32 super things to do in Istanbul with teenagers

When you purchase through links on our site we may earn a commission, Learn More >>

.Embarking on a journey to Istanbul with teenagers is an exciting adventure that blends history, culture, and vibrant city life. As you step foot in this captivating metropolis, you’ll find yourself immersed in a city where the echoes of the mighty Ottoman Empire still resonate.

One of the best places to uncover the historical treasures and ignite curiosity is the Sultanahmet district, a UNESCO World Heritage site. From awe-inspiring architectural marvels to bustling markets and tantalizing cuisine, Istanbul has much to offer for families seeking an educational and immersive travel experience.

Table Of Contents
  1. Know before you go. Our top Istanbul travel tips
  2. Things to do in Istanbul with teenagers
  3. Free things to do in Istanbul with teens
  4. Day trips from Istanbul with teens
  5. Amazing restaurants in Istanbul for teens
  6. Frequently asked questions about Istanbul
  7. Author bio:

Join us as we unveil the wonders of Istanbul and the Byzantine Empire, guiding you through the footsteps of emperors and introducing you to the pulsating heart of this captivating city.

Istanbul is the only city in the world situated on two continents and divides Europe and Asia, making it a melting pot of cultures from 2 different worlds.

Know before you go. Our top Istanbul travel tips

Travelling to Istanbul with teens can be such an enriching experience for the whole family, with the Turkish Capital one of the top family destinations in Europe. Did you know that Istanbul is home to the world’s oldest and biggest covered market in the world?

There are so many things to do in Istanbul and having information on the best place to stay, how to get around, which currency to use and more is extremely important. Below you will find some information for planning a hassle-free family vacation with teens in Istanbul.

Where to stay in Istanbul with teenagers

Great vacations with teens start with some great vacation planning. When you are planning a trip to Turkey with teens, you’ll never be short of options for your family accommodation in Istanbul.

In Istanbul, you find a range of hotels, apartments, and hostels for families on holiday in Turkey. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit singles, couples, families, and groups on every budget on your family trip to Istanbul.

For luxury family-friendly hotels in Istanbul, you should consider staying at the La Quinta by Wyndham Istanbul Gunesli, Movenpick Living Istanbul and Doubletree by Hilton Istanbul Umraniye. All these hotels feature pools, fitness centres and amazing dining options in the hotels.

For more midprice and budget-friendly options in Istanbul families should consider staying at the Oldtown Sultanahmet Suites, Alhambra Apart Hotel and The Grand Naki Hotel. All these hotels are located centrally near the Grand Bazar.

If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs for your teen travel holidays, we recommend using Hotels.com and Expedia to find the best prices in Istanbul for your family vacation to Turkey.

Istanbul apartment alternative for your stay

If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation when on your Europe trip with teenagers in Istanbul, then an apartment is the best choice for you on your family vacation.

There are so many options for singles, families, and budget-friendly options in Istanbul as well. You can search VRBO to help you find the perfect apartment in Istanbul for teens on your trip to Turkey with family.

Getting to Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the best family destinations in Eurasia for family travel with teens. The city is the capital of Turkey and is connected by highway from Bulgaria, long distant buses, trains, and planes all bringing people daily to the city. This makes Istanbul one of the easiest family travel destinations to get to in Europe.

  • Istanbul Airport(IST) is the main international airport serving Istanbul, Turkey. It is located in the Arnavutköy district on the European side of the city. It served more than 37 million passengers in 2021, making it the busiest airport in Europe and 13th-busiest airport in the world. The airport lies 35 kilometres north of the city. Search flights to Istanbul with Expedia.
    • If your flights have a long stopover, or you just want to relax before your trip you should consider getting a lounge pass with Priority Pass. Priority Pass have access to airport lounges all over the world. Search now for your lounge pass.
  • You can catch a train to Istanbul with international trains arriving at Sirkeci or Haydarpasa stations, both with convenient city locations and public transport links. All international trains from Europe into Turkey go via Sofia, Bulgaria, with a connection at Dimitrovgrad to Bucharest (Bükreş), Romania. Book your train to Istanbul with Omio.
  • Istanbul can be reached directly from 256 cities and indirectly from anywhere across Europe. Flixbus tickets are available at great prices. Bus travel with teens in Europe and Turkey can add so many wonderful experiences for teens on vacation. Book your bus tickets to Istanbul with Flixbus.

