Top 21 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Istanbul (2024 Insider Advice)

Things to do with kids is a common issue and sometimes a big trouble for families travelling with kids, especially in winter times. In many cities or towns, it may be very hard to find attractions for kids but in Istanbul you can be sure that you’ll never find yourself stuck in this situation. You will find loads of attractions in Istanbul for your kids, and also you’ll definitely have fun with them.

Key Takeaways: Istanbul for Kids

  1. Diverse Attractions: Istanbul offers a wide range of kid-friendly attractions, from historical sites to modern entertainment venues.
  2. Cultural Exposure: Visiting Istanbul provides children with a unique opportunity to experience a blend of Eastern and Western cultures.
  3. Educational Opportunities: Many attractions in Istanbul offer educational experiences, making learning fun and interactive.
  4. Outdoor Activities: The city boasts beautiful parks and outdoor spaces where families can enjoy nature and recreational activities.
  5. Family-Friendly Dining: Istanbul caters to families with a variety of dining options that appeal to both kids and adults.
  6. Accessible Transportation: The city’s public transportation system is efficient, making it easy to navigate between attractions.
  7. Safety First: Istanbul is generally considered safe for families, but usual precautions for traveling with children should be taken.
  8. Accommodations for All: The city offers a range of family-friendly accommodations, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly options.
  9. Seasonal Events: Throughout the year, Istanbul hosts various festivals and events that are perfect for family entertainment.
  10. Memorable Experience: A trip to Istanbul with kids promises to be an enriching and unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Below we gathered and categorized the kids attractions in Istanbul including theme parks, museums, charming places, historical sites, sightseeing tours, parks and gardens and more.

You may easily discover what Istanbul offers for kids and plan your visits with our page. Note that about every attraction we mention will take your whole day, so with all the kids’ attractions below, you may cover at least 1 week of your stay in Istanbul with your kids.

# Take kids to popular amusement & theme parks

Amusement and theme parks are not only the places for fun, but also great places for your kids’ learning and imagination development. There are wide range of theme parks in Istanbul to choose from thrills, rides, roller-coasters to aquariums, dolphinariums and variety of great attraction centers for kids.

Families are able to easily spend the whole day at the leisure and theme parks without their kids’ getting bored. Below you may see all the popular amusement and theme parks for kids in Istanbul and read more by visiting our detailed pages.

1. Vialand in Eyup, Golden Horn

Vialand Istanbul Theme Park (formerly Isfanbul) is a huge complex containing a huge theme park which is one of the best ones in the world, shopping and entertainment areas. Located in the Eyup district of Istanbul, it is a great place to spend a full day out with your family and kids.

You can enjoy  the spectacular and magical world of Vialand Theme Park with your family and friends. Have fun on the world’s 4th biggest roller-coaster, as well variety of great rides and thrills. You can also have some leisure time to explore the shopping mall of the park.

Below are the online tickets that you can buy directly from the Venue. No agencies!

  1. VIALAND Theme Park Tickets and Package Options
  2. Vialand Theme Park Tickets with Package Options

Wanna learn more about Vialand Istanbul?

2. Sea Life Istanbul in Bayrampasa

Are you prepared to plunge into the depths of a mesmerizing journey? Sea Life Istanbul is a popular entertainment area in Istanbul. With 6 million m3 of water and home to over 500 different species, it boasts an awe-inspiring collection of more than 15,000 marine creatures. It is also the 5th largest aquarium in the world.

We Highly Recommend These Fantastic Night-time Activities

Sea Life Istanbul offers great attractions to its visitors. You can experience and enjoy the lovely sea creatures, the largest collection of sharks in Europe, the Digital Aquarium, the Turtle Hospital where you may see the injured turtles are getting healed, thematic zones, school trips, birthday parties and much more.

Below are the online tickets that you can buy directly from the Venue. No agencies!

  1. SEA LIFE Istanbul General Admission Ticket online from Viator
  2. SEA LIFE Istanbul Entry Ticket Online from GetYourGuide

Wanna learn more about Sea Life Istanbul?

3. Istanbul LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Bayrampasa

Istanbul LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a great entertainment and kids’ education area. The center is world famous brand and now in Istanbul Turkey. It promises an unforgettable experience where the joy of building, playing, and exploring comes to life in a LEGO-inspired wonderland!

Embark on a whimsical journey into the world of LEGOLAND Istanbul, where imagination knows no bounds. This vibrant theme park is a haven of thrilling attractions and engaging activities for visitors of all ages.

Below are the online tickets that you can buy directly from the Venue. No agencies!

  1. Istanbul LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Admission Ticket from Viator
  2. Istanbul LEGOLAND Discovery Center Entrance Ticket from GetYourGuide

Wanna learn more about Istanbul Legoland?

