How to Take a Very Quick Trip to Asia for Just $3


Separated by the Bosphorus, the city of Istanbul spans two continents: Europe and Asia. Like most tourists, we stayed on the European side, specifically in the Sultanahmet, which is the historic center. But we were excited to venture over to Asia, so we caught the ferry at Galata Bridge to the neighborhood of Uskadar. It cost us just $3 per person roundtrip to go to Asia — quite cheap considering we were crossing continents. The ride took about 15 minutes and we enjoyed getting a different view of landmarks such as the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque.

Uskudar is a residential area and therefore not much of a tourist destination, except perhaps for those who want to see Asia. We stayed for about an hour and then caught the ferry back — boats leave about every 15 minutes. It was a good opportunity to get a better grasp on how a lot of Istanbullus live. Sultanahmet is jam-packed with sights, but no one seems to really live there. Beyoglu, the trendy part of the city that reminded me of Barcelona, attracts a young and hip crowd. But Uskudar is far more traditional and less affluent. We walked around for a bit and then visited the Yeni Valide Camii, the mosque that Sultan Ahmet III built for his mother in 1710.

Setting foot on the Asian continent was exciting, even though Uskudar doesn’t feel Asian. Of course, we weren’t really expecting it to since it’s part of Istanbul. It was a fun excursion and an inexpensive way to take a short Bosphorus cruise. Below are photos of the boatride and to and from Uskudar, as well as of Uskudar itself.

6 Responses to How to Take a Very Quick Trip to Asia for Just $3

  1. brian from July 25, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    I never knew Istanbul was split in two. Nice little side trip.

  2. Jen Laceda July 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    Liz, I love your title. It really got me!!! I thought, “wow, i can get to Asia for $3? which airline?” Haha, you really got me! I still enjoyed your Istanbul post, though. It’s also nie that you have answered a question that’s been on my mind. What do I call Istanbul dwellers? Istanbullus! Brilliant!

  3. Heather Hapeta July 25, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    what a great tittle . i sure caught my eye . i LOVE Turkey .. but never thought about the fact , when i walked across the bridge i was going to Asia!! but of course I was, and so did … for FREE :)

  4. Tony Wasserman July 28, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    I made the same trip in September, 2008, then walked up the hill through Uskudar. Here’s the photo I took of Uskudar from the ferry:

  5. Travelogged
    July 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Thanks for the lovely comments! Just to clarify, the Galata Bridge does not link to the European side to the Asian side. The Asian side is across the wider spread of the Bosphorous.

  6. Heather on her travels July 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    Hi Liz
    Just wanted to check you got the post I sent you by e-mail.
    Those ferries are one of the best bargains of Istanbul!

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