The cruise port of Istanbul

Docking in the cruise port of Istanbul

The cruise port of Istanbul, your starting point for great excursions

Istanbul has a relatively large cruise port where several cruise ships can dock at the same time. You will dock in the European part of the city at the pier that stretches from Kabatas to near the Galata Bridge. The walking distance between the ends of the pier is approximately 15 minutes. Where exactly you will dock depends on the traffic of the day and the size of your cruise ship. The cruise port of Istanbul is situated approximately 2.5 km from Sultanahmet, the district with the most highlights.

cruise port guide

From the airport to Istanbul cruise port

Istanbul has two international airports: Ataturk airport on the European side and Sabiha Gocken airport on the Asian side. Before you arrive in Istanbul check where exactly you will land.

From Ataturk international airport to the cruise terminal
Ataturk airport is located at about 25 km from the Istanbul cruise terminal. Except for a taxi or private transfer there is no direct connection between the airport and the cruise terminal.

Taxis are available 24 hours a day just at the exit of the airport terminal. Count on about  €25 (per taxi, 3 persons) for a one way trip from the airport to the cruise terminal. It will take 30 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

Other far from hassle-free options are:

Havatas Bus from the airport to Taksim' square - walk 500 meters - take funicular down to Kabatas - switch to tram T1 and get off at Tophane stop - walk 500 meters

Metro (red line M1) from the airport to Zeytinburnu stop - switch to tram T1 and get off at Tophane stop - walk 500 meters

From Sabiha Gokcen International Airport
This airport is frequently used by lowcost airlines. It's located almost 45 km southeast of central Istanbul. Your best option is to take a taxi or private transfer. The ride will take 45 minutes to 1 hour and will cost about €55 per taxi (one way, 4 persons).

A cheaper but more complicated option is:

Havatas Bus from the airport to Taksim' square - walk 500 meters - take funicular down to Kabatas - switch to tram T1 and get off at Tophane stop - walk 500 meters

Cruise to Istanbul

During a cruise vacation to Turkey, Istanbul should not be missed. This beautiful city is conveniently located along the Eastern Mediterranean and offers various excursion possibilities. Cruises to Istanbul are very popular.

Istanbul cruise terminal

Inside Istanbul cruise terminal you can find:

  • telephones, bar - cafeteria, toilet, tobacconist
  • tourist information
  • taxi service
  • souvenir and duty free shops

Istanbul cruise facts

Language in Istanbul
The language in Istanbul is Turkish, but on touristic spots you can also use English.

Currency in Istanbul
The currency in Istanbul is New Turkish Lira (₤, YTL). You can find ATM’s along the city.

Opening times in Istanbul
Opening times differ a lot around Turkey, but generally are as follows:

  • Monday to Saturday
  • from 9.30h - 19.00h

On Sundays and holidays shops are closed. Of course there are exceptions.

Landmarks and highlights in Istanbul

Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world and it's dating from the 16th century. There are 58 streets, 1200 shops and 400 000 visitors per day

Egyptian Bazaar
This bazaar is located next to the Yeni Mosque. It's the oldest covered market in the city and has a big selection of different herbs. It was once the last stop along the Silk Road.

Topkapi palace
It's the palace and residence of the Ottoman sultan in Istanbul and consists from four different courts.

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is a cathedral and mosque with unique architectural features. It's one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque is one of the main sights of Istanbul. It's designed by the Ottoman architect Mehmet Aga Sedefhar and surrounded by six minarets.

Taksim Meydani
It's a large central square at the end of Istiklal Caddesi and a popular shopping area in Istanbul.

See more...

Getting around in Istanbul

Istanbul is a very big city, located on 2 continents, but the main sights are located in the Sultahnamet district, the former Constantinople. This part of the city is quite compact. From the cruise port, you can walk there it if you have enough time. It is also possible to take a taxi. A quick, simple and inexpensive alternative to get around is by tram.

Shore excursions around Istanbul

In Istanbul is so much to see and do that one day is hardly enough. Most cruise passengers choose to visit the Sultanahmet district, the former Constantinople. Here you will find the famous sights such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar etc. Other popular excursions are the Princes' Islands, a trip along the Golden Horn or a boat trip on the Bosphorus.

Weather in Istanbul

Istanbul has a Mediterranean climate with dry hot summers and wet mild winters. In summer the average annual temperature is between 28°C and 33°C. Normally winter is colder than in other cities around the Mediterranean. The average annual temperature is between 7°C and 12°C.

Organized shore excursions in and around Istanbul

You can discover Istanbul on your own, book a shore excursion through the cruise line company or book a shore excursion from one of our partners. We offer shore excursions at local prices straight from the local companies.

Excursions in Istanbul

Istanbul tourist information

The Tourist Office in Istanbul is situated near the train station. They distribute free city maps.

Cruises to Istanbul

The following cruise lines offer itineraries and schedules to Istanbul:

Costa Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, AIDA, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Windstar Cruises, Royal Clipper, Oceania Cruises, Seabourn, Crystal Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Regent, SeaDream Yacht Club, Phoenix.