Sharks, Stingrays, and the Trojan Horse at the Istanbul Aquarium

Yesterday we took a trip to the Istanbul Aquarium. It’s a large, beautiful, recently-built (2011) aquarium with many tanks and colorful exhibits. It’s located in the Florya neighborhood, near Atatürk Airport. (This is not to be confused with the other aquarium in Istanbul; the Forum Mall called “Turkuazoo.” We’re going to check that out in another month or so.)

As far as I know, there is no quick way to get to the Istanbul Aquarium from where we live in Şişli. There is a public bus that goes from Taksim Square and stops near or in front of the Aquarium but it’s a very long ride.

There used to be a stop in Florya on the commuter rail line. That line was been shut down and the tracks ripped up. There will be a stop there again on the Marmaray subway line. The Marmaray [link] is the newly-opened train line that runs under the Bosphorus. As of now, it only has four or five stops. The original stop in Florya was less than a kilometer from the aquarium.

I suggested we take a taxi. Sure it was expensive, but it was quicker than any other method available to us.

The aquarium is laid out regionally. There are sections dedicated to bodies of water such as the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the Bosphorus, the Red Sea, and the Atlantic. We saw a lot of different kinds of fish.



We also so Dory,


and Nemo.


There is also a restaurant (Sütiş) and a few cafes, too. Here’s my daughter letting her brother taste her Nutella-flavored gelato.


There’s also a replica of the Trojan Horse.


I didn’t understand why the Trojan Horse was in the aquarium. Neither did my son. He said it didn’t make any sense.

The aquarium is laid out a bit like Ikea, in that you start at one end and have to keep going until you have seen every exhibit before reaching the exit. The exit is, of course, through the gift shop. We managed to get out of the gift shop without buying the kids anything. The gift shop itself has two exits: one to the entrance of the aquarium and one to the Aqua Florya mall.


We did a little window-shopping. Stephanie did find an absolutely gorgeous dress…for 1990 TL. Even with the favorable exchange rate, that’s still a $900+ dress. She does have good taste.

We explored the back of the mall which faces the Marmara sea.


I imagine on a warm sunny day that this is a great place to sit and hang out.

We hailed a cab at the Taxi Stand out front and the kids nodded off on the ride back to Taksim. Two worn-out kids is the sign of a successful outing.


4 thoughts on “Sharks, Stingrays, and the Trojan Horse at the Istanbul Aquarium

  1. Beautiful photos!!!!

  2. You cracked me up with the Troyan Horse haha, so did your son. Looks like a good way to spend Sundays. I remember the Aquarium in Chicago and the huge pool in the entrance, I haven’t been to any other since that one so enjoyed your pictures. Especially the one of Nemo 😉

    • Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. Yeah, the Trojan Horse seemed a bit out of place in an aquarium. My kids love the Shed Aquarium in Chicago. Well, they pretty much love all aquariums. I always enjoy them, too.

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