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4 Amazing Historical Places to Visit in Istanbul Turkey With Kids

Welcome to Istanbul, Turkey, a city that promises a memorable and enriching experience for families seeking adventure and education. As we discussed, while Legoland may not be on the agenda, there are numerous historical sites that will captivate both you and your children. With its impressive visitor count and cultural significance, Istanbul is a top destination in Europe, with over 15 million visitors in 2019 (Tourism-Review). The city’s architectural wonders and vibrant culture provide a fascinating backdrop for your family’s exploration. And fear not, Istanbul offers a wealth of kid-friendly attractions that seamlessly blend entertainment with educational value. Get ready to discover four incredible historical sites that will leave a lasting impression on both young and old. So, join us as we embark on a journey through Istanbul’s remarkable past and exciting present, shaping memories that will be cherished for a lifetime, with four amazing historical places to visit in Instanbul Turkey with kids.

4 Amazing Historical Places to Visit in Istanbul Turkey With Kids

Blue Mosque

This is one of the most memorable places to visit in Turkey. Delicate details and striking blue colors make it look right at home in a fairytale. This mosque is still in service so it’s important to be respectful when you visit. Make sure to take note of the proper customs and attire before entering. Use this as the perfect way to introduce your children to new customs and new ideas while still seeing something breathtaking. If you’re uncertain how to proceed, check out tours that will guide you every step of the way by checking out

The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is indeed an amazing historical place to visit in Istanbul, Turkey, and it can be a great destination for families with kids. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Architectural Splendor: The Blue Mosque is an architectural masterpiece. It features a stunning exterior adorned with intricate blue tilework, domes, and minarets. The interior is equally impressive, with its high ceilings, beautiful stained glass windows, and delicate designs. Exploring the mosque can be an awe-inspiring experience for both adults and children.
  2. Cultural and Historical Significance: The Blue Mosque holds great cultural and historical importance in Istanbul. It was built during the 17th century and remains an active place of worship. Visiting the mosque provides an opportunity to learn about Islamic architecture, traditions, and the history of the Ottoman Empire, which can be a valuable educational experience for kids.
  3. Peaceful Atmosphere: Despite being a popular tourist attraction, the Blue Mosque maintains a serene and tranquil atmosphere. The spacious courtyard surrounding the mosque offers a peaceful environment where families can relax, enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and appreciate the architectural beauty of the mosque.
  4. Accessibility: The Blue Mosque is easily accessible in the heart of Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district. Its central location makes it convenient for families to visit and explore other nearby attractions, such as the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, which are within walking distance. The mosque’s large courtyard also provides ample space for children to roam around.
  5. Cultural Immersion: Visiting the Blue Mosque allows families to immerse themselves in Turkish culture and traditions. Kids can observe worshippers in prayer, learn about mosque etiquette, and experience a different cultural setting. This exposure to diverse customs and traditions can broaden their understanding of the world and promote tolerance and respect for different cultures.

While visiting the Blue Mosque with kids, it’s important to dress appropriately, keeping in mind the mosque’s conservative dress code. Both adults and children should ensure their clothing covers their shoulders, arms, and legs. Additionally, it’s advisable to visit outside of prayer times to avoid disruption and to be respectful of worshippers.

Overall, the Blue Mosque offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and architectural beauty, making it an amazing historical place to visit in Istanbul, Turkey, that can be enjoyed by families with kids.

Blue mosque in glorius sunset, Istanbul, Sultanahmet park. The biggest mosque in Istanbul of Sultan Ahmed (Ottoman Empire).

Basilica Cistern

Beautiful but undeniably spooky, the Basilica Cistern is one of Turkey’s best tourist attractions. Exploring all of the cistern areas makes it feel like you’re an adventurer, a feeling that many kids love. Water drips from the ceiling, the lighting is moody and dim, and even a Medusa head awaits unsuspecting wanderers. The atmosphere in this area is unlike any other that will stay with you for years to come. 