4. Istanbul Aquarium in Florya (Bakirkoy)

Istanbul Aquarium is one of the best aquariums and theme parks in Europe. It is the biggest thematic aquarium in the world.

Embark on a captivating journey from the Black Sea to the Pacific by following a geographical route composed of a total of 17 themes and a rainforest at Istanbul Aquarium, the world’s latest marvel in comparison to its kind.

Unlike traditional aquariums, Istanbul Aquarium stands out with its unique features such as the itinerary, theming, interactivity, rainforest, and state-of-the-art technology. Each area within the aquarium is meticulously themed to reflect its cultural, geographical, historical, and architectural characteristics.

Below are some of best experiences you can find!

  1. Istanbul Aquarium Ticket & Shuttle Bus from Taksim (great one with fast entry and shuttle service)
  2. Istanbul Aquarium, Wednesday Bazaar & 212 Mall (Solo – Group)
  3. Istanbul Aquarium and Aqua Florya Shopping Mall Tour (good one)
  4. Istanbul Aquarium and Aqua Florya Independent Shopping Trip (good one)

Wanna learn more about Istanbul Aquarium?

5. Istanbul Dolphinarium in Eyup, Golden Horn

Step into a world of wonder and awe at Istanbul Dolphinarium, where the captivating tale of marine marvels unfolds. Istanbul Dolphinarium is one of the most popular theme parks and dolphinarium in Istanbul. It is also the largest indoor Dolphinarium in Europe.

Here, you can enjoy the dolphin shows, discover the world of the sea mammals such as dolphins, playful fur seals, massive walruses and the gorgeous white whale and spend great time at the Istanbul Dolphinarium.

Wanna learn more about Istanbul Dolphinarium?

6. Moipark

Embark on an exhilarating journey at Moipark, the largest indoor entertainment colony in Europe, sprawling across a vast 12,000 m2 area. With giant swings, high-speed shuttles, adrenaline-filled games, fun tunnels, and a horror-conscious hotel, Moipark promises an action-packed adventure.

The facility features two dedicated floors catering to different age groups. One floor caters to children older than 10 years, while the other is a haven for kids aged 4 to 10. Live stage shows and a myriad of entertainment options invite families into a colorful world of big fun.

7. KidZania

Step into the miniature city of KidZania, where learning meets play in an interactive and engaging environment designed for children aged 2 to 14. Spanning over 80,000 square meters, KidZania offers over 100 exciting careers for children to explore through realistic role-playing games.

In this unique town, children independently navigate various professions, gaining insights into different jobs, city life, and financial literacy. The experience is not just fun; it’s a playful way for children to grasp the concepts of the business cycle.

KidZania introduces a corporate currency called “kidZos,” earned through employment, spent on goods and services, deposited in bank accounts, or even donated to the community. KidZania provides a dynamic and educational playground where children can discover, learn, and have a blast in a city built just for them.

# Take kids to museums of interest

Each of these museums provides a unique and enriching experience for families, combining education with entertainment to create lasting memories for kids and adults alike.

8. Miniaturk – Miniature Turkey Museum in Sutluce, Golden Horn

The miniature Turkey open air museum, the miniature forms of the greatest monuments of Turkey…

This open-air museum showcases meticulously crafted miniature replicas of iconic landmarks, bringing the country’s architectural wonders to life. Perfect for families, kids can explore the intricacies of Turkey’s diverse heritage in a single visit, making Miniaturk an educational and entertaining experience.

Below are some of best experiences you can find!

  1. Semi Private Tour – Golden Horn and Miniaturk Park Tour in Istanbul
  2. Istanbul: Miniaturk Museum & Shopping Tour
  3. Private Guided Tour with Transfer in Miniatürk Istanbul

Wanna learn more about Miniaturk?

9. Madame Tussauds Istanbul Wax Museum in Istiklal Avenue, Taksim

A museum chain for life-size wax replicas of famous celebrities and historic icons as well as historical and cultural heroes from the history… Step into the glamorous world of Madame Tussauds Istanbul Wax Museum, where lifelike wax figures of global celebrities and historical icons await.

From movie stars to political leaders, this museum offers an interactive and immersive encounter with some of the world’s most influential personalities. A thrilling and educational outing for families, kids can pose with their favorite figures and learn about the individuals who have shaped history.

Below are the online tickets that you can buy directly from the Venue. No agencies!

  1. Madame Tussauds Istanbul Admission Ticket from Viator
  2. Madame Tussauds Istanbul Entrance Ticket from GetYourGuide

Wanna learn more about Madame Tussauds Istanbul?

