What you see on the Cruise:
Topkapi Palace, Europe
You will see from the sea side the Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia.
Maiden’s Tower, mid Bosphorus
A 12th-century Byzantine fortress occupied the tiny islet where the 18th-century Kız Kulesi (also called Leander’s Tower) now stands. A tower here may have served as a customs post. Featured in the James Bond movie From Russia With Love, the tower now houses a restaurant.
The largest Asian district, directly across the Bosphorus.
Dolmabahce Palace, Europe
The façade of this great Ottoman palace (1853) is nearly a quarter of a mile (400 meters) long.
Ciragan Palace, Europe
Finished in 1874, the marble palace of Ciragan (CHEE-rah-AHN) has a tragic history.
Yıldız Park & Palace, Europe
The swath of green forest behind Ciragan is Yıldız (“Star”) Park.
Ortaköy & Mecidiye Mosque, Europe
You’ve probably seen photos of the Mecidiye Mosque (1854).
Bosphorus Bridge (connecting Europe and Asia)
Ever since the Persian emperor Darius built his bridge of boats acoss the Bosphorus in 490 BC, rulers of Istanbul have dreamt of a bridge between Europe and Asia.
Beylerbeyi Palace, Asia
2.5 km (1.5 miles) northeast of Üsküdar, is a “small” Istanbul summer palace overlooking the Bosphorus from its Asian shore
Beyond the Bosphorus Bridge there’s plenty more to see: The village of Cengelköy, Kuleli Naval Academy, Arnavutköy with its photogenic Ottoman yalıs (wooden Bosphorus seaside mansions), Rumeli Hisarı (the mighty Fortress of Europe), the town of Bebek with its pretty bay, and Bosphorus University.