The Bosphorus is a narrow, natural strait and an internationally significant waterway. It is located in northwestern Turkey and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. The Bosphorus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and, by extension via the Dardanelles, the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.
Explore the aromatic maze of stalls that make up Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar, and then hop aboard a sightseeing boat for a jaunt along the famous Bosphorus Strait! After traveling to the bazaar by coach and learning about the city from an onboard guide, enjoy some free time to explore and browse stalls selling fresh mint, cardamom, cinnamon and more. Follow up the market visit with a Bosphorus sightseeing cruise and see a collection of sights including the decadent Dolmabahçe Palace and Rumeli Hisarı Fortress.
Choose from a morning or afternoon tour, and then start your experience with a pickup from your European-side Istanbul hotel. As you travel through the city, sit back and relax as your onboard guide talks about Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar— your first destination of the tour. One of the city’s most colorful and bustling attractions, the market has operated since the 17th century and remains as popular with locals as it is with visitors.
Hop out of your coach and head inside the market while breathing in its heady aromas of fragrant spices and herbs. Hear tips for interesting stalls to visit from your guide, and then enjoy roughly 45 minutes of free time to explore and shop at leisure.
After shopping and sightseeing around the famous souk, travel by coach to the banks of the Bosphorus Strait for your cruise. Learn about the famous stretch of water that straddles both the Asian and European continents as you travel, and then board your sightseeing boat for the cruise.
Take a seat out on deck or inside the cabin, and cruise past an impressive selection of Istanbul’s showpiece sights. Look out for Dolmabahçe Palace with its decadent façade as well as 15th-century Rumeli Hisarı Fortress and Beylerbeyi Palace where Ottoman-era sultans spent their summer vacations. Your route takes in sights on both the European and Asian shores and, in addition to Istanbul’s big-name attractions, the cruise also passes some of the city’s lesser-known gems: mosques, fortresses, palaces and more.
Having admired the sights of the Bosphorus Strait from the water, return to land and finally finish your experience with a hotel drop-off.