How to get around Istanbul

Istanbul is serviced by an efficient and reliable public transport network of Istanbul that includes ferries, buses and railways such as metro, tram systems and Marmaray. The electronic ticket for the public transport system in Istanbul is the Istanbulkart. A single ticket costs 6 TL per person. There are no day tickets and no fare zones in Istanbul.

a teenage boy in istanbul
An Istanbul family vacation with teenagers is a great choice.

Weather in Istanbul

Summer is at its warmest from mid-June through to mid-September, with an average daily high temperature above 25 °C. The hottest month of the year in Istanbul is August, with an average high of 28 °C and a low of 21°C. Make sure you pack for the warm weather to keep cool.

The winter season has an average daily high temperature below 13°C. The coldest month of the year in Istanbul is February, with an average low of 4°C and a high of 9°C. Istanbul can receive snowfall, and it snows on average for 7 days every winter.

Summer Essentials for Istanbul

Winter essential for Istanbul

Istanbul for international visitors

International travel to Turkey requires a bit more thought. You will need travel insurance for sure in Istanbul, Turkey. Medical care is not cheap and if you want good quality care it will cost you a fortune if you don’t have travel insurance.

The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira. If you use your bank account from home you will be stung with high transaction fees, while your mobile phone calls will all be charged at an international rate. These are just some of the things you need to think about when you visit Istanbul with teenagers.

Travel accessories for teenagers

For teenagers, travelling can be a fun and exciting experience. However, there are a few things that they need to take into account in order to make the trip as comfortable and safe as possible. One of these is ensuring that they have the necessary travel accessories.

Get the Istanbul e-pass

Looking for a hassle-free way to explore Istanbul? Look no further than the e-pass! With this pass, you’ll have access to over 40 top attractions and experiences in the city, including the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, and Blue Mosque

Not only does the Go City Pass save you time by allowing you to skip the lines at popular attractions, but it also saves you money, with free and discounted entries. So why wait? Book your e-pass today and discover the best of Istanbul with ease and convenience

Things to do in Istanbul with teenagers

Now that we have covered all the essential Istanbul travel tips for families, here are all the very best things to do in Istanbul with teenagers.

Activities for teens in Istanbul

The Grand Bazar

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest markets in the world. If you are looking for one of the best things to do in Istanbul with teenagers you must visit the Bazar.

The market dates its Byzantine architecture back to the 14th century and is home to over 4,000 shops selling spices, souvenirs, and other goods. The market is also a major Istanbul tourist attraction, with visitors coming to see the historic architecture and purchase traditional Turkish goods.

Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia Mosque is located in Istanbul, Turkey and is one of the most historic and culturally significant mosques in the Islamic world. It is one of the city’s landmarks and most popular historic sites.

Istanbul for teenagers is exciting

The mosque was originally constructed as a church in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian I and underwent several renovations over the centuries before being converted into a mosque in 1453.

The Hagia Sophia Mosque is renowned for its stunning architecture and intricate mosaics and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can truly marvel at the architectural splendours of Istanbul. Visit the Hagia Sophia museum and book a Hagia Sophia highlights tour.

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque (sultan ahmed mosque) in Istanbul is one of the most iconic mosques in the Islamic world and a major Istanbul tourist attraction. Completed in 1616, it’s one of the oldest and largest mosques in Istanbul.

The mosque gets its name from the blue tiles that adorn its interior walls. Some say it is the most beautiful mosque in the world. It’s also one of the most culturally significant mosques in Turkey, playing a key role in the country’s history and architecture.

Make sure you take a wander around Sultanahmet Square, find the Egyptian obelisk and once home to chariot races that separate the Blue Mosque from Hagia Sofia. The rich historical heritage of Istanbul is on full show at the Blue Mosque Istanbul. This is a must-see in Istanbul for families.

Why not book a combo ticket with entry to Topkapı Palace Entrance + Blue Mosque & Sultanahmet Square and save some money on entries

Istanbul with teens – Marina Aquapark

The Marina Aquapark Waterland, Istanbul is a great place to spend a day with the family. There are plenty of activities for all ages, including 17 different waterslides for fun in Istanbul. You will find a lazy river for relaxing and kids’ playground for families in Istanbul.

a teenager girl in Istanbul going down a slide of water.
Family fun in Istanbul at a water park

The park is also home to a variety of restaurants and cafés, making it easy to find something to eat. The park is open during the summer months, with DJs playing non-stop music during the days. Entrance fees include the use of sun loungers, umbrellas, and lockers during your fun day in Istanbul.

