Going for a walk in Istanbul

Dear Parents!

In the previous entry we talked about moving around Istanbul. We already got to know about the organizational issues, so now we should consider, where we can go with our Toddler 馃檪 The season of visits聽 to the former Constantinople has begun and I hear more and more questions on various discussion groups about places suitable for little children. Below we can see the destinations, that first came to my mind. Let’s start! 馃槈

1) Miniat眉rk:聽There is a place in Istanbul where you can see the whole of Turkey on just six hectares of land. Where you can visit all heritage of Turkish culture in a few hours. It’s 鈥濵iniat眉rk鈥. This miniature park isn’t only the “Must see” for every tourist, but also the great place for walks with babies. Exhibitions and simulations are properly secured. It’s full of greenery and there’s lots of space to run. And the most important thing 鈥 this park provides a lot of attractions for children, such as playground, labyrinth, tree telling fairy tales, or riding a choo-choo train 馃檪

If you want to learn more about exposed monuments, you can use the audio system which provides information in many languages: Turkish, English, French, German, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese and Persian (Farsi).

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2) Aquariums:

As I’ve mentioned in the Maltese entry, Bibi is the biggest fan of aquariums and oceanariums 馃檪 There are four aquariums in Istanbul: Sea Life (TurkuaZoo before), Istanbul Aquarium, ViaSea and the newest one 鈥 Emaar. The first two are on the European side. Last two 鈥 on Asian side. The cost of admission for adults starts from 40 TL (10 euro around). For an extra charge you can take a special photo (in every aquarium) or go to souvenir shop. My favorite one is definitely Istanbul Aquarium in Florya. It’s big and thematic 鈥 each room presents a completely different theme. I also liked the fact that you could dump digital photos onto a CD and you did not have to print them. I can also recommend Emaar聽鈥 tour guides really engage in guiding guests and telling them interesting facts about underwater creatures 馃檪

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

3) Istanbul parks:

Although Turks complain that Istanbul isn’t too green, the big plus is the large number of parks with playgrounds for children. I present my favorite ones – although those on the Asian side will be mentioned more because of my place of residence.

My number 1 on Asian side is definitely G枚ztepe 60. Y谋l Park谋 (which means 鈥濭枚ztepe 60th Year Park鈥). Its characteristic feature is the huge amount of flowers, especially roses, in every corner. That’s why offering walk to my Husband’s relatives I’m telling them to go to 鈥濭眉l Park谋鈥 (tr. g眉l 鈥 r贸偶a) 馃檪 Furthermore, there’s a lot of space to run and play, aquarium in the middle and fountain show several times a day. Newies spend there around 1,5 h. From G枚ztepe Park there’s a short way to the Toy Museum (tr. 陌stanbul Oyuncak M眉zesi).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I聽also like 脰zg眉rl眉k Park and Fenerbah莽e Park. First one is situated in G枚ztepe too. It’s well organized. We can not only count on beautiful views and lots of greenery, but we also have a basketball court, small gym or restaurant near the pond (I recommend going there for breakfast!). There’re also shops nearby. Fenerbah莽e Park in turn is located by the seaside, that’s why you don’t have only the view of the sea provided, but you can also take a walk along the promenade. This place looks very romantic 鈥 there’s even a cafe called 鈥濺omantika鈥 馃檪 A very nice seaside park is also Maltepe Sahil.聽Thanks to the large number of parking places places you can easily go there by car and not worry about a stopover. Beside playgrounds and benches, there are also several sport facilities, many coffee houses, restaurants and even Migros market nearby 馃槈

I can also recommend the botanic garden Nezahat G枚kyi臒it situated between Ata艧ehir and 脺mraniye. This is a聽peaceful place, full of different species of plants. What’s different than other European botanic gardens is that you can enter Nezahat G枚kyi臒it for free.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have much experience with聽European side but I would like to introduce you parks I enjoyed. First one is G眉lhane Park. It’s not called as the historical park without reason. This place is situated just beside Topkap谋 Palace. There’re plenty of museums around, and furthermore, it’s very close to the two most important monuments in the city 鈥 Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque Sultanahmet. The park itself is absolutely charmingit’s full of tulips and other flowers, alleys, sculptures, streams with fountains, benches鈥 Just for the short relax in the heart of Istanbul. We shouldn’t be surprised, that聽was recognized as the most beautiful park in the former Constantinople. Another place I liked is the Sporcular Park谋 in Levent. There’s lots of greenery, space to run and even a small cafe. There are several sports facilities around.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania park Gulhane
G眉lhane Park. Source: Google

