The second leg of the Scenic Bosphorus Cruise Tour is certainly as entertaining as the first part, if not better! Why? While cruising on the lower Bosphorus, you see tourist attractions that you probably will visit later or visited already. The sightseeing spots on the middle Bosphorus are located a bit further from the city center and thus off the beaten tourist track. Be on the lookout for landmarks such as the Fortress of Europe, İstinye Bay, various beautiful mansions, Yeniköy and of course the second Bosphorus Bridge. Look for their respective place marks () on the Bosphorus map at the end of the article.
- Red Mansion (Kırmızı Yalı) – Built in 1790, it is not only one of the oldest mansions, it is also still painted in the authentic rust read color known as ‘Ottoman Rose’.
- Egyptian Consulate – Another beautiful mansion (yalı), commissioned by the Khedive of Egypt at the beginning of the 20th century. Pay attention to the Art Nouveau influenced ornaments. It currently serves as the Egyptian Consulate, hence lost a bit of its grace with the installation of modern technologies.
Bebek – If you cruise on the Bosphorus by night, look out for the small white lighthouse on the European shore since the cozy seaside village of Bebek is next up. With plenty of nice restaurants, shops and cafes lined up by the waterfront, Bebek is one of the most trendy and fashionable villages.
- Küçüksu Palace (Küçüksu Kasrı) – Although this is a rather small palace to Ottoman standards, you really can’t miss it. Completed in 1857, sultans used it for short stays while picnicking, visiting the Sweet Waters of Asia (see below) or during their hunting trips. It undoubtedly has one of the most appealing facades on the Bosphorus, certainly after it was completely restored and opened to the public in 1994.
Sweet Waters of Asia – This is the name given to the Göksu and Küçüksu rivers. During the Ottoman era, the aristocrats used to dress-up to row their boats and gather on both rivers. Today, the green banks accommodate several cafes and restaurants.
- Fortress of Anatolia (Anadolu Hisarı) – This was the first of the two fortresses built on the banks of the narrowest point of the Bosphorus. The Fortress of Asia was commissioned by Sultan Beyazit I in 1391.
- Fortress of Europe (Rumeli Hisarı) – The second fortress, built in only 4 months, was ready to serve Mehmet the Conqueror’s siege of Constantinople in 1452. Thanks to both fortresses, he was able to control all traffic on the Bosphorus and cut of supplies by sea. Today the Fortress of Europe is open to the public and occasionally serves as an open-air performance venue.
- Köprülü Amcazade Hüseyin Paşa Mansion (Köprülü Amcazade Hüseyin Paşa Yalı) – Built by the grand vizier Amcazade Köprülü Hüseyin Pasha in 1699 and located just before the second Bosphorus Bridge on the Asian side, this is the oldest surviving yalı. It unfortunately shows its age!
- Second Bosphorus Bridge (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü) – The bridge, 510 m long and 39 m wide, is named after the 15th century Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, who took Constantinople and ended the Byzantine Empire. The bridge is in service since 1988.
Ethem Pertev Mansion (Ethem Pertev Yalı) – This mansion, which dates back to 1908, is recognizable by its boathouse and Baroque influences in the form of wood carved balconies.
- Kanlıca Dock (Kanlıca İskelesi) – This is the first of two docks in the middle Bosphorus where the ferry stops to let people on and off. Kanlıca is best known for its delicious creamier type of yoghurt.
- İstinye Bay (İstinye Koyu) – This is the biggest natural Bosphorus inlet, serving as a yacht marina.
- Sait Halim Paşa Mansion (Sait Halim Paşa Yalı) – Just before landing at the Yeniköy dock, look for the house with white shutters and two stone lions on the quay.
- Yeniköy Dock (Yeniköy İskelesi)- The second dock in this part of the Bosphorus cruise. Don’t get off. Just admire the largest concentration of restored waterfront mansions (yalı) before the ferry departs for the third and last part of the Bosphorus tour.
View Highlights on the Middle Bosphorus in a larger map