Travel with teens: 43 things to do in San Fransisco with teenagers

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul, Turkey for teens. It served as the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years and is now a museum that showcases centuries of Ottoman culture and history.

Cultural attractions in Istanbul are everywhere.

The palace was first built in 1459 by Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, and underwent numerous expansions and renovations over the years. The Topkapi Palace features a number of ornate rooms and courtyards, including the famous Harem, as well as exhibits on weaponry, ceramics, calligraphy, and other subjects. The palace is also home to several impressive gardens.

Sealife Aquarium

Istanbul, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, is home to a sealife aquarium that is a must-see for any visitor.

The aquarium is located in the heart of the city and contains a variety of marine life from all over the world with the highlight being 83 metre-long underwater Ocean Tunnel.

It is a great place for families in Istanbul to spend an afternoon and learn about the aquatic life that exists in our oceans. Book entry tickets to Istanbul Sealife.

Why not book a combo ticket with entry to both Sealife Aquarium + Hagia Sofia and save some money on entries

The Galata Tower

One of the most well-known sites in Istanbul is the Galata Tower. The tower was built around 527 AD, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian.

Originally built as a defensive tower, over the years it has been used as a prison, and an observatory for astrologers and today the Galata Tower is an exhibition space and museum. It is one of the iconic landmarks of Istanbul.

Outdoor activities in Istanbul – Vialand

Istanbul’s newest attraction is Vialand, a massive theme park that offers something for everyone. Rollercoasters, animated characters, fun fare, and amusements abound in this sprawling complex, which is sure to keep all members of the family on holiday in Istanbul entertained for hours on end.

Some of the most popular rides are The Viking Water Coaster, the Maceraperest family rollercoaster, The Jeyski ride and more. Whether you’re a thrill seeker or just looking for a fun day out with the family in Istanbul, Vialand is a must-see destination in Istanbul for teenagers. You can catch free shuttle buses to the theme park from the city centre. Book your tickets to Vialand today.

Read more: How to keep your teens social and engaged while travelling

Canoeing on the Golden Horn & the Bosphorus

Istanbul is a city best explored by boat. The Bosphorus, the strait that bisects the city, is a natural waterway that’s perfect for sightseeing by canoe or kayak. Families and groups of friends can paddle up and down the strait, taking in the sights of Istanbul’s impressive skyline.

2 teenagers canoeing in Istanbul
Teenage adventure activities in Istanbul

Teenagers will especially enjoy canoeing on the Golden Horn. It’s a fun way to explore a new city and get some exercise at the same time.

Canoeing is also a great way to see Istanbul’s waterfront neighbourhoods, which are full of colourful homes and charming cafés. Canoeing is one of the best things to do in Istanbul in summer.

Ural Ataman Classic Car Museum

If you or your teenagers in Istanbul are car lovers, the Ural Ataman Classic Car Museum is a must-visit attraction for Istanbul teenagers.

The museum is housed on 2 floors with the first floor showcasing Classic American cars and motorbikes from the 50s and 60s.

The cars are complemented by a 50s diner and automobile memorabilia. The second floor focuses on the museum’s collection of European cars such as the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing and the 1960 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II. The museum houses 60-70 cars at any one time.

Cruise on the Bosphorus in Istanbul

Take in the sights of Istanbul on a relaxing cruise down the Bosphorus.

a boat on the Bosphorus
A cruise is one of the top things to do in Istanbul.

Enjoy a dinner cruise with stunning views of the cityscape, or take a sightseeing cruise to see all the highlights of this ancient city. The Bosphorus separates the continents of Europe and Asia. A boat cruise in Istanbul is perfect for teenagers, with plenty of historical and cultural landmarks to explore.

Madame Tussauds – Istanbul for kids

If you’re looking for a fun and interesting attraction to visit in Istanbul, look no further than Madame Tussauds. This wax museum is a popular tourist destination for people of all ages, and it’s easy to see why.

