Istanbul, a city straddling two continents, is a wonderland for travelers seeking to explore its rich history, culture, and stunning landscapes. One of the best ways to experience this unique city is by taking a ferry ride along the Bosphorus Strait. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information on Istanbul’s ferries, the Istanbul 2023 ferry map, their routes, and the must-visit destinations on your journey.

Istanbul’s Ferry Companies: Your Voyage Options

There are several ferry companies in Istanbul that cater to the needs of both locals and tourists. They offer a variety of routes, schedules, and services to ensure you have a memorable experience in the city. The four primary ferry operators in Istanbul are:

  • Sehir Hatları
  • IDO
  • TurYol
  • Dentur Avrasya
  • Mavi Marmara

Each company has its unique offerings, but this article will primarily focus on the routes and services provided by Sehir Hatları.

Istanbul Ferry Map 2023

You can find all of the Istanbul City Ferries routes on the official 2023 ferry map above!

Operational Information for Istanbul Ferries 2023

Ferry fees start from 12.25 TL, and schedules can be found on the official Sehir Hatlari website. Keep in mind that schedules are subject to change, so always check for the latest information before planning your trip.

How to Use Ferry in Istanbul: A Step-by-Step Guide

Navigating the ferry system in Istanbul can be a breeze with the right information. Follow these simple steps to make the most of your Istanbul ferry experience:

1. Choose Your Ferry Route

Determine your starting point and desired destination to find the appropriate ferry route. Use the Sehir Hatlari website or refer to a ferry Istanbul map to identify the best route for your journey.

2. Locate the Nearest Ferry Dock

Once you have identified the route, find the nearest ferry dock to your location. Check the route maps and signs at the piers to ensure you are at the correct dock for your chosen route.

3. Obtain an Istanbulkart

Before boarding a ferry, purchase an Istanbulkart, a reusable public transportation card. Istanbulkarts can be bought and topped up at kiosks located near ferry docks, metro stations, and bus stops. The card can be used on all forms of public transportation, including ferries, buses, trams, and metros.

4. Check the Ferry Schedule

Refer to the ferry schedule Istanbul to determine the departure times for your chosen route. Schedules can be found on the Sehir Hatlari website or at the piers.

5. Board the Ferry

Arrive at the dock at least 10-15 minutes before the scheduled departure time to ensure you have enough time to board. Tap your Istanbulkart on the card reader at the turnstile to pay the fare and gain access to the boarding area. Once the ferry arrives, wait for passengers to disembark before boarding. Choose a seat inside or outside the cabin, and enjoy the scenic views of Istanbul as you cruise along the Bosphorus.

6. Disembark at Your Destination

Pay attention to the announcements or electronic displays on board, indicating the upcoming stops. As you approach your destination, gather your belongings and prepare to disembark. Once the ferry has docked, follow the other passengers to the exit and disembark safely.

Exploring Istanbul’s Ferry Docks

With a total of 48 piers and 22 public ferry lines along the Bosphorus, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to starting your ferry journey. You can find the routes on the official Sehir Hatlari website or in brochures available at the piers. Some of the most popular ferry docks in Istanbul include:

Look at the map with the ferry docks 2023 >>

Don’t Miss The Best Tours and Cruises in Istanbul

Explore Istanbul with Tours Including Ferry Rides

Uncover the wonders of Istanbul by choosing tours that feature captivating ferry rides, such as the Bosphorus Sightseeing Tour and the Princes’ Islands Guided Tour, providing a unique vantage point to appreciate the city’s rich history and diverse cultures.

