A ride to work listening to the cries of seagulls, watching the waves break and being taken away by the beauty of Istanbul is a unique experience. It is an experience one can never get tired of and Istanbul residents have the luxury of living this everyday, by changing continents by ferry like it’s no big deal.

One of the ultimate ways to experience Istanbul is by boat. On a trip to the city, one must do a short or long Bosphorus cruise, and see the city from a new perspective. ask siri . There are two tours on the Bosphorus that you can choose from, each one leaving from Eminönü. The short cruise takes about two hours and does a full-loop. The full Bosphorus cruise is 1 hours and 35 minutes one-way, with 8 stops in a zigzag pattern; however remember that this is not a loop. The long cruise stops are Beşiktaş, Kanlıca, where one must eat the famous Kanlıca yogurt with powdered sugar, (you’ll be happy to hear that yogurt sellers get on the boat in Kanlica), Sarıyer, Rumeli Kavağı and the last stop Anadolu Kavağı, a charming village on the Asian side. You can get off at any stops on this cruise, but most visitors prefer to get off at the last stop and spend a few hours in Anadolu Kavağı before getting back on to the ferry. If you prefer not visiting Anadolu Kavağı, another good option is to get off in Sarıyer where you can visit Sadberk Hanim Museum. After a nice long walk by the waterfront and enjoying lunch with the beautiful views, you can catch a bus back towards Taksim. Some of the sights you will see along the long cruise are Maiden Tower, Çırağan Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Rumeli Hisarı, Ortaköy Mosque, Dolmabahçe Palace and more.

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When you arrive to Anadolu Kavağı, you’ll be surprised that you are still in Istanbul. This sleepy fishing village feels like a page ripped out of a storybook. Narrow streets with wooden houses, kids playing freely on the streets, local men chatting at the coffee shop and fishermen cleaning up shrimp on the side of the street… The only thing to do in the village for visitors is to visit Yoros Castle, a ruined castle that was settled by the Phoenicians and Greeks before the Byzantine period for trading and military purposes. It is a climb up to the castle, but while you have a few hours on your hand, make the climb, take a breather at the cafe near the entrance of the castle (magnificent views), then walk freely around the ruins of the castle. Since it is an unsupervised area you’ll be able to explore freely, however beware of stray dogs. Stay away and they’ll do the same. By the time you come back down to the waterfront, you’ll be happy to see the fish restaurants ready to host you for a delicious meal. Enjoy some time off of your busy sightseeing trip and savor in the peaceful moments before catching back the ferry to join the craziness of Istanbul. Remember, on a trip to Istanbul, the more time on the Bosphorus, the better!