16 Fun Things to Do in Istanbul with Kids: Family-Friendly Istanbul

Discover and enjoy our pick of the fun things to do with kids in Istanbul, including guide to best family-friendly city break to Istanbul. You’d want to visit Istanbul, but you’re unsure if it’s suitable for children. It certainly is! The first ideas that come to mind are its extensive history and numerous historical tourist attractions.

You may have even heard stories about the bustling life in Turkey’s city and their ‘abnormal’ driving style. But did you know that Turks adore children? Prepare yourselves! The boundless child-friendliness might occasionally make parents uncomfortable. The locals’ passion for children often creates circumstances in which many parents are at a loss for words. Patting the youngster on the head and squeezing the child’s cheeks is customary here. Most of the time, it’s only a friendly gesture, and many locals are oblivious that they may irritate the parents.

Are you aware of the Child discounts?

Most museums provide free entrance to children under the age of six. There are also special reductions for youngsters of up to 50%.

Of course, it is always preferable to pay great attention and use caution. Maintain a nice demeanor and make it apparent if you do not want your kid to be approached. So, stop fretting and keep reading to learn how to entertain yourself and your children. See suggestions of places to visit with your children in Istanbul below:

Best of Children’s Activities in Istanbul

1. See all of Turkey in a couple of hours at Miniaturk

A spectacular open-air museum showcasing the miniature version of Turkey’s most famous sights and architectural masterpieces. You will witness miniature versions of Turkey’s most famous sites and structures, scaled down to 1/25 of their actual proportions.

Enjoy a fun family tour that allows you to explore all of Turkey’s most renowned sights in one trip. Miniaturk’s 650,000 sq ft garden grounds are packed with over 100 amazingly designed 1:25 size structures. The Istanbul Crystal Museum and the Panorama Victory Museum are housed in the museum. The park is located on the northeastern shore of Golden Horn, about 20 minutes north of Istanbul.

2. Build and play at Legoland Discovery Centre

At Istanbul’s theme park from the legendary kids’ building block toy brand, you and your children may enter a world of fun and innovation.

Some of the city’s most renowned sights have been reconstructed using Lego bricks at the Legoland Discovery Centre in the Bayrampasa suburbs. Aside from viewing completed Lego masterpieces and creating your own, you and your children may also enjoy themed rides, watch movies at the 4D theater, and much more. Regular entrance starts at 59 lira per person.

3. Enter the cockpit of a plane at the Rahmi M Koç Museum

This one-of-a-kind museum on Istanbul’s Golden Horn waterfront houses a massive collection of historical Turkish exhibits related to transportation, industry, and communications.

There are historic automobiles, trains, vintage airplanes, and even a submarine. There is also a planetarium on-site. Kids may attempt scientific experiments in the interactive museum or explore the cockpit of a Bellanca jet for a fascinating, hands-on experience. The Rahmi M Koç Museum costs roughly 21 lira to enter, with extra prices for the submarine and planetarium.

4. Ride the rollercoaster at Insfanbul

Families visiting Istanbul may experience exhilarating rides on the Nefeskesen rollercoaster, which can reach speeds of 110 km/h in 3 seconds.

This is one of the rides available in Isfanbul, Turkey’s first and largest amusement park. Its expansive grounds are packed with activities for people of all ages. Go on a splashing swift river excursion on the ilgin Nehir rafting experience, with rafts seating up to 9 people.

5. See antique puppets at Istanbul Toy Museum

At one time, Istanbul Oyuncak Müzesi was a well-known toy store that carried a wide range of traditional Turkish dolls and toys.

It was eventually transformed into a museum in Istanbul’s Göztepe neighborhood, on the city’s Asian side, displaying over 4,000 distinct toys, puppets, and miniature sets from all around Turkey, Europe, and the world. It provides you and your children with fascinating insights into the history of toys, with many of its components dating back centuries.

6. Visit Jurassic Land and meet a T-Rex

At Jurassic Land, Istanbul’s dinosaur-themed attraction, you may go back in time to when dinosaurs controlled the Earth.

This indoor theme park is located within the Forum Istanbul shopping mall complex in Bayrampaşa, on the European side of the city and approximately 15 minutes drive west of downtown. It includes a paleoanthropic exhibit and a scientific exploration center, and over a dozen animatronic dinosaurs situated in their imagined habitats. In its 6D cinema, you may see brief yet thrilling films.

7. Experience marine life at Sea Life Aquarium

It is the world’s fifth-biggest aquarium, including beautiful sea animals, the largest shark collection in Europe, the Digital Aquarium, the Turtle Hospital, and thematic zones.

8. Tourist Bus Tour of the City

A fantastic day out activity aboard an open-topped double-decker tourist bus. The upper deck of the city sightseeing bus provides a superb vantage point for the city’s stunning panoramic vistas and allows you to take photographs.

