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14 Top-Rated Things to do with your Kids in Istanbul
Read our best recommandations of activities you can do with your Kids in Istanbul.
Turkey is a very child friendly and family oriented country. As it’s largest city, Istanbul offers not only amazing historical sightseeings, but also a lot of fun attractions for the families with kids.
Istanbul guarentees to keep the joy at the highest all day with various themed museums and activity centers such as; Sea Life, Legoland Discovery Center, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum as well as local attractions like Miniaturk Park, Isfanbul Jungle Park, Moipark and Istanbul Dolphinarium.
We have created a list with the most fun kids activities in Istanbul.
Travel tips for families with children in Istanbul
Is Istanbul a kid-friendly destination?
Be prepared! The limitless child-friendliness can sometimes cause discomfort in parents. The enthusiasm of the locals for children sometimes leads to situations where many parents do not know what to think about it.
Patting the child on the head and pinching the cheeks of a child is common here. Mostly it's just a gesture of friendship and many locals are unaware that they might provoke the displeasure of the parents.
Of course, it is always better to pay close attention and to be careful. Stay friendly and make clear if you do not want your child to be touched.
Most museums offer free admission for children up to 6 years of age. There are also special children's discounts of up to 50%. Check our list of the most visited museums in Istanbul.
Istanbul Welcome Card: Istanbul Welcome Card is free for children up to 6 years.
1. Legoland Discovery Center
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Istanbul is a fun learning center designed for children aged 3-14 and their families. Dive into an enchanted world within millions of lego pieces. A great opportunity to learn as a family and show your creativity in the colorful world of Lego. Every children dreams of being in this creative environment. We are sure your child will also enjoy this time. The main advantage is that you can be there to play with them! Give it a try!
- Legoland Discovery Center is open every day of the week from 10:00 to 19:00.
How To Get There
- From Taksim: Take metro M2 Yenikapı. Change to metro M1b and drive to Kocatepe. Legoland is an eight- minutes-walk from there. Total duration about 40 minutes.
- From Sultanahmet: Take tram T1 to Yusufpaşa. Walk three minutes to Aksaray metro station and take metro M1b to Kocatepe. Legoland is an eight-minutes-walk from there. Total duration about 40 minutes.
- Address: Legoland Discover Center, Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall, Kocatepe Mahallesi, Paşa Caddesi, Bayrampaşa.
- Official Website: legolanddiscoverycentre.com
2. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
The Istanbul branch of the famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum with 60 international and Turkish stars is located in Istanbuls best known street, the Istiklal Caddesi. Meet Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Madonna, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Willis, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Muhammad Ali, Usain Bolt, Albert Einstein, Atatürk, Sultan Mehmet the Conquirer and many more to shoot your selfies.
It's a wonderful fun activity to do with your children. You can make them guess who the characters are and they can learn about a lot of fields like cinema, history or music.
- Madame Tussauds is open every day of the week from 11:00 to 20:00
How To Get There
- From Taksim: The museum is a 7-minutes-walk from Taksim Square
- From Sultanahmet: Take tram T1 to Karaköy. Go three minutes to the bottom station of the historical funicular “Tünel” and drive up to the top station Beyoğlu. The museum is a 12-minutes-walk from there.
Info & Tickets:
- Address: Madame Tussauds, Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, Istiklal Caddesi 56, Beyoğlu, Istanbul
- Get your online tickets to Madame Tussauds Istanbul on Istanbul Welcome Card with a 5% discount now
3. Sea Life Istanbul
The SEA LIFE Istanbul is the fifth largest aquarium in the world with 47 basins and 21 theme worlds. You and your family can discover more than 15,000 underwater creatures including sharks, piranhas, rays, giant jellyfish and octopus and countless colorful tropical fish.
In addition, you can go through a 83-meter underwater glass tunnel and watch many animals from all angles. During the feeding times especially children have great fun. Be amazed by Europe's largest shark collection. Discover 61 sharks from 15 different species such as hammerhead sharks, sand tiger sharks, gray reef sharks, and many more as they swim majestically overhead. Definitely among the most liked activities for children!
