If you are planning a trip to Türkiye, it is most likely the first city you are inclined to visit is Istanbul – and it is for a good reason. Being the most populous city in Türkiye, Istanbul has beautifully grown into a city of experience and taste by blending the cultural diversity of the two continents. It is the most popular destination for travellers through the years since it has all the options for every intention.
Speaking of Istanbul, this city has opportunities for all kinds of visitors, we sure do not want to miss the kids. If you have a little one accompanying you during your trip, it can be hard to find suitable places for both safety and joy. Do not worry because Istanbul is hosting plenty of enjoyable places that can be a perfect fit to keep your beloved one entertained. Among them, Zoos in Istanbul are one of the first choices of many travelling families. The city hosts many small zoos, of which 6 are world-famous.
Although zoos are not the ideal places for animals to be in, and we believe they belong in their natural habitats, this list contains the best 4 Zoos in Istanbul for families who would like to visit one. We shortlisted these zoos as recommendations due to believing these places are trying to do their best to look after the animals they house.
1. Faruk Yalçın Zoo and Botanic Park
Faruk Yalçın or Darıca Zoo was the biggest private zoo in Istanbul, established in 1994. By enrolling in the park, visitors can see mammals, birds, reptiles & various plant species. The facility hosts more than 200 animals with 300 different plant and tree species. There are eating, and drinking areas available in the park, and families can take a stroll in the zoo with the children’s train tour.
The zoo is open from 10 am to 7 pm every day of the week. However, the last tickets are on sale only through 6.30 pm. Therefore, it is a good idea to buy tickets online before arriving at the park. This can eliminate long waiting lines- besides, online tickets are cheaper!
A basic family ticket of 2 parents and two children can be purchased for 38.5 euros. However, there are many ticketing options for a 1-day pass at the park, including for larger families. It is also free for children younger than 36 months old. You might want to check this link to see prices and campaigns and buy online tickets.
The park is located in Darıca/Kocaeli, which is slightly outside of the city centre. However, the park has shuttles departing from Kadıköy at certain times of the day. The shuttle can drop you back to the city from the park also.
For information, please contact their customer services at +90 262 653 11 22. Considered to discover Kadıköy also? Check out one of our blog posts to spend an incredible day in the centre of the Anatolian side!
With public transportation, families can use the Marmaray Halkalı-Gebze line and get off at Osmangazi station. This station is only 2 km away from the park, so from there, calling a cab can be a good option besides taking Darıca buses.
Check out most loved Istanbul attractions by HeyTripster readers:
2. Polonezköy Zoo – Natural Life Park
Polonezköy Zoo in Beykoz can be considered one of the best zoos in Istanbul since most of the animals are not locked behind bars but live in the preserved spacious habitat. In the facility spread over 140 acres, visitors can see and get in touch with many goats, guinea pigs, wading birds, zebras, alpaca, and many more. The facility also has a country club inside its own, enabling families to book a room to experience being in the wild despite being in the heart of Istanbul. There are also parks and playgrounds available in the park for kids.
The zoo is open from 9 am to 7 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 8.30 on weekends. While the entrance fee for children is 3 Euro, for adults is 5 Euro per person.
The park is 20 km outside of the city, on the European side of Istanbul- Polonezköy. To reach Polonezköy, one can take the 137 İETT Kavacık -Beykoz-Riva-Cumhuriyet Köyü Bus and get off at the last station, which is near the park. You can contact the facility using this number +90 541 432 30 55.
3. Park of Istanbul Çekmeköy
Park of Istanbul is a nature and life complex located in Çekmeköy, situated over an area of 200 acres. The facility has the largest zoo located in Istanbul besides restaurants, cafés, adventure courses, and a pony club. The park hosts over 400 animals from 60 different species and has its own rehabilitation centre for animals.
The zoo is open between 9 am to 7.30 pm every weekday, however, the tickets can be purchased from the ticket offices only until 7 pm. Park of Istanbul also has the services of online ticket buying on their sites with campaign options. In general, the tickets are approximately 8 Euro for adults and 6 Euro for children.
The Park of Istanbul is located in the Anatolian part of the city. By using transportation, one can take the 4A or 14AK İETT buses from Kadiköy and reach the park directly. Their contact numbers are : +90 216 363 44 44 / +90 216 363 44 54
4. Safari Jungle Istanbul
Safari Park of Jungle Park is located in Vialand Theme Park at Eyüp, and it is the most budget-friendly option on our list. Within a 5000 m2 area, Vialand is hosting Jungle Park, Dungeons, and Safari rides that are full of exotic creatures, including tropical fish, arthropods, reptiles, mammals, and birds. Jungle Park is a house of approximately 400 animals from 100 species.
The facility is open from 11.30 am to 8 pm every day. The entrance fee is approximately 3 Euro per person. Online tickets and campaigns are also available at the facility site.
Jungle Park is located on the European side of Istanbul, and all the buses listed here can provide direct transportation. In addition to that, for visitors who prefer to travel with their private vehicles, Vialand has more than 8000 free parking spaces inside the facility. You can get more information by calling +90 212 600 01 79.