Welcome to our comprehensive guide to using ferries in Istanbul! If you’re planning a trip to this uniquely located city that straddles two continents, you won’t want to miss out on the unforgettable experience of crossing continents by ferry. From the refreshing sea breeze to the breathtaking views and the city’s natural beauty, it’s an adventure unlike any other.
In this blog post, we’ll provide you with all the essential information you need to know about the Istanbul ferry system. We’ll cover everything from the different ferry lines and their routes to the schedules and ticket prices. Whether you’re a local looking for budget-friendly travel options or a tourist eager to explore Istanbul’s charm, our guide has got you covered.
So, let’s dive in and discover how to make the most of your ferry journey in Istanbul!
Quickly jump to the Istanbul ferry lines
Everything You Need to Know About Istanbul Ferry Tickets
Are you curious about the cost and purchasing process of ferry tickets in Istanbul? Look no further, because we have all the answers.
How much do ferry tickets cost in Istanbul?
The price of ferry tickets in Istanbul varies depending on your chosen route. For inner city lines, prices range from 15 TL to 23 TL. Travelling between Eminönü and Karaköy on the European side to Üsküdar and Kadiköy on the Asian side, will cost you between 17.50 TL and 19.50 TL. If you wish to explore neighborhoods along the Bosphorus, tickets are priced at 23.00 TL.
How to purchase ferry tickets in Istanbul?
Unlike other cities, you cannot buy specific tickets for ferries in Istanbul. Instead, you need to use an Istanbulkart, which is a prepaid public transportation card valid for all modes of transport in the city. You can easily obtain the Istanbulkart at metro, tram, and ferry stations. To learn more about the card and its benefits, refer to our comprehensive Istanbulkart guide.
The most popular ferry routes in Istanbul
- Eminönü – Kadıköy: This route is one of the major routes that connects the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side. The ferry departs from the Eminönü dock in Europe and arrives at the Kadıköy dock in Asia.
- Eminönü – Üsküdar: Another significant route connecting the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. The ferry departs from Eminönü and docks at Üsküdar, one of the oldest residential areas in Istanbul, located on the Asian side.
- Beşiktaş – Kadıköy: This route is highly convenient for people residing in or visiting Beşiktaş, a popular location on the European side of Istanbul. The ferry departs from Beşiktaş and arrives at Kadıköy on the Asian side.
- Karaköy – Kadıköy: This route connects Karaköy, a commercial quarter in the Beyoğlu district on the European side, with Kadıköy in Asia. The ferry departs from Karaköy and docks at Kadıköy.
- Kabataş – Islands: This route is a unique one as it connects the mainland of Istanbul with the Princes’ Islands. The ferry departs from Kabataş on the European side and goes to the Princes’ Islands.
- Kadıköy – Islands This route serves as a connection between the Asian side of the city and the Princes’ Islands. The ferry departs from Kadıköy and sets its course towards the islands.
Istanbul inner city lines
The Istanbul inner-city ferry line is ideal for travel within Istanbul. Mostly, these inner-city ferry lines are used by people to commute between the continents. Many tourists prefer taking the lines that depart from Eminönü or Karaköy on the European side and go towards the Asian side. It’s not just a regular journey, it’s a chance to experience crossing from one continent to another and enjoy stunning views of the city’s skyline. That’s why it’s a popular choice among visitors. You can use this ferry to get to popular tourist locations such as the Kız Kulesi (Maiden’s Tower) and Beşiktaş.
Routes and stops
- Kadıköy – Kabataş
- Kadıköy – Karaköy – Kabataş
- Üsküdar – Karaköy – Eminönü
- Kadıköy – Karaköy – Beşiktaş
- Bostancı – Karaköy – Kabataş
- Aşiyan – Anadolu Hisarı – Küçüksu
- Üsküdar – Aşiyan
- Kadıköy – Kasımpaşa – Fener – Hasköy – Sütlüce – Eyüpsultan
- Beşiktaş – Kabataş – Karaköy – Kasımpaşa – Sütlüce – Eyüpsultan
- Çengelköy – Kabataş
- Bostancı – Moda – Kadıköy – Kabataş
Ferry ticket prices
The ferry lines between Karaköy and Kadikoy, as well as Kadiköy and Eminonu, are the most frequently used routes. The fare for these rides is 19.50 TL per trip. If you wish to visit the Maiden’s Tower, you can take the Eminönü-Üsküdar line for 17.50 TL. For inner city routes, ferry ticket prices range from 15.00 to 23.00 TL. To find the exact fare for your selected route, please refer to the provided information by Istanbul Sehirhatlari. Please remember that an Istanbulkart is required to board the ferry and cover your fare. Our guide provides further information on the istanbulkart.
