While Venice has gondolas, Istanbul has the Sultan's Boats. Dating back to the Ottoman period, these boats languished in museums for a number of years but now they're back on the water, where they belong.
Each boat can carry up to twenty people, and there are currently three working boats. The boats follow two main routes:
Golden Horn tour: Boats depart from Miniaturk at the Golden Horn and make a half-hour tour of the Horn. This tour costs twenty lira and operates from 1.30pm to 6.30pm during the weekend.
Bosphorous Tour: Boats leave Besiktas and travel between European and Asian Istanbul. The tour takes an hour and costs thirty lira. The tours operate between 1.30pm and 7.30pm over the weekend.
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