- Sea Life Istanbul is open every day of the week from 10:00 to 20:00
How To Get There
- From Taksim: Take metro M2 Yenikapı. Change to metro M1b and drive to Kocatepe. Sea Life is an eight-minutes-walk from there. Total duration about 40 minutes.
- From Sultanahmet: Take tram T1 to Yusufpaşa. Walk three minutes to Aksaray metro station and take metro M1b to Kocatepe. Sea Life is an eight-minutes-walk from there. Total duration about 40 minutes.
- Address: Sea Life, Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall, Kocatepe Mahallesi, Paşa Caddesi 5/5, Bayrampaşa
- Official Website: visitsealife.com
4. Fun Lab
At FunLab you can choose among eight categories from video & arcade games to redemption games and big rides for adrenaline addicts. You’ll find many kinds od simulation and multi dimensional games and video games. There are rides for bigger kids like horror tunnel and tower to the wave as well as rides suitable for small kids. There are several branches all over Istanbul but the most central and privileged by visitors is the one in the Cevahir Mall.
- FunLab Istanbul is open every day of the week from 10:00 to 22:00
How To Get There
- From Taksim: Take metro M2 to Şişli and take the exit that leads directly to the Cevahir Shopping Mall. Total time about 10 minutes.
- From Sultanahmet: Take tram T1 to Laleli/Üniversite. Walk six minutes to Vezneciler metro station and take metro M2 to Şişli. Use the exit that leads directly to the Cevahir Shopping Mall. Total duration about 25 minutes.
- Address: Cevahir AVM, Büyükdere Cad. No:22 34400 Şişli, İstanbul
- Official Website: funlab.com
5. Isfanbul Theme Park
The Isfanbul is the biggest theme park complex in Istanbul that has 4 sections in 20 hectares are. It is possible to find eateries and shops at the site. The rides are divided into family fun, kids entertainment, fun for fearless and fast passing compatible sections. Nefeskesen, the “breathtaking” roller coaster , the Viking ride and Adalet Kulesi, the “justice tower are attractions with the most adrenaline.
At the Safari unit of Isfanbul Jungle Park that provides laser adventure in the African jungle, visitors solve a mystery with the hints in the adventure map they have got to become the hero of the story and have the chance to win surprise prizes.
The Jungle Park is home to nearly 400 animals of 100 different species. Rare examples of arthropods, fish, birds, reptiles and mammals do live here and some of these creatures are one the verge of extinction.
- Isfanbul Theme Park is open every day of the week from 10:30 to 18:30 during week days and 11:00 to 20:00 during the weekends.
How To Get There
- From Taksim: Go to bus stop Gümüşsuyu Peron and take bus 49T to Maliye Blokları. The theme park is a eight-minutes-walk from there. Total time about 60 minutes.
- From Sultanahmet: Take tram T1 to Eminönü. Go to Eminönü bus stop and take bus 99 to Maliye Blokları.
- Address: Yeşilpınar, Şht. Metin Kaya Sk. No: 11/1, 34065 Eyüpsultan, Istanbul
- Official Website: isfanbul.com
6. Istanbul Dolphinarium
Istanbul Dolphinarium presents a unique chance to explore the fascinating world of sea mammals. Here, by taking a closer look at these charming and clever dolphines, walruses, seals and the Beluga, you will get to know these sea creatures better and realize the importance of them in the nature.
The show starts with a male and a female fur seal. The next stars are the walruses. Their performances involve aerobics, basketball, push-ups and crunches. The beluga whale will sing, dance and paint for you. The most exciting part of the show is of course the performance of the dolphins repertoire includes water ballet, singing, jumps, somersaults, balance tricks and basketball games. When touching and playing with them and when they pull you through the water and smile at you, you will forget everything around you and definitely charge positive energy.
- Istanbul Dolphinarium are everyday at 14:00 and 17:00 (except Sundays, only at 14:00)
How To Get There
- From Taksim: Take bus 55T to Unkapanı Kadir Has Üniversitesi. Change to bus 36CE, 48A, 99, 399 B, 399C or 399D and drive to Çeltik. The Dolphinarium is a one-minute-walk from there. Total time about 25 minutes.
