A Guide on Daytime vs. Nighttime Bosphorus Cruises + Tips

It’s like taking a trip into the heart of Istanbul’s magic when you go on a Bosphorus Cruise. The cruise along the historic waters that connect Europe and Asia is a visual feast. Whether you go on a tour during the day or at night will affect your experience, as each has its own special characteristics. You can read on as we tell about Daytime vs. Nighttime Bosphorus Cruises.

It is famous for both its beautiful scenery and historical importance that the Bosphorus tour. Europe and Asia are separated by a natural strait, so the tour gives passengers a one-of-a-kind chance to sail between two continents and see beautiful views of Istanbul’s skyline, famous landmarks, and palatial buildings.

The Daytime Bosphorus Cruises

A cruise on the Bosphorus during the day shows off Istanbul’s beautiful coasts and historical landmarks in great detail. The city’s architectural wonders are easy to see during the day, from the famous Dolmabahce Palace, Galata Tower, Maiden’s Tower and Topkapi Palace to the grand Bosphorus Bridge.

During day time boat tours, you can take beautiful pictures that show off the skyline of Istanbul’s bright colors and detailed details. The daytime hours are the best time for photographers to capture memories of their Bosphorus Cruise forever.


day time bosphorus cruise

During the day, guided cruises often have thorough commentary that tells you about the history and culture of the landmarks you see. Enjoy the stories that go with each place; they will help you learn more about Istanbul’s rich history.

What to Expect?

Clear Panoramic Views:

  • Observe the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Bosphorus Bridge, among Istanbul’s most famous sites, in all its natural daylight glory thanks to the unimpeded views offered by this location.
  • Daylight brings out the intricacies, so you can see every landmark’s delicate carvings and inscriptions.

Cultural Narratives:

  • Guided Insights: During the day, several cruises provide discussion that puts the sites you see into historical and cultural perspective.
  • Educational Experience: Learn the ins and outs of Istanbul’s past as you sail by buildings that are hundreds of years old and listen to intriguing anecdotes.

Conditions for the Best Photographs:

  • Capture the vivid colors of Istanbul as they emerge in the sunlight for unforgettable photo memories.
  • Perfect for Photographers: Those looking to photograph the city’s splendor will love daytime cruises.

Relaxed Atmosphere:

  • Daytime passengers can enjoy the sights and one other’s company in an atmosphere that is both informal and relaxing.

Breathtaking Nature Scenery:



We Highly Recommend These Fantastic Night-time Activities


  • Stunning Natural Beauty: Take in the breathtaking scenery along the Bosphorus as you marvel at the harmonious interplay of verdant foliage and glistening blue seas.

The Nighttime Bosphorus Cruises

You can enjoy Istanbul during the “golden hour”, when the sun goes down and casts a warm glow over the city. The Bosphorus and city lights make for a beautiful view as the day turns to night.

nighttime bosphorus cruise

You can witness the famous landmarks of Istanbul illuminated with lights. At night, the Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower, Maiden’s Tower, Dolmabahce Palace and of course the Bosphorus Bridge, among others, take on a more ethereal quality, revealing a new angle that is shown only when the sun goes down. Bosphorus cruises at night are also very romantic. It offers great settings for couples seeking a romantic escape.

What to Expect?

Romantic Atmosphere:

  • Enjoy the magic of Istanbul’s city lights as they arrange themselves in a symphony along the Bosphorus, making the atmosphere beautiful.
  • Enjoy the peaceful environment when the moon is out. It gives the cruise at night a magical touch.

Landmarks Illuminated:

  • Beautiful Buildings Topkapi Palace, Maiden’s Tower, Galata Tower, Dolmabahce Palace are just some of the famous historical landmarks in Istanbul that will be lit up in a fascinating show.
  • Bridge Lights: The Bosphorus Bridge shows off a beautiful display of lights.

Beautiful Skyline:

  • Look up at the pictures of the skyline of Istanbul lit up by city lights. They give you a unique and beautiful view of the city.
  • Waters That bounce Light: The cruise is even more magical when the city lights bounce off the water.

Live Entertainment:

  • Dinner cruises have live entertainment, which makes the mood even more fun and festive.
  • You can enjoy music, traditional shows, or even a dinner cruise with entertainment choices.

