Istanbul Aquarium, opened in June 2011, is located inside Aqua Florya Shopping Mall and it’s among one of the biggest thematic aquariums in the world.
Istanbul Aquarium is home to 17,000 sea creatures with its travel route, thematization, rainforest and cutting-edge technology. The aquarium is composed of seventeen different themes ranging from the Black Sea to the Pacific Ocean and one rainforest, which contains fish species from all around the world.
Moreover, Istanbul Aquarium is home to the first polar penguins of Turkey as well as the sand tiger shark and the red-bellied piranha. The Aquarium has also an online shop where you can buy souvenirs like magnets or mugs.
If you wish, you can buy online skip-the-line tour tickets for Istanbul Aquarium from this link here. This tour is a 5-hour activity that includes hotel pick-up. It is booked through GetYourGuide and can be canceled up to 24 hours.
About Istanbul Aquarium
The themes created in accordance with the cultural, historical, and architectural features of the space they represent are enriched by suitable decorative elements, interactive games, movies, and visual graphics that provide detailed information about these spaces. Moreover, the themes are supported by sound and lightening systems that are in conformity with the spaces.
You can see some of the most dangerous animals in the world in Istanbul Aquarium such as 2,5-meter-long anaconda, sharks, skates, piranhas and numerous other creatures that live in the sea and on land creatures.
In the main tank, you can also see the biggest creature in the aquarium, lemon shark, a rare species named Russian sturgeon dating back to the times of the dinosaurs, and ocellaris clownfish that can live inside poisonous sea anemones.
Additionally, groupers that have the ability to change sex and Gentoo penguins that can stay under water for 7 minutes are also really interesting animals that should be seen in the Aquarium.
The rainforest space is equally impressive with its various kinds of different creatures that live in different warmth and humidity conditions, colorful and poisonous frogs, and Cuvier’s dwarf caiman, the smallest crocodile species in the world. The rainforest space in the aquarium reflects the atmosphere of a real rainforest thanks to the plants that were brought from Costa Rica.
1. Diving Experience
The diving experience includes diving into the main tank inhabited by 5000 sea creatures. The main tank has 4,000 square cube water capacity. The visitors who complete the 30-minute diving activity are awarded an “Istanbul Aquarium Diving Certificate”. If you are interested in getting a certificate, you can receive a scuba-diving training at Istanbul Aquarium too. The only condition to join the training is to know how to swim.
2. Fish Feeding Sessions
The visitors have the chance to join a fish feeding activity in Istanbul Aquarium, one of the biggest thematic aquariums in the world. You can watch the show that the expert aquarists perform from the tunnel at Middle Atlantic Space, the main acrylic at the Western Atlantic Space, and the semi-tunnel at Panama Space.
Fish feeding sessions are announced to the visitors every day. Especially, this feature of Istanbul Aquarium makes this place one of the best places to visit for kids.
Feeding sessions of zebra sharks, skates, groupers, guitar sharks and other creatures in the main tank are at 11:00 a.m. except for Monday. The feeding session is at 10:30 on the days when a diving activity is performed in front of Panama tunnel.
Sand tiger sharks, on the other hand, are fed in front of the main panel of the Western Atlantic at 14:30 on Wednesday and Sunday while Cuvier’s dwarf caimans in Amazon rainforest are fed at 16:00 every Saturday.
Istanbul Aquarium Entrance Fee 2023
Istanbul Aquarium entrance fee is 315 Turkish Liras as of January 2023. The discounted ticket price for children aged 2-12, students, teachers and citizens over 65 is 270 TL. For children under the age of 2, admission to the Aquarium is free.
If you buy tickets to Istanbul Aquarium online, you can follow the latest discounts more easily. In order to buy online tickets, you can visit the official website of Istanbul Aquarium.
Online Tour Tickets for Istanbul Aquarium
Of course, it is possible to buy tickets to the aquarium both online from the official site and directly from the ticket office. And you can go to the aquarium yourself by public transportation or by taxi.
However, as an alternative, I recommend you to join the tour, which is a 5-hour activity and includes pick up from the hotel. In order to participate in this fun activity, you can buy your Istanbul Aquarium online tour tickets from this link here.
This recommended tour is sold with the assurance of GetYourGuide, an international travel platform, and offers the right to cancel up to 24 hours with a full refund.
Istanbul Aquarium Opening Hours 2023
Istanbul Aquarium opening hours are between 10:00 in the morning and 19:00 in the evening for the weekdays. On the other hand, it is open until 20:00 on Saturdays and Sundays. The Aquarium in Florya is open to visitors every day of the week.
Before going to the museum, please kindly check the visiting hours on the official website one last time. You can find the link to the official site on the upper lines.
How to Get to the Museum?
Istanbul Aquarium is located in Florya on the European side of Istanbul. After you get off at Besyol Station on Metrobus line, you can take a minibus to Florya direction and reach the aquarium.
You can also take the metro in the direction of the old airport and get off at Sirinevler station. From here, you can reach the aquarium with the 73B and 73F coded Florya buses.
Istanbul Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Istanbul for families with children. It is possible to reach the aquarium by public transportation from tourist centers such as Taksim Square and the Old City.
If you have a week or more in Istanbul, you can spend a day with this activity. If you want to buy a tour ticket that includes a five-hour activity at the aquarium, you can use this link.
Written by Serhat Engul
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