At Miniatürk you will feel like a giant as you peek into the windows of miniature versions of Istanbul’s most famous buildings, as well as mockups of other Ottoman-era and modern Turkish attractions. Miniatürk is a great place to spend a few hours with your family, discovering familiar sights in a fairytale-like setting.
As one of the world’s largest miniature parks, Miniatürk encompasses pools and waterways, an immense open green space and a model area around 3.7 acres (1.5 hectares) in size. The more than 120 models, crafted at a 25 times smaller scale than their actual size, are primarily miniature versions of structures from Istanbul, Anatolia and Ottoman territories now outside modern-day Turkey. The models have been made from industrial-strength material in 13 different workshops.
Among the models are the Hagia Sophia cathedral, Süleymaniye Mosque, the Aspendos amphitheater, Sumela Monastery and Mount Nemrut. You can also spot a miniature version of the great suspension bridge across the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the continents of Europe and Asia. Get your photo taken with the bridge, as if you are taking a giant step from one continent to the other. Listen to the free digital audio guides, available in English, in front of each miniature to learn the local history.
As the “small model of a big country,” Miniatürk is an ideal spot to get an overview of some of Turkey’s greatest buildings. Children especially will enjoy its fairytale ambiance and interactive exhibits. Visit the 400-seat amphitheater and the playground with labyrinth. Beat your companion at a game of chess on the life-sized board. See the miniature version of a Fenerbahçe fan getting angry when he hears the rival Galatasaray song play in the stadium: The Turkish are big on soccer!
Located along the coast of the Golden Horn, Miniatürk can be reached on foot from the nearby mosques and historic attractions in the Old City and also by bus and taxi. The park is open daily, with extended hours on summer weekends, and there is an entry fee. There is a gift shop on site.