Istanbul Shore Excursions:
5) Cruises with Rental Boats

Istanbul Shore Excursions are one of the best ways to explore this city. If you want to tailor your own cruise here's how...


You will see that many hotels will offer you a night cruise with dinner and entertainment package for around $90/person.Beware of them, really.. Always look for a qualit service, not a lower-price.. Because these tours can really be kitsch and actually has nothing to do with authenticity of the life here..

This is the last thing to choose, believe me. You will find yourself on a multi-decked boat, sharing the same destiny of eating mediocre food and watching a kitsch belly-dancing show with a bunch of other tourists. So please don't go for that route!

So the wise thing to do is: Rent your own boat!

You can rent your own boat and tailor your own Bosphorus cruise! You can choose the route, the food, the drinks and duration... And if you don't want to eat and just want to float along the Bosphorus it will be cheaper..

You can sit on the deck and discover two continents and beautiful views along Bosphorus shores at your own pace.

Where and how to rent a boat?

You can rent a small boat from a small harbor like Bebek, Istinye, Tarabya or Sariyer (northern parts of the Bosphorus Strait).

The best place to rent boats, is in Bebek because it is closer to downtown. You can take a taxi to Bebek, or get on one of the buses that run along the coast from Besiktas towards Sariyer.

Get off the taxi or the bus in Bebek, walk past Bebek along the coast and that's where you will see lots of boats with "For Rent" signs on them.

You can go there earlier and reserve a boat or you can go the day you want to cruise.

Necessary info about boat rentals:

  • Price: The price for a standart, 2hours Istanbul shore excursion is nearly $150 (for 6).
  • But if you want a longer cruise and want to have some food and alcohol on board the price will go up.

    You can provide your own drinks if you want to, just let the captain about that.

  • Duration: Usually 1,5 - 2 hours. It can be longer if wanted.

The captains of the boats will design the cruise however you'd like it to be. Just tell them which places you'd like to see.

Or you can let the captain decide if you don't want to prepare a route. They are very experienced and will cover all places to be seen.

It is possible to make it a night cruise either.

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