9. KidZania

KidZania is an interactive children’s village that blends inspiration, entertainment, and learning through realistic role-playing activities for children aged 2 to 14 years old. Children may explore an 80,000-square-meter metropolis independently, with over 100 intriguing vocations to attempt.

Through realistic role-playing games, children learn about diverse vocations, city living, and money management. They should learn about the business cycle in a fun way. KidZania employs a corporate currency known as “kidZos,” The children may earn through employment, spend on goods and services, put in bank accounts, save, or even contribute to the community.

10. Picnics in picturesque parks

Emirgan Park

When spring arrives, Emirgan Park is especially well-known for its vibrant tulips. There are three old residences as well as several tiny lakes. Today, these mansions serve as food service areas. There are also large picnic spaces and several playgrounds for youngsters to enjoy.

Gulhane Park

One of Istanbul’s most beautiful parks, it was previously Topkapi Palace’s garden. Today is ideal for running and strolling among the flower beds. A historical column may be found if you stroll to the park’s very edge. The Goths column was built 1700 years ago and is one of Istanbul’s oldest monuments. If you look closely at the trees, you could even see some colorful parrots! These parks are ideal for a stroll or a picnic. If you don’t want to bring a picnic, there are high-quality cafés and restaurants in the parks. The ideal location for a Turkish breakfast.

11. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

The famed Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Istanbul branch, featuring 60 foreign and Turkish stars, is located on Istanbul’s most famous thoroughfare, the Istiklal Street. 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 Conqueror, and many more celebrities to take photos with.

It’s a great activity to do with your children. You may have them guess who the characters are and teach them about a variety of subjects such as movies, history, and music.

12. Practical Cooking

You’ve probably heard about the famed Turkish food you’ll be eating in each place. Because of its large population, Istanbul has everything and provides a variety of culinary lessons.

If you are traveling with preschoolers, picking your fish from the market, and allowing them to watch how it is prepared is one option. Suppose you are traveling with young teens or teenagers. In that case, you should consider including a culinary tour to help them to become more adaptable eaters.

13. Bosphorus Boat Tour

The Bosphorus Cruise is one of the most famous, distinctive, and amazing types of entertainment available during your trip to Istanbul. It is also one of the greatest ways to experience and appreciate the city’s most gorgeous views and sensations from the water.

Public ferries, boat tours, sunset cruises, lunch or luxury romantic dinners on luxury yachts. The best way to experience Istanbul by sea.

Find about more on Bosphorus Cruises

14. FunLab

FunLab is a fantastic attraction center for kids located in the everal branches all over Istanbul, while the most popular one of the visitors is the one in the Cevahir Shopping Mall. Here you can choose among eight categories from video & arcade games to redemption games and big rides for adrenaline addicts.

Kids can also enjoy many kinds od simulation and multi dimensional games, as well as video games. There are also rides for bigger kids  from horror tunnel and tower to the wave, to rides suitable for small kids.

15. Istanbul Doplhinarium

Istanbul Dolphinarium is another good attraction center for kids where your family and kids explore the fascinating world of sea mammals. You are able to have a closer look at these charming dolphines, walruses, seals and the Beluga.

16. Miopark Istanbul

Miopark is a fun place where you can experience and enjoy the giant swings, high-speed shuttles, adrenaline-filled games, fun tunnels, a horror-conscious hotel, gift-giving units.  It is considered to be the largest indoor entertainment colony in Europe consisting of two floors on a 12,000 m2 area. You’ll find live stage shows and lots of several entertainment  activities.

Travel suggestions for families with children in Istanbul

Hotels

Children are highly appreciated in Turkey. Locals are especially tolerant and sympathetic towards youngsters. You may discover central family hotels in Istanbul that are close to attractions and activities like Taksim Square and Sultanahmet.

Food & restaurants

The locals are often quite tolerant of youngsters, which should not be disregarded. It is thus quite acceptable to take a break with your children in a restaurant or café. Children are always welcome. When it comes to selecting food, there is always something nice to be found. Most children enjoy lahmacun (Turkish pizza) and doner kebab or pide. Even if something isn’t on the menu, you can request it, such as an omelet or noodles with sauce. It is also acceptable to order one dish and have the children eat with the grownups. No worries.

Children’s Travel Kit

If you are traveling with children aged 3 to 8, they may want to pack their backpacks to get into the trip spirit while packing. While several toys may already occupy the entire room, you may obtain one of their beloved toys. Drawings, workbooks, paints, digital tablets for emergencies, lollipops or other sorts of candies kids enjoy, tissues & wet pipes, certain munchies, and medication are some of the possibilities.

Medication

If you need a particular medicine, keep in mind that a similar brand will be available. So, you don’t need to pack everything but grab the essentials for the airline and any particular prescriptions that can’t be switched.

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