A cruise on the Bosphorus strait is one of the activities that you shouldn't miss when visiting Istanbul. Prices are reasonable and the views, both during the day and at night, are stunning.
During the cruise, you'll enjoy views of various palaces (including the Bylerbeyi, Ciragan and Dolmbahçe palaces) and enjoy the lively atmosphere which extends outside the historic centre.
What is the Bosphorus
The Bosphorus is the strait that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and divides Istanbul into two parts, the European and Asian sides. The total length of the stretch is 30 kilometres long, and the width varies between 700 metres and almost four kilometres.
To cross the strait there are two bridges: the Boğaziçi (to the south) and the Fatih Sultan Mehmed (to the north). Both have a width of a little more than a kilometre.
The crossing of seas and continents that the Bosphorus represents was fundamental in the founding of Constantinople itself.
Kinds of Excursions
Of the two different kinds of boat rides on the Bosphorus, we recommend that you choose one that lasts at least an hour and a half and takes you to the second bridge on the Bosphorus.
When you arrive at the second bridge you can see the Rumeli Hisar Fort, a castle built in the mid-16th century, to prevent the Byzantine fleet from crossing the strait.
If you have plenty of time in the city and want to take a longer cruise, there are boats which go to "Bogaz Iskelesi", and take 1.5 hours each way. When you arrive you'll have almost two hours to visit the town and eat in one of its restaurants. This boat has three departure times, 10:35 am, 12:00 and 1:35 pm.
Whichever cruise on the Bosphorus you choose, if you want to get a good seat we recommend that you get to the boat at least 15 minutes before it's due to depart.
Where to book the cruise?
If you don't want to waste any time booking your cruise on the Bosphorus, you can do so directly on civitatis.com:
Spice Bazaar (156 m) Galata Bridge (240 m) Suleymaniye Hammam (521 m) Galata Tower (846 m) The Grand Bazaar (893 m)