10. Museum of Illusions Istanbul in Istiklal Avenue, Taksim

Would you like to have an extraordinary adventure into the realm of wonder and curiosity at the Museum of Illusions in Istanbul?! The museum is designed to cater to both social and entertaining tours, offering an enchanting experience for all generations. It’s not just a haven for children, but also a delightful escape for parents, couples, and grandparents alike.

Discover the unimaginable as you navigate through the mesmerizing exhibits. Challenge your senses and step into the Vortex Tunnel, an illusionary experience that will make you question your stability as you navigate through a rotating cylinder on a seemingly flat surface. Defy gravity in the Upside Down Room, experience the infinite in the Infinity Room, and capture yourself in every conceivable pose.

Below are the online tickets that you can buy directly from the Venue. No agencies!

  1. Museum of Illusions Istanbul Admission Ticket from Viator
  2. Museum of Illusions Istanbul Entrance Ticket from GetYourGuide

Wanna learn more about Museum of Illusions Istanbul?

11. Rahmi Koc Museum in Haskoy, Golden Horn

Housed in a former anchor foundry, a science and technology museum, a trove of machines, vintage cars, trains and submarines… For young enthusiasts fascinated by machines and technology, Rahmi Koc Transport Museum is a treasure trove.

Located in Istanbul, this museum houses an impressive collection of vintage cars, planes, trains, and maritime artifacts. Kids can explore the evolution of transportation and witness the marvels of engineering up close, making it an engaging and educational visit for families.

Wanna learn more about Rahmi Koc Transport Museum?

12. Istanbul Toy Museum in Goztepe, Kadikoy

Enter a world of nostalgia at the Istanbul Toy Museum, where an extensive collection of toys from different eras awaits. Toys are gathered from the antiques shops and auctions from more than 40 countries for 20 years.

This charming museum is a delightful experience for both parents and children, offering a journey through the history of play. From antique dolls to classic board games, kids can discover the timeless joy of toys while parents reminisce about their own childhood favorites.

Address: Omerpasa Zeki Zeren Str. No:17, Goztepe, Kadikoy. Tel: +90 216 359 45 50 – 51

# Take kids for sightseeing of interest

13. Bosphorus Cruise

A great experience and fun day out activity along the world’s famous Bosphorus strait. Typical Bosphorus Cruises begin slightly to the east of the famous Galata Bridge and continues to Anadolu Kavagi which is the Bosphorus’ entrance to the Black Sea making numerous sightseeing stops along the strait.

Set sail on a Bosphorus Cruise with your little ones for a maritime adventure they won’t forget. As the boat glides through the shimmering waters, kids can marvel at the iconic landmarks lining the strait, creating lasting memories against the stunning backdrop of Istanbul’s skyline.

We recommend the below ticket options for the great value for money.

  1. Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table
  2. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht
  3. Bosphorus on Yacht Cruise with Stopover on Asian Side
  4. Bosphorus Dinner / Lunch Cruise – Private & Customizable
  5. Bosphorus Dinner Cruise w/ Drinks & Entertainment
  6. Sunset or Daytime Yacht Tour w/AudioGuide & Snacks
  7. Bosphorus & Golden Horn Cruise Daytime or Sunset

Wanna learn more about Bosphorus Cruise for kids?

14. City Sightseeing Bus

A great experience and fun day out activity on an open topped double decker tourist bus. The upper deck of the city sightseeing bus offers a great vantage point for the amazing panoramic views of the city and lets you take photos.

Hop aboard the City Sightseeing Bus for an open-top, double-decker journey through Istanbul’s bustling streets. Kids can enjoy the city from a unique vantage point, with the flexibility to hop on and off at major attractions. The informative commentary adds an educational touch, making it an engaging and entertaining tour for the whole family.

Below are some of best experiences you can find! Feel free to book online in advance (as you’ll get discounts), by choosing the eco-friendly option of online tickets.

  1. Hop On Hop Off Istanbul (best price, audio guide will lead you for all + 5% discount)
  2. 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour with Commentary (top selling one)
  3. 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Scenic Cruise (combo – good for both bus and cruise trip)
  4. Two Continents Evening Bus Tour with Commentary (evening bus tour is also fantastic)

Wanna learn more about Istanbul City Sightseeing Bus?

15. Kids & Students Bike Tour

This is a great excursion that has been specifically designed for school groups, kids and students. The students will get to know Istanbul in a relaxing and educative way with this exciting and fun Istanbul bike tour.

Check out & book Istanbul Bike Tours

# Take kids to charming places and historical sites

16. Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet

Former church, one of the world’s greatest architectural works and accepted as the 8th wonder of the world, experience the history in the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires.

This place is what every Istanbul itinerary has for sure. If you had just one day in Istanbul the world-famous Hagia Sophia Museum would be the first stop. You and your kids will admire and have a detailed look at the architecture, mosaics, construction, the imperial dome, upper galleries and the decoration from the past and today.

