Transiting the Strait of Bosphorus

Transiting Bosphorus Strait

The Strait of Bosphorus (İstanbul Boğazi) is situated in the South Eastern Europe and South Western Asia and it connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, separating Asian Turkey from European Turkey. It is 19 mile long (31 km) and varies between 0.5 and 2.8 mile wide.

Along both shores there are many attractions – including ancient ruins, palaces, mosques, picturesque villages, and forested areas. Near the southern end is the Golden Horn, the harbor of İstanbul, one of the most beautiful natural harbors in the world.

If you find yourself on a vessel transiting the Strait of Bosphorus you should prepare yourself and choose a good spot from where to enjoy the ~ 2 hour passage, regardless the time of the day when it takes place.

During daylight, you will be able to admire the beautiful city port of Istanbul with all its important landmarks scattered along the shores, but also the distant districts of Galata and Beyoglu.

During night time, the passage is even more spectacular, and, although you can not have a panoramic view towards the entire area, you can still admire a wonderful display of historical and architectural monuments along the European shore. Most of these buildings are few hundred years old and represent a part of Turkish history and a solid proof of its resistance in these very troubled waters.

The European and the Asian shores are connected via two bridges – very crowded with locals transiting from one side to the other, but also with lots of tourists who use the bridges in order to step foot on the Asian continent.

Boğazici Bridge is the oldest bridge and the first one, if vessel is coming from Marmara. It was build over the Strait in 1973 and it is almost 1 km long, connecting Ortaköy (on European shore) with Beylerbeyi (on the Asian shore).

Bogazici Bridge

The second bridge is called Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and spans over the Strait, connecting Rumelihisari (Europe) and Kanlica Koyu (Asia).

Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge

A third bridge is under construction now, close to the exit towards the Black Sea, in Turkely sector.

When transiting the Bosphorus Strait, a pilot is compulsory for vessels with overall length of more than 200 meters and for all the vessels in adverse weather and low visibility. Depending on the traffic, the transit can last between 1 hour and a half and 2 hours.

   Landmarks along the Bosporus Strait:

Kuleli Military College

Kuleli Military College

– Rumelihisari Fort

Rumelihisari Fort

Ortakoy Mosque

Ortakoy Mosque

– Süleymaniye Mosque

Süleymaniye Mosque

Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace

– Hagia Sofia Mosque


Blue Mosque 



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