Going on holiday to Istanbul with the kids is a great way to immerse them in a country with a vast and historical culture, while simultaneously enabling them to have a great time. Children love the interactive activities available to them at many of the city’s main attractions, the Princes’ Islands and on the Bosphorus boat cruises. The best Istanbul hotels also have tremendous facilities for children, such as onsite or nearby playgrounds, customised children’s menus in the restaurants and children’s channels on the televisions in the rooms.
Great Activities for Kids
Miniaturk: This open-air miniature park contains 105 scale models of the original city – with Anatolian and Ottoman structures all 1/25th of their actual size. Kids love how the park brings to life the ancient cities that once existed right beneath their feet. The park also features a playground, life-sized chessboard and a labyrinth. In the summer, it can be very hot when visiting the park because it is open-air, so going early is typically best. Istanbul hotels that are centrally located allow for easy transportation to and from Miniaturk.
The Princes’ Islands: The Princes’ Islands are a chain of nine relatively small islands in the Sea of Marmara. They were a former place of exile during the Byzantine era, but have become a popular destination for tourists and residents alike, to escape the hectic city life for a day. The main feature of any of the Princes’ Islands is the sound of, well, silence. All motorised vehicles are banned and the only sounds you will hear are bicycle bells and the clip-clop of horses’ hooves. Horse-drawn carriages are the main means of transportation on the island and children love travelling through the old city on a carriage ride. With plenty of open space and green parks, youngsters can roam free and play while parents relax in a peaceful oasis.
Bosphorus Tour: Istanbul is the only city in the world settled on two continents and visiting both sides is always recommended by the helpful staff at any of the best Istanbul hotels, as well as many guidebooks. Most children love boat rides and taking them on an exciting adventure to Asia is certainly bound to be intriguing for the whole family. There are short circle Bosphorus cruises - non-stop tours taking guests from Eminonu to Istinye - and full Bosphorus cruises - which will take you from Eminonu all the way to the Black Sea and back.
Play N Learn: For children that are really young, the Play N Learn is an excellent place to keep them entertained. It is designed for children up to six years old with a wonderfully child-friendly atmosphere where organised activities such as play dough, arts and crafts, puppet shows, finger plays and three-dimensional toy shows take place. Parents can join in with their children or simply allow them to explore it all independently. The Play N Learn is located near Taksim Square and easily accessible from many of the best Istanbul hotels.
Looking for the best Istanbul hotels ? Roberta Stuart is the Travel Manager for Worldhotels, a company offering the best rooms in a selection of unique four and five star hotels around the world.