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.
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
- Straits of Gibraltar
- East Atlantic (Liberty, the sunken ship)
- 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
Website: www.istanbulakvaryum.com