10 Best Things to Do in Istanbul With Kids: Turkey Itinerary With Kids

Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling to Turkey With Kids

Embarking on a family adventure to Turkey is like stepping into a storybook where ancient history meets modern charm, and every corner reveals a new adventure waiting to be explored. From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the serene shores of the Turquoise Coast, Turkey offers a wealth of experiences that will captivate the imaginations of both young and old alike.

But before diving into the vibrant tapestry of Turkish culture and landscapes, it’s natural for parents to have questions swirling in their minds. Is it worth it to go to Turkey with kids? Is Turkey a safe place to take children? These are valid concerns that deserve thoughtful consideration.

Fear not, intrepid travelers, for we’re here to guide you through the wonders of Turkey and address any doubts you may have. Join us as we delve into the vibrant streets of Istanbul, uncover hidden treasures, and create memories that will last a lifetime on this epic family journey through Turkey.

Is It Worth It To Go To Turkey With Kids?

Is It Worth It To Go To Turkey With Kids?

Thinking about taking your kids to Turkey but not sure if it’s worth it? 

Absolutely! Turkey is a treasure trove of experiences for families, blending ancient history with modern charm. From exploring majestic palaces to cruising down the Bosphorus, Turkey offers a diverse range of activities that will captivate both kids and adults alike.

Not only does Turkey boast a rich cultural heritage, but it also offers excellent value for families. With its affordable accommodation options, delicious cuisine, and abundance of free attractions, Turkey makes for an affordable yet unforgettable family vacation.

But what about safety? Rest assured, Turkey is generally a safe destination for families. 

Like any other travel destination, it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Stick to well-traveled areas, avoid political demonstrations, and follow any travel advisories issued by your government.

Is Turkey A Safe Place To Take Children?

Safety is a top priority for any family vacation, and Turkey is no exception. While the country has experienced its share of political unrest in recent years, popular tourist destinations such as Istanbul, Cappadocia, and the Mediterranean coast are considered safe for travelers.

Turkey’s warm hospitality extends to families, with locals welcoming children with open arms. From friendly smiles to helpful advice, you’ll find that Turks go out of their way to ensure your family feels welcome and secure during your stay.

When exploring Istanbul with kids, stick to well-lit areas and avoid wandering down unfamiliar streets after dark. Keep a close eye on your belongings in crowded areas such as markets and public transportation, and be mindful of pickpockets.

Overall, with proper planning and common sense, Turkey can be a safe and rewarding destination for families looking to explore its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Is Turkey A Safe Place To Take Children?

10 Things To Do In Istanbul With Kids

Now that you’ve decided to embark on a family adventure to Turkey, it’s time to plan your itinerary. Istanbul, with its rich history and vibrant culture, offers a wealth of family-friendly activities that will appeal to kids of all ages.

  1. Hagia Sophia: Start your journey with a visit to the iconic Hagia Sophia, a marvel of Byzantine architecture. Kids will be awestruck by the grandeur of this historic landmark, with its soaring dome and intricate mosaics.
  2. Topkapi Palace: Step into the world of the Ottoman sultans at Topkapi Palace, where you can explore lush gardens, dazzling treasures, and the Imperial Harem. Don’t miss the chance to see the legendary Spoonmaker’s Diamond and the Topkapi Dagger.
  3. Blue MosqueAdmire the beauty of the Blue Mosque, known for its stunning blue tiles and graceful minarets. Take off your shoes and step inside to experience the tranquility of this sacred space.
  4. Bosphorus Cruise: Embark on a scenic cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, offering panoramic views of Istanbul’s skyline and historic landmarks. Kids will love spotting sights such as the Maiden’s Tower and Rumeli Fortress from the water.
  5. Istanbul Aquarium: Dive into the underwater world at the Istanbul Aquarium, home to thousands of marine species from around the globe. Let your kids marvel at sharks, stingrays, and colorful coral reefs as they explore themed exhibits such as the Red Sea and the Amazon Rainforest.
  6. Miniaturk: Discover Turkey in miniature at Miniaturk, where you can explore scaled-down replicas of famous landmarks and architectural wonders. Kids will love wandering through miniature cities and ancient ruins, imagining themselves as giants in this enchanting world.
  7. Istanbul Toy Museum: Step back in time at the Istanbul Toy Museum, home to a vast collection of toys from different eras and cultures. Let your kids unleash their creativity in interactive play areas and marvel at the timeless treasures on display.
  8. Gulhane Park: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind in Gulhane Park, a peaceful oasis in the heart of Istanbul. Let your kids run free in the sprawling green spaces, ride the antique carousel, and feed the ducks in the tranquil ponds.
  9. Istanbul Modern: Inspire your little artists at Istanbul Modern, Turkey’s premier contemporary art museum. Explore thought-provoking exhibitions and participate in family-friendly workshops and activities that will spark your kids’ creativity.
  10. Grand Bazaar: Experience the vibrant energy of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Let your kids haggle for souvenirs, sample Turkish delights, and immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and smells of this bustling bazaar.

