The sea route is usually the quickest way between the European and Asian sides, particularly during rush-hour.

Ferries connect the two sides of the city. There are city-line ferries that run the length of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, and also go to and from the islands.

Traditional white IDO ferries and private TurYol ferries serve shorter water routes, and are the most enjoyable way to get around Istanbul.

Special daily Touristic Bosphorus Ferries run from the Eminönü ferry docks up the Bosphorus almost to the Black Sea several times daily.

Both Sea Bus catamarans and ferryboats travel to the Princes Islands near Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara.

Smaller private motorboats that depart from Besiktas on the European side drop their passengers at Uskudar on the Asian side in six minutes.