There are dozens of lifelike wax models of celebrities, politicians, and athletes on display, as well as interactive exhibits that allow visitors to get up close and personal with some of history’s most famous figures.

The museum is also a great place to take the family if the Istanbul weather is not great as there’s something for everyone here.

Teenagers will love getting to see their favourite stars up close, while younger kids will enjoy the interactive exhibits. And don’t forget to snap a selfie with your favourite celebrity by booking your entry tickets here.

Thinking of visiting Europe with teens? Visiting Paris with teens is an epic, bucket list destination

Camlica Tower – Istanbul with teenagers

Istanbul is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and for good reason. There is so much to see and do in this city that it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re looking for a great view of the city, make sure to visit Camlica Tower.

a tower in istanbul
Places to see in Istanbul on vacation with kids

This observation deck is located on a hill overlooking Istanbul and offers stunning views of the cityscape below. It’s a popular spot for teenagers and families and is a great place to take photos or just soak up the atmosphere. Book your skip the line entry ticket here.

Watch a football match in Istanbul

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and home to some of the best football teams in the country. Besiktas, Fenerbahce, and Galatasaray are all based in Istanbul and compete in the Turkish Superliga.

Football is a hugely popular sport in Istanbul, with fans of all ages cheering on their team. The atmosphere at football matches is electric, with supporters singing and dancing throughout the game.

Istanbul has a long and rich history with football. The first ever Turkish football club was founded in Istanbul in 1903. Since then, the city has been home to many of the country’s most successful clubs. Istanbul teams have won a total of 30 out of the last 31 Turkish Superliga titles between them.

Football plays an important role in the city’s culture and identity. Istanbul is known as a passionate and friendly city, and its love for football reflects this.

Eat Turkish Delight

One of the most famous Turkish foods is Turkish Delight. It is a traditional confectionery made from starch and sugar, typically flavoured with rosewater or citrus fruit. Turkish Delight comes in various colours and flavours, offering a delightful combination of sweetness and tasty flavors.

Try Turkish Delight is a must when visiting Istanbul. For a sweet tooth, the best place to go is Altan şekerleme, a 4th generation shop selling Turkish candies.

Things to do in Istanbul with teenage girls – High Tea

High Tea started out as a quintessentially British thing. This afternoon tea tradition involves savoury sandwiches, cakes, pastries, and of course, tea. For mothers and daughters, it’s a cherished ritual that often brings them closer together.

High tea first became popular in the early 1800s, when aristocrats would gather in the late afternoon for a light meal.

The spread would typically include cakes, tea, and sandwiches. These days, high tea is still enjoyed by many Britons and people the world over as a special treat.

If you’re looking to experience high tea firsthand, there are plenty of places in Istanbul to have a High Tea. But be warned – it can be quite addictive! Once you’ve had a taste of those delicious treats, you’ll likely want to indulge again and again.

Some of the best Istanbul High Tea venues are the Shangri-La Istanbul, Raffles Istanbul. and the Lavinia Lounge.

Need some expert advice: Our guide to travel essentials for teens will make your family vacation a breeze

Family fun adventures in Istanbul – Segway Tour

How do you make the best vacations for teenagers? Segway! There is nothing more fun than zipping around a city on a Segway and for teens in Istanbul, this has to be one of the best things to do in Istanbul.

An Istanbul Segway tour is a great opportunity to have fun and learn about the city. Segway tours are for the whole family, you will be given instructions and a short amount of practice time before you set off on your adventures in Istanbul with teenagers.

Istanbul Hop on hop off bus

The Istanbul hop on hop off bus is always popular with family travellers. A sightseeing bus tour in the city of Istanbul is a great way to give you an overview of the city.

Hop on hop off bus in Istanbul
The tourist bus is a great way to see famous places in Istanbul.

The bus route takes you to all the best Istanbul attractions, so you can see everything from the Spice Bazaar to the Blue Mosque.

This tour bus allows you to get out and visit all the top Istanbul attractions and hop back on the next bus when it appears. Search for a hop on off hop off tour in Istanbul.

Catch a ferry across the Bosphorus

Catching a ferry across the Bosphorus Strait is an enchanting experience, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Istanbul’s skyline, Bosphorus Bridge, majestic palaces, and historic landmarks.