Ideal for Couples:

  • Couples looking for a sweet and private experience often choose Bosphorus cruises at night.
  • Dinner Options: Many ships that leave at night offer dinner packages that include gourmet food and a view of the city lights.

3. How to Choose

  • Consider your tastes and desired experience.
  • A daytime cruise may offer beautiful views, brilliant hues, and cultural insights.
  • A nighttime cruise is ideal for romantic dinners and entertainment.
  • Photography enthusiasts should evaluate daylight’s sharpness against midnight Istanbul aglow. Think about your artistic vision—both solutions produce stunning images.
  • Year-round climate changes affect Istanbul’s daytime and evening temperature and visibility. For the best tour, consider season and weather.
  • Finally, a Daytime Bosphorus Cruise for its clarity and cultural insights or a Nighttime Cruise for its romance and lit landmarks will give you a wonderful tour of Istanbul.

Best Bosphorus Daytime Cruises

Bosphorus Luxury Yacht Tour

This is a fantastic new yacht cruise made on a luxury yacht for small groups (max. 15 people) with very affordable prices. You can take it at noon or at sunset for 2 hours. We highly recommend this cruise as you’ll feel yourself very special in this private chartered luxury yacht.


bosphorus luxury yacht tour

  • Highlights: Passing the iconic palaces and historical sites, get a closer look at famous landmarks such as Dolmabahce Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge and the Maiden Tower, a licensed and knowledgeable guide will share with you the stories and facts which accompany the many sites you pass
  • Includes: Glass of Wine, Fruits and Snacks, Unlimited Coffee, Tea and Soft Drinks, English Speaking Local Expert Guide, Free WiFi on Yacht
  • Departure: Kabatas pier (see location map)

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

You can pick one of the best yacht cruises below!

  1. Bosphorus Luxury Yacht Tour (5% discount from us)
  2. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht
  3. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise with Live Guide and Drinks
  4. Sunset or Daytime Yacht Tour w/AudioGuide & Snacks
  5. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht

Bosphorus Cruise on Yacht with Stopover on Asian Side 

This is one of the best way to explore the Bosphorus with stopover on the Asian side and explore Kanlica. 2,5 hours cruise on a Luxury Yacht: Morning or Afternoon. It is made on a luxury yacht and has a badge of excellence with over 115 5/5 stars reviews on Viator.

bosphorus cruise asian side stopover

  • Highlights: Cruise the Bosphorus on the Sunset Bosphorus yacht with a stop in Kanlıca,  sip Turkish coffee and nibble on Turkish snacks in Asian Istanbul, onboard Wi-Fi saves on roaming charges and keeps you connected, range of time slots let you plan your day and fit more in
  • Includes: Coffee and/or Tea, Bottled water, Turkish delight served with along Turkish coffee, Air-conditioned vehicle, WiFi on board
  • Departure: Kabatas pier (see location map)

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Book Bosphorus Yacht Cruise Stopover on Asian Side by Viator

Book Bosphorus Yacht Cruise Stopover on Asian Side by Getyourguide

2 hour Bosphorus & Golden Horn Cruise Daytime or Sunset

This is by Travelgroup Turizm ve Tic. A.S.. You can both witness and enjoy Bosphorus and Golden Horn together with audio guide. The two-hour bout trip takes you from Europe to the 2nd Bosphorus bridge and back along the Asian coast.

bosphorus golden horn cruise

  • Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge, Rumeli Fortress, and Beylerbeyi Palace are tour highlights.
  • See Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Maiden Tower, and Galata Tower while cruising. Your English-speaking tour guide and the multilingual audio guide app on your smartphone will enhance your experience.
  • Experience Istanbul’s beauty on this Bosphorus and Golden Horn cruise.

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Book Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App

90 minute Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App

This is by Travelgroup Turizm ve Tic. A.S.. Again one of the most attended and best ones. You’ll also get audio guide and Bosphorus Map. With views of both continents available at the same time, this fascinating voyage takes place against the backdrop of the Orient and Occident.

90 minute bosphorus cruise

  • Take in the expansive views of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, and Galata Tower. Take pleasure in the sight of genuine municipal architecture that highlights the city’s rich cultural heritage and history and graces the shores of Europe and Asia.
  • An audio guide for your smartphone is included with this 90-minute Bosphorus cruise, and it is accessible in English, French, Chinese, Spanish, German, Arabic, Polish, Turkish, Russian, and Italian.
  • A Bosphorus map will improve your experience and make sure you don’t miss anything important on this fascinating tour through the center of Istanbul.

