and west.

The Eminönü waterfront is packed with touts offering Bosphorus cruises, but the best way to see the famous strait – and the palaces, old mansions, and scenic little neighbourhoods that line much of it – is on another symbol of Istanbul, the historical city-run ferry. The nostalgic boats take about an hour and a half each way to ply the strait, docking alternately on the city’s European and Asian sides before ending up in Anadolu Kavağı, an old fishing village near the Black Sea where travellers can stretch their legs with a hike up to a crumbling hilltop fort or eat fish at one of the many restaurants by the shore.

Value for money

Price advice

A round-trip cruise is 25 lira. If you want to make your way back by bus or taxi from one of the many ports of call, a one-way fare is 15 lira. There’s also a shorter, summer-only Saturday night cruise for 20 lira.

Expert tips

After the boat docks in Kanlıca, be sure to buy some local yogurt from one of the vendors who board the ferry at that stop. And don’t forget to ask for some powdered sugar to put on top.

Take the early boat in summer to get an extra hour to enjoy Anadolu Kavağı.

Avoid the extremely crowded weekend ferries if you can, and arrive at the dock early any day of the week to get to the front of the pack angling for the best seats on top of the ferry.

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Sporty types
  • Great views / scenery
  • Sightseeing
  • Chilling out