5 things to do and see in Istanbul with children that can't be missed
Istanbul is a vibrant city with so much to see and do. It has so much that it might seem a little overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together some things you should see and do when you visit with your kids.
Isfanbul (aka Vialand)
Isfanbul is a huge theme park with loads of rides and attractions for all ages. It also has a shopping centre and entertainment areas too, think of it like the Disneyland of Turkey! Isfanbul is possibly the best place in Istanbul for kids! As well as all rides for all ages, it has one of the world’s best roller coasters called “breathtaker” which reaches 110 km/hr in just 3 seconds, wow! Maybe it’s one for the bravest amongst you. Please note that if you really want to experience Isfanbul, it’s only open from March to October so plan accordingly.
Adults: 160 TL
Children: (4-14yrs) 150 TL
Age 60 and above: 150 TL
0-3 year olds: Free
Rent a Bike on the Princes’ Islands
If you and your kids like getting a little active during your holidays and exploring new places then the Princes’ Islands are for you! This is where the Byzantine princes used to spend their holidays, hence the name. There are 4 islands with the biggest one, “Büyükada”, being the one we’d recommend as it has the most things to do. Kids can play freely, ride bikes and explore nature and the beautiful mansions.
There are some great historic sites here too, such as the abandoned Prinkipo Greek Orthodox Orphanage, which is known to be the largest wooden building in Europe. If you manage to get your brood all the way to the top of the hill you’ll be rewarded with a breath-taking view of the Marmara Sea and Istanbul. The best time to make your way to the top is during sunset and whilst you’re there you can visit the historic Aya Yorgi Church as well. Be mindful that the walk/cycle up is challenging so if you have small kids be prepared, but once you’re at the top you'll realise that it was totally worth it.
Bike per hour rent: 10 TL
Located in the Golden Horn you’ll find a museum with mini models of all the beautiful historic sites you can see in Turkey! If you’re only planning on visiting Istanbul then it’s a great place to catch a glimpse of more than 100 important historical sites and landmarks in Turkey. The museum also has lots artefacts from the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuck and Ottoman periods. So if you want to get your dose of history in one hit then this is place for you!
Entrance fee: 20 TL
This is probably one of the most popular tourist activities in Istanbul and one that you and your kids will absolutely love. You’ll take to the water and experience Istanbul from a different perspective. The view is absolutely spectacular so please don’t overlook this when you’re there! From the water you’ll see Ottoman palaces, fortresses and museums. There are many types of tours you can choose from, all with varying lengths so if you are strapped for time then don’t worry as there are shorter tours on offer. If your brood can keep their eyes open after a long day then some companies also offer cruises at night which will give you a completely different view of the city.
The prices of tours depend on the company.
Prices can start from 12 TL -25TL
Children under 12 years old: 6TL – 12 TL),
0-6 year olds: Free
Take a Turkish Bath (Hamam)
If you fancy some pampering to finish off your trip in Istanbul, we highly suggest trying out the traditional Turkish bath/hamam! It's a very fascinating part of Turkish culture and some hamams from the ottoman periods still exist to this day. This is definitely a unique experience to try with your older kids and you can get a variety of different treatments depending on the place you go to.
Whether you decide to just relax in the steam rooms or opt for a treatment such as massages or a deep body cleansing, one thing’s for sure - you'll come out of it feeling like a new person! Prices for this one depends on the place you go and the services you choose.