The Byzantine underground cistern (Yerebatan), Blue Mosque, Maiden's Tower (Kizkulesi), Treasury at Topkapi Palace are re-opened after restorations.
You can buy the "Museum Pass" for foreigners which is valid for 5 days in various museums of Istanbul.
Museums open 7 days
The museums in Istanbul will operate 7 days a week, except Topkapi Palace.
There are so many attractions in Istanbul for families with children of all ages. Besides regular historic sites, depending on the age and interest of the little ones of course, you can opt for a play ground or park or other interesting areas in the city. Here are some ideas and alternatives to spend some pleasant time with the children.
Vialand Theme Park: This is the largest outdoor amusement park in Istanbul, located close to the Golden Horn in Eyup district. It's open from the beginning of Spring until the end of Autumn, some sections are closed during cold months. There are several roller coasters, dungeons, swings, carousel, bumper cars, and a big shopping center. They have shuttle busses from various locations in the city center to take you there. Theme park is closed on Mondays. Phone: +90 850 2108563
Moi Park: It's the biggest indoor amusement park in Istanbul, located in the Mall of Istanbul shopping mall in Basaksehir, near Ataturk airport. There are roller coasters, rides, giant swings, carousel, Ferris wheel and other units for children between 4-10 years and adults. They have shuttle vans from the city center. Phone: +90 212 8011000
Kidzania: Located at Akasya shopping mall in Acibadem neighborhood on the Asian side of the city, it offers real-time job scenarios for children between 4-14 years where the kids can become a doctor, fireman, police, engineer and many others. College student supervisors are on site to support the children. You can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 216 4286763
Minopolis: Located at Marmara Forum shopping mall in Bakirkoy district, it has real-time job activities for children between 4-14 years, where they can be a TV host or nurse or dentist and so on. You can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 850 8502525
Viaport Marina amusement park: Located in Tuzla district on the Asian side of Istanbul. There are roller coasters, rides, Ferris wheel, bowling, movie theaters, and more. There are also water sliders for the Summer time, Lion Park with lions and tigers, and the Aquarium.
Lion Park (Aslanpark): Located within Viaport Marina in Tuzla, there are several lion and tiger species, as well as other big cats. You can also take photos with cubs, at extra cost.
Dolphinarium: Located next to the Golden Horn in Eyup neighborhood, there are several shows with dolphins, seals and walruses in the indoor pool. It's also possible to swim with dolphins, at extra cost. Swimming, interaction and diving programs require an advance booking. The pool is closed on Mondays. You can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 212 5817878
Emaar Aquarium: It's a nice aquarium located inside Emaar shopping mall on the Asian side of the city. There are hundreds of fish and sea creature species, as well as penguins and crocodiles. They have shuttles from the city center, or you can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 850 2908090
Istanbul Aquarium: One of the largest thematic aquariums in Europe, located in Florya neighborhood near Ataturk airport. There are hundreds of fish and sea creature species in their various water tanks. They have shuttles from the city center, or you can reach there with public busses, taxis or Marmaray train. Phone: +90 212 4449444
Sea Life Aquarium: Changed its name from "Turkuazoo" to "Istanbul Sea Life", this aquarium is located inside Forum Istanbul shopping mall near Esenler Otogar, the intercity bus station at Bayrampasa neighborhood. There are many species of fish in their tanks from sharks to stingrays. They have special activities for kids of various ages; visitors aged 14 and up can dive with sharks in the Ocean Tank. They have shuttles from the city center, or you can reach there with tram/metro or taxis. Phone: +90 212 6402740
Legoland Discovery Centre: Located inside Forum Istanbul shopping mall in Bayrampasa neighborhood, this world of color, creativity and family entertainment can be fun for children between 3-10 years. Adults must be accompanied by a child. You can reach there with tram/metro or taxis. Phone: +90 212 6403951
Butterfly Farm: Located near Acarkent in Beykoz district on the Asian side of Istanbul, it shows various species of butterflies and their short life cycle. You can reach there with taxis. Phone: +90 216 3195253
Zoo: Located in Darica district outside of Istanbul, it's the only official zoo in the city run by a private person. Especially during Spring and Summer period the animals can be seen in the restricted outdoor areas where you can see lions, bears, reptiles, birds and others. Since the zoo is far from city center, you may need to rent a car to get there or arrange a private transfer, or use Marmaray train plus a taxi ride. Phone: 0262 6536666
Rahmi Koc Museum: Located in Haskoy neighborhood along the Golden Horn, this is one of the most complete museums for industry. The sections that appeal children of various ages are historic cars, "how stuff work" lab, real submarine, old planes, old boats, trains, and so on. Closed on Mondays. You can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 212 3696600
Santral Istanbul museum: It's housed in an old power plant along the Golden Horn. Besides playing and enjoying the old machinery inside the power plant, during weekends children of 4-12 ages can join various science and art ateliers. There is also a nice green park where the children can ride a bike or scooter (you should bring your own) while parents have a Turkish tea or meal in the cafeteria. You can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 212 3696600
Ural Ataman Classic Cars museum: There are several classic and historic cars, motorcycles and fire engines at the museum which attracts children and adults who has a passion for the classic. It's located in Tarabya neighborhood and open on Saturdays only, between 11:00-18:00. You can reach there with public busses, dolmush minibuses or taxis. Phone: +90 212 2994539
Miniaturk: Located in Sutluce neighborhood on the Golden Horn, it shows the 1/25 scale models of the most important historic and modern constructions and monuments of Turkey. It's an outdoor museum open all year around, and is ideal for those who want to make a blitz tour of the whole country. You can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 212 2222882
Toy museum: Located at Goztepe neighborhood on the Asian side of the city, the museum has some of the finest examples of toys on display from 1700's to our times. While parents go on a nostalgic journey back to their childhood, the children discover the past. You can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 216 3594550.
