Istanbul Aquarium, a Spectacular Tourist Attraction

Istanbul Aquarium in Florya is one of the newest attractions in Istanbul, Turkey.

by Erlend Geerts

in Sightseeing

Istanbul Aquarium (Istanbul Akvaryum) is a worthy destination to spend half a day if you wish to explore and literally submerge yourself in sea life. Or if you simply want to have an extraordinary touristic visit, besides the regular historical sightseeing spots. Yes, this is not in the tourist guides yet, since the biggest thematic aquarium of the world opened its doors in Istanbul on the 25th of June, 2011.

There is a lot of confusion at the moment about Istanbul’s aquariums. The simple reason for this is that Istanbul is the proud owner of two massive aquariums. The first one is located in Forum Istanbul, which has been around for a few years and where sharks are the main attraction. The one I’ll talk about here is brand new, located in Florya and focuses on any kind of sea life found in the various seas and oceans.

Over 15.000 Land and Sea Creatures

Istanbul Aquarium Florya, which is a member of World Association of Zoos (WAZA), is a two story building of no less than 22.000 m²! There are 64 tanks with 6.800 m³ water, displaying 15.000 land and sea creatures of over 1.500 species. Dazzled already? Hang on, there is more.

One of the many aquariums in Istanbul Aquarium, Turkey.

One of the many beautiful aquariums.

What makes Istanbul Aquarium unique is that they categorized everything neatly according to 16 themes. This way, you’ll take a 1,2 km excursion, navigating from one sea or ocean to the other. You’ll witness the life under water and learn about the cultural, historic and architectural characteristics. Explanations are given via touchscreens in both Turkish and English, with plenty of visuals and characteristics.

You’ll follow the following route:

  • Black Sea
  • Istanbul Strait
  • The Dardanelles
  • Aegean Sea
  • Suez Canal
  • Red Sea
  • Global Warming
  • Mediterranean
  • Straits of Gibraltar
  • East Atlantic (Liberty, the sunken ship)
  • Mid-Atlantic
  • Western Atlantic
  • Panama Canal
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Nautilus (Submarine)
  • Rain Forest

Extra Shows and Facilities

The facility also has two 5D cinema theatres with 6 axles. The saloons for 15 people offer extra perception of wind, fog, water and the sense of touch besides the 3D visual effects. The price of this virtual feast is 7,5 TL for the first and 10 TL for the second movie.

In case you’re taking the kids along, on different parts of the excursion route you can take a break. There are three cafés, and a restaurant facing the ‘Panama Canal’ on one side and the sea on the other side.

Istanbul Aquarium Entrance Fees and Opening Hours

Istanbul Akvaryum is open every day between 10 am and 8 pm. The entrance fees are:

  • 35 TL – Adults
  • 25 TL – Students, Teachers, people over 65 years (You are obliged to show your ID or documentation) and disabled people
  • 96 TL – For a family of 4
  • 78 TL – For a family of 3

Kids up to 2 years old can enter free of charge. For group visits of minimum 16 people, you can make reservations at +90 212 444 9744

How to Get There?

The distance from Taksim to Istanbul Aquarium is comparable with a trip to the Atatürk International airport. You can get to the aquarium:

By bus – you can take the 73F line from Taksim to Florya, and get off at the.

By train – take the train to Yeşilköy from the Sirkeci train station in Eminönü. Get off at the Florya station and then walk along the seaside road for 800 meters in the direction of Yeşilköy to reach the aquarium.

Adress: Şenlikköy Mahallesi Yeşilköy Halkalı Cad. No:93 Florya
Telephone: +90 212 574 2130

What's Next

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Gezenti June 21, 2013 at 11:29 am

New entrance fees are:

35 TL – Adults
25 TL – Students



james April 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm


Is there a bus line that runs from Ataturk Airport to the Istanbul Aquarium ?



