Turkish culture is very family-oriented, so if you're travelling to Istanbul with children you're bound to enjoy a warm welcome. From theme parks to aquariums and toy museums, we’ve picked out our favourite things to do with the kids while you’re here.

Take a look at the most fun places to visit in Istanbul…

MINIATÜRK

Take the little ones on a tiny Turkish adventure. Miniatürk is an open-air miniature park with hundreds of scale models. It tells the story of Turkey’s rich past, including the Ottoman Empire, all shrunk down to a handy size for children. With 105 scale models, Miniatürk is the world’s largest miniature park.

Blue Route, Stop: Miniatürk

RAHMI M KOC MUSEUM

The Rahmi M Koc is a transport museum with a difference. Kids can clamber all over the exhibits, from vintage cars through to trains, submarines and airplanes. They can sit in a plane cockpit, pretend to be living in a submarine and try their hands at scientific experiments. The museum is housed in a beautiful 19th century factory which is well worth a visit in itself.

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Blue Route, Stop: Rahmi M Koc Museum

ISTANBUL AQUARIUM

Let the kids dive into the fun and get up close with the fishes. The Sea Life Aquarium was opened in 2011 and is the proud host of Europe’s largest shark collection. Don't miss the sea turtle hospital, the jellyfish exhibit, or the interactive touch-pool experience.

VIALAND

If you want to make a day of it, bring the family to Vialand. This huge theme park is located in the Eyüp region and has lots of rides and roller coasters to keep the little ones entertained all day long. It’s a little off the beaten track so if you’re wondering how to get there, take the free shuttle bus from Sultanahmet near Big Bus Stops #1 and #20.

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Red & Blue Routes, Stop: Sultanahmet Square

THE PRINCE ISLANDS

Why not take a break from the sightseeing and the hustle and bustle of the big city? The Prince Islands are a chain of 9 small islands where locals and tourists alike come to relax and recharge the batteries. Motorised vehicles are banned, so if you want to go anywhere you’ll have to take a horse-drawn carriage. To get here, take a ferry or for a little extra cost a sea bus from Kabatas.

ISTANBUL TOY MUSEUM

Children can never have enough toys. So bring them to a place that holds 4,000 or so, at the last count. Many are antiques and some date back 200 years or more. If the little ones are itching to get creative, they can take part in workshops like wooden toy painting. While you’re here, see how many of the toys you used to have when you were young.

ISTANBUL MODERN ART MUSEUM

Okay, we’re not expecting your little ones to gaze in awe at the paintings. But what they can do at Istanbul’s modern art gallery is get creative. There are free workshops most days to get kids involved in art, including making sculptures, drawing, painting, and more.

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Red Route, Stop: Port

THE NOSTALGIC TRAM

It’s like a theme park ride, but at a fraction of the price. The Taksim-Tunel Nostalgia Tramway travels the length of Istiklal Caddesi, one of Istanbul’s main shopping streets. So, you get to enjoy the shopping, while they get to enjoy the journey. The heritage trams and even the ticket collectors’ uniforms look like they’re from the early 1900s. Don’t miss the Tunel, an underground funicular near Galata Bridge.

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Red Route, Stop: Taksim Square

LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER

Rides, a 4D cinema, a mini Istanbul constructed out of Lego, a Lego builders academy and a variety of themed construction areas. You won't be forgiven if you don't bring the kids here during your trip to Istanbul. Don't look at it as a chore though, adults actually need a child chaperone to visit Legoland, so consider yourself lucky if you have the chance to visit with the kids!

DOLPHINARIUM

Kids and adults alike will enjoy visiting Istanbul's Dolphinarium. Located in the Golden Horn region of Istanbul, it’s an indoor habitat for dolphins, northern fur seals, walruses and even a white beluga whale. It’s the perfect place to swim with the dolphins or watch one of their entertaining live shows.

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Blue Route, Stop: Dolphinarium

Choose any of these activities and you’re bound to have a memorable time in Istanbul with kids. Don’t forget the best way to tick off sightseeing when you’re travelling with little ones is aboard one of our Big Bus Tours. The whole family can rely on front-row seats to all the best Istanbul landmarks and attractions in a safe and entertaining environment.