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boats in istanbul

Boats – Public Transportation in Istanbul

The boat is by far the most used public transportation by Istanbulites in their everyday life, they use it for going to work, leisure … it is pleasant, it remains privileged despite the many other means of transport already existing – boats are common transport in Istanbul. For tourists, it is pleasant and exotic. It combines the useful with the pleasant by making it possible to move from Europe to Asia quickly, and very easily. Many are the destinations, historical, tourist and local.

How to recognize the different boats in Istanbul

There are many kinds of boats in Istanbul, from public, state owned to private, using the same route.

  • White ferries with huge capacity strangely resembling the misisipi boats are for the main lines like Eminonu – Beykoz.
  • The futuristic shaped white, yellow and green boats are boats between Karakoy – Eminonu (Europe) and Uskudar – Kadikoy (Asia).
  • The small white boats are small Besiktas lines * – Uskudar / Kadikoy Kabatas * – Uskudar / Kadikoy
  • Large boats often go for the Prince Islands or Bosphorus.

How to take the boat in Istanbul: nothing could be easier, you only need to have an Istanbulkart to pay, but if you do not have one, you can buy a token at the entrance of the pier – boats are common transport in Istanbul. Take a good look at your destination, and when it is crowded like the weekends for example we advise you to ask someone again if it is the right boat. It is normally impossible to go wrong with the pier.

You will be waiting in a waiting room and when the doors open someone will call out to the departing destination. Very simple, very pleasant, and very practical!

Services on board of boats in Istanbul: in many boats we are lucky to be able to enjoy the presence of a “büfe”, which offers all kinds of snacks, toast, crisps, chocolates… and many other things.

But also to be able to enjoy a service of tea and squeezed oranges on board, and Salep in winter. A gentleman passes regularly throughout the crossing on multiple occasions, offering a glass of “çay” tea or a squeezed orange juice, on a tray to us. (and it is really inexpensive) Entertainment on board: for several years, boat trips have been a source of inspiration for our artsy Istanboulites, this is for sure one of the most relaxing ways of public transportation.

ferry in Istanbul
ferry in Istanbul

Musicians and singers serenade us to brighten us up in addition to the already sumptuous exterior decor. To your good heart, ladies and gentlemen, a room see a ticket for these young people who make us have a good time.

How much does the ferry in Istanbul cost: it depends on how far you go. If it is a simple crossing from Europe to Asia, it would cost 3.50 tl if it was to go to the princes’ islands then 10 tl will be charged.

The joy of the crossing: It is not uncommon for our boat trips to be escorted by dozens of seagulls, hoping to receive a piece of bread or simit.

This show is unique, pleasant, entertaining, and as a bonus gives us the opportunity to take great souvenir photos. The boat is truly the most practical and pleasant means of transport. The most frequent boat destinations in Istanbul: Üsküdar – Besiktas / Karaköy – Kadikoy / Besiktas – Üsküdar / Karakoy- Uskudar / Eminonu – Adalar / Eminonu – Bosphorus / Kadikoy – Adalar / Eminonu – Kadikoy.

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