The astounding concentration of cultural and historical sights on Istanbul’s European side often leaves the city’s Asian shore in the shadows. However, this quiet and predominantly upper-class residential area is a great way to get an alternative ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

I had a particularly nasty experience on the cruise, having discovered as we were sailing towards Asia that I had left a major personal item on the counter of an ice cream vendor in Ortokoy - on the European side.. Aslan personally went out of his way to find it and bring it back to me. He did so with a good heart, much concern for me and a wonderful cheery personality. I will never forget him or this day.

Doing what: Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Day Cruise from Istanbul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

While the tour was short, it was a great opportunity to visit the Asian side of Istanbul. The temperature was a bit cooler than the European side and it has beautiful palaces and vista outlooks. We also had an opportunity to taste delicious Turkish ice cream made with goat milk and Orchid powder1

Doing what: Istanbul Two Continents Half-Day Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2014

The morning tour that we took was excellent. The view of Istanbul city of the European side was like a perfect picture, the Asian side has beautiful water and homes. We also purchased affordable hot tea (less 3 lira) on the boat. The bazaar was medium size but the friendly shop sellers spoke few words of Malay language, in fact at most of shops there. We enjoyed the atmosphere there.

Doing what: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

Istanbul...what a great city! A city on 2 continents. While most of the treasures
are on the European side, a tour, including the Asian side, makes the trip better.

Doing what: Istanbul Two Continents Half-Day Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2013

Great half day trip to the Asian side of Instabul. Crossing over the bridge you'll visit a palace and then up the hill for panoramic views! Beautiful!

Doing what: Istanbul Two Continents Half-Day Tour

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2015

Overall this trip was good. However, the description was misleading. The cruise went to the river mouth only - not onto the Black Sea. The swimming was in the Bosphorus and not off a beach as described, and the stop was not a coastal village. it was on the Asian side of the Bosphorus and a fishing village with nothing to do as all that was there were seafood restaurants. The stop ddi not allow for time to have a meal - nor was the timing appropriate as we had lunch on the boat and it was too early for dinner. Also the Castle was closed on a Wed..

Doing what: Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Day Cruise from Istanbul

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2015

This tour is worth doing as it gives you a good way to orientate yourself in the city if it is your first visit to Istanbul. The visit to the Spice Market was very interesting - unlike anything we see in Australia! The tour down the European and Asiatic side of the Bosphorus allows you to see some of the fascinating palaces and homes much better than on land. The commentary provided on the tour is very helpful and points out the important landmarks so they are not missed.

Doing what: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2014

Good tour, the cruise was enjoyable and informative about the palaces along the Bosphorus. The Bazaar was closed on the day of the tour, but the guide took us around the outside and explained the building from the outside. I would recommend the tour to anyone visiting Istanbul, as it was good to see both the Asia and European sides of the Bosphorus.

Doing what: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

I picked this cruise specifically to see both some Istanbul sights from the water and enjoy the boat ride all the way up the Bosphorus to the Black Sea. The guide was knowledgeable and approachable, though I didn't like that you end up hearing a lot of the same info twice as half the passengers opt for morning or afternoon only trips and swap out at lunch time. The food was okay, but nothing amazing. It's really the spectacular views and enjoying being on the water that are worth the trip. Read the fine print, as certain days visit different sites and sides of the Asian/European shores based on museum/palace closures, which got a few uninformed people upset. The stop to swim in the Black Sea is a bit misleading...you stop in a port/harbor of Poyrazköy that is actually just shy of the opening to the Black Sea. You can climb up the hill to have great views looking North over the Black Sea, but it felt a bit like cheating to say we were swimming in it. Also, though the swimming section is roped off in the bay from the harbor, it's all still the same water and wouldn't have been my preferred swimming hole (this didn't stop me from getting in the water, but be advised). Showers are available, but they make you pay a small fee to reach the beach (which is not included in your tour price. Also, beer and wine is not included on the boat, and is rather expensive at 15 lira ($7.50) each.

Doing what: Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Day Cruise from Istanbul

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2014

Nice cruise... they take you to the Asian part of Istambul. The Egyptian bazaar was good, but there is no guidance in there.

Doing what: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2013

The boat cruise was beautiful. You get to see both the European and Asian sides. You also get a different perspective on Istanbul by seeing it from the water. The Egyptian Bazaar was very fun and colorful. This is a good tour as a start to your visit to Istanbul.

Doing what: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2013

Omar was our guide again and we had a great time.. Spice Market very different and more relaxed.. The boat tour fun and informative to see the Asia side!

