Istanbul Shore Excursions
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Istanbul Shore Excursions are the best ways to explore this city, because Istanbul is a city to be enjoyed from both land and sea.

The Bosphorus Strait actually defines Istanbul...

A trip to Istanbul is not complete without a leisurely boat ride along the Bosporus Strait that separates two continents.

The views are stunning, being between two continents is a delightful feeling and architectural and cultural treasures that lie along it are more than worth seeing.

Cruising the Bosphorus is a good way to explore;

  • Both European and Asian shores at the same time,
  • The magnificent geography of this waterway,
  • A balanced mixture of old and modern, such as 16th century mansions and 2oth century suspended bridges,
  • Grand Ottoman palaces and historic fortresses,
  • Grandiose feeling of palace buildings and simple beauty of elegant waterfront mansions (Turkish: Yali),
  • Interesting contrast of small boats fishing between the giant boats that are passing through,
  • Picturesque fishing villages (like Ortakoy and Arnavutkoy) and green forests behind them,
  • And,

  • You can get lungful of fresh air and lots of oxygen. Bosphorus is not polluted, and it is always windy, even on the hottest days on summer.

When to go?

Every weekday is fine.

Saturday and Sundays are too crowded. Sundays are especially crowded. Seriously, beware of the Sundays.

If possible choose a sunny day. It is a bliss to be at Bosphorus when it is sunny; it is a feast for the eyes.

Detailed info about Shore Excursions;

1. Public Ferry:

In my opinion, the best way to explore the Bosphorus shores is by hopping on one of these ferries because you will sail along Istanbulites. The real thing!

This is absolutely one of my favorites on a hot summer day. All details are here.

2. Organized Cruised with Pro Guides:

These tours are especially good if you want to learn what is all around you while you sail along the Bosphorus.

These are absolutely more informative than other Istanbul shore excursions. Professional guides are with you all along the tour.

All details are here.

3. Private Boat Cruises:

If you don’t have all day for a Bosphorus Cruise and you want to have at least a glimpse of it, here is an option for you; a private Bosphorus boat tour.

These Istanbul shore excursions take nearly three hours. All details are here.

4. Private Caiques:

A private company named “Sultan Kayiklari” (caiques of the Sultan) provide tours with caiques (replicas of the original boats of the Sultans) with gilds and decorations.

It can be fun! All details are here.

5. Private Rental Boats:

Another option is to rent a small boat from a small harbor like Istinye, Tarabya or Sariyer (Northern parts of the Bosphorus Strait).

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

6. Night Cruises:

Whatever you do, arrange a Bosphorus night cruise while you are here. This is certainly one of the most romantic options for a night-out in Istanbul.

It doesn’t matter if it is a very low-budget one, a short one, a long one, an expensive one… Choose what fits your schedule and budget, but make sure you do this…

This is an experience that you don’t want to miss. All details are here.

7. Motorboats between Uskudar-Besiktas:

If you want to go the ultra budget route or if you are really in a hurry, get on one of the motorboats from Besiktas to Uskudar.

Walk around in Uskudar, then get back to Besiktas.

All details are here.

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