Istanbul is three parts land and three parts water. Its ferryboats connect the land parts over water in the most delightful way.
The Turkish word for dock is iskele(si) (from the Italian scala). Here's the rundown on the docks for Bosphorus cruises and Asian-shore destinations, and here's a map.
Eminönü Haliç İskelesi
This small wooden dock building, boarding-point for Şehir Hatları Golden Horn ferries, is a bit difficult to find. Walk west past all the TurYol docks to near the prominent T. C. Istanbul Ticaret Üniversitesi building.
TurYol Eminönü İskelesi
TurYol boats for Bosphorus cruise, Üsküdar & Kadıköy.TurYol ferryboat signs are clear and straightforward. To walk from the Şehir Hatları docks on the east side of Galata Bridge to the TurYol docks on the west side, use the pedestrian underpass (yaya alt geçidi), either under the Galata Bridge or under the roadway.
(Temporary Bosphorus Cruise Dock)
Boğaz (boh-AHZ, "throat, strait") means the Bosphorus, so this is the dock for those daily Şehir HatlarıBosphorus Cruise ferries, soon to be moved east to No. 6. Also here, the Boğaziçi YolTur dock, another choice for a 1-1/2-hour Bosphorus cruise, departing frequently.
Frequent Şehir Hatları ferries cruise across to Üsküdaron the Asian shore. If you just want to take a short cruise across the Bosphorus, hop aboard, and ride it right back if you like.
Şehir Hatları ferries to Kadıköy every 15 or 20 minutes. If you're going to the station, be sure to ask if the ferry stops there. Otherwise, you'll have to alk around the cove or take a short taxi ride from Kadıköy to get there. Ferries from Karaköy/Galata, at the northern end of the Galata Bridge, go to Kadıköy.
Katib Çelebi İskelesi
This was supposed to be the permanent dock for Şehir Hatları Bosphorus Cruise ferries, but became a bookstore instead. Meanwhile, the ferries are still served by an inadequate, uncomfortable, "temporary" dock. Go figure.
Harem Araba İskelesi
This car ferry also takes passengers across the Bosphorus to the Harem Otogar, the intercity bus terminal on the Asian shore.
Once used for larger Turkish ships/ferries on longer routes, now little used.
TurYol Karaköy İskelesi
TurYol ferries to Üsküdar & Kadıköy, and in summer, Bosphorus cruise and Princes Islands (Adalar).
Şehir Hatları ferries to Kadıköy on the Asian shoreevery 15 to 20 minutes.
Yolcu Salonu (Cruise Ship Passenger Terminal)
Closed. Under construction as Galataport, a new cruise ship passenger terminal. During construction, cruise ships moor at the Salıpazar docks:
Salıpazarı Cruise Ship Dock
Continuation of the Karaköy cruise ship docks, with its own entrance/exit. Walk to the Tophane stop of the Bağcılar-Kabataş tram for easy, inexpensive transport to major sightseeing areas.
Closed until 2018 for construction of a new terminal and reconfiguration of the entire district as a transport transfer station.
Yenikapı Feribot Terminali
İDO seabuses within Istanbul, and fast catamaran car ferries across the Sea of Marmara to Yalova, Bursa and Bandırma.
Harem Car Ferry Dock
Asian dock for car ferries to Eminönü (Dock 7). The Harem Otogar (Intercity Bus Terminal) is also here.
Şehir Hatları, TurYol & Dentur Avrasya ferries to Eminönü, Karaköy, Beşiktaş and Princes Islands (Adalar), Havataş airport buses to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, and Asian Metro to Kartal.
Şehir Hatları, TurYol & Dentur Avrasya ferries to Eminönü, Karaköy and Beşiktaş.
Şehir Hatları & Dentur Avrasya ferries to Üsküdar.
İDO seabuses to Yenikapı, and other seabus docks, and İDO and Şehir Hatları ferries to the Princes Islands.