- From Sultanahmet: Take tram T1 to Eminönü. Go through the underpass to the bus stop Eminönü and take bus 48A or 99 Çeltik. The Dolphinarium is a one-minute-walk from there. Total time about 25 minutes.
- Address: Silahtarağa Mah. Silahtarağa Cad. No:20 Eyüpsultan, Istanbul
- Official Website: istanbuldolphinarium.com
7. Miniaturk Miniature Park
Located on the banks of the Golden Horn, Miniaturk, opened in 2003, is one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. Covering an area of six hectares, the open-air museum presents over 105 miniature models, making it the largest miniature park in the world. Visitors can expect an exciting adventure through the history of Turkey.
The approximately 105 models in a scale of 1:25 provide an insight into the different epochs and show Turkey in a nutshell. Especially the most important buildings of Istanbul, Anatolia and the Ottoman Empire such as Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Temple of Artemis or Pamukkale’s white cascades and Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys are presented. The audio guides provide exciting information on each miniature.
- Miniatürk Park is open every day of the week from 9:00 to 19:00
How To Get There
- From Taksim: Take the bus 36T or 38T Miniatürk stop. Miniatürk is just a one-minute-walk from there. Total duration about 30 minutes.
- From Sultanahmet: Take tram T1 to Pazartekke. Go to bus stop Millet Caddesi and take bus 41ST Miniatürk stop. Miniatürk is just a one-minute-walk from there. Total duration about 45 minutes.
- Address: Örnektepe, İmrahor Cd. No:7, 34445 Beyoğlu, Istanbul
- Official Website: miniaturk.com.tr
Giant swings, high-speed shuttles, adrenaline-filled games, fun tunnels, a horror-conscious hotel, gift-giving units. Moipark, Europe’s largest indoor entertainment colony, consists of two floors on a 12,000 m2 area. One floor is for children older than 10 years of age. The other floor serves for kids between 4 and 10 years of age. There are live stage shows and a lot of other entertainment inviting to a colorful world of big fun.
- Moipark is open every day of the week from 12:00 to 20:00
How To Get There
- From Taksim: Take the metro M2 to Yenikapı. Change to metro M1b to Kirazlı. Now change to metro M3 to İkitelli Sanayi. Moipark is a 15-minutes-walk from there.
- From Sultanahmet: Take tram T1 to Yusufpaşa. Go to bus stop Aksaray metro station and take metro M1b Kirazlı. Now change to metro M3 to Ikitelli Sanayi. Moipark is a 15-minutes-walk from there.
- Address: Mahmutbey, Süleyman Demirel Blv, 34490 İkitelli Osb/Başakşehir/İstanbul
- Official Website: moipark.com.tr
9. Rahmi M. Koç Museum
The museum situated on the north shore of the Golden Horn is dedicated to the history of transport, industry and communications with permanent and temporary exhibitions. Old cars and trams, an old aircraft and aircraft models, locomotives, ships and a submarine can be seen amongst others and interests children of all ages, too.
- Rahmi M.Koç Museum is Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:30 (18:30 on the weekends). Closed mon Mondays.
How To Get There
- From Taksim: Take bus 36 to Kırmızı Minare. The museum is a one-minute-walk from there. Total duration about 25 minutes.
- From Sultanahmet: Take tram T1 to Eminönü. Go through the underpass to the bus stop Eminönü and take bus 54 to Kırmızı Minare. The museum is a one-minute-walk from there. Total duration about 45 minutes.
- Address: Piri Paşa, Aziz Sk. No:5 D:No:5, 34445 Beyoğlu, Istanbul
- Official Website: rmk-museum.org.tr
KidZania is an interactive children's town that combines inspiration, fun and learning through realistic role-playing games for children from 2 to 14 years old. Children independently explore an 80,000-square-meter city with over 100 exciting careers to try.
Through realistic role-playing games, children learn about different jobs, life in the city and how to handle money. Playfully they should better understand the business cycle. KidZania works with a corporate currency called "kidZos", which can earn the children through employment, spend on goods and services, deposit on bank accounts and save or even donate to the community.