Sehir Hatlari’s Istanbul Most Scenic Ferry Routes 2023

Sehir Hatlari operates 37 different routes, but we will focus on the most captivating and popular ones that you must consider while exploring Istanbul:

  1. Karakoy – Eminononu – Kadikoy: This route offers a convenient way to reach the Asian side, providing stunning views of both European and Asian shores along the Bosphorus.
  2. Ortaköy – Beşiktaş – Eminönü: This route takes you through three iconic districts, allowing you to witness the city’s architectural marvels, such as the Ortaköy Mosque and Dolmabahce Palace.
  3. Kadikoy – Besiktas: Another popular route that connects the Asian side to the European side, with breathtaking vistas of Istanbul’s skyline and landmarks.
  4. Karakoy – Besiktas: This route offers a direct connection between two bustling districts on the European side of Istanbul, giving you an opportunity to explore the vibrant streets and markets.
  5. Beşiktaş – Adalar (Princes Islands): This ferry route transports you to the serene and picturesque Princes Islands, a perfect escape from the bustling city. More routes to Adalar…

A Closer Look at Istanbul’s Most Popular Piers

In this section, we will explore some of the most frequented piers in Istanbul, their main attractions, and the popular routes that operate from these locations.

Eminonu Pier


Eminonu Pier is situated in the heart of the Historic Peninsula, within walking distance of famous attractions like Sirkeci Train Station, Gulhane Park, Sultanahmet Square, Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern. Some of the most popular routes from Eminonu Pier include:

  • Karakoy – Eminonu – Kadikoy
  • Eminönü – Karakoy – Uskudar
  • Ortaköy – Beşiktaş – Eminönü
  • Bosphorus Line that goes from Eminonu to Rumeli Kavagi.

Karakoy Pier

Karakoy Pier is a major transportation hub, not far from Eminonu. The popular routes from this pier include:

  • Karakoy – Eminonu – Kadikoy
  • Eminönü – Karakoy – Uskudar
  • Karakoy – Kadikoy
  • Beşiktaş – Kabataş – Karaköy – Kasımpaşa – Sutluce – Eyup (Halic Hatti line)

Kadikoy Pier

Kadikoy Pier, located on the Asian side of Istanbul, is another bustling ferry dock. Popular routes from this pier are:

  • Kadikoy – Beşiktaş
  • Kadikoy – Karaköy
  • Kadikoy – Karaköy – Eminönü.

Balat Pier

The historic Balat Pier can be reached via the Halic Hatti line from Karakoy, Uskudar, or Fener, or the Kadikoy – Kasımpaşa – Fener – Hasköy – Sutluce – Eyup line from Kadikoy.

Moda Pier

The historic Moda Pier, with its charming café and seaside views, is served by the Bostanci – Moda – Kadikoy – Kabataş line.

Besiktas Pier

Besiktas Pier is located in one of Istanbul’s oldest districts, home to the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha Statue, wooden houses, and Yıldız Palace. Some popular routes from Besiktas Pier include:

  • Beşiktaş – Kabataş – Karaköy – Kasımpaşa – Sutluce – Eyup
  • Kadikoy – Beşiktaş
  • Küçüksu – Beşiktaş – Kabataş
  • Beşiktaş – Adalar (Princes Islands)
  • Ortaköy – Beşiktaş – Eminönü
  • Bosphorus Line
  • Üsküdar – Ortaköy – Kadıköy
  • Kabataş – Kadıköy
  • Kadıköy – Kasımpaşa – Fener – Hasköy – Sutluce – Eyup
  • Bostanci – Moda – Kadikoy – Kabatas

Ortakoy Pier

Ortaköy Mosque is located in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey, is situated at the waterside of the Ortaköy pier square, one of the most popular locations on the Bosphorus. This structure is symbolic of the district of Ortaköy as it has a distinctive view of the Bosphorus Strait of Istanbul and the Bosphorus Bridge here in a view with birds

Ortaköy Pier is situated near the iconic Ortaköy Beach, Büyük Mecidiye Mosque, Esma Sultan Mansion, Historical Ortaköy Bath, Çırağan Palace, and Galatasaray University. The pier offers a variety of souvenirs, clothing, and jewelry in its small bazaar, as well as street food delicacies such as kumpir and waffles. Popular routes from Ortaköy Pier include:

  • Üsküdar – Ortaköy – Kadıköy
  • Ortaköy – Beşiktaş – Eminönü
  • Bosphorus Line

Arnavutkoy Pier

Arnavutköy, one of the oldest settlements along the Bosphorus, retains its historical charm and tranquility. Accessible by the Bosphorus Line and Eminönü – Rumelikavağı line, it’s a perfect destination for a peaceful getaway.