Doing what: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2012

The actual trip to the Dolmabache palace, harem and over to the Asian side, Camlica hill was very interesting and the palace was certainly filled with "baccarat cystal" at every turn. Unfortunately our guide did not appear to be that interested in telling us "tidbits" of info about what we were seeing and did not seem to be aware that we had people in our party who could not race along and climb stairs easily. He only spoke to those at the front of the group. So while I recommend the tour, I would suggest ensuring your guide is suited to your group and your group's "thirst" for knowledge of what you are seeing.

Doing what: Private Half-Day Tour: Istanbul's Two Continents

EARL S
Canada

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2012

Tour was very good. They picked us up at our hotel, on time and drove us to the meeting point. As it turned out, the real tour started about 1/2 mile from our hotel. They could just ads easily picked us up on the way to the Asian side.
The view from the Asian side is much different than the European side. This area is newer, more modern. They took us to the highest hill and the views were terrific.
The summer palace was nice, but they do not allow you to take pictures and we would have liked to do so.
All in all, the guide was knowledgable and answered questions. His English was very good.

Doing what: Istanbul Two Continents Half-Day Tour

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2012

Informative tourguide. Would love to recomend someone else who is willing to pay a visit.
Should have made it longer thou, asian part doesnt have sufficient time.

Doing what: Private Half-Day Tour: Istanbul's Two Continents

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2011

Great way to see the coastline and Asia side of Istanbul.The Egyptian Bazar is much more manageable than the Grand Bazar.Nice ship.

Doing what: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2011

The experience in crossing the Bosphorous bridge was surreal. In one minute I was in Europe, but in another I was in Asia. Nowhere else but only in Istanbul! And yes, the view from atop Camlica Hill was fantastic.

Doing what: Istanbul Two Continents Half-Day Tour

Roberto S
United Kingdom

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2007

This was an excellent trip with an informative and friendly guide. The visit to the museum was nothing special and I would have preferred to set foot on the Asian side of Istanbul. But being on the Bosphorus was excellent!

Doing what: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

3 star rating: Worth doing
June 2015

Not wrapped in this cruise.....think best to do it yourself...had 2 1/2 hr. Wait till got going properly, had to cross over into Asia side to meet buses then the Spice Market was t anywhere near long enough to visit.do it yourself.We were right near the spice market anyway......so walked back another day to see more of it....

Doing what: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

3 star rating: Worth doing
October 2014

Good short half day tour. We were picked up and dropped off at our hotel. We started by going to Asia. Had some time to take pictures and walk around. We then went to the palace, which was great. The tour guide could have been a little bit more personalable. He seemed somewhat robotic, but nice.

Doing what: Istanbul Two Continents Half-Day Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2014

Very worthwhile cruise on Bosphorous, viewing European and Asian coastlines and all the interesting buildings and private yachts! After picking up other passengers from various hotels, we then made our way to a meeting point in the city centre where passengers changed coaches for other tours and new passengers boarded our coach for the boat cruise. Was all a bit confusing as the guide or driver didn't really explain what was happening. The free time we were allowed at the spice market gave us a chance to experience the exciting, bustling, noisy alleyways of the market.

Doing what: Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar

Anonymous

Anonymous

3 star rating: Worth doing
June 2010

This is really a tour of the Asian side of Istanbul - fighting a lot of traffic, normal for Istanbul - to visit a lookout on the Asian side and then to visit the Beylerbeyi Palace on the shores of the Bosphorus. The tour was a lot shorter than 4 hours - but still worthwhile.

Doing what: Istanbul Two Continents Half-Day Tour

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
April 2015

Our hotel was about 1 mile or so from the palace, but we were picked up and driven clear across town to a meeting point and then back again to the palace. With traffic it took 2 hours. Then since we were late we were rushed through the tour. Skipped the ride over the bridge to Asia since we were so late and with traffic at a crawl we thought it would be several more hours before we would get back. Our tour guide was good and did his best in the bad situation.

Doing what: Dolmabahce Palace Tour in Istanbul

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
April 2014

It was nice taking a trip over the Bosphorous, but this could have been so much better.
Aziz was a great tour guide, explaining the history and taking you around.
This trip was really only 2 hours not a half a day, add in another hour of picking up and dropping people off.
You start off with some free time up at the highest point on the Asian side, really nice views. Then you drive around, I forget what places we stopped at except the last stop which was the Sultans summer palace. Really nice palace. This trip could be so much better however. Suggestions: Spend more time in other Asian parts and also make a stop at the Dolambache palace - that would have been really nice.

Doing what: Istanbul Two Continents Half-Day Tour

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
June 2013

Actual tour of palace was 45 minutes and view from Asia side 20 minutes the other 3 hrs was spent in a bus in traffic. The tour was suppose to be in English but the quide did it in English and German and was not able to be heard. Very dissappointing would not use company again.

Doing what: Dolmabahce Palace Tour in Istanbul

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