No visit to Istanbul can be complete without taking a boat tour of the Bosphorus. It is not time-consuming or tiring, so it is the perfect activity when you are taking a break from your Istanbul itinerary around the city. Also, luckily, the seas where Asia meets Europe are very easy to take a boat ride in since there are many options to consider when it comes to Bosphorus cruises.
A typical Bosphorus tour includes taking a boat in the seas of the Bosphorus and watching the magical views of Istanbul on both Europe and Asia. This tour is great for discovering both the modern and historical parts of Istanbul from a different perspective. The tour may include more activities, such as a meal and a traditional show or music, depending on the company you choose and how much you pay.
The distance between the Bosphorus and Sultanahmet is 7 kilometers, and it roughly takes about 10 minutes in a taxi. A taxi would cost a little over 30 Turkish liras to go from one to another, and Uber would cost around 100 Turkish liras.
The Bosphorus cruise prices vary depending on the activities that are included. The simpler tours start from 65 Turkish liras (around $11 in 2020) and go up to 324 Turkish liras (around $55 in 2020) on luxurious yachts with a meal and entertainment. It is safe to say there is a Bosphorus cruise for every budget.
With so many different options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide on which Bosphorus cruise tour to take. Here, we listed a selection of Bosphorus cruise tours for you with different costs and programs that scored the highest points and got the best reviews.
This luxurious 3-course-meal cruise covers everything for you, and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the view and the shows. Hotel pick-up and drop-off are included with vehicles with AC, so no hassle about how to get there. The live tour guide is available in four different languages, English, Spanish, Arabic, and Turkish. During the 3.5 hours, you’ll enjoy not only the view but the variety of entertainment, including folk dances and a belly dancer, followed by international music. Drinks accompanying this fun-filled night are also unlimited as long as they are local.
This trip covers the essentials of a Bosphorus cruise, including water or tea, and a Bosphorus map as the cruise’s complimentary items. The audio guide is available in a selection of languages including English, Spanish, Russian, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Polish, French, Turkish. The trip takes 90 minutes, and hotel pick-up and drop off are not included.
This four-hour-long feast on the Bosphorus starts around 19:30 with a welcome cocktail on the deck and includes many special shows such as traditional Turkish dances, Romany dances, a belly dancer, and a henna ceremony. There is a huge meal consisting of starters, Ottoman style appetizer plates, mezes, main dishes, and desserts along with unlimited local drinks. The drop off is around 12:00.
Taking the Bosphorus in on a classier note, this cruise takes place in a glass-enclosed yacht. Watching the views of Istanbul and colors of the sunset while sipping complimentary drinks and enjoying canapes is an unforgettable experience for everyone. The cruise takes 2 hours, and it is advised to bring sunglasses.
This two hour Bosphorus cruise takes its passengers to see the beautiful views of Istanbul at night while having a delicious Turkish street food called balık ekmek (fish sandwich). The tour includes an English speaking licensed tour guide on board for historical points or for any questions from the passengers. The cruise starts at 8 PM.