Welcome to the ultimate guide to Istanbul Aquarium, an enchanting world teeming with diverse marine life and mesmerizing experiences. As one of the largest thematic aquariums globally, this attraction is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Istanbul. This comprehensive article will walk you through everything you need to know, from ticket prices to navigating the facility, to make your visit unforgettable.
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Istanbul Aquarium: A World of Wonder
Istanbul Aquarium is home to 17,000 land and sea creatures from 1,500 different species. Since 2011, this magnificent facility has combined new generation technologies and themes to showcase rare fish species and land creatures from around the globe. With 17 different themes, from the Black Sea to the Pacific Ocean and an Amazon Rainforest, Istanbul Aquarium is the largest thematic aquarium in the world.
The Biggest Thematic Aquarium Of The World
Istanbul Aquarium stands out among its competitors with its cutting-edge technology, thematization, interactivity, and rainforest. The facility offers a unique experience, guiding visitors through a 1.2 km journey across 17 themes and 1 rainforest, starting from the Black Sea and ending at the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, you’ll encounter cultural, geographical, historical, and architectural elements unique to each region, as well as interactive games, movies, and visual graphics that provide fascinating details.
Enjoy Free Entry to the Istanbul Aquarium and Guided Tour with Istanbul E-Pass
The Istanbul E-Pass is a valuable option for travelers, as it offers free entry and guided tours to the Istanbul Aquarium, along with 50+ other attractions, providing a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the city.
Istanbul Aquarium: By the Numbers
- Water volume: 7,000 cubic meters, with 66 tanks in total
- Two-story project with a total area of 22,000 square meters on 100-decare land
- Parking lot area of 32,000 square meters, with space for 1,200 vehicles
- Visitor area of 6,000 square meters
- Gift shop with an area of 470 square meters
- 3 cafeterias on the travel route
- 1 restaurant with views of the Panama Canal and the sea
Dive into Exciting Experiences
At Istanbul Aquarium, you can immerse yourself in the main tank, home to 5,000 sea creatures, for an unforgettable diving experience. After completing a 30-minute dive, participants receive an “Istanbul Aquarium Diving Certificate.” If you’re interested in obtaining a certificate, you can also take scuba diving training at the facility, as long as you know how to swim.
Fish Feeding Sessions
Visitors can join fish feeding sessions in various areas of the aquarium, including the Middle Atlantic Space, Western Atlantic Space, and Panama Space. Fish feeding times are announced daily, making this activity a perfect addition to any itinerary, especially for families with children. Feeding sessions for different creatures occur at various times throughout the week, such as sand tiger sharks, zebra sharks, skates, groupers, guitar sharks, and Cuvier’s dwarf caimans.
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Must-See Highlights at Istanbul Aquarium
Istanbul Aquarium offers countless activities that are hard to fit into a single day, but here are some must-see highlights:
- Diving with sharks
- Escaping from the labyrinth
- Fish feeding sessions
- 5D cinema
- Walking in the Amazon forest
- Spending time with penguins
A World of Marine Species at Istanbul Aquarium
Discover countless species like Gentoo Penguins, Capybara, Mediterranean eels, Guitar Sharks, Sand Tiger Sharks, Clownfish, Poison Frogs, Pufferfish, Banggai Cardinal Fish, Spotted Garden Eels, Cow-Nosed Stingrays, Emperor Angelfish, Eagle Rays, Dwarf Caiman Crocodiles, Napoleon Fish, Stonefish, Lemon Sharks, Longhorn Cowfish, Trigger Fish, and Red Belly Piranhas, among others.
Practical Information and Ticket Prices
To make the most of your visit to Istanbul Aquarium, it’s essential to be aware of practical information such as ticket prices, opening hours, and transportation options. Below, you’ll find a summary of the key details you need to plan your trip.
- Weekdays: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Weekends: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
- Children under 2 years old: Free
- Ages 2-12, students, teachers, disabled individuals, and seniors (65+): 450 TL
- Others: 500 TL
Please note that these prices are subject to change, so it’s best to check the official website for the most up-to-date information.
