Eyüp Merkez Mahallesi, 34050 Eyüp/Istanbul, Turkey
A Moment on the Golden HornGentlemen, if your lady appreciates the simple things in life and you both romantically revel in truly unique, off-the-beaten-path experiences, then you should head to Eyüp hill for the panoramic view from Pierre Loti Café. Then, instead of getting the ferry or the bus back to Eminönü, consider hiring a private "kayık" (a modest wooden boat) from a local fisherman.
Kayıks are certainly not the luxury gondolas of Venice (nor the price of one), but a cruise on one of these authentic Turkish motorboats will be a memorable experience for adventurous, easygoing couples. Just you, the captain, the cool breeze, and the sound of the tiny wooden boat putt-putting past the sites lining the Golden Horn.
The extra challenge is that it’s so authentic, most captains do not speak English. Take a map or paper to show you want to go to "Eminönü." They will probably try to charge 50TL (ellie lira) or more, but you could try bartering down to 40TL (kirk lira).
The five-kilometer cruise will take about 30 minutes and provides plenty of opportunities for photos along the way.
You will find the boats moored near the Eyüp port, and if the bartering fails or the size of the boat concerns you, then the ferry to Eminönü leaves every hour from the port nearby.
The kayık will dock among the private boats just before Galata Bridge.