Does anyone have any pointers on the bosphorus cruise. Should I do a half or full tour. Or Just take the ferry over to the Asian side instead to Kadikoy? We will arrival in Istanbul March 31st leaving for Cappadocia on April 5th. Would you do the tour on a Sunday? Thank you.
There are different tours with different price points and a few directly targeting the tourist crowd (those will drop you off at Rumeli fortress up north and you're sort of captive there until the boat returns). There are plenty of regular local boats that drop off at various docks - very inexpensive option and you'll still get to see the beautiful views of the Bosphorus. I went on the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and over to Kadikoy all using local boats. The only pointer I can think of is to take your time looking at the various options, the prices and you'll have to get the ferry tokens near the entrances (they are not the same tokens as those used for the tram and they blend right into regular coins). Don't expect the security guys at the ferry stations to help you - they only speak Turkish. And be sure to note the last boat back from Kadikoy - it's a lot earlier than I thought. I had to get back to the boat by 9:00pm ish so dinner was a bit rushed at Ciya Sofrasi (great place to eat in Kadikoy - I highly recommend it).
I don't think it matters what day you do the trip..just look at the scheduled times, the boats run all the time because locals use them to get around.
I also enjoyed the full length trip on the public ferry. A short ferry ride to Kadikoy wouldn't give you the same views or range of architectural photo ops.
Hi, After discovering the city by walk and car then, exploring the city from the see is a must.
-Bosphorus cruise by ferry approx. 90min and ticket price approx. 13-15TL (About 5Usd pp)
-Boshorus cruise by private boat 2hours is enough to cover for a great sightseeing and to get relax with its fresh environment, or if you wish to cover South and North and some part of Golden Horn then you will need to hire for 3hours. If required you can have your lunch or dinner aswell. (Private yacht rent per hour approx. 200-300usd/hour)
-Otherwise you can book a group shared basis tour (land and sea combined tour) half day or full day (cruise part takes about 90min by ferry)
Hope you will find the given info useful.
Enjoy your Istanbul trip!
I took the long Bosporus cruise recommended in Rick's Istanbul book, and don't recommend it. The second half was not nearly as interesting as the first, the town the cruise ends in is not interesting, and the ride back felt eternal (since you've already seen it going up). It was one of the few disappointments of a wonderful trip to a wonderful city, and one of the book's few things I strongly disagreed with.
My other big disagreement, by the way, was recommending the Haci Abdullah restaurant. It was not only overpriced, but the only place in Turkey we encountered rude and attitude-filled service. There's no need to subject yourself to this in a place filled with great food, reasonable prices, and warm people. I'm very upset to see that, five years after we went, it's still in the book.
The public boat to Kadikoy was wonderful and cheap. Of course, you don't see the Bosporus, but you do get great views of the city, and Kadikoy itself was quite interesting. There are also shorter Bosporus cruises run by other companies that would be good (the kind you're calling a "half tour").
I ended up doing this in conjunction with some other touring around. While I did do some of my Istanbul touring on my own, I also enjoyed the day I had Efendi Travel pick me up, take me to a few sites that were harder to get to on public transport and then drop me back at my front door. They have quite a few day tours that include a Bosphorus cruise, including a half-day tour that starts at 30 Euros. I liked this company. http://www.efenditravel.com/Bosphorus-Cruise-Eminonu-Tour-efendimenu6876435897436-tid9-dilurl2