Istanbul, in the past, was the capital cities of the two mighty empires such as the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empire, Places to Visit in Istanbul, is a rich city in terms of activities. The best way to discover the history and nature of the mega-city that Asia and Europe connect to each other is the Bosphorus tour. Moreover, you can focus on the beauties of Istanbul only by avoiding the stress of finding the direction in the traffic when you join the boat tour.
Bosphorus Cruise Tours in Istanbul
By the way, you can watch the summary video of the boat tour during the Bosphorus Tour which I joined Ortaköy at the end of the article.
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Departure Points of Bosphorus Tour
It allows visitors to see all the beauties of İstanbul (Check: Istanbul City Overview) from a different angle. The tours are made both by private companies’ boats and vehicles of City Lines. Boat trips for private tours mainly begin from Ortaköy, Kabataş, Besiktas, Avcılar, Arnavutköy, and Üsküdar.
Even in cooperation with the Dentur National Palaces, you can go down to the desired downtime. After you have visited the tourist places on the beach, you can take another boat from the company and continue from where you stayed. “Hop on Hop off” tours output of Kabataş are also organized.
Transportation to Departure points of Bosphorus Tour
The companies that organized the tours selected the central districts of Istanbul as the starting point. The fact that districts in the center offer to use many options to reach the boat for visitors. Transportation to tours especially departing from Üsküdar, Eminönü, Beşiktaş, Kabataş, and Ortaköy is quite easy when considering the city’s developed public transportation. Municipal buses and metro lines are among the transportation options you can use to join the Bosphorus tours.
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If you have not used the city’s public transport system before, you can learn what vehicles you can use to reach where you want to go through the “Route Planner” application on the IETT‘s website.
You can also go via own car to the departure points of the tours, which allow you to enjoy the tranquillity of the historic sites and natural beauty of the city. So, there are plenty of areas around nearly all around the piers selected for the tour start, where you can safely park your vehicle.
Duration of Bosphorus Tour
Apart from “Hop on Hop off“, which provides more opportunities for travelers, all other travel programs are organized as short, long and moonlight tours. As you can see from the names, the content of the tour determines how much time you will spend during your Bosphorus travel.
The short tours in Ortaköy take 1 hour as they are generally limited to the distance between the two bridges. Eminönü departure points take 2 hours long since they are overall.
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The one-way journey is completed in approximately 1.5-2 hours during the long tours that take a break at Anadolu Kavağı. When you arrive at Kavak, you can take a break for approximately 3 hours so that you can go around on private tours. City Lines provide freedom of movement for travelers by organizing transportation services at certain times instead of taking a break.
The duration of the moonlight tours is slightly long. In private tours with meal options, the travel is completed in 4.5 hours depending on the departure point. About 2 hours and 30 minutes pass from Bostancı to Anadolu Kavağı in City Line’s moonlight tour which is only organized on Saturday.
Points to take into consideration for Bosphorus Tour
There are two issues that I want you to be aware of when planning your tour in Istanbul Bosphorus. The first thing is about the clothes and the goods you will get in your travel. As I mentioned in the previous article, the Bosphorus Tour allows you to see many beautiful things from different angles. For this reason, keep a good quality device that you can take video and photos with your boat to make a memorable history, a beautiful memorial to each other.
You can take advantage of the applications that show you the current weather to decide what you will wear. Especially during moonlight tours, the weather can be cool.
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The second issue I would like you to consider when planning is whether or not you have a tour guide service that you think you will be joining. On tour organized by City Lines, a voice guidance device can be provided if visitors request it before the start of the travel. All you need to do to get this device is to make a deposit and ID card to the authorities. In terms of guide service, another application is an audio guide made on the boats of private tour companies. The audio guide is made in both English and Turkish, helping to have information about the important structures of the Bosphorus.
I would recommend you to take a look at the private tours accompanied by names such as historian and travel writer Saffet Emre Tonguç to get satisfactory information during the tour if the budget is a bit suitable. The privilege of listening to the stories of the Bosphorus, from the people living around and the names of those who are willing to share with the buildings along the coast is invaluable to me.
Some Important Structures that you can see During Bosphorus Tour
During a boat tour where you can explore all the beauties of the Bosphorus and Istanbul without being stranded in the chaotic urban traffic, you can get a chance to see the Ottoman summer and winter palaces, mansions and groves from different angles. And as you pass under the two strain bridges, you can once again see how magnificent they are.
After protruding sea, the other important structures that you will see, are Topkapı, Dolmabahçe, Yıldız, Çırağan, Beylerbeyi Palaces which they were used as the administrative centers of the state at different times of the Ottoman Empire. In addition to the winter palaces, you can get the privilege of seeing the summer places like Khedive Palace.
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The historical buildings you can see during the Bosphorus tour do not consist only of palaces. Along the way, you can witness the beauties of the richest of the mansions of Esma Sultan, Sait Halim Pasha, Ferik Ahmet Akif, and Baha’i as well as Istanbul’s palaces.
You can see closely the iconic structures of the Büyük Mecidiye and Bezm-i Âlem Valide Sultan Mosques. Then two more glorious buildings will greet you: the Rumeli and the Anatolian Fortresses, which played a key role in the conquest of Istanbul.
Rumeli and Anadolu Kavağı, the junction point of the Bosphorus to the Black Sea, leave the density of buildings at the city center to the natural beauties of Istanbul. When tours come to this part of the Bosphorus, they prefer to stop for a few hours in Anatolia Kavagi.
In the village, you can fill your stomach with fresh seafood hunted from the fertile waters. Or if you want, you can go for a short nature hiking to the Yoros Castle or go to the cafés built on the hills and enjoy the scenery.
Prices of Bosphorus Tour
Private companies and City Lines apply different price tariff for Bosphorus tours. The only appliance they do in together is to offer tickets in both roundtrip and one-way directions. In addition, some companies offer their passengers to travel at a reduced tariff for museums located at their destinations by their agreements.
City Lines, where children between 0-6 years can travel free of charge, are set 25 TL for round trips per person and 15 TL for one way for long tours. While the short tour is 12 TL, the charge set for the moonlight tour is 20 Turkish Lira. For children between the ages of 6-12 are requested half payments of tariffs.
Private tours offer more suitable options for organizations and celebrations, with a price of around 20 TL per person for long tours. For short tours of Ortaköy, Kabataş and Beşiktaş are 15 Turkish liras per person.
If you want to join a tour with a meal which has a specialist guide such as professionalist Saffet Emre Tonguç, the charge is for an average of 200 TL per person.
If you want to know “What are the things to do in Istanbul?”, you can explore this article: https://toursce.com/blog/most-popular-things-istanbul-2019/