Here's the northern continuation of
cruise from the Southern
After the Bosphorus Bridge and Beylerbeyi
Palace, you come to...
picturesque Bosphorus village
with huge old plane tree by the ferry
dock, and townfolk relaxing in its
shade to sip tea and coffee, play cards
or dominoes, and watch boats pass. More...
Kuleli Naval Academy (Asia)
Kuleli means "with towers," so
you'll recognize this Turkish naval
college when you pass. It was built
in 1800 when Sultan Selim III sought
to modernize the Ottoman armed
forces. During the Crimean
War (1855-1856) it was one
of two hospitals supervised by Florence
Nightingale (the other was
the Selimiye Barracks—see the Southern Bosphorus page).
The seafront of this "Albanian
Village" is lined with photogenic Ottoman yalis
(wooden Bosphorus seaside
The mighty Fortress of Europe was
built in just four months during 1452
on orders of Mehmet the Conqueror.
Commanding the narrowest part of the Bosphorus (about
700 meters), it cut off Byzantine Constantinople from
its grain supplies from the Black
Sea coast, making it easier for
the sultan to conquer the city in 1453. More...
The town of Bebek,
with its pretty bay, is on Rumeli Hisari's
south side. Bosphorus University,
founded as Robert College by New
Englander Cyrus Hamlin in
1863, shares the hillside with the
The Fatih Köprüsü (Conqueror's
Bridge), beautifully visible from Rumeli
Hisarı (and vice-versa) is named for Mehmet
Anadolu Hisarı (Asia)
Opposite Rumeli Hisarı is the much
smaller Fortress of Anatolia,
built about 1390 by Sultan
Yıldırım Beyazit I, and
strengthened by Mehmet the Conqueror
in preparation for his conquest of
Constantinople in 1453.
Palace No. 6: The "Sweet Waters
of Asia," famed in 19th-century
European visions of Istanbul,
meander from the Asian hills into the
Bosphorus by this fine little Baroque
hunting lodge finished in 1857 for
Sultan Abdül Mecit I. More...
Atop the promontory at Çubuklu
is the fine Art Nouveau villa (1903)
of Abbas II Hilmi Pasha,
Khedive (Viceroy) of Egypt, now a restaurant and tea garden. The khedive,
a quasi-independent monarch, spent
his summers in Istanbul. More...
This European Bosphorus village is known for the Emirgan Korusu, a spacious forested garden park, and the Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi, one of Istanbul's finest art and culture museums. More...
From the Greek Therapia (healing), this
Bosphorus town got its name from its
healthful atmosphere. Today its small
bay is surrounded by indoor/outdoor
restaurants. Several grand old Ottoman-era summer
embassies of European powers
(including Great Britain and France)
stand in their gardens on the Bosphorus shore. More...
This town is home to the Sadberk
Hanım Museum, a distinguished
small art and ethnography museum founded
by the wealthy Koç family in
a historic yalı (seaside mansion)
and a modern gallery. If you have the
time and enjoy fine art, and/or have
an interest in Turkish
history and culture, don't miss
The largest town on the northern Bosphorus
shore, with a fish market and
several seafood restaurants on
the shore. Buses, minibuses and taxis
run north to the Black Sea beach
resort of Kilyos.
This is a good spot to leave your Bosphorus boat
so you can return to Istanbul by
bus, minibus or taxi. More...
Rumeli Kavağı (Europe)
The farthest northern dock on the European
shore of the Bosphorus,
it has a small beach and
several seafood restaurants.
Anadolu Kavağı (Asia)
Final dock on the Bosphorus cruise-tour,
there are seafood restaurants (if
you haven't brought a picnic), and
you can hike uphill to the seven-towered fortress of Yoros Kalesi on Yuşa Tepesi (Joshua
Hill) to enjoy the panoramic Bosphorus view, including the third, northernmost intercontinental bridge.
If you take the traditional
ferry's Bosphorus tour, you will
have to wait three hours at Anadolu
Kavağı for the ferry's departure
for the return to Istanbul.
If you take a boat operated by TurYol, you'll
be back at the Galata
Bridge in less than an hour. More...
This northernmost suburb of Istanbul
near the mouth of the Bosphorus on
the shore of the deep, chilly Black
Sea is a favorite beach resort for
Istanbullus in hot weather. The ferryboats
don't come this far, but you can
take a bus, minibus or taxi here
from Sarıyer. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan