Bosphorus cruise is one of the most entertaining activities to do in Istanbul. While touring the Bosphorus, you can realize how Istanbul acts as a bridge between Asia and Europe. Because this hybrid culture was embodied in the structures on the Bosphorus coast.
During the Bosphorus cruise, you will see the historical palaces and mosques of Istanbul as well as the most expensive mansions. Reflecting both the historical and modern face of the city, the shores of the Bosphorus promise a lot for those who love to take pictures.
Many tourists visiting Istanbul stay only in the triangle of Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar. However, in order to get to know the city better, it is necessary to visit Taksim, go to the Asian side (especially Kadikoy) and join the Bosphorus tour.
In this article, you can find information about the prices and timetables of the most popular Bosphorus tours through maps and images. You can examine the first three options to join the classic Bosphorus cruise. The last two options include sunset and dinner cruise options.
Best Bosphorus Cruise in Istanbul
In order to find the best Bosphorus cruise in Istanbul, you need to review the Bosphorus tours organized by Sehir Hatlari, Turyol and Dentur companies. The prices of these Bosphorus cruises are almost the same as each other. However, since each of them has different routes and times, you need to find the one that suits you best.
For example, the Sehir Hatlari ferries have a large deck, wide seats and a cafe inside. However, they only operate once or twice a day. For this reason, if you are going to combine your Bosphorus cruise with another activity, it may not be the appropriate option for you.
On the other hand, Turyol Bosphorus cruise boats are very compatible with flexible travel plans as they make tours every hour from 10:00 in the morning. Although these boats are smaller than the previous option, they still have a cafe inside.
The last option, the Dentur Bosphorus cruise, is a great option for those staying close to Taksim Square. Because Dentur’s boats depart from Kabatas. Kabatas is the last stop of Tram T1 arriving here from Istanbul Old City. The station is located right next to the Dolmabahce Palace.
Now, let’s examine each Bosphorus cruise under its own heading in the rest of the article. Thus, you can see the pros and cons of each and decide on the most suitable Bosphorus tour for you.
1. Sehir Hatlari Ferries
Sehir Hatlari ferries depart from Eminonu, the transportation hub of Istanbul Old City. Sehir Hatlari has 6-hour long and 2-hour short Bosphorus cruise options. While the 6-hour classic tour continues throughout the year, the 2-hour tour is organized only in summer.
Sehir Hatlari Long Bosphorus Cruise
Sehir Hatlari long Bosphorus cruise starts at 10:30, regardless of summer or winter, and lasts for 6 hours. The route of Sehir Hatlari ferries is longer than other Bosphorus tours. The tour starts from Historical Peninsula and continues until Anadolu Kavagi, which is the closest point on the Asian side to the Black Sea.
After leaving Eminonu, the ferry takes a 1.5-hour cruise on the Bosphorus and takes a 3-hour break after arriving at Anadolu Kavagi. (Between 12:00 and 15:00) This is a cozy town away from the crowds of Istanbul.
You can climb the Yoros Castle built by the Genoese and take beautiful pictures of the Bosphorus. The northern part of the Bosphorus is the only passage connecting the Black Sea to the open seas.
After visiting the castle, you can take a walk on the beach and enjoy the local architecture. It is also possible to have a nice lunch break at the fish restaurants by the sea.
The Sehir Hatlari ferry starts its return journey at 15:00 pm in the afternoon. The ferry follows the same route and returns to its starting point, the Old City, within 1.5 hours.
Sehir Hatlari Short Bosphorus Cruise
Sehir Hatlari has an alternative Bosphorus tour that is only held during the summer months. Sehir Hatlari short Bosphorus cruise is an activity that takes 2 hours. This excursion starts around 14:00 and returns after a 2-hour nonstop tour.
As an Istanbulite, I like the 2-hour tour of Sehir Hatlari the most. Because it covers more places compared to the 1.5 hour tours of Turyol and Dentur. Although this may seem insignificant at first glance, it allows you to see the northern shores of the Bosphorus.
I like to travel on Sehir Hatlari’s wide-deck and comfortable ferries with a decent cafe service. Also, since many Bosphorus cruises do not include the mansions in Yenikoy, the most beautiful houses on the Bosphorus cannot be seen.
The short 2-hour Bosphorus cruise can be a little difficult to fit into your travel plans, as it only takes place during the summer months and starts in the middle of the day. But if you have the time, I think this is the best.
UPTADE: In the new Bosphorus tour schedule published by Sehir Hatlari in 2022, it seems that the “Short Bosphorus Tour” will be held throughout the year. You can enjoy this tour now also during the winter months.
Sehir Hatlari Bosphorus Cruise Prices 2022
Sehir Hatlari long Bosphorus Cruise price is 25 Turkish Lira. On the other hand, the ticket price of the short Bosphorus tour is 12 TL. This post was last updated on December 22, 2021. I suggest you to check the prices once again on the official website of the company.