Ticket Packages with Shuttle Service
For added convenience, Istanbul Aquarium offers ticket packages that include shuttle service to and from the attraction. These packages are an excellent option for tourists who prefer hassle-free transportation while visiting the city.
The shuttle service operates from central locations in Istanbul, such as Taksim and Sultanahmet, with designated pick-up and drop-off points. Shuttle buses are comfortable and air-conditioned, ensuring a pleasant journey to and from the aquarium.
To book a ticket package with shuttle service, visit the Istanbul Aquarium’s official website or contact a local travel agency. Make sure to reserve your seat in advance, as shuttle capacity is limited and operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
How to Get to Istanbul Aquarium and Aqua Florya Mall
Istanbul Aquarium and Aqua Florya Mall are located in the Florya neighborhood on the European side of Istanbul. You can reach the destination by various transportation methods:
Take the M1A Yenikapı-Atatürk Airport metro line and get off at the Florya station. From there, it’s a 15-minute walk to the Istanbul Aquarium and Aqua Florya Mall.
Several bus lines pass through Florya, connecting it with various parts of Istanbul. Key bus lines include 73F (Bakırköy-Feneryolu), 81 (Taksim-Florya), and BN1 (Beşiktaş-Florya). Check the local bus schedules for the most convenient route.
If you prefer driving, there is ample parking available at Aqua Florya Mall, with a parking lot that can accommodate 1,200 vehicles.
Read also: Transport for Tourists in Istanbul: the Main Routes of Tram, Metro, Funicular and Ferry (2023)
Aqua Florya Mall: Shopping and Entertainment Combined
Aqua Florya Mall is located in the same complex as Istanbul Aquarium, offering a fantastic shopping and entertainment experience overlooking the Marmara Sea.
A Shopping Haven with a Sea View
Aqua Florya Mall is home to more than 150 local and international stores, offering a diverse shopping experience with a beautiful sea view. Browse through world-renowned brands, including H&M, Mango, Massimo Dutti, Zara, and many more. After a long day of shopping, indulge in some pampering at one of the mall’s beauty salons, or get a rejuvenating massage at a spa.
A Culinary Journey for Your Taste Buds
The mall boasts an extensive selection of dining options, catering to various tastes and preferences. From fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King to popular local restaurants like Köfteci Yusuf and Mado, there’s something to satisfy every craving. For a more upscale dining experience, visit one of the seafood restaurants overlooking the Marmara Sea, where you can enjoy a meal while watching the sunset.
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Aqua Florya Mall offers numerous entertainment options for visitors of all ages. Families can enjoy the indoor playground, a mini amusement park, and a gaming zone equipped with the latest arcade games and virtual reality experiences. Don’t forget to visit the 9D virtual reality cinema for an immersive movie experience like never before.
Plan your visit to the Istanbul Aquarium and Aqua Florya Mall for a day full of adventure, shopping, and entertainment, all while enjoying the breathtaking view of the Marmara Sea. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss while visiting Istanbul.
Istanbul Aquarium is an exceptional attraction that offers visitors a chance to explore the underwater world and learn about diverse marine species. With its convenient location near the Aqua Florya Mall, it’s the perfect destination for a day of shopping, entertainment, and education. Don’t miss the chance to visit this incredible attraction when you’re in Istanbul.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I take photos inside Istanbul Aquarium?
A: Yes, visitors are allowed to take photos inside the aquarium. However, using flash photography is not permitted, as it can disturb the animals.
Q: Are there any food and beverage facilities inside Istanbul Aquarium?
A: Yes, Istanbul Aquarium has a restaurant and a café on site where visitors can enjoy a meal or a snack during their visit.
Q: Is Istanbul Aquarium wheelchair accessible?
A: Yes, Istanbul Aquarium is designed to be wheelchair accessible, ensuring that all visitors can enjoy the attraction.
Q: Are there any discounts available for groups or families?
A: Istanbul Aquarium offers discounts for groups of 20 or more people. For more information about group discounts, please visit the official website or contact the aquarium directly.
Q: Can I buy tickets at the door, or do I need to purchase them in advance?
A: You can purchase tickets at the door, but to avoid long waiting times and to benefit from shuttle services, it is recommended that you book your tickets online in advance.
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