With so many family-friendly activities to choose from, Istanbul promises an unforgettable adventure for the whole family. From exploring ancient palaces to diving into the underwater world, there’s something to captivate every member of your family in this vibrant city.

10 Things To Do In Istanbul With Kids

10 Days Family Trip To Turkey

Now that you’ve got a taste of what Istanbul has to offer, why not extend your adventure and explore more of Turkey? With its diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, Turkey offers endless opportunities for family fun and adventure.

Start your 10-day family trip in Istanbul, where you can spend a few days exploring the city’s top attractions and soaking up its vibrant atmosphere. From there, venture out into the countryside to discover the natural beauty and cultural treasures that await.

Head to Cappadocia, where you can marvel at the surreal landscapes of fairy chimneys and underground cities. Take a hot air balloon ride for a bird’s eye view of this enchanting region, or hike through the valleys to discover hidden cave dwellings and ancient churches.

10 Days Family Trip To Turkey

Next, make your way to the Turquoise Coast, where you can relax on pristine beaches, swim in crystal-clear waters, and explore charming seaside villages. Don’t miss the chance to visit the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in the world, and marvel at its grand temples and theaters.

Finish your trip with a visit to Pamukkale, where you can soak in the warm thermal pools and explore the ancient ruins of Hierapolis. Take a dip in the Cleopatra Pool, said to have been frequented by the legendary queen herself, and relax in the healing waters.

With its diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, Turkey offers a wealth of experiences for families looking to create lasting memories together. Whether exploring ancient ruins, lounging on pristine beaches, or sampling delicious cuisine, Turkey promises an unforgettable adventure for the whole family.

10 Days Family Trip To Turkey

Turkey Itinerary With Kids

Embarking on a 10-day family trip to Turkey promises an unforgettable adventure filled with cultural immersion, historical exploration, and scenic wonders. Here’s a detailed itinerary to make the most of your time in this enchanting country:

Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul

  • Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey’s vibrant cultural capital, and transfer to your accommodation.
  • Settle in and spend the afternoon exploring the neighborhood around your hotel.
  • Enjoy a delicious Turkish dinner at a local restaurant, savoring traditional dishes such as kebabs, mezze, and baklava.

Day 2: Sultanahmet District Exploration

  • Begin your day with a visit to Sultanahmet Square, the historic heart of Istanbul.
  • Explore the iconic landmarks of the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, each offering a glimpse into Istanbul’s rich history and architectural splendor.
  • Wander through the bustling streets of the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets, and immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere.

Day 3: Bosphorus Cruise and Spice Market

  • Embark on a scenic Bosphorus cruise to admire Istanbul’s skyline and iconic landmarks from the water.
  • Disembark at the Spice Bazaar and explore its colorful array of spices, herbs, and delicacies.
  • Visit the nearby Rustem Pasha Mosque, known for its exquisite Iznik tilework and serene ambiance.
  • Spend the afternoon strolling along the bustling Istiklal Avenue, lined with shops, cafes, and street performers.

Day 4: Flight to Cappadocia

  • Fly to Cappadocia, a surreal region known for its otherworldly landscapes and ancient cave dwellings.
  • Check into your cave hotel and take some time to relax and unwind.
  • In the evening, embark on a sunset horseback riding tour through the scenic valleys and fairy chimneys of Cappadocia.

Day 5: Hot Air Balloon Ride and Goreme Open-Air Museum

  • Rise early for a once-in-a-lifetime hot air balloon ride over the stunning landscapes of Cappadocia at sunrise.
  • After breakfast, explore the UNESCO-listed Goreme Open-Air Museum, home to rock-cut churches adorned with ancient frescoes.
  • Visit the Uchisar Castle, the highest point in Cappadocia, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and villages.

Day 6: Underground Cities and Hiking

  • Venture underground to explore the intricate tunnels and chambers of the Kaymakli or Derinkuyu underground cities.
  • Spend the afternoon hiking in the picturesque Rose Valley, admiring its unique rock formations and lush vegetation.
  • Visit the village of Avanos, known for its pottery-making traditions, and try your hand at crafting your own ceramic masterpiece.