The Basilica Cistern, also known as the “Yerebatan Sarnıcı” in Turkish, is indeed an amazing historical place to visit in Istanbul, Turkey, and it can be an intriguing destination for families with kids.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Unique Underground Structure: The Basilica Cistern is an ancient underground water reservoir that dates back to the 6th century. It is a vast subterranean space that was constructed to store and supply water to the city. Exploring this underground structure can be an exciting and educational experience for children, as they get to witness a remarkable engineering feat from the past.
  2. Mysterious Atmosphere: The cistern has a mysterious and almost otherworldly ambiance. The dimly lit underground chambers are filled with rows of ancient marble columns, reflected in the still water below. This creates a fascinating visual effect that can capture the imagination of children and spark their curiosity about history and ancient civilizations.
  3. Medusa Heads: One of the highlights of the Basilica Cistern is the presence of two Medusa heads, which are ancient relics incorporated into the structure. These giant marble heads, one upside down and the other sideways, add an element of intrigue and mythology to the cistern. Kids may find these fascinating and enjoy learning about the stories and legends associated with Medusa.
  4. Educational Value: Visiting the Basilica Cistern can provide a valuable educational experience for children. It offers insights into ancient Byzantine architecture, water systems, and the historical significance of water management in Istanbul. Exploring the cistern can be a hands-on lesson in history, architecture, and engineering, allowing children to learn in a unique and engaging way.
  5. Accessibility and Location: The Basilica Cistern is conveniently located in the Sultanahmet district, near other major attractions like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Its central location makes it easily accessible for families with kids, and it can be combined with visits to nearby historical sites, creating a comprehensive exploration of Istanbul’s rich history.

While visiting the Basilica Cistern, it’s important to note that there are wooden walkways and platforms throughout the structure to ensure safe access. Children should be supervised, especially near the water, as some areas can be slippery. Additionally, the cistern’s cool temperature can provide a refreshing break from Istanbul’s summer heat.

Overall, the Basilica Cistern offers a captivating journey into the past, combining history, architecture, and a sense of mystery. It can be an amazing historical place to visit in Istanbul, Turkey, with kids, providing an educational and immersive experience that will leave a lasting impression.

Galata Tower 

Galata Tower is the place for you if you prefer a bird’s eye view of the entire city. Climbing up to the top is a journey since the tower is nine stories of stone stairs, but the view is well worth it. You and your family will experience Istanbul in all its greatness above the ground. See how many places you recognize as you look out from the best vantage point in the entire city. 

The Galata Tower is indeed an amazing historical place to visit in Istanbul, Turkey, and it can be a fantastic destination for families with kids.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Iconic Landmark: The Galata Tower is one of Istanbul’s most recognizable landmarks. It stands tall in the historic Galata district, offering panoramic views of the city and the Bosphorus. Kids will be captivated by the tower’s distinctive appearance and its prominent position in the Istanbul skyline.
  2. Historical Significance: The Galata Tower has a rich history dating back to the medieval period. It was originally built as a defense tower in the 14th century and has since served various purposes, including as a watchtower, a fire lookout, and even a prison. Visiting the tower allows children to learn about Istanbul’s past and the significance of this historic structure.
  3. Spectacular Views: Climbing to the top of the Galata Tower rewards visitors with breathtaking views of Istanbul. Kids will be amazed by the panoramic vistas, which include landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Bosphorus Bridge. The opportunity to see the city from such a height can be both educational and awe-inspiring for children.
  4. Observation Deck and Café: The Galata Tower features an observation deck and a café where families can relax and enjoy the view. The observation deck is enclosed, ensuring the safety of children, while still providing an unobstructed view of Istanbul’s beauty. The café offers a comfortable space to rest, have a snack, and take memorable photos.
  5. Location and Accessibility: The Galata Tower is located in the vibrant Galata neighborhood, known for its narrow streets, boutiques, and art galleries. Families can explore the surrounding area, providing an opportunity to discover local culture and enjoy a pleasant stroll along the historic streets. The tower’s central location makes it easily accessible by public transportation, making it convenient for families with kids.

