A spectacular bridge between continents

The Bosphorus Bridge, or First Bridge, is one of two suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus strait and connecting Europe to Asia. It was completed on 30th October 1973. You used to be able to walk over it, but now only motor vehicles can cross.

Why not take our Istanbul City Bus Tour across the Bosphorus? On the way we’ll tell you all about the bridge with our fun, informative commentary.

The Bosphorus Bridge wasn’t a new idea

Persian King Darius first made an attempt in 511 BC. He managed to transfer his army of 700,000 to the other side by making a mobile bridge out of boats. Pretty smart. Italian architect Mondrakol proposed a permanent bridge in the early 20th century – but Sultan Abdulhamit II wasn’t interested and the project was abandoned.

Impressive statistics

Here are some figures for you: the bridge measures 5,118 feet (1560 metres) long, with a deck width of 110 feet (33.5 metres). The distance between the towers (main span) is 3,524 feet (1,074 metres) and the total height of the towers is 541 feet (165 metres). So it’s a big one, whichever way you look at it.

Other interesting facts about Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul

  • Today, around 180,000 vehicles pass daily in both directions
  • Fully loaded, the Bosphorus Bridge sags about 90 cm (35 in) in the middle
  • In 2013, golfer Tiger Woods hit balls from the Asian side of the bridge to the European side
  • On 29th December 1997, the billionth vehicle passed over the bridge
  • The Bosphorus Bridge cost US$200 million ($1.07 billion in 2016)