Istanbul Bosphorus Ferries – Photo Story

At exactly this time last year, we had just arrived in Istanbul and were walking down Istiklal Caddesi, heading towards Sultanahmet, after being dropped off by our service bus in Taksim Square. It had been a few years since we had last been to Istanbul and, despite a long bus journey with fitful sleep, we were both bursting with excitement at being back.

Istanbul Ferry on the Bosphorus

Istanbul Ferry on the Bosphorus

If you read Turkey’s For Life a lot, you’ll know we returned to Istanbul again last October. Taking part in the 8km and 15km runs in the Istanbul Eurasia Marathon gave us the perfect excuse to justify two visits in one year and you might be guessing now that this little 12 month anniversary is again raising the longing to to be immersed in all that is Istanbul. We’re patient; we can wait.

It’s not until I see the Bosphorus ferries that I feel I’ve arrived in Istanbul. At the mention of Istanbul, many people think of Sultanahmet Camii (The Blue Mosque), Aya Sofya, Kapalı Çarşı (The Grand Bazaar). For me, it’s the Bosphorus ferries, providing crucial links between different areas of the city, between the European and the Asian coastline.

The first time we ever went to Istanbul, I remember standing on the bridge in Eminönü, mesmerised by the number of ferries, car ferries and seabuses pulling into and leaving the various jetties. Hundreds of people, jostling each other, trying to purchase tickets for their boat, hundreds more piling off the boats having arrived in Eminönü, turnstiles clanking, ticket machines bleeping, car horns beeping and the sounding of the horns from the ferries. For me, that’s Istanbul.

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  1. Thanks for the memories. Do passengers still feed sea gulls with simit and are dolphins still playing in the wake?

  2. @ Italian Notes. Yes and yes. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen dolphins in their natural habitat. Never expected it would be in Istanbul! 🙂

  3. This is probably nothing like it but the photo reminded me of a scene from James Bond’s From Russia with Love “)

  4. That is such a lovely depiction. The Bosphorous is just stunning!

  5. Anonymous says

    One week after Sept. 11th, I arrived in Istanbul via the overnight train from Ankara. After a wonderful ride in a hot air balloon over Cappadoccia, we arrived in Istanbul to take the ferry accross and walk to our small guest house in Sultahnamet. What a beautiful town, I fell in love with Istanbul air, noise, views, smell. I hope you have been to the Yerabatan Cistern? This was for me my biggest Coup de Coeur as we say in french. The biggest WOW. If you have not, please go underground to walk in this magical place. Cant wait to go back.

  6. Oh you guys…Sometimes I just have to NOT read your blog! You two make me so “homesick” for Istanbul, if it’s possible to feel that way for a place you lived in for only 7 months. I used to live in Fenerbahce and taking the ferry across to the European side was one of my favorite things to do. The Bosphorus is so unbelievably beautiful. One of the first times when I was taking the ferry across, I actually saw DOLPHINS in the Bosphorus, I kid you not. Honestly, that water is magic.

  7. @ Corinne: That sounds like something I would think of. 🙂

    @ Belinda: We love the Bosphorus. 🙂

    @ Anonymous: Thanks for your comment! 🙂 We need to visit those places again. It was a long time ago when we were in Yerebatan. I’d like to get some photos.

    @ Connie: Sorry. You’re making me feel guilty now. Yes, the Bosphorus is the only place I’ve seen dolphins swimming. Weird isn’t it?! 🙂

  8. Beautiful! Breath-taking! The view! Loving it!!! Oh how I wish I lived there!

  9. This brings back good memories! I love the Bosphorous ferries in Istanbul. For me though, nothing says Istanbul quite like when the mosques sing to each other a sunrise and dusk. Lovely.

  10. @ Rosemarie: It is beautiful. we could easily do a few months living there I think! 🙂

    @ Amy: The mosques are beautiful aren’t they. So many to see. There’s something quite peaceful about the call to prayer isn’t there?

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