Bebek Pier

Bebek, once an old fishing village, is now a popular district in Istanbul, featuring picturesque cafes and restaurants. Bebek Pier can be reached via the Bosphorus Line or Eminönü – Rumelikavağı line.

Kandilli Pier

Kandilli Pier is situated in the lush district of the Bosphorus, famous for its beautiful mansions. From the pier, you can enjoy a stroll along the seaside park, taking in the stunning views of the Bosphorus. The Bosphorus Line from Eminonu serves this location.

Anadolu Fortress Pier

Anadolu Hisarı, a district shaped around the castle built by Yıldırım Beyazıt, is within walking distance of Küçüksu Summer Palace and Teacher’s House. It’s a favorite spot on the Anatolian Side, boasting charming cafes and water sports opportunities. The pier can be reached by the nostalgic Bosphorus tour and Üsküdar – Anadolukavağı line.

Kanlica Pier

Kanlıca, located within the borders of Beykoz, is famous for its yogurt. You can taste the delicious Kanlıca yogurt at the pier’s kiosks and cafes while browsing the handicraft stalls selling souvenirs and jewelry. Kanlica Pier can be reached via the Bosphorus Line and Üsküdar – Anadolukavağı line.

Kuzguncuk Pier

Kuzguncuk is a charming district, accessible by the Bosphorus Line. It’s an ideal destination for those looking for a quieter spot to explore.

Bosphorus Tours by Public Ferries

Taking a Bosphorus tour is a must when visiting Istanbul. Public ferries offer a more affordable alternative to private cruises, allowing you to experience the beauty of the Bosphorus while discovering Istanbul’s rich history and culture. To find prices and schedule click here…

Discover Istanbul with Unique Bosphorus Experiences

Indulge in the captivating beauty of Istanbul with one-of-a-kind Bosphorus experiences, such as a luxurious private yacht tour or a mesmerizing sunset cruise, providing an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate the city’s stunning skyline and rich cultural heritage.

What to Do on a Board an Istanbul Ferry

While onboard an Istanbul ferry, enjoy the stunning views of the city’s iconic landmarks, take photographs of the Bosphorus Bridge and the Maiden’s Tower, and indulge in local delicacies like simit and Turkish tea.


Ferries in Istanbul offer a unique and memorable way to explore the city while enjoying breathtaking views of the Bosphorus. With numerous ferry routes, piers, and tour options available, there’s no shortage of opportunities to discover Istanbul’s rich history and vibrant culture from the water.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check the Istanbul ferry schedule?

You can check the Istanbul ferry schedule on the official Sehir Hatlari website. Alternatively, you can refer to the ferry schedule Istanbul provided at the piers.

What time do ferries stop in Istanbul?

Ferry operating hours vary depending on the route and time of year. Generally, the first ferries start running around 6:45 am, and the last ferries operate around 11:00 pm. It is essential to check the specific route schedules on the Sehir Hatlari website for accurate timings.

Can I use the Istanbulkart for ferries?

Yes, you can use the Istanbulkart for ferries, which is a convenient and cost-effective option for getting around the city. The card can be loaded with credit and used on public transportation, including buses, trams, metro, funiculars, and ferries.

Are there any ferries from Istanbul to Bursa?

Yes, IDO Istanbul Fast Ferries operate between Istanbul and Bursa. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. You can check the schedule and book tickets on the official IDO website.

How do I get to the Princes Islands by ferry?

To reach the Princes Islands, you can take ferries from Eminönü, Kabataş, or Bostancı piers. The Beşiktaş – Adalar (Princes Islands) line serves this route, and the journey takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

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