Submerge yourself in the mysterious underwater world at the Istanbul Aquarium. Though everyone imagines Istanbul as a historical tourist trap, this aquarium is an incredible modern spot to visit in this wonderful city. Istanbul Aquarium, which is a member of WAZ (World Association of Zoos), has categorized over 15000 creatures into 16 themes cleverly.
What is Inside?
The aquarium is located in Florya, and it would be easy to get there for a traveler who is discovering different parts of the city. You’ll need at least 5 hours to spend in this amusing world under the sea. There are various activities you can engage in; diving with Sharks, feeding the fishes, taking a diving course, and photographing.
The Istanbul Aquarium covers a 6000 square meters area. Also, there are 64 tanks in this complex with 6800 cubic meters of water. Interestingly, you’ll visit a wide range of animals, not only fish species but also sharks, penguins, and stingrays.
During this excursion, you’re going to learn a lot about the world of underwater, including cultural, architectural, and historical characteristics. There are touch screens around, explaining everything you need to know in both English and Turkish. You’ll pass by the following geographical route, including many different locations visiting everything:
- The Black Sea
- Istanbul Strait
- The Dardanelles
- The Aegean Sea
- Suez Canal
- The Red Sea
- Global Warming
- The Mediterranean
- Straits of Gibraltar
- The East Atlantic (The sunken ship, Liberty.)
- Western Atlantic
- Panama Canal
- The Pacific Ocean
- Nautilus (Submarine)
- The Rainforest
The aquarium is placed in the Aqua Florya mall, located near Yesilkoy. Since it’s close to the Ataturk Airport, you can plan on visiting there right after you land in Istanbul or before you jet out. You would be able to watch planes flying over the mall.
Diving Along with the Sharks
A lifetime experience provided in the Istanbul Aquarium is diving with sharks. You can dive with your family or friends, or you can experience this spectacular activity by yourself, wondering about all the magnificent creatures. There are more than 20 sharks from different regions around the world, and you have the chance to see this magnificent creature up close and swim around with it. People under 14 and the ones who have medical problems should prevent diving.
If you’re interested in feeding the sharks, crocodiles, and all those fantastic creatures in the Istanbul Aquarium, you’ll be able to witness the feeding processes. Expert aquarists will feed them through the half tunnel in the Panama area, the acrylic glass in the Western Atlantic, and the tunnel in the central Atlantic.
Scuba diving is one of the most popular water sports in the world. If you ever wondered how it feels to experience this sport, you may need to know that Istanbul Aquarium has provided diving courses, organized by professional instructors at the Bosporus Underwater Research Center, within the CMAS (Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques – World Underwater Events Confédération) standards. When you complete the courses successfully, you’ll receive a diving certificate.
You don’t need to buy any equipment to participate in these courses since all dive equipment is provided free by the program. The prerequisite for scuba dive is a medical report which states that it’s safe for you to dive and also that you know how to swim. If you intend to dive in the sea, you have to continue the courses, practice in the pool, and finish the theoretical exams.
The CMAS-certified course consists of 12 hours of theoretical lessons, a textbook, pool training, and diving equipment you’ll use in the pool or the sea. The theoric lessons are provided in English, German and French.
The course price is 1700 TL ($242), and the VAT would be added to this price.
A Special Surprise in the Main Tank
You can surprise your loved ones on special occasions and make an unforgettable memory in the Istanbul Aquarium main tank. While you’re watching the amusing beauties along with the sharks, Divers will dive into the sea and open the banner you ordered before. Make your proposal, anniversary, or birthday congratulation UNIQUE! You can also reserve these banners to advertise your organization.
Immortalize your memorable experiences in the Istanbul Aquarium. The expert team of MG photography offers photography service and photography with the best quality. They will take your photo in front of the green screen; then, you get to choose between the provided backgrounds. This picture can remind you of the good time you spent in the Istanbul Aquarium.
How to Get There?
Istanbul Aquarium is located in the Florya neighborhood of Bakirkoy district by the Marmara sea coast. There are different ways of transportation to get you there. Free shuttle service is available if you buy your Aquarium tickets from Hop-on Hop-off at the departure point.
You can take the Shuttles from Taksim square, Sultanahmet, and Sirkeci Train station. You also can take the 73 lines and get yourself to the Florya stop by the Bus. It may cost you about $1. The other way is to take a train from Sirkeci station to Yesilkoy. When you take off the train, you have to take an 800m to walk along the seaside in the direction of Yesilkoy to get to Istanbul Aquarium. Metro fare is about $1 too.
The entrance fee is 99 TL ($14) for adults and 69 TL ($10) for the ages 2-12. You won’t need to get a ticket for kids under two years old. If you book tickets online, you’ll receive a discount.