Istanbul has been a crossroads of history, culture, and trade for centuries, and no trip to Istanbul is complete without Bosphorus tours. The Bosphorus connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, dividing Istanbul into two parts: the European and Asian sides.

One of the most budget-friendly ways to experience the beauty of the Bosphorus is by using the public ferry system, which costs less than 3 dollars per ride. It’s an excellent way to see the city from the water and take in the stunning views of Istanbul’s skyline, bridges, and historic landmarks. The public ferry system saves you money, making it a great option for travelers on a tight budget.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable way to explore Istanbul and experience the beauty of the Bosphorus, consider taking a public ferry tour. It’s a great way to see the city’s stunning landmarks and enjoy a unique perspective of Istanbul that you won’t forget.

Current Schedule for the Bosphorus Tours (Summer 2023)

Prices for City Bosphorus Tours

TourPrice (TL)
Long Bosphorus Tour (Double Way)65,00
Long Bosphorus Tour (One Way)39,00
Long Bosphorus Tour (children under 12 y) (Double Way)32,50
Long Bosphorus Tour (children under 12 y) (One Way)16,00
Short Bosphorus Tour32,00
Short Bosphorus Tour (children under 12 y)16,00
Moonlight Tour52,00
Long/Short Bosphorus Tour, Moonlight Tour (children under 6 y)Free

Short Bosphorus City Tour

Example of a ferry for the Bosphorus Tours

If you’re short on time but still want to experience the beauty of the Bosphorus, consider taking the Short Bosphorus Tour. This tour is available twice a day during the summer (April 1st until October 31st) and once a day during the low season. The cruise takes you from Eminönü to Istinye (well past the second bridge), and back. The tour takes approximately 2 hours and includes a scenic journey through the strait, passing by Istanbul’s most famous sights, including the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Ortaköy Mosque, and the Bosphorus Bridge. Prices for this tour start at 32 TL per person.

This is a round-trip that operates every day from the Eminonu Pier at 2:40 pm and stops at the Uskudar and Ortakoy Piers in order. Then, it comes back from Ortakoy and Uskudar Piers to Eminonu Pier at 4:40 pm. The duration of the tour is 2 hours.

Full Bosphorus Tour (Uzun Boğaz Turu)

Also, If you have more time and want to see more of the Bosphorus, consider taking the Full Bosphorus Cruise (Uzun Boğaz Turu). This tour takes approximately 6 hours and takes you from the Golden Horn all the way to the Black Sea. During the tour, you’ll pass by Istanbul’s most famous sights, including the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Ortaköy Mosque, the Bosphorus Bridge, and the Rumeli Fortress. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the beautiful mansions and palaces that line the Bosphorus. Prices for this tour start at 65 TL per person.

The Full Bosphorus Cruise surely is a fantastic way to spend an entire day exploring Istanbul’s rich history and culture. You’ll get to experience the city from a unique perspective, taking in breathtaking views of Istanbul’s skyline and landmarks.

Full Bosphorus Tour: Schedule

The Full Bosphorus Cruise is a ferry trip that goes back and forth, and you can go on it any day you want. The ferry leaves from the Eminonu Pier at 10:35 am and stops at Besiktas, Uskudar, Kanlica, Sariyer, Rumelikavagi, and Anadolu Kavagi Piers. Then, you’ll get to the Anadolu Kavagi Pier at around 12:25 pm, and you’ll have a break until 3:00 pm. Take your time to walk around and find something to eat. The ferry leaves from Anadolu Kavagi Pier at 3:00 pm and stops at Rumelikavagi, Sariyer, Kanlica, Uskudar, and Besiktas Piers before finally getting back to Eminonu Pier at 4:40 pm. The duration of the tour is 6 hours.

During the tour, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take photos, so be sure to bring your camera or smartphone!

What to Do on Board a Ferry

One of the best things to do when aboard a ferry is to grab a local snack to enjoy during your ride. You could grab a delicious simit from a street vendor before you board. Simit is a traditional Turkish bread that is shaped like a ring and covered in sesame seeds. It’s a tasty and filling snack that’s perfect for a ferry ride. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can break off small pieces of the simit to feed the seagulls that may follow the ferry along its journey. This makes for a unique and memorable experience as you’ll have the opportunity to see these birds up close and capture some amazing photos.

In addition to snacking, many ferries have onboard cafes or snack bars where you can buy refreshments to enjoy while taking in the views. Additionally, some ferries may have live music or entertainment, so be sure to check the schedule before you board. And of course, taking photos of the scenic views is a must-do activity during your ferry ride. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

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