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Book Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App

Bosphorus Cruises through Golden Horn

These are the top selling cruises that you’ll be able to explore the beauties of Golden Horn part of the Bosphorus. You can enjoy the city’s landmarks, historical palaces, and capture amazing photos with these very economic boat tours.

golden horn cruise

You can pick one of the best ones below

  1. Bosphorus & Golden Horn Cruise Daytime or Sunset
  2. Bosphorus Boat Tour 3 Hours Tour And Golden Horn
  3. Bosphorus & Golden Horn: Sunset Yacht Cruise with Expert Guide
  4. Bosphorus Cruise, Bus Tour, Golden Horn, Cable Car
  5. Bosphorus Cruise w/Audio Guide and Sunset Option
  6. Bosphorus and Golden Horn Tour with Live Guide
  7. Bosphorus and Golden Horn Cruise with Audio Guide

Round-Trip Ticket for Princes’ Island Ferry & Audio Guide

You’ll have about 75 minutes ferry ride to the Princes’ Island, the Buyukada. While you have a fantastic Bosphorus ride, you can admire the beautiful skyline of Istanbul at the open air deck, enjoy refreshments from the kiosk or listen to the stories about the Bosphorus from the audio guide app on your smartphone.

princes' island boat ticket

  • Round Trip Tickets mostly Include: Round-Trip ticket to the Princes’ Island, Fast track entry on boat from the online ticket window, audio guide app for IOS and Android in 10 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese

You can pick one of the best ones below

  1. Round-Trip Ticket for Princes’ Island Ferry & Audio Guide
  2. Princes’ Islands Cruise w/Music, Lunch & Transfer
  3. Full-Day Princes Island Tour with Lunch from Istanbul

Best Bosphorus Nighttime Cruises

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table

This is one of the best Bosphorus night cruises with dinner and entertainment. Also one of the most attended ones. Take in sights of the Bosphorus on board a Mega Lufer Yacht. Enjoy the city view with a 3-course meal while you listen to live music and watch stage performances at private tables. It has excellent number of over 11000 and 5/5 reviews on GetYourGuide.

bosphorus dinner cruise

  • Yacht cruise with onboard Wi-Fi
  • Dinner (9 types of mixed Turkish appetizers, hot starter, main course, dessert, and fruit)
  • Unlimited soft drinks
  • Live entertainment program
  • Alcoholic drinks (if option selected), Turkish coffee and tea
  • Private table
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off is from Sultanahmet, Taksim, Sirkeci, Sütlüce, Kağıthane, Kabataş, Eminönü, Şişli, Aksaray, Karaköy, Levent and Beyoğlu areas.

You can easily see that this Mega Lufer Yacht sells the most and has over 10,000 five star reviews.

You can use public transport to come to the boat. The pier is located in Kabatas, about 5 minutes walking distance from Galataport and Dolmabahce Palace. If you take the F1 Funicular from Taksim, you can reach Kabatas in 5-10 minutes. You can come to Kabatas by T1 tram from Sultanahmet, Eminonu or Karakoy. Pier location Google Maps

If you choose hotel pickup, you can be picked up and dropped off from various locations, such as Sultanahmet, Taksim, Sirkeci, Sütlüce, Kağıthane, Kabataş, Eminönü, Şişli, Aksaray, Karaköy, Levent and Beyoğlu. You should wait in the hotel lobby at least 10 minutes before the scheduled pickup time. The pickup service starts between 30 to 90 minutes before the boat departure.

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Book Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table by Getyourguide

Book Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table by Viator

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise: Luxury, Turkish Night Show

This is one of the best selling dinner cruises made by the official Turyol Bosfor boat. This three-hour excursion is ideal for couples, families, and friends looking for a special night in Istanbul. The package includes a Bosphorus Strait dinner cruise, a lively cultural display, and a water cruise.The boat awaits dinner cruisers at the pier. A modern, pleasant ship with indoor and outdoor seating and a bar serving drinks and food awaits you.

bosphorus dinner show with entertainment

You’ll see the Bosphorus Bridge, Dolmabahce Palace, and Maiden’s Tower lit up as the boat leaves. The Bosphorus divides the city’s European and Asian sides. A superb dinner on board with traditional Turkish dishes is the highlight of this expedition. A sensory feast, the evening includes local wines and soft drinks.

bosphorus dinner turyol boat

After dinner, the “Turkish Night Show” will feature traditional music, dancing, and costumes. The show includes folk, belly, cultural, and live music. All show Turkey’s colorful culture. Dance to the music to make the interaction more enjoyable.