- KidZania Istanbul is open every week day from 10:00 to 16:00, 20:00 on the weekends. Closed on Mondays.
How To Get There
- From Taksim: Take metro M2 to Yenikapı. Change to metro Marmaray and drive to Ayrılık Çeşmesi. Now take metro M4 to Acıbadem. KidZania is located a 24-minute-walk from there. Total time about 70 minutes.
- From Sultanahmet: Take tram T1 to Sirkeci. Change to metro Marmaray and drive to Ayrılık Çeşmesi. Now take metro M4 to Acıbadem. KidZania is located a 24-minute-walk from there. Total duration about 45 minutes.
- Address: Acıbadem, Akasya Avm No:25A, 34660 Üsküdar, Istanbul
- Official Website: istanbul.kidzania.com
11. Besiktas Football Club Stadium & Museum
Vodafone Arena is the stadium of Besiktas, one of the most successful football teams in Turkey. It is located in Besiktas district, just across to Dolmabahce Palace.
There is also a museum where objects, photographs and trophies related to the history of the Besiktas club are exhibited. The most meaningful trophy in the museum is the championship trophy that Besiktas won in its 100th year. If your children are interested in football, they might love to see these precious item exposed or watch a match in this beautifully renovated stadium.
- October - May period, between 10:00 and 18:00, every day except Mondays
- June - September period, between 10.00-19.00 everyday except Mondays
How To Get There
- From Taksim: Take a yellow bus towards Besiktas and stop at the stadium just down the hill.
- From Sultanahmet: Take the tramway to Kabatas and walk 10 min along the Bosphorus until the stadium.
- Address: Vişnezade, Dolmabahçe Cd. No:1, 34357 Beşiktaş, Istanbul
- Official Website: bjk.com.tr
12. Dolmabahçe Palace Visit
Did you know that there was once sea on the site of this magnificent palace? The name “Dolma Bahce”, which means “Filled Garden”, was given to the palace because the sea was filled and coastal palaces were built on the Bosphorus shore.
The seashore was filled with stones and this magnificent palace was built on it. It takes about an hour to tour the palace. You can visit a historical palace as a family, which is full of precious carpets, excellent paintings and crystals. Do not forget to take great photos in the garden of the palace. Here you can encounter peacocks, ducks and many other cute animals!
In this garden, you can visit an interesting Clock Museum and the Painting Museum, where beautiful paintings with the theme of Istanbul and the palace are exhibited. Children are often fascinated by the beautiful building and the visit inside this amazing palace.
- Dolmabahçe Palace is open every day of the week from 10:00 to 22:00
- Address: Vişnezade, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş, Istanbul
13. Bosphorus Tour to throw “Simit” to the seagulls
Fresh bagels are the indispensable taste of Istanbulites. The best accompaniment is, of course, Turkish tea. Watching historical mansions and palaces in the unique view of the Bosphorus is the best way to use the beautiful weather. Be sure to buy a “simit” before boarding the ship so that the seagulls will accompany you.
A good address: Historical Galata Simit Bakery ( Tarihi Galata Simitçisi). This 30 year old bakery is famous if tou are around Karaköy. Mumhane Cad. No:47 , Karaköy, Istanbul
Check the best rated Bosphorus Tours here and get online tickets with discounts:
14. Picnic in beautiful parks
There are few really wonderful park to visit with your children in Istanbul. Here are 2:
- Emirgan Park is especially famous for its colorful tulips when spring comes. There are three historical mansions and small lakes. These mansions are used as food service areas today. There are also wide picnic areas and many playgrounds where children can have fun.
- Gulhane Park, one of the most beautiful parks of Istanbul, was once the garden of Topkapi Palace. Today is great for jogging and having fun among the flower gardens. If you walk to the very edge of the park, you can find a historical column. The Goths column was erected 1700 years ago and is one of the oldest monuments in Istanbul. If you look at the trees carefully, you may even spot colorful parrots!
This parks are amazing for a stroll or even a picnic. If you don't want to bother with picnics, you will find very high quality cafés & restaurants in the parks. Perfect place to eat a kahvalti (Turkish breakfast).
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