There is another Toy museum in Balat neighborhood along the Golden Horn. Phone: +90 212 9353080.
Istanbul Modern Arts museum: Located at Galataport cruise ship port, it's one of the best modern arts museums in Istanbul. During summer period they organize art and culture activities for children between 7-12 years in their art atelier. You can reach there with tram, public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 212 3347300
Kite museum: Located in Uskudar district on the Asian side of Istanbul, there are several kites from all around the world, photographs, and ateliers for kite making for children over 3 years old. Open every day except on Sundays, entrance is free of charge. You can reach there with public ferries, Marmaray subway or taxis. Phone: +90 216 5532337
Glass Furnace: Located in the suburb village of Ogumce on the Asian side, this well equipped glass and art center has several daily activities or long period courses for grown up children and adults. These activities include glass blowing, bead making, fusing, flame working and others, with local and foreign glass artists. Since it's far from the city center, you'll need to rent a car or arrange a private transfer to get there. Phone: +90 216 4333693
Snowpark: Located inside Torium shopping mall on E-5 highway in Haramidere, it's the biggest indoor skiing area for children and adults. You can hire skiing equipment on site. You can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 212 6999050
Ottomanya: located at the Mall of Istanbul shopping mall, this is an interactive museum of Ottoman history and sites where the children can see images of buildings and clothing from Ottoman period as well as their traditional cultures. You can reach there with taxis. Phone: +90 212 6999050
Hisart History and Diorama museum: There are real size models of soldiers and their costumes from Roman, Seljuk and Ottoman periods with a representation of important events that have shaped the history of Turkey and the world, which may attract the attention of grown up children. It's located in Caglayan neighborhood and closed on Mondays. You can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 212 2969804
Xtreme Adventures: It's an outdoor adventure park at UNIQ Complex in Maslak district. Located in an area covered with trees, there are tree climbing and high rope walking activities, zipline and many other fun stuff for children from 4 years up and adults. The park is open between 09:30-17:30 except on Mondays. Advance reservations are recommended especially during weekends and holiday period. There is also an outdoor ice-skating area during winter months. You can reach there with public transportation: bus, subway, taxi. Phone: +90 212 3282850
Forestanbul: Located at Kurt Kemeri picnic area in Kemerburgaz, it's one of the biggest outdoor adventure activity park in Istanbul for kids and adults. There is paintball, rope walking, climbing walls, archery and so on. You can reach there with public busses or taxis. Phone: 4445867
Aqua Marine Water Park: Located in the outskirts of the city in Buyukcekmece district, this is the biggest outdoor water park with its pools and slides for kids of all ages and adults. It's open during summer months. You can reach there with their free shuttle vans from Taksim, or by public busses or taxis. Phone: +90 212 8822820
Ice-skating: If you like ice-skating with family, there are several ice skate venues in Istanbul. Some of them are easily reachable by public transport, some others are a little more complicated being in the suburbs. Two of the official size ice hockey rinks are located at Silivrikapi and Zeytinburnu. Other rinks are smaller but you can still have lots of fun. Most of these ice rinks are open all year around, but some are closed during summer months. You can hire ice skates and helmets, get private lessons by local instructors, or just skate freely. Here are some: IBB Silivrikapi in Zeytinburnu district, Buz Adasi in Zeytinburnu, UNIQ Winter Tales at Maslak district, Buzluk at Optimum shopping mall in Yenisahra - Atasehir, Flash Ice in MetroPort shopping mall in Bahcelievler neighborhood, Flash Ice in PerlaVista shopping mall in Beylikduzu district.
Other fun activities for families could be; Take a ferry ride on the Bosphorus, visit the Princess Islands with rental bikes, explore the alleys of the Grand bazaar looking for souvenirs, check the colors and smells at the Spice market, get on the historic tram on Istiklal street in Taksim, climb the Galata Tower for a 360-degree view of the city. There are also several parks to spend some time outdoors, such as Yildiz park, Emirgan park, Gulhane park, Bebek park, Goztepe park, Beykoz park, Belgrade forest, Nezahat Gokyigit botanical garden, Bakirkoy botanical park, Ataturk arboretum. If it's the summer time, you can go to the beach and swim in the Black sea at Kilyos beach, Sile beach, Agva beach, Riva beach, or at Poyrazkoy beach on the Bosphorus, or in the Sea of Marmara at Florya beach and Caddebostan beach. If you want to walk with the family, you can choose Caddebostan area and Bostanci area along the shores of the Marmara sea on the Asian side, or along Kennedy street near Sultanahmet on the European side. In addition to above, these museums and sites may also attract the attention of children and their parents: Museum of Illusions, Wax museum, Military museum, Naval museum, Air Force museum, Topkapi palace, Cisterns, Sultanahmet square.
Hope to see you soon in Istanbul.