The Bosphorus is the neighbourhoods of Istanbul that lie along the banks of the channel of the same name that connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, and separates Europe from Asia.
In Turkish Boğaz means the Bosphorus channel, while Boğaziçi is the word for these neighbourhoods. These began as separate fishing villages, and even today have not completely grown into each other. So they each have a different character, with late Ottoman palaces, parks, and lush woodlands. This is one of the most scenic districts of Istanbul, especially in May when the Judas trees swathe the shoreline and the hills with their deep-pink flowers.
The best way to see the Bosphorus in all its beauty is to take a boat trip. This is the strategic waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, and dividing Istanbul into two continents. As the boat zigzags between Asia and Europe, you can admire the old Ottoman wooden houses, 6 Ottoman palaces, 2 suspended bridges, and 2 medieval castles.