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • 3-hour Bosphorus cruise Dinner with vegetarian options
  • Unlimited soft drinks
  • Unlimited alcoholic drinks
  • Turkish night show program (1.5 hours)
  • Live DJ Turkish coffee and tea

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Book Bosphorus Dinner Cruise: Luxury, Turkish Night Show

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show

If you are looking for one of the best Bosphorus dinner cruises in Istanbul (offered by Travel Group), you can choose this one. Set sail on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with our Bosphorus Dinner Cruise, where an amazing Oriental Show will captivate you. As you sail over the glistening Bosphorus, you can see the famous sites of Istanbul bathed in light.

Take in the breathtaking sights of Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, Maiden Tower, and the Bosphorus Bridge. Get an unlimited supply of soft drinks and a three-course meal while you sail away on our roomy and elegant ship.

  • Highlights: Big and luxurious ship, 3 course dinner, Unlimited soft drinks, 6 different shows, Belly dance, Capture amazing pictures

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance – 5% discount available

Book Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Pereme Boat

Sunset Yacht Tour w/AudioGuide & Snacks

This is one of the best private cruises on a luxury yacht during sunset. 2 hours cruise on a 20 meters luxury yacht. You can enjoy the beauties of Istanbul on a private luxurious yacht while having your dinner or lunch served by a professional crew. The yacht accommodates up to 15 people. Good for small groups.

bosphorus sunset yacht tour

Their dedicated team will provide you with light snacks and seasonal fruits while you take in the sights, so transforming your cruise into a delightful gourmet experience. Includes:

  • Bosphorus Strait cruise on a 20-meter luxury yacht
  • Tea, water, and coffee
  • Homemade mini pizza snack
  • Fresh seasonal fruits, Mixed nuts
  • Audio guide app in 6 languages

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Book Sunset Yacht Tour w/AudioGuide & Snacks

Sunset Cruise on a Luxury Yacht 

This is one of the best ones made with a luxury yacht. You are able to enjoy Bosphorus during sunset, marvel at great landmarks like the Dolmabahce Palace, Rumeli Fortress, and the iconic Maiden and Galata Towers.

This guided tour will provide you a great experience with the breathtaking views of Istanbul in the company of complimentary refreshments, featuring coffee, tea, homemade lemonade, and a delightful array of tasty snacks. You’ll also enjoy photo stops to capture the enchanting moments of your sunset journey.

  • Tick off top sights on both European and Asian sides of the city
  • Enjoy coffee, tea, homemade lemonade, and an array of tasty snacks
  • Tours include photo stops to capture souvenirs of the sunset journey
  • A pleasant tour accompanied by an experienced guide
  • Complimentary drinks, homemade lemonade with fresh mint, tea and coffee
  • Luxury yacht decorated with passengers’ comfort in mind
  • Delicious canapés and snacks served aboard
  • Daily prepared fresh season fruits plate
  • Coffee and/or Tea Turkish Baklava Indoors & covers (safe from rain)

Book Sunset Cruise on a Luxury Yacht

Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht 

This is a great sunset cruise along the Bosphorus Strait to see both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. 2,5 hours Sunset Cruise by Luxury Yacht. At Kabatas Pier, you can get on their luxury yacht and start your trip while enjoying traditional Turkish drinks and delicious canapés. As your guide talks about the city’s long history, you’ll be able to picture famous sites like palaces, minarets, and landmarks.

In addition to the stunning scenery, this guided tour includes free beverages like coffee, tea, handmade lemonade, and a delicious assortment of nibbles. Stop for photos at scenic locations to remember the beautiful sunset drive. Enjoy a great boat ride while taking in the breathtaking views of Istanbul’s skyline.

