Most cruise ships dock
in Istanbul at
the Karaköy Yolcu
Terminal"; number 12 on the map below) in Karaköy (Galata),
at the southern tip of Beyoğlu,
in the shadow of Galata
where the Golden
Horn flows into the Bosphorus
The docks for cruise ships extend
along the shore from the mouth of the Golden
Horn northeastward to the Tophane and Fındıklı districts
on the Bosphorus.
In general, when numerous cruise ships
are docked in Istanbul, the four ships
closest to the Yolcu Salonu use that
gateway to enter the city. Passengers
on other ships, docked farther away,
may prefer to use the gateway at Salıpazarı.
View Eminönü & Karaköy Ferry Docks, Istanbul in a larger map
the Yolcu Salonu
legend emblazoned on it: "Welcome
The Yolcu Salonu serves
as a doorway between the customs- and
immigration-protected dock zone and
the city of Istanbul.
Wherever your cruise ship docks,
you can easily walk or ride the Bağcılar-Kabataş
most of the most important Istanbul sights.
I don't recommend taking a taxi right from the dock—too much hanky-panky over the fare. You might prefer a private transfer. For value-for-money guided tours without the compulsory shopping stops (waste of time...and money) of cruise-ship tours, contact Efendi
Walk out of the Yolcu
Salonu and across
the street beneath a car parking
garage of intense, monumental ugliness
you'll see two shops selling some
of Istanbul's best baklava:
the easy-to-pronounce Koska and the
almost impossible Güllüoğlu.
Take your pick and have a real Turkish
welcome to Istanbul!
There's also a general-menu restaurant,
the Namlı Gürme.
Turn left (southwest) out of the Yolcu
Salonu and walk along the Golden Horn
shore past the Karaköy Feribot
İskelesi (ferry docks; map)
to the northern end of Galata
You can walk across the bridge, enjoying
the view of the city, to reach Eminönü,
or you can descend into the pedestrian
underpass, buy a jeton (token;
follow the signs to Tramvay and Jeton), find
the stairway up to the tram stop, and
board the Bağcılar
tram at the Karaköy stop at
northern end of the bridge to ride
across, through Eminönü and
up the hill to Sultanahmet (4th
stop—you will hear the announcement
of Istanbul's major sights.
To get to Taksim
Square, take the tram from
the Karaköy stop northeast to Kabataş,
then the Füniküler to
You'll need to buy a tram
token (jeton) to
enter the tram platform. More...