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The Basics

As a major shipping and trade lane, the Bosphorus Strait has attracted empires for centuries, and their remains are visible along the coastline. Ottoman summer houses, the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya), historical imperial gardens, and more are visible from the water. The Bosphorus draws people to its shores, and many take boats out on the water.

Many small-group and private tours of Istanbul include Bosphorus cruises. These boat rides typically include visits or views of Dolmabahce Palace, Anadolu Kavagi, Rumeli Fortress, Topkapi Palace, and more.

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Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht
Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht
$53.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Excellent service. On...
Excellent service. On time. Beautiful views. Knowledgeable guide. Definitely recommend to anyone looking for a nice evening
Rao_M, Jun 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Istanbul

A highly recommended journey!
Robert_F, Jul 2022
Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Stopover on the Asian Side - (Morning or Afternoon)
The journey under the two Bosphorus crossings with an informative and pleasant guide describing coastal points of interest was very good, and the simple tea and snacks made it a lovely experience. The boat with only 30 or so on board was far nicer to experience than the bustling and crowded tourist ferries.
Enjoyed every minute of it
Agretta_K, Jun 2022
Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise, Free Refreshment and Audio Guide App
We loved the Bosphorus Boat Trip, I would recommend it. We loved the photo shoot too, the crew where lovely.
An enjoyable cruise
Stephen_C, Jun 2022
Bosphorus Cruise Boat Tour İstanbul 4H Tour And Golden Horn And Rumeli Fortress
A very enjoyable half day spent sailing the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. Pickup from hotel smooth and on time. Large deck on boat with plenty of seating. Free tea and coffee. Very informative guide. Includes a 1 hour stop at the fort. Time to visit or simply grab some lunch. 4 hours in total on the boat. Good value. Recommended.
Overall fantastic. Food and drinks can improve
Mohan_G, Jun 2022
All in One Day Istanbul - Historical Tour of Istanbul with Bosphorus Cruise
Younus our guide was fantastic. Great experience at the mosques, hippodrome, palace, and the best was the day cruise along the Bosphorus. It is better than the night cruise we took. Timely pick up and drop off. Only thing that would need to improve is the lunch. The fish had bones in it. They don’t remove it. Also alcoholic drinks are not included. Something to improve.
Amazing experience!
Lejila_D, Jun 2022
Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Stopover on the Asian Side - (Morning or Afternoon)
Amazing and friendly staff. Great Bosphorus cruise along European and Asian side of Istanbul. Snacks and drinks served, great and modern yacht. Definitely a MUST when in Istanbul. 🇹🇷🇹🇷🇹🇷
Bosphorus view
Kemal_A, Jun 2022
Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Stopover on the Asian Side - (Morning or Afternoon)
We took the morning cruise at 10.30am. This tour gave us wonderful memories of bosphorus and impressive quick view on historic Istanbul and some interesting sites. We had a lot of fun in less than 2.5 hours. We visited Dolmabahce palace afterward which is in walking distance. This tour is highly recommended.
Nice Tour
Angela_C, Jun 2022
Bosphorus tour İstanbul 3 Hours Tour With 1 Hour Stop in Asia Side for Shopping
Good tour guide! Clean. Breakfast. Shopping is limited. Weather was perfect. Recommend for families.
An amazing day
Mark_H, Jul 2022
Bosphorus Cruise with Dolmabahce Palace & Istiklal Street
My guide was Emily and it was like having a good friend for a day. Got along with her really easily and she was very knowledgable. Had a really lovely day and was sad to say goodbye 😭
The experience was great.
Suzan_J, Jul 2022
Istanbul: Full Day Old City Tour, Bosphorus Cruise, Cable Car & Lunch
The tour guide was excellent. Provided good in depth background and history on all the historic sights.
Great experience,...
Hugo_V, Jul 2022
Turnatour Dinner Cruise On The Bosphorus with Traditional Show
Great experience, ambience, views. Great unlimited drinks and service. Beautiful night view of istanbul
The yacht was beautiful....
Sejla_K, Jun 2022
Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Stopover on the Asian Side - (Morning or Afternoon)
The yacht was beautiful. We boarded and then we started tour and we got snacks, small sandwiches and Turskih tea. After that very refreshing lemonade. The tour guy was very knowledgeable! Will definitely recommend this to all my friends!
I very much enjoyed the...
Issel_M, Jun 2022
Istanbul Sunset Cruise - Luxurious Yacht Cruise with Live Guide on the Bosphorus
I very much enjoyed the trip, very beautiful sunset view, great details around the history of the buildings we see as we pass through them, and good snacks!
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Bosphorus is a must-visit for history buffs and all first-time visitors to Istanbul.

  • There are city-run public Bosphorus cruises as well as more intimate private Bosphorus cruises available. Some include lunch or dinner on board.

  • In the summer, it’s popular to rent a boat for dining on the Bosphorus.

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How to Get There

The Bosphorus Strait bisects the city, and there are many departure points for boat cruises. Popular ones are at Eminonu, Kabatas, Kadikoy, and Bebek, all of which are easily accessible by bus or taxi. Make sure to check where your departure point is before you set sail.

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Trip ideas

Top Markets in Istanbul

Top Markets in Istanbul

When to Get There

Bosphorus cruises are most popular during the warm summer months, though they run all year long. Often cruises set out in the afternoon or evening, depending on which option you choose. It’s good to arrive at least 15 minutes before your boat is scheduled to leave.

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Mansions on the Bosphorus

The shores of the Bosphorus are lined with Ottoman-era mansions, many of which served as summer homes, palaces, or embassies. Kucuksu Palace is as ornate as Dolmabahce Palace, as is Ciragan Palace, which is currently a high-end hotel. The Kibrislilar Mansion, near Uskudar, is the widest on the Bosphorus, while Sadullah Pasha Yali is one of the older wooden Bosphorus mansions.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Bosphorus?
What else should I know about attractions in Istanbul?
As well as visiting the Bosphorus, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: