First trip to Asia – Bosphorus Cruise day trips

No trip to Istanbul is complete without the Bosphorus cruise day trips that let you cross over to another continent in a day.  We love boat trips so we were excited when the day arrived that we would make that trip.

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I’d been to Asia before when I visited Israel back in my late teens, but James and the kids have never been out of Europe, so this was pretty big for us.

Bosphorus cruise day trips – which one?

As you wander down to the river side of the Bosphorus you see so many touts and companies offering tours, cruises, trips, whatever variation you can think of! It would be easy to go in to one of the many tourist agency offices and just sign up to a simple cruise, but you’d be paying way over the odds for that. I think I was seeing prices of around 30 euros each for a cruise.

So which of the Bosphorus cruise day trips should you go for?  Well, I’d read up on it by using our guidebook and checking out the internet and found that the best price would be for the 7 hour cruise which was run by Sehir Hatlari . This was the official ferry company and the prices were really reasonable. I think it was 25 Turkish Lira each for the return cruise which also allowed you 3 hours on the Asian side in a little village called Anadolu Kavağı. So I think in all it was about £20 for all four of us. You can get your tickets on the waterfront. If you position yourself at Galata Bridge, where all the fishermen are, the office is the first one on your right hand side. They don’t take credit cards, but there are some ATM’s right next to it.

The cruise itself was just really lovely, there are a few stops either side and you go under two of the bridges that connect the continents. Food sellers come on with yoghurt and other items, but it’s not a hard sell or anything like that.

Once you get to Anadolu Kavağı you get a couple of hours. It’s just a small village, with lots of restaurants, shops all set up to cater for the influx from the boats! There’s also a castle/fort at the top of a big hill which we decided we’d walk up. We picked a gorgeous day for it, a clear blue sky and I’ll never forget the sounds of the mosques as I was walking up the hill. I could hear them from both sides of Turkey!

The ruin was closed to visitors when we were there so once we’d made it to the top, we had to be content with the fabulous view over the Black Sea. And it was rather fabulous!

We don’t often do restaurants, but we figured that this would be a good day for it and so we chose one that was right by the sea. Marcus struggled to choose but went for kofte in the end and really enjoyed it. We had loads of chips as we’d ordered extra and hadn’t realised and all the cats in the area must have realised as they came in droves! Some sooooo cute and others that were really menacing!



I’d highly recommend the trip, really reasonable for families and an exciting thing to write home about!  Now we can tick another continent off the list!

If you’d like to see our other posts about our trip to Istanbul then check out:

First impressions of Istanbul

Istanbul for kids – the good and the bad

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