Departing from Eminönü near the Galata Bridge, the commuter ferry takes you on a serene journey along the sparkling Bosphorus River.

Crossing from the European side to the Asian side of Istanbul, you’ll step into a vibrant atmosphere, a trendy neighbourhood with bustling markets and cultural delights.

Whether you choose to relax on the open deck, capture stunning photos, or savour a cup of Turkish tea or Turkish coffee inside the cabin, the ferry ride provides a unique perspective on Istanbul’s maritime history and the captivating beauty of the Bosphorus Strait.

Have a food experience with a local

How do you make the best teenage family vacations? Food! Some teens cook some teens get served, so why not take a cooking class or eat with a local family on your family vacation to Istanbul?

Maybe experience what the locals eat or take any number of different cooking classes in your city of choice. Food plays a big part in local cultures, whether it be cooking it, or eating it. Search and book your Istanbul food experience.

Indoor Rock Climbing

Indoor rock climbing offers a great alternative for those who want to enjoy the sport but don’t have easy access to outdoor climbing areas or want something a little safer.

Indoor rock climbing can be found in most major cities, and many offer classes to teach beginners the basics of wall climbing or free climbing for more advanced.

Indoor rock climbing is a great way to get fit and have fun at the same time. Kids can have some indoor fun at Boulder Istanbul.

More history in Istanbul

It would be impossible to write about all the amazing history in Istanbul, there is just so much history to see. Some of the other locations for a teenage history buff to visit include:

  • Step into the opulent Dolmabahce Palace, a majestic symbol of Ottoman grandeur. Marvel at its stunning architecture, adorned with lavish interiors as Dolmabahce Palace transports you back in time.
  • Take a boat ride to the Maiden’s Tower, standing gracefully on a small islet. Legend has it that it was built to protect a princess. Enjoy panoramic views of the city and indulge in a romantic atmosphere.
  • Visit the Suleymaniye Mosque, an architectural masterpiece that showcases the grandeur of Islamic art and design. Its serene atmosphere invites you to reflect and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings.
  • Descend into the mystical depths of the Basilica Cistern, an ancient underground water reservoir. Wander through its dimly lit corridors and be mesmerized by the columns and reflections on the water’s surface.
  • Nestled in Istanbul’s Beylerbeyi neighborhood on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, the Beylerbeyi Palace is a magnificent Imperial Ottoman summer residence. Constructed from 1861 to 1865, this architectural gem sits just north of the iconic first Bosphorus Bridge

The most Instagrammable shots in Istanbul

The best family vacations for teens always incorporate something they love. Social media is important to travel teens and Instagram is one of the most popular photo apps for teens on holiday.

With Instagram and social media playing an important part in the lives of travelling teenagers, we have some great places for Instagram photos in Istanbul.

The inside of the  blue mosque in istanbul
Must see places in Istanbul are everywhere

We recommend visiting Refik Saydam Lookout Point, Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque for the best Instagram shots in Istanbul.

Alternatively, book yourself, an Instagram tour with a guide who will take you to all the beautiful places in Istanbul. Check prices on the best Instagram tours in Istanbul. 

Professional photoshoot in Istanbul

As our kids get older, we spend less and less time with them making family travel memories. One excellent way to capture some of these important family vacations with teenagers moments is to hire a professional photographer for a few hours to make some lifelong memories for you on your family vacation with teens.

The photographer will supply everything, your family just needs to provide the smiles for your Istanbul with teenagers photoshoot. Book an unforgettable family travel memory today and secure your family travel photo shoot.

Street Art in Istanbul

Street art is found throughout the world, but it is especially prevalent in major cities. Cities are home to a wealth of street art, from graffiti on building walls to pieces painted on lanes and bridges. Street art provides a unique aesthetic for these places, with topics including current events, pop culture, portraits and more.

a cat on the streets of Istanbul
Street art in Istanbul is popular with visitors.

Finding street art is a very popular free thing to do in Istanbul. and attracts tourists and teenagers alike. Street Art in the beautiful city of Istanbul is mainly found around the Beyoglu district and the Karakoy of Istanbul.

Pin Bowling in Istanbul with teenagers

If you’re looking for a bit of fun, friendly family competition in Istanbul with kids then 10-pin bowling might be just the family activity in Istanbul for you and your teen travellers.

