Istanbul shore excursions are the best ways to explore this city, because Istanbul is a city to be enjoyed from both land and sea.
And hopping on a public ferry is a great way to do that.
If you have half a day, try this cruise...
You won't regret it!
If you have half a day to invest in the amazing Bosphorus, then my
advice would be to take the “Bosphorus Cruise" (long version) or the "Bosphorus Tour" (short version)
Choose one of them according to how much time you want to invest and get on the ferry.
If you ask me, take the long version, go to the last stop which is “Anadolu Kavagi”, see the castle up the hill, enjoy the amazing views, have a lunch at the terrace café with a wonderful breeze and turn back watching the Bosphorus again.
Ferry is a public passenger boat which we call as “Vapur” in Turkish. Municipality of Istanbul runs these ferry lines.
Istanbul shore excursions with an "Eminonu-Kavaklar" public ferry is called Bosphorus Tour and it is basically;
Zigzagging between Europe and Asia along the Bosphorus Strait, towards North, all the way to Black Sea ,
Making a leisurely stop in “Anadolu Kavagi” neighborhood for 2 or 3 hours and, Coming back all the way back towards the Marmara Sea.
On these Istanbul shore excursions, you will enjoy watching the beautiful waterfront houses, mansions, Ottoman palaces, castles, green hills and small fishermen’s villages on the way.
You will have lots of opportunities to have nice shots of this picturesque part of the city. And you will pass under two suspension bridges that combine Europe and Asia.
You can learn about the architectural and urban history of the Bosphorus Strait.
You will see small fishing boats, all kinds of motorboats and huge tankers and witness the liveliness of the strait.
It is a great way to spend an afternoon, that's for sure..
Duration of the Istanbul shore excursions depends on the destination you choose.The trip to Anadolu Kavagi takes 1½ hours.
The ferry makes short stops at Besiktas, Kanlica, Yenikoy, Sariyer, Rumeli Kavagi and a long one in Anadolu Kavagi.
The public ferry;- Takes off daily at 10:35 and 13:35 (from June to September),- Docks at Anadolu Kavagi at 12:05 and 15:00, - Returns at 15:00 and 17:00. - Docks at Eminonu at 16:30 and 18:30.info: www.sehirhatlari.com.tr/
Istanbul shore excursions provide you stunning views of Istanbul along with the hundreds of years old architectural masterpieces like palaces and mosques, forts dating back to a thousand years, elegant waterfront houses, green forests…
And thanks to the lace-like geography, the scenery will change each moment providing you the most beautiful views…
Along the way, you will first notice the legendary Maiden's Tower. There are countless stories about why this tower was built in the middle of the sea. It is used as a luxury restaurant today. (A dinner here costs nearly 60$ per person.)
Dolmabahce Palace is on the seaside, a palace which was used after Topkapi Palace. Very close to that is another palace: Ciragan Sarayi, serving as a luxury hotel today.
Ortakoy Mosque, which I am sure you’ve seen at least one photo of it until now, is right after the Ciragan Palace, followed by the first suspension bridge of Istanbul; Bogazici Bridge reminding the fact that you are now sailing between Europe and Asia.
Kanlica, on the Anatolian side, is a lively fishing village and is famous for its yogurt, preferably eaten with some sugar on it. If you are lucky this delicacy will be sold on the boat shortly after it leaves this stop.
The most significant site on the Istanbul shore excursions will probably be the “Rumeli Fortress” (Rumeli Hisari) built by Sultan Mehmet II., the Conquerer, in the 15th century.
Remember there is a very nice, white lighthouse just before Rumeli Fortress. You will notice kids diving into water, right in front of the lighthouse.
There are countless buildings along the shore that will stun you..
These ferries depart from the “Bogaz Hatti” dock (dock No: 3, Bosphorus Line) at Sirkeci, at the north of the Spice Market. Most of the Istanbul shore excursions depart from this dock.
The docks are on the shore of the Golden Horn between Galata Bridge and Sirkeci Station.
You can pick up the ferry at Sirkeci or at any other stop on the line.
You can buy tickets for Istanbul shore excursions, Nostalgic Bosphorus Tour, right at the docks.
- A ticket costs TL 15 one-way.
- A ticket for a round-trip costs TL 25.
Buy a round-trip ticket unless you plan to get off at another stop and turn back with a bus or a taxi.info: timetable and prices/
You can find fresh orange juice, tea and other drinks and small snacks at the ferry cafeteria.
Kanlica Yoghurt right after the Kanlica stop.
At Anadolu Kavagi:
There will be enough time for lunch or quick snacks at Anadolu Kavagi.
This small fishing village is famous for its seafood, the tiny streets and the 5th century castle on the hill.
Here is what I do when I go there;
I take a stroll around the streets of this small neighborhood, buy some water if I need.
Then I start to climb the never-ending hill to reach the castle with huffs and puffs. You can take a cab if you don’ feel like climbing a very steep hill though…
When I reach the castle, I look at the amazing view and I feel like all of those huff and puffs were absolutely worth it! The Black Sea channeling into the Bosphorus Strait, deep blue of the Bosphorus, green forests all around, ruined castle and the whistling wind; all add up to the picturesque scene up here. (And less noisy teenagers if you are lucky!)
After a while, I walk downhill and go to the terrace café on the halfway. Eat something depending on how hungry I feel. I am a vegetarian and even I can find so many delicious dishes here. Turkish cuisine is famous for its “Zeytinyagli” section, which are cold dishes cooked with olive oil. They always save my life...
And afterwards I have a beer or a tea or a Turkish coffee… All depends on the weather and the mood.
After a while, when the departing time of the ferry gets closer, I head back down to the port.
And maybe have an ice-cream before getting on the ferry. What life means without a nice, cute, small, delicious ice-cream anyway?
Overall, Istanbul shore excursions are the best way to explore the city, especially on hot summer days.
Did you have one of the Istanbul shore excursions?
Tell us all about it! (And please say "Yes, I had!", it is a must-do while in Istanbul!)