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Cruising around the Bosphorus in Istanbul

One of the highlights of my trip to Istanbul in November was definitely the cruise around the Bosphorus. Cruising from one continent to another has something special.

We read that most cruises start in Sultanahmet and wandered around the riverside. Many men approached us and asked if we wanted to go on a Bosphorus tour. It would be a private tour and of course it would be special price for me as I was one of their new best friends… we ignored all of them and kept walking.

Right before the Galata Bridge we found a little selling booth where they were selling tickets for a Bosphorus tour. The boat, which was ready to leave was big and the tickets were only 10 €. The guys selling the tickets were very friendly and helpful. Once on the cruise we picked a good place on deck and relaxed waiting for the boat to start the 2 hours trip up and down the Bosphorus.

First stop on your Bosphorus Cruise: Asia

From Sultanahmet in Europe we started our trip to the Asian side of Istanbul where some people joined the tour. The weather was great, not too hot but also not too cold. The wind was blowing through our hair while we were enjoying the sun and the view. It was interesting to pass by all the beautiful and magnificent monuments. As usual in most cities you will find all the glamorous houses and properties lined up next to each other at the river side.

Palaces and Mosques

On the left you pass by the Dolmabahçe Palace, which is situated in Europe and minutes later on the right you pass by the Küçüksu Palace, which is standing at the riverside in Asia.  Incredible Mosques are lined up next to each other overlooking the cities from one of the many hills the city is built on. The two hours passed by way too quick and we really enjoyed it.

It is one of the must do’s when visiting Istanbul but you have to be careful in which boat you embark as there are many scammers.

A good decision is definitely Zoe Yacht, a fully-licensed yacht operator, which offers a very relaxing Bosphorus cruise with additional comfort. There are different daily tours for during the daytime or evening and you can also choose if you want lunch or dinner on board to be included. The boat can also be rented for special private occasions. Definitely try the sunset cruise!



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11 comments on “Cruising around the Bosphorus in Istanbul

  1. Larissa on

    I was in Istanbul for 10 days and so mad at myself for not making the time for a Bosphorus cruise. Saw all the same things by land but I’m sure it’s a totally different experience from the water. I heard a trip out to the Princes’ Islands is also not to be missed. Gorgeous photos!

  2. Natalie on

    I loved my cruise and got it for 12 Turkish lira. (about $7). No whistles and bells but I did not want them anyway. I missed the commentary though as was too busy taking loads of photos. I love your last one

  3. Steve @ Back-Packer on

    yeah! one of the must-do’s if you’re visiting istanbul. best by having a nice apple tea in between 😉

  4. Aptraveler on

    Great photos and good advice. I am heading to IST this weekend, do you remember the name of THIS cruise company by any chance?? Thanks.