If you have time in Istanbul, don’t miss the wonderful cruise along Bosphorus. There are lots of different companies offering short sightseeing voyages along this legendary strait. Be careful and don’t fall victim of the crafty businessmen: seeing that you are a foreigner, they can easily raise prices two or three times. At times it seems that they consider every tourist as a millionaire.
It is advised to get a ticket on the hop-on hop-off tour. Usually it concerns only bus tours, but here in Istanbul there are such ship tours! One tickets costs just 15 TL (less then 6 U.S. dollars), and allows you to use the hop-on hop-off route for a whole day! The boat visits 5 different stations: Kabatas, Besiktas, Emirgan, Kucuksu, Beylerbeyi. You choose where to get off and wander around (and for how long to walk there) and where not to get off and just sail further. The tour boats visit every station 7 times a day, with an hourly interval.
You can buy tickets on the Kabatas station, from where the first boat departs at 12:45. Alternatively, you can choose any other company and route. The main thing is to sail along Bosphorus and enjoy the views of the city from the water. During this short voyage, you get a bit envious towards all those sailors who have to cross this strait regularly, and see all those beauties as their routine.
Istanbul is perhaps the only city where there are so many palaces and other architectural wonders so close to the shore that you can have a good look at all of them. And of course, such phenomenons as Aya Sofia and Sultan Ahmet seem even more wonderful from the sea.