It’s worth noting, that in most of the parks and seaside promenades there’re聽 regularly kept clean toilets. The fee is 1 Turkish lira (=0,25 euro) 鈥 you can use the coin or Istanbulkart mentioned in the previous blogpost 馃檪 Each of them provides changing tables for inflants. And here I’m going to say the very imporant info 鈥 they are both on the women’s and men’s side! So Gentlemen 鈥 if it is your turn to change diapers, you can’t avoid it anymore 馃槈 Photos have been taken in G枚ztepe 60. Y谋l Park.

 

4) Legoland:聽 I have good news for Lego fans 鈥 in Istanbul near the SeaLife Aquarium, there’s a huge recreational complex Legoland where, for example, you can see the city in the block version 馃檪 It seems, this is a place rather for bigger children, but Legoland is also friendly to the youngest travelers. There’re also many facilities for strollers and family restrooms where you can change diapers. Furthermore, already year-old children can practice their manual skills by playing (however, you should choose places with larger blocks).

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania legoland istanbul
Legoland in Istanbul. Source: Istanbul Tour Studio Blog

5) And out of city?

There are four Princess Islands in the Anatolian part of Istanbul available for tourists: B眉y眉kada, Heybeliada, Burgazada i K谋nal谋ada. I’ve visited two first islands and I think, that they are lovely places for a walk or a picnic. Most of Turks will tell you, the best way of sightseeing would be taking bike (in case of trip with toddler a bicycle seat is necessary, but I’m not sure, if renting companies provide them). The biggest advantage of islands is the opportunity to relax from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the natureon the Princess Islands car traffic is highly limited, so on the roads you can see mostly bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. To get there from the city you need to use ferry, so-called vapur. It departs from Bostanc谋, Emin枚n眉 and Kad谋k枚y.

sdr
Heybeliada Island

You can also go to the nearby city of Dar谋ca in the Izmit province. There’s a ZOO (鈥Faruk Yal莽谋n Hayvanat Bah莽esi鈥). Children under the age of three enter for free. Discount tickets are 30 TL, adults pay 40 TL.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

6) How about going shopping with baby?鈥

Generally, I don’t recommend going to shopping malls with an infant – especially to Turkish centres. At the entrance you’re exposed to radiation, because you go through the gates and your bags are x-rayed like at the airport. Shopping malls are big and noisy. But we all know鈥 We often don’t have a choice. However, in the Asian district Ata艧ehir there’s a shopping centre, you can go with toddler in a peace – especially in nice weather. It’s Watergarden. The name of this complex is absolutely not accidental. The building is surrounded by a large network of fountains,where the show takes place every hour. You can watch it actually from every side, because most of shops has an exit to outside (you can see the movie from the performace HERE). Restaurants and cafes are located on the lowest level and have an outdoor area next to the water. There is a small playground on the roof. There’re a lot of shops there and an internal cafe directed to parents with children (however I miss a store like Joker or eBebek). At the lowest level near the parking area there’s the Migros market, where we have a wide range of products. Nursery rooms are clean and convenient. Near the mall we can visit a bazaar with organic products as well. And the very important thing 鈥 there’re no gates and screening machines at the entrance.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania water garden istanbul logo

Watergarden

If you went to Istanbul with your bigger child, there’s Kidzania in Akasya shopping mall. It’s a place where children from the age of 4 can develop their hobbies and gain some practical skills 馃檪 (unfortunately, Turkish website doesn’t have English version) The ticket for child costs 75 TL. If the parent accompanies them, the additional fee is 35 TL.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania kidzania istanbul logo

 

Moreover, all the Istanbul aquariums are located beside shopping malls, so if you need, you can go for quick shopping.

 

Istanbul is a dynamically developing city and new places are being established here all the time. If we visit another destination from Bibi, we’ll surely let you know on our blog 馃槈 In the next article I’ll write about the physical activities for moms and babies in Turkey.

