Miniatürk: The Showcase of Turkey
/ By Josh
(7.5TL if you’re a local or have residency, 3TL for local students)
Great for: Model Architecture, Miniature Big Things
Miniatürk is an eclectic celebration of Turkey’s vast architectural wonders with a few others from around the world added in for good measure. The park consists of 129 exhibits of palaces, ancient sites, fortresses, churches, mosques, amphitheatres, and, for reasons unknown, some ugly municipal buildings.
Miniatürk is a good way to see the incredible diversity of Turkey’s architectural treasures. Exhibits are featured from all over the country and from a number of different historical periods ranging from the Ancient Greek to today’s Atatürk Airport. We’re guessing that Turkish Airlines is a sponsor.
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There is a bit of heightened boastfulness in all things Turkish which is evident in displays such as a miniature dam resembling a small pile of gravel, yet described as “one of the most significant architectural works of the globe.”
All in all it’s a great place to get an idea of what you’re missing out on by not exploring more of the country. The models are very well done and the plaques very informative even if a little exaggerated. However, if seeing model buildings simply isn’t your thing then Miniatürk won’t be for you.
Apart from the outdoor miniature buildings there is also a building housing a collection of crystal miniature buildings. And because kids can only be entertained by miniature buildings for so long, there’s also a train ride, Troy-themed playground, and a few other more interactive games scattered through the park.
In the main building there is a restaurant serving a surprisingly wide variety of foods at fair prices.
For more up-to-date information you can check out the Miniatürk website.
How To Get There
The Istanbul Big Bus
The Istanbul Big Bus Tour company includes Miniatürk on its itinerary. Click here to see if one of their packages is a good fit for you!
47, 47Ç, 47E, 47N
If you’re coming from Üsküdar you can take a long ferry ride (think of it as an economy class cruise) to Sütlüce and then take any of the above mentioned buses. The ferry route is called “Haliç.”
Where To Stay
The far end of the Haliç and Sütlüce aren’t exactly overflowing with hotels and as Miniatürk is awkward to get to/away from we wouldn’t recommend you stay in this area. Karaköy is a simple if rather long bus ride away and one of the best locations to stay in Istanbul to see basically anything in the city; Miniatürk included.
Want to see more sights and destinations in Istanbul? Check out our full list of sights or The Istanbul Top 10.
Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.