While kids may not grasp the full historical significance, the grandeur of the structure, intricate mosaics, and massive dome are sure to captivate their imagination. Consider sharing fascinating stories from the past to bring the ancient wonders to life.

We recommend the below ticket options for the great value for money.

  1. Hagia Sophia with Audio App (no need a guide, audio guide will lead you for all + 5% discount)
  2. Hagia Sophia Tour with Historian Guide (if you want a pro-guide with you + 5% discount)
  3. Combo Ticket & Tour (all in one – Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern, our favorite, no need to look for else, trust us + 5% discount)
  4. Istanbul Must See Highlights Tour (another combo with Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque & Bosphorus Cruise)
  5. Hagia Sophia: Guided Highlights Tour and In-App Audio Guide (great one)
  6. Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Half Day Tour (good one)
  7. Hagia Sophia: Entry with Guided Tour (good one)

Wanna learn more about Hagia Sophia?

17. Topkapi Palace in Sultanahmet

One of world’s richest museums, the former residence of the Ottoman emperors, three courtyards, terraces with astonishing views, as well as precious collections, one of the top tourist attractions.

You and your kids will admire Topkapi Palace Museum and its famous Harem section and have a detailed look at the rooms, gardens, galleries, collections and the decoration from the past and today.

The opulent rooms, dazzling jewels, and beautiful gardens offer a royal adventure for young minds. Kids can envision palace life, exploring the courtyards and chambers that once hosted Ottoman rulers.

We recommend the below ticket options for the great value for money.

  1. Topkapi Palace Ticket, Tour, Audio App (great one, guide and audio app will lead you for all + 5% discount)
  2. Topkapi Palace & Harem Tour with Historian Guide (if you want a pro-guide with you inc. Harem + 5% discount)
  3. Combo Ticket & Tour (all top-3 one – Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern, our favorite, no need to look for else, trust us + 5% discount)
  4. Istanbul Must See Highlights Tour (another combo with Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque & Bosphorus Cruise)
  5. Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Half Day Tour (good one)
  6. Topkapi Palace & Harem Tour with Entry Ticket (good one)

Wanna learn more about Topkapi Palace Museum?

18. Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet

17th century very huge and unique mosque with six minarets, one of the most popular tourist sights in Istanbul. Visit the Blue Mosque, an architectural masterpiece with its stunning blue tiles and towering minarets.

While kids may not fully grasp the cultural and historical significance, the mosque’s intricate design and serene ambiance provide a unique experience, creating a sense of wonder and appreciation.

Wanna learn more about Blue Mosque?

19. Galata Tower in Galata

An old Genoese tower 72 meters above the ground, overlooking Istanbul and has a restaurant at the top, panoramic views of Istanbul, Golden Horn and Bosphorus…

Climb to the top of Galata Tower for panoramic views of Istanbul. The ascent may be an exciting challenge for kids, rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the city below. Encourage them to spot familiar landmarks and create their own stories about the enchanting cityscape.

Below are some of best experiences you can find! Feel free to book online in advance (as you’ll get discounts), by choosing the eco-friendly option of online tickets.

  1. Galata Tower Ticket and Walking Tour (best one with a guide + 5% discount)
  2. Galata Tower Skip-the-Line Ticket and Audio Guide (good one with audio)

Wanna learn more about Galata Tower?

# Take kids to beautiful parks & gardens

20. Gulhane Park in Eminonu

Once a rosary shelter and garden development place for Ottoman Palace, the park is the most visited one with variety of gardens, pools and attractions…

Gülhane Park, nestled in the heart of Istanbul, offers a magical retreat for families with kids. This historic park, adjacent to Topkapi Palace, boasts vibrant flower beds, serene pathways, and shady trees, creating the perfect setting for a leisurely family day out.

Kids can revel in the joy of open spaces, play in well-maintained playgrounds, and even enjoy a delightful picnic amidst the beauty of nature. Gülhane Park is not just a green oasis but a haven for families seeking a peaceful escape while providing endless opportunities for little adventurers to explore.

Wanna learn more about Gulhane Park?

21. Fethi Pasa Grove in Uskudar

16 hectares of green area with cafes and restaurants and has an outstanding panorama of the Bosphorus.

Nestled on the Asian side of Istanbul, Fethi Paşa Grove offers a unique blend of nature and recreation for families. This lush green space provides a serene escape from the urban bustle, with its expansive lawns, fragrant trees, and picturesque lake.

Kids can engage in outdoor activities, play on the playgrounds, or even enjoy a boat ride on the tranquil waters. Fethi Paşa Grove is not just a park; it’s a canvas for little imaginations to run wild, making it an ideal destination for families seeking a day of outdoor fun and relaxation.

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