Day 7: Flight to Antalya and Relaxation

  • Fly to Antalya, Turkey’s Mediterranean paradise, and transfer to your beachfront resort.
  • Spend the day relaxing on the pristine beaches of the Turkish Riviera, swimming in the azure waters and soaking up the sun.
  • Enjoy a leisurely dinner at a seaside restaurant, savoring freshly caught seafood and local specialties.
istanbul with kids

Day 8: Perge and Aspendos Day Trip

  • Embark on a day trip to the ancient cities of Perge and Aspendos, located just outside of Antalya.
  • Explore the well-preserved ruins of Perge, including its impressive Roman theater, stadium, and agora.
  • Visit the ancient city of Aspendos and marvel at its magnificent Roman theater, one of the best-preserved in the world.
  • Return to Antalya in the evening and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 9: Boat Tour and Waterfalls

  • Take a boat tour along the stunning coastline of the Turkish Riviera, stopping to swim in secluded coves and explore hidden caves.
  • Visit the breathtaking Duden Waterfalls, where a series of cascades plunge into the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Explore the historic Kaleici district of Antalya, with its narrow cobblestone streets, Ottoman-era houses, and charming cafes.

Day 10: Departure

  • Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel before checking out and transferring to Antalya Airport for your departure flight.
  • Bid farewell to Turkey with cherished memories of your family’s unforgettable journey through this captivating country.

This detailed itinerary offers a perfect balance of cultural experiences, historical sightseeing, natural wonders, and relaxation, ensuring a memorable family adventure in Turkey. Adjustments can be made based on your family’s interests and preferences, ensuring a tailor-made trip that suits everyone’s needs.

Best Places To Go In Turkey For Families

While Istanbul is undoubtedly a highlight of any family trip to Turkey, the country offers so much more to explore beyond its bustling capital. From ancient ruins to pristine beaches, here are some of the best places to go in Turkey for families looking to create unforgettable memories together.

  1. Cappadocia: Explore the otherworldly landscapes of Cappadocia, where fairy chimneys and cave dwellings dot the horizon. Take a hot air balloon ride for a bird’s eye view of this surreal region, or hike through the valleys to discover hidden churches and underground cities.
  2. Turquoise Coast: Relax and unwind on the Turquoise Coast, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Swim in crystal-clear waters, explore charming seaside villages, and soak up the Mediterranean sun.
  3. Ephesus: Step back in time at the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in the world. Marvel at its grand temples, theaters, and statues, and imagine life in this bustling metropolis over two millennia ago.
  4. Pamukkale: Experience the surreal beauty of Pamukkale, where cascading terraces of white travertine rock form a natural wonderland. Take a dip in the warm thermal pools, explore the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, and marvel at the stunning sunset views.
  5. Antalya: Discover the vibrant city of Antalya, known for its historic old town, beautiful beaches, and lively atmosphere. Explore ancient ruins, visit the Antalya Aquarium, and take a boat trip along the coast to discover hidden coves and caves.
  6. Bodrum: Relax and rejuvenate in the picturesque town of Bodrum, famous for its whitewashed buildings, bustling marina, and lively nightlife. Explore the medieval castle of St. Peter, visit the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, and relax on the stunning beaches of the Bodrum Peninsula.
  7. Gallipoli Peninsula: Pay your respects at the Gallipoli Peninsula, a historic site of great significance during World War I. Visit the memorials and cemeteries that commemorate the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign, and learn about the history of this tragic conflict.
  8. Troy: Uncover the mysteries of ancient Troy, legendary city of the Trojan War. Explore the ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the famous city walls, and learn about the myths and legends that have captivated storytellers for centuries.
  9. Ankara: Discover the vibrant capital city of Ankara, where modernity meets tradition in a bustling metropolis. Visit the Ataturk Mausoleum, explore the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, and stroll through the charming streets of the old town.
  10. Mount Nemrut: Marvel at the awe-inspiring statues and monuments of Mount Nemrut, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in southeastern Turkey. Witness the sunrise or sunset from the summit of the mountain and admire the colossal statues of gods and kings that date back over two thousand years.
Offbeat Adventures in Turkey

From ancient ruins to pristine beaches, Turkey offers a wealth of experiences for families looking to create unforgettable memories together. Whether exploring historic cities, lounging on sun-kissed shores, or marveling at natural wonders, Turkey promises an unforgettable adventure for the whole family. 

So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on a journey of discovery that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Get Your Bags Packed!

Traveling to Turkey with kids is an enriching experience that offers a perfect blend of adventure, culture, and relaxation. From exploring ancient ruins to lounging on pristine beaches, there’s something to captivate every member of the family in this enchanting country.

With its rich history, diverse landscapes, and warm hospitality, Turkey promises an unforgettable adventure for families looking to create lasting memories together. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on a journey of discovery that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Last updated in April 2024, written by Tom and published by Emily.