Erlend Geerts April 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Hi James,

I don’t think so. But from there, just take a taxi.



hany May 12, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Hi Erlend,
Thanks a lot for your contribution and answering each question with a lot of precious details.we are a group of 15 people first I wants to know Istanbul aquarium is better or turkazoo and which one is better to reach Istanbul aquarium,taxi or public transportation and how(we get apartment in Taksim)
and another question we are in Istanbul in Ramadan holiday(July,8th)what is the best to do that day?
and the last question as we are 15 people is it better to rent a car to get around Asia district or go by ferry and taxi?

thanks in advance


Erlend Geerts May 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Hi Hany,

I would go for Aquarium Istanbul, although it’s a bit further from the city center. On my page about that, you can find details on how to get there. Ramadan has no effect on opening hours of such attractions, so no need to worry.

Since you can’t fit 15 people in a car and driving conditions in Istanbul are very different than what you are used to, I strongly suggest to take a ferry.

Kind regards,


kashif August 16, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Can we come direct to Istanbul Aquarium from Airport with luggage. Our flight will land at around 09:00 A.M.
Is there any place to store our luggage and what will be the charge?


Erlend Geerts August 16, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Hi Kashif,

For sure there are lockers for luggage storage at the airport, but you’ll need to rent them.

I don’t know what you mean with ‘go direct’. On foot is close to impossible. From the airport, I guess a taxi ride is the best option.

Kind regards,


kashif August 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Thank you Erlend,

“Go Direct” means with luggage with us

Want to know if we reach Aquarium by Taxi, with our luggage in our hands and can place our luggage some where at the Aquarium.
After visiting Aquarium, we will go to city and check in, in our Hotel

Really Thankful for your support.


Erlend Geerts August 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Sorry Kashif for misunderstanding.

Why don’t you send the aquarium an email to make sure. All the sightseeing spots I know off don’t have such facilities, but since it’s so close to the airport, it’s worth a shot.

Kind regards,


kashif August 20, 2014 at 8:22 am

thanks a lot for your feedback

karim December 24, 2014 at 12:29 am

How to get to the acquariun from laléli and should i book the tickets be fore?


Erlend Geerts December 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Ki Karim,

Either take a taxi, or take the tramway to Eminönü and take the train to Florya from there. No need to buy tickets upfront.

Kind regards,


mohamad December 30, 2014 at 5:53 pm

hello mr ereland i contacted the istanbul aquarium abt the luggage and they told me that they have cloack room for the luggage for free


Erlend Geerts December 30, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Hi Mohamad,

Thanks for sharing this.

Kind regards,


mohamad January 1, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Mr. Erlend,

Just a question: I arrive in Istanbul on 29/1 at 10:30 am so I’m planing to go to Istanbul aquarium. My question is, can I go to Istanbul aquarium, and when I finish can I come back to the Atatürk Airport to take the Havataş shuttle to Taksim?


Erlend Geerts January 1, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Hi Mohammed,

Yes you can. The buses wait outside the terminal. You’ll see them when you leave the airport building. After visiting the aquarium, just go back to the arrival platform of the airport and take the bus.

Kind regards,


Rick January 30, 2015 at 10:25 am

What would it cost for a taxi from the Port to Istanbul Aquarium Florya? Is there a Shuttle bus pick up from the Port to the Aquarium and back?


Erlend Geerts January 30, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Hi Rick,

Exactly which port are you talking about?

Kind regards,


Holger Halfmann March 1, 2015 at 11:47 pm

I looked up the Bus Shedule now and found some Surprises:

1 The Bus Stops twice at Aqarium!


WOW! Is that Aquarium really so big? Which Exit should I use?

Can it be that Bus 73F before gone only to the Airport? Does Havatas sharge a little more to the Airport as IETT?

Is it right that a one way journey will take only 2,15 TL from my Istanbulkart that cost me Additional NOT REFUNDABLE (!) 6 TL?

Is it right that with Istanbulkart I can use T5 – F2 – T1 – M1 to the Airport for 2,15 TL?