 

Polski

Advertisements

Malta – sightseeing with Baby

Hey hey!

In the last entry I wrote how to get to Malta and how to move around 馃檪 Today I’ll show you a few suggestions of places to visit in Malta exploring with a small traveler.

1) Popeye’s Village – do you remember the cartoon about the sailor Popeye? 馃檪 Do you know, that the movie based on it was filmed in Malta? It’s worthy to go there especially, when you travel with a small child. You can meet the characters from the serial occasionally getting a chance to take a part in聽making a short film with you in the lead role 馃榾 In Popeye’s Village you have a possibility to organize Birthday party for your Celebrity. On the official webpage you can choose a package. Each option provides food and drinks, film set and fun on the special playground. Furthermore, Parents can enjoy the beautiful views 馃檪 HERE you can check, how to get to village.

5200265-popeye-the-sailor-man

26793941_1612405822129635_1187161203_n

2) Malta National AquariumI don’t know what about your kids, but my Bibi loves aquariums 馃榾 She likes coming to glass and talking (or rather babbling) with fish. That’s why we took her there on Birthday morning. Oceanarium is located in Bugibba, so the way from appartment took us 10 minutes by walk. On the official website it’s written, how to get there from different cities. Entrance ticket for adults costs around 14鈧/person, for children up to 12 years old is 7鈧, infants and children till the age of 4 enter for free. Toddlers surely will enjoy the variety of fish. Look at the photo of Bibi!

DSCF0634.JPG

I also recommend the recently opened Water Park situated nearby aquarium. It’s opened in season (June-September) between 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM. You can find there attractions for babies too 馃檪

3) Ferry trip to Gozo and Cominoit was our one of the most exciting excursions. Travel offices offer options: just Comino or Comino with Gozo (in this case you relax shorter on Blue Lagoon, but you explore two islands in one time). We tried both offers, but I will write about it in the next post. Boats are well prepared for the youngest travelers. Blue Lagoon offers clear water, great natural landscapes and sometimes company of small sea animals 馃槈 Gozo in turn contains beautiful monuments, shopping on old bazars and relax on the beach with a view of architecture and rocks. Warning: Last march the Azure Window collapsed, so don’t believe travel offices still using this tourist attraction in their adverts.

DSCF0466

4) Valetta and Mdina – these two cities I can recommend for walking with a baby stroller. Malta is a place full of beaches and hills, so you won’t see much greenery there. In Valetta we have two (or even three) options for walks. The first one is near the port with a beautiful view of the city (the main photo of this entry is from there). Travelling by bus you must exit around three-four stops before the terminal station. Second one is the park in the heart of Valetta, where there’s not only a lot of greenery and beautiful views (eg. on port), but here and there we can see nice monuments 馃檪 And if you’re hungry or just want to take a bit of city life, you can use the third option – Main Square. During our sightseeing it wasn’t so crowded there. Last two options are situated close to the bus terminal station.

DSCF0403

DSCF0419

Mdina in turn is a very charming castle town full of quiet and romantic streets (but in South-European version, not Prague). I haven’t met any person, who didn’t like this place yet! Furthermore, there’s a park and playground close to the bus terminal station. HERE you can find playgrounds near your place of stay.

DSCF0523

5) Mellieha and Golden Bay – Malta is the country full of beaches. Tourists have a huge selection of places, they can swim and sunbathe. However, many of them are stony, so walks and relaxation may be limited for babies, because they have a sensitive skin. Golden and Mellieha beaches are wide and sandy. There is also no big difference in temperature between water and air. Just don’t bring your child’s electronic toys there. Sand is so powdery, it even got into our closed bag. It took us three days to extract the sand from our Bibi’s phone toy to unlock the sprinkled buttons 馃槈

DSCF0644

 

We enjoyed Malta a lot and we’ll come back there for sure! At the next visit we’re planning to see, among others, Marsaxlokk and dolphinarium. If you recommend some other places to see with baby in Malta, feel free to leave a comment 馃槈

 

How to communicate in Malta? There are two official languages in Malta – Maltese and English. You can communicate in English actually with everyone 馃檪

Polski