Ferry schedule and timetable for Istanbul’s inner city ferries
The ferries operate daily from 6 am to 1 am, providing convenient transportation options. During the day, there are frequent departures between Eminönü – Karaköy – Kadiköy every 15 minutes. After 8 pm, the departure frequency changes to every 30 minutes. The Eminönü – Üsküdar line follows a similar schedule, departing every 20 minutes and transitioning to every 30 minutes after 8 pm. For precise departure times, please refer to the provided schedule.
- Eminönü – Karaköy – Kadiköy: The first ferry from Eminönü to Kadiköy departs at 7:20 am, with the last one leaving at 9:10 pm. Frequency: Every 15 minutes, changing to every 30 minutes after 20:00.
- Karaköy – Kadiköy: The first ferry from Karaköy to Kadiköy departs at 6:35 am, with the last one leaving at 1:00 am. Frequency: Every 15 minutes, changing to every 30 minutes after 20:00.
- Kadiköy – Karaköy: The first ferry from Kadiköy to Karaköy departs at 6:10 am, with the last one leaving at 1:00 am. Frequency: Every 15 minutes, changing to every 30 minutes after 20:00.
- Kadiköy – Karaköy – Eminönü: The first ferry from Kadiköy to Karaköy departs at 7:20 am, with the last one leaving at 9:10 pm. Frequency: Every 15 minutes, changing to every 30 minutes after 20:00.
- Eminönü-Üsküdar: The first ferry from Eminönü to Üsküdar departs at 6:40 am, with the last one leaving at 10:30 pm. Frequency: Every 20 minutes, changing to every 30 minutes after 20:00.
- Üsküdar-Eminönü: The first ferry from Üsküdar to Eminönü departs at 6:25 am, with the last one leaving at 10:00 pm. Frequency: Every 20 minutes, changing to every 30 minutes after 20:00.
Remember, these routes can have variations in their schedules depending upon the season and the weather conditions. It’s always best to check the latest schedules before planning your journey.
Bosphorus Ferry Lines
The Bosphorus ferry lines primarily connect the neighborhoods along the shores of the Bosphorus in both the European and Anatolian sides. These ferries, while smaller in size, offer a less frequent yet charming mode of transportation.
Most popular Bosphorus ferries for tourists
Below is a comprehensive overview of the Bosphorus ferry routes in Istanbul, tailored to suit your travel needs.
Eminönü – Besiktas – Ortaköy
Among the popular Bosphorus ferry routes for tourists is the one from Eminönü to Besiktas and Ortaköy. If you wish to avoid the bustling traffic on your way to Ortaköy, taking the ferry from Eminönü is the perfect solution. Getting to Ortaköy by car or bus can be quite time-consuming due to the heavy traffic that is notorious in Istanbul. To avoid the frustration of being stuck in traffic during your trip, simply hop on the ferry and enjoy a scenic journey to Ortaköy along the beautiful Bosphorus.
Not only will you reach your destination smoothly, but you will also have the opportunity to admire the captivating views of the Bosphorus along the way.
Ticket price: 23,00 TL
Time table Eminönü – Besiktas – Ortaköy Ferry
|Eminönü Departure||Ortaköy Departure|
Rumeli Kavağı – Eminönü
The Rumeli Kavağı – Eminönü ferry line is the perfect choice for exploring some of the most popular destinations along the Bosphorus. Operating hourly from 9:35 to 20:05, this ferry offers convenient access to Ortaköy, Bebek, Emirgan, Arnavutköy, Sariyer, and other charming neighborhoods along the Bosphorus. Experience the beauty of this iconic waterway with ease and discover the wonders it has to offer.