Erlend Geerts March 3, 2015 at 7:46 am

Hi Holger,

Taking a bus from Taksim to the aquarium is certainly not the best option. I suggest you stick to my suggestions. Alternatively, the aquarium is planning to implement a free shuttle service as of summer 2015. So, check their website again in July.

The Aquarium is certainly not small, but I doubt the same line has two bus stops for the venue.

Four transfers fir only 2.15 TL seems impossible to me. It’s true you get a discount for every transfer. But it’s a discount, not a free ride on a previously paid fee. Also, keep in mind that fees change according to the line.

Btw, thank you for the breakfast offer, but I’m afraid I already have other plans.

Kind regards,


Holger Halfmann March 4, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Thanks for Respond

The Info about Bus from Taskim I GOT FROM YOUR ARTICLE!

You wrote above: “By bus – you can take the 73F line from Taksim to Florya, and get off at the.”

Unforetuenately I did not found any Website that gives Times and Faires for the Istanbul Transfer Network…

The Bus Website does not work for Times and Faires – try it yourself – at least not with IPAD 3


Erlend Geerts March 4, 2015 at 9:42 pm

It does work: click here for details on the 73F bus line to the aquarium.



carol March 5, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Hi there, we are traveling to istanbul this weekend with our 6 year old son, and would like advice on best aquarium for him. Does this one near the airport also have a tunnel so the fish are above, does it have sharks? If not maybe the forum would be best for him.

Thanks in advance…


Erlend Geerts March 5, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Hi Carol,

If the focus should be on sharks, then the one in Florya is not for you.

Kind regards,


Khalifa March 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Hi Erlend,

All what you said sounds useful. We are planning a trip end of March. We will be staying at Hilton in Sisli. How to best get to the aquarium? We are traveling with toddlers.

On a similar note, do you also help/ advise in regards to other places and attractions in Istanbul or turkey in general?

thank you,


Erlend Geerts March 15, 2015 at 6:28 pm

Hi Khalifa,

Since you travel with toddlers, I would opt for a private shuttle. Safer, no stress, and the price difference is not that much. Demand child seats though!

Kind regards,


Clifton Jimrevees March 24, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Dear Erlend,

I understand that there are two major Aquariums in Istanbul.

Please suggest me which is bigger and best if I had to choose only one of them cos of time constraints?
The Istanbul Aquarium or Istanbul Sea Life Aquarium(Turkuazoo)



Erlend Geerts March 24, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Hi Clifton,

Unless sharks are a must see, I would recommend the Istanbul Aquarium in Florya.

Kind regards,


Clifton Jimrevees March 25, 2015 at 11:26 am

Dear Erlend,

It’s Istanbul Aquarium then. Fixed.
Thanks a lot.

Can please let me know..
How much time it will take to go from Karakoy to the Aquarium?
How much if I take a taxi? Cost-vise and Time?
What if I take T1 from Karakoy to Zeytinburnce and M1 from there to Fuar Merkezi and then a cab, will it take a very long time? (I guess it will be cost effective).

Please advice.

Kind Regards,


Erlend Geerts March 25, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Hi Clifton,

A one-way trip to the aquarium would be around 50 lira. Public transportation would be cheaper, but would take about about 90 min. A taxi could do that trip in 25 minutes outside of rush hour.

Kind regards,


Clifton Jimrevees March 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm

Dear Erlend,
Thanks for the reply.
Will ping you if I have any more doubts.


Meraj April 7, 2015 at 10:27 am


For reachin to the Aquarium it seems Yesilkoy station is nearer than Flora station,
Is it true?



Erlend Geerts April 8, 2015 at 9:31 am

Hi Meraj,

You are right.

Kind regards,


Asia May 15, 2015 at 12:20 pm far as I know bus nos BN1 BN2 from Eminonu direct to Istanbul Aquarium is that convenient?


Erlend Geerts May 16, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Hi Asia,

That’s correct. However, you may want to look into their new Aquarium Free Shuttle Services.

Kind regards,


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