Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Cheap ideas for sailing in Istanbul waters

Going to Istanbul and not getting on a boat in its waters is like going to Rome without seeing the Pope. Istanbul offers some interesting boat trips. The most famous are a trip to the Prince Islands and a boat trip on the Bosphorus. Depending on the different tourist agencies and packages,prices could differ but the most popular is 20 EUR. For this money you receive a pleasant trip with a tour guide telling you some interesting facts about the places you pass through.But I, being a budget tourist, prefer guiding by book and map and take tours by myself.

Dolmabahce Saray
First thing we did was going to the Asian part of the city.Athough over the Bosphorus there are 2 bridges, the water transport works pretty good too and it is very important part of the Turkish transport network.Ferries and ships have several stops on the European and Asian side.А single ticket costs 1.75 TL (0.90 EUR),very cheap price to move from one continent to another!.The biggest ferry dock is Eminonu,located at Golden Horn,where you'd find ferries to almost every part in and around Istanbul.Here is a map of the different docks of Eminonu,showing their directions.
View to Galata Tower from Eminonu
On the Asian side
A regular ferry
For a Bosphorus cruise you can take IDO Scenic Bosphorus Tour or Turyol Bosphorus Tour. The first one departures from the main Eminonu dock,costs around 20 TL round trip and brings you almost to the Black sea.There are 3 ferries in the morning,at noon and in early afternoon(not sure about exact hours). If you wish you can go by the first one and then get back by the last one because there is a fortress that could be visited and you can also eat in one of the fish restaurants at Anadolu Kavagi(the last tour stop). But one way journey takes 90min so if you choose this trip you have to anticipate almost a whole day. If you don't have enough time you could have a shorter cruise for only 10 TL with Turyol. Their ferries departure from Eminonu(the dock near Galata Tower).This ferry would bring you to the second bridge and back for 90min.
Whatever option you will choose you'll be fascinated by the beautiful buildings and the nature around.
The first Bosphorus Bridge
The Bosphorus

Another amzing and interesting trip is to Adalar(Prince islands).You can take the ferry from Kabatas,which is just in front of Dolmabahce Saray.A single ticket is only 2.80 TL round trip and one way jouney takes 1.5 hours to Buyukada(the bigest island). There are several ferries a day(the interval between the departures is about 2 hours).
The islands are called "prince" because in Byzantine Empire the emperors have sent there the princes who threatened the throne to be exciled and executed. Now the islands are a great vacation resort for Istanbulians.Rich Turkish and Greek people build cottages where they spend their holidays.Most of them prefer the islands because vehicles are forbidden,only horse carriages are allowed. You can have a walk or a horse carriage around Buyukada to see the little streets and beautiful wooden houses.
It's a great day trip(or could be half day) over the Marmara sea.Don't miss to have a coffee or tea on the ferry under the sun in the company of the seagulls.
Marmara Sea
One of the Prince Islands
At Buyukada

There are not only beautifull and rich buildings
I strongly recommend you both destinations.But if you ask me what I prefer,it will be hard for me to tell you. Both destinations have their own specific beauty and athmosphere and you won't regret visiting any of them.Have a nice and save trip!


  1. С тези статии за Истанбул ми се прииска пак да ида

  2. Thanks for sharing this information. Pics are very good. Especially, the ferry(prom) pic.

  3. I'm glad you liked it and I hope it was useful :)

  4. You're right that traveling is the best fun but I think that actually it's the most important to arrive safe :)

  5. I have gone through your article it is very interesting and thought provoking and I wonder that I am also in Istanbul by seeing these pictures, which are superb. Really it is a great article.

    Turkey Tours

  6. Thanks a lot, I hope to feel it again soon :)

  7. Looks interesting, ill be sure to check it out. Cheap property in Istanbul