You can go 10-pin bowling in Istanbul at a number of different locations in the city centre and 10-pin bowling has to be one of the best family-friendly things to do in Istanbul with teenagers. 

Most bowling alleys these days are more entertainment centres featuring amusement, food and drink options. You will find some of the best bowling locations in Istanbul below.

  • Atlantis Fun City Kadıköy – Caferağa, Neşet Ömer Sk. 3 / B, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Turkey
  • ARCADE TİGERS ENTERTAİNMENT CENTER – Şehit Muhtar, İstiklal Cd. NO:12, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey

Axe Throwing in Istanbul for young adults

Axe Throwing is a new phenomenon that is sweeping around the world. Istanbul is home to Wild Academy. No experience is required, as the staff at Wild Academy will run you through the safety precautions before giving tips and hints on how best to throw an axe.

If you are looking for unique experiences for teenagers in Istanbul, then axe throwing could be it. Axe Throwing is one of the awesome things to do in Istanbul on your family vacation. For more information, click through to the Wild Academy website.

Accommodation with teens: Why staying in a hostel is good for your travelling teens

Family holidays in Istanbul – Going to the cinema

Great vacations with teens have a mix of everything! Watching a movie is popular with teenagers anywhere in the world. Going to the cinema in Istanbul with teenagers is a great evening activity. You will find state-of-the-art screens and sound for you to watch the latest blockbusters in Istanbul cinemas

In Istanbul, you will find multiplex, Imax, 3d and speciality cinemas showing art house and indie films. A cinema is one of the best places to visit in Istanbul at night with teens. You can use Yelp to find the best cinemas in Istanbul for teens.

Escape rooms in Istanbul for teens

For those new to Escape rooms, this is a quick run down. An escape room, also known as an escape game, is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategies to complete the objectives at hand.

Escape rooms may consist of a large, single room, or span multiple rooms. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. If your travelling teen likes this stuff, it is definitely one of the top things to do in Istanbul with teenagers. You can find 2 of the best Istanbul Escape rooms below.

  • The Key Room – Türkali, Dizi Sk. No:36 D:2, 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
  • Enigma Room Escape – Katip Mustafa Çelebi, Anadolu Sk. No: 2/4, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul,

Shopping in Istanbul for older kids

There is nothing worse than lost luggage on a family trip to Istanbul or not having the appropriate clothing for your family vacation to Istanbul Below we have included some travel tips for families on where to shop in Istanbul for teens if you find you need to or if you just want to do some shopping in Istanbul with teenagers.

in the shopping district of Istanbul
The best places to go shopping in Istanbul are the street stalls.

Istanbul is a shoppers’ paradise with its abundance of bazaars, malls and shops. You can find just about anything you’re looking for, from souvenirs to luxury items. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips on where to go shopping in Istanbul.

Istanbul is a shoppers’ paradise, with a wealth of boutiques, shopping centres and markets to explore. The Grand Bazaar is the city’s oldest and most famous market, dating back to the 15th century. It’s home to over 4,000 shops selling everything from clothes and souvenirs to carpets and spices.

If you’re looking for something more up-market, head to the stylish Nisantasi neighbourhood, where you’ll find boutique fashion stores alongside art galleries and trendy cafes. Istanbul also has several large shopping malls, including the Akmerkez and Zorlu Centres.

Istiklal Street is one of the most expensive streets of Istanbul. It is lined with shops, bars, museums and movie theatres. This 1.5-kilometre-long boulevard is popular with both locals and tourists alike.

At the end of Istiklal Street you will find Taksim Square with its Republic Monument. Head to Istiklal Street when visiting Istanbul.

These places are great for finding brand-name clothes and accessories at discount prices. If you’re looking for a unique Turkish souvenir, be sure to check out the local markets – there’s one in almost every district of the city.

Free things to do in Istanbul with teens

Istanbul offers, some of the best free things to do with your teenage family members. These free Istanbul city activities are perfect for keeping everyone happy and entertained without having to spend any money. There are also plenty of affordable restaurants and shops where you can shop for souvenirs without breaking the bank. Some of our recommendations for free activities in Istanbul for families are as follows.

  • Gulhane Park
  • Free Walking Tour

Day trips from Istanbul with teens

While staying in the city with teenagers on your family holiday, a day trip to see a