It’s important to note that there might be queues to enter the tower, especially during peak tourist seasons. It’s advisable to plan the visit accordingly, considering the attention span and energy levels of younger children. Additionally, there are elevators available for those who may have difficulty climbing the stairs.

Overall, the Galata Tower offers a blend of history, stunning views, and a memorable experience for families with kids. It provides an opportunity to learn about Istanbul’s past, appreciate its beauty, and create lasting memories together.

Topkapi Palace

In the past, this building functioned as a real palace, but these days its a museum full of historical facts and treasures. The building itself cuts a striking figure. With tall towers and high archways, it looks like it comes straight out of a storybook. Exploring and learning inside Topkapi Palace is one of the best things to do in Turkey, and if you have children, it’s even better!

Topkapi Palace is indeed an amazing historical place to visit in Istanbul, Turkey, and it can be a captivating destination for families with kids.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Rich History and Cultural Significance: Topkapi Palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for nearly four centuries. It holds immense historical and cultural significance as the center of political and administrative power during the Ottoman Empire. Visiting the palace allows children to delve into the fascinating history of Istanbul and learn about the lives of the sultans and their families.
  2. Architectural Marvels: The palace boasts impressive architecture and intricate designs. It features stunning courtyards, opulent rooms, and beautiful gardens. Kids will be awe-struck by the grandeur of the palace’s structures, including the Harem, the Imperial Council Chamber, and the Treasury. Exploring the various sections of the palace can provide a visual feast and spark children’s interest in architecture and design.
  3. Museum Collections: Topkapi Palace is home to several museum collections that showcase a diverse range of artifacts and treasures from the Ottoman era. Children can marvel at the intricate jewelry, imperial costumes, weaponry, and religious relics on display. The opportunity to see historical objects up close can help bring history to life and deepen their understanding of the past.
  4. Scenic Location: The palace is situated on a hill overlooking the Bosphorus Strait, offering stunning views of the waterway and the city. The picturesque setting provides a scenic backdrop for family walks and photo opportunities. Kids can enjoy the breathtaking vistas while also appreciating the natural beauty surrounding the palace.
  5. Gardens and Outdoor Spaces: Topkapi Palace features expansive gardens and outdoor spaces where families can relax and enjoy the surroundings. The well-maintained gardens offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling city, allowing children to run and play while adults take in the beauty of the palace grounds. It provides a balance between historical exploration and outdoor enjoyment.

While visiting Topkapi Palace with kids, planning the visit strategically is advisable to avoid overwhelming them with too much information. Focusing on the key highlights and engaging in interactive activities, such as treasure hunts or storytelling sessions, can make the experience more enjoyable and educational for children.

In conclusion, Topkapi Palace offers a captivating journey into the history and culture of the Ottoman Empire. Its rich historical significance, stunning architecture, museum collections, and scenic location make it an amazing historical place to visit in Istanbul, Turkey, with kids. It provides an opportunity for both fun and educational experiences, creating lasting memories for the whole family.

topkapi palace historical place in istanbul turkey

Visiting Istanbul Turkey With Children Is a Whole New Adventure

Embarking on a journey to Istanbul, Turkey with children opens up a whole new world of adventure. The city presents endless opportunities to wander, explore, and be guided by inspiration.

While the aforementioned historical sites are undoubtedly remarkable and should be included on your itinerary, Istanbul has a plethora of other captivating places waiting to be discovered.

Allow your family’s curiosity to lead the way, embracing spontaneous detours and hidden gems along the path. Encourage your children to choose their own destinations, transforming the experience into an exciting shared adventure.

For up-to-date travel news and invaluable tips, remember to explore the remaining sections of this blog. It will serve as a valuable resource throughout your journey.

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