- Ticket price: 23,00 TL
- Stops: Eminönü – Beşiktaş – Ortaköy – Arnavutköy – Bebek – Emirgan – İstinye – Büyükdere – Sarıyer – Rumelikavağı
Time table Bosphorus Ferry
Prince’s Islands Ferry Line
The ferry is undoubtedly the most convenient and budget-friendly mode of transportation to the Prince’s Islands. With no other viable options besides private boats or helicopters, the ferry operated by the Municipality of Istanbul becomes the go-to choice. Departing from Kabatas station at regular intervals between 6:45 and 23:30, and returning from the islands from 8:00 to 01:15, this ferry allows you to explore all four islands: Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada, and Büyükada. The journey itself lasts approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, so it’s important to plan accordingly and depart early. Rest assured, boredom won’t be an issue as you traverse the breathtaking beauty of the Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea. Additionally, the ferry offers a café where you can enjoy snacks and beverages during your voyage.
- Ticket price: 45,23 TL
- Departure station: Kabatas pier
- Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes from Kabatas to Büyükada
- Frequency: once every hour
Prince’s Island ferry time table
Istanbuly Ferry Map
Things you should know about the ferry system in Istanbul
Buy an Istanbulkart
To travel on the ferries, like any other form of public transportation, you will require an Istanbulkart. This convenient prepaid card deducts the fare amount from your balance, making it hassle-free and efficient. With the Istanbulkart, you can seamlessly navigate the city’s waterways and explore Istanbul’s stunning coastal views. For comprehensive details on obtaining, loading, and pricing of the Istanbulkart, refer to our comprehensive guide that provides step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable ferry experience.
Be prepared for all weather conditions
The ferries can be quite windy, even on warmer days. It’s important to come well-prepared with wind-resistant clothing, especially during colder months. However, once you witness the awe-inspiring views, you might easily forget about the wind. If you plan to sit outside during the summer months, remember to bring sunscreen. It’s easy to underestimate the risk of sunburn when there’s a cold breeze. This is particularly important if you’re embarking on longer journeys, such as to the islands or if you’re traveling around noon.
Enjoy entertainment, delectable food, and refreshing drinks on the Istanbul ferries
- On all ferries, you’ll find charming kiosks that serve delightful Turkish tea, refreshing beverages, and tasty snacks. These culinary havens are perfect for satisfying your cravings while enjoying the journey, making it even more memorable.
- For an added touch of entertainment, some ferries feature talented street musicians who perform live music. Their captivating melodies create a vibrant atmosphere, enhancing the overall experience and making your ferry ride truly unforgettable.
Which Istanbul ferry port is nearest to my location?
- Eminönü ferry station: If you’re staying in Sultanahmet, Sirkeci, or any other district in Fatih, head to the Eminönü ferry dock. In Sultanahmet, you can conveniently reach the Eminönü ferry dock by taking tram line T1. Simply ride the tram for three stations and get off at Eminönü station. The journey lasts around 10 minutes and costs 15 TL with your Istanbulkart. Alternatively, you can easily walk to the dock, which should take about 15 minutes depending on your pace.
- Karaköy ferry station: If you’re staying in Karaköy, Galata, or Beyoglu, the Karaköy ferry station is your go-to. You can catch a ferry from there. Depending on your location, you can easily walk to the Karaköy iskele. Just head downhill from Beyoglu and Galata. Alternatively, you can take the Tünel line, Istanbul’s oldest tram, which connects Sishane with Karaköy. The Karaköy ferry station stands out for its frequent departures and extended operating hours, making it the ideal choice for commuters and travelers alike.
- Kabatas ferry dock: If you are staying in Taksim, I recommend using the Kabatas ferry dock. Although the departure times are slightly less frequent compared to Karaköy, it offers a more convenient route from Taksim. To get there, simply take the F1 Funicular line, a small tram that operates exclusively between Kabatas and Taksim stations. The journey itself is a quick 3-minute ride.
Ferries in Istanbul are an inexpensive and unique way to experience the city’s beauty and explore its famous landmarks. It’s essential to know the different ferry lines, their routes, timetables, and ticket prices to make the most of your trip. Whether you want to take a relaxing ride between two continents, explore the Princes’ Islands, or enjoy the scenic views of the Bosphorus, there’s a ferry line for that! With our comprehensive guide, you can now enjoy a smooth and hassle-free ferry ride while taking in the beautiful sights of Istanbul. Safe travels!