Generally, tourists stick to the older, eastern side of the city, since most historic sites are there. Many do opt for a ferry ride up the strait though, and they aren't disappointed.
The panoramic views are amazing...I still get the chills thinking of the first time I saw it. Minarets and skyscrapers, lovely Yali mansions and palace gates... all of them change moods with the angle of the sun...see what I mean:
PS!!!! Just want to say THANK YOU to all of my followers! Serendipity hit 100 on Tuesday and Friday will be the 100th post. So as a special treat that day, I have author/freelance editor Tracy Marchini coming by for a Q&A on Writing. Amazing stuff on her resume: Curtis Brown and Taconic Press...and the "Wonderbar" Nathan Bransford has her on his Book Blogs sidebar. She's currently represented by Caren Johnson Estensen. Worth checking out, I promise!
Now back to our show: If you have the time (about 10 minutes) this guy has a pretty HiDef video of his tour up the European side and a little of the Asian side down to Beylerberi Palace.