Book Sunset Cruise on a Luxury Yacht by Viator

Book Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht by Getyourguide

Bosphorus Cruise w/Audio Guide and Sunset Option 

This is a great Bosphorus sightseeing cruise along the Golden Horn and Bosphorus. You’ll be met near Hagia Sophia and their guide will lead you to the pier. Upon the start of the cruise you’ll explore the Golden Horn, and sail along the wonderful Bosphorus strait. Audio guide is also available.

  • Includes: Boat cruise
  • Multilingual audioguide for smartphones
  • Live commentary by guide

Book Bosphorus Cruise w/Audio Guide and Sunset Option

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show

This is one of the best and the most attended Bosphorus dinner cruises with entertainment. It’s made along the Bosphorus as you eat Turkish food, see Byzantine and Ottoman sites, and enjoy folk and belly dancing. It has great GetYourGuide reviews.

bosphorus dinner cruise with turkish night

You’ll cruise between Europe and Asia under the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmed bridges while dining and seeing Istanbul’s sights, including Dolmabahçe Palace. Ottoman summer palaces, Rumeli Castle, Anatolian Castle, and coastal houses are stunning.

  • This cruise combines cultural events, delicious food, and magnificent vistas to provide an amazing evening on Istanbul’s seas.
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off, Air-conditioned coach
  • Cruise, Dinner
  • Unlimited local soft drinks, Unlimited alcoholic drinks
  • Live entertainment and dance performances

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Book Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show

Bosphorus Luxury Catamaran Cruise with Dinner Show

This is also one of the best Bosphorus dinner cruises with entertainment. It is made along Bosphorus as you dine on Turkish meze, marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, and enjoy a full program of entertainment, such as folk and belly dancing. It has excellent number of very good reviews.

bosphorus catamaran cruise

This excursion will take you on a gourmet and cultural journey, set against the magnificent backdrop of Istanbul’s cityscape. You’ll admire the renowned monuments like Dolmabahce Palace, the Bosphorus Bridge, and the Anatolian Fortress while indulging in the rich tapestry of Turkish cuisine and entertainment.

  • Includes: Hotel pickup and drop-off, Private table, 3-course dinner, Unlimited alcoholic drinks or soft drinks, Turkish dance show, Live DJ
  • Boat name: Majesty Mobydick Catamaran
  • Their team mates will be waiting for you at the meeting point.
  • Departure: Kabatas pier (see location map)

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Book Bosphorus Luxury Catamaran Cruise with Dinner Show

Luxurious Yacht Cruise with Live Guide on the Bosphorus 

This is a lovely yacht cruise in Istanbul at sunset. A knowledgeable live guide will tell you stories as you sail past beautiful castles, mosques, and well-known minarets. First, you’ll go on a cruise up north to the charming city of Kanlıca. Then, you’ll go down south to see the Bosphorus Bridge glow with beautiful LED lights at night.

As you traverse the Bosphorus, you can get drinks, snacks, salads, coffee, tea, and baklava, which is Turkey’s most famous dessert. This boat is nice and has space for 35 people. From it, you can see the sun go down over Istanbul and the Bosphorus Bridge light up at night.

  • Includes: Coffee and/or Tea
  • Snacks
  • Bottled water
  • Fresh Seasonal Fruit Platters
  • Cookies with delicious baklava

Book Luxurious Yacht Cruise with Live Guide on the Bosphorus

Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht – Guided Group Cruise 

This is also one of the Bosphorus sunset cruises that will let you have a spectacular sunset experience on a luxury yacht, offering excellent views of the world’s top heritage sites in Istanbul. You’ll cruise along both the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus, capture highlights such as the 19th-century Dolmabahce Palace, the Rumeli Fortress, and the iconic Maidens’ Tower and Galata Tower.

This guided tour also include complimentary refreshments with snacks, fruits, nuts, baklava, and homemade lemonade with fresh mint. You’ll definitely love this boat and cruise.

Book Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht – Guided Group Cruise

How to Book a Bosphorus Cruise?

Booking a Bosphorus Cruise is quite simple. You can reserve your spot online through various tour websites, or directly purchase tickets at the Eminönü or Kabatas Piers. We recommend you buy tickets online from the trusted providers for a hassle-free experience,  especially during peak tourist seasons.

If you buy online you also will have skip-the-lines, and have chance to cancel and have a refund very easily. Below you can see the best Bosphorus cruises online tickets.

Book Your Bosphorus Cruise by Viator

Book Your Bosphorus Cruise by GetYourGuide


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