2. Turyol Bosphorus Cruise Boats
Turyol Bosphorus cruise boats organize tours every hour starting from 10:00 in the morning. In this sense, the most practical trips are made by Turyol, located in Eminonu.
Turyol pier is located only a five-minute walk from the Spice Bazaar, the symbol of Eminonu. Turyol ticket office is right next to the Galata Bridge, adjacent to nostalgic boats selling fish sandwiches.
Turyol boats set off from Eminonu and make a 1.5-hour trip. Leaving the Old City, the ship first crosses to the Asian Side and picks up passengers from Uskudar, and then returns to the European Side and starts the cruise.
The boat sails north along the European shores of the Bosphorus and turns from the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in the middle of the Bosphorus. Following the Asian shores on the way back, the boat gives you the chance to see the sea shores of both sides.
The best thing about Turyol tour is that it is organized every hour and makes it easy to make itinerary. Even if you’re late due to a queue at a museum, crowds at a market, or traffic, you’ll catch the next boat.
Turyol Bosphorus Cruise Price 2022
Turyol Bosphorus Cruise price is 30 Turkish Lira. This article was updated on December 22, 2021. Before joining the tour, I recommend that you check the ticket price a second time on the official website of the company.
3. Dentur Bosphorus Cruise Boats
Dentur Bosphorus Cruise is the third option. The most beautiful part of Dentur is that it is very close to Kabatas. For visitors staying in Taksim Square, transportation is very easy. From Taksim Square you can come to Kabatas via Funicular F1 line and easily reach Dentur boats.
Dentur pier is very close to Dolmabahce Palace, so you can visit the palace first. Dentur’s biggest difference from Turyol is that it departs a little further. Since the tour starts from Kabatas and not from Eminonu, it goes further than Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and returns from Emirgan (beautiful neighborhood up the Bosphorus nearby Sabanci Museum) The journey time is almost the same with Turyol.
Another feature of Dentur boats is that it stops in the Ottoman palaces on the shores of the Bosphorus. The boat stops at Emirgan on the European side and Kucuksu Pavillion (hunting palace of the Sultans) and Beylerbeyi Palace on the Asian side. If you want to visit these places, you can get off the boat and catch the next boat and return to the starting point of Kabatas.
Dentur Bosphorus Cruise Price 2022
Dentur Bosphorus Cruise price is 25 Turkish Lira for a 1 hour and 15 minute tour. Dentur is the best Bosphorus tour in Istanbul for those who want to visit the palaces on the Asian side of Istanbul. Visits to Kucuksu Pavillion and Beylerbeyi Palace are both a cultural experience and the opportunity to eat and drink by the Bosphorus. The cafes of both museums have Bosphorus views and the food prices are reasonable.
4. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise
Bosphorus Sunset Cruise allows you to take magnificent photos in Istanbul. You can enjoy the most romantic moments of the Bosphorus on the tour that starts when the sun sets. If you want to join a sunset cruise tour on the Bosphorus with a luxury yacht, you can make a reservation from this link. This journey might be convenient for a small family or a couple.
5. Bosphorus Dinner Cruise
Bosphorus dinner cruise in Istanbul is a really fun activity. During this tour you can watch local dances and belly dancers. The best part of the Bosphorus dinner cruise is that you can see the palaces and other beautiful buildings on the Bosphorus with their colorful lights.
You can spend an unforgettable evening with beautiful music on the boat, local dances to entertain you and romantic scenery. If you want to join the recommended Bosphorus dinner cruise tour, you can make a reservation from this link. The tour is organized under the guarantee of GetYourGuide, an international company.
Bosphorus Cruise Map for 2022
Bosphorus Cruise Map shows us the locations of Istanbul’s nostalgic ferries and tour boats. These sea transport vehicles allow us to travel between the European and Asian sides as well as take a Bosphorus cruise.
For example, piers 1, 2 and 5 on the map show tour boats making a Bosphorus cruise. Pier 1 belongs to the Turyol Boats. Pier number 2 belongs to Sehir Hatlari Ferries. Pier 5 belongs to Dentur Boats departing from Kabatas.
Pier 3 symbolizes the ferries departing from Eminonu (Old City) to Uskudar and Kadikoy on the Asian side. There are actually two separate piers here, but I thought a single figure would be enough for both.
Pier 6 symbolizes the ferries departing from Besiktas to Kadikoy and Uskudar. Piers 7 and 8 are located in Uskudar and Kadikoy, two touristic districts of the Asian Side. Ferries depart from both to Besiktas and Eminonu.
In summary, a Bosphorus cruise is among the best things to do in Istanbul. You can have this wonderful experience by choosing one of Sehir Hatlari, Turyol or Dentur companies.
You can also join special organizations such as a sunset cruise on the Bosphorus or an evening cruise with dinner. The photos you take during any activity on the Bosphorus will probably be among your best memories in Istanbul.
I would also recommend the article named Istanbul tourist map to get to know the touristic places of Istanbul. Or you can also review the Istanbul metro map article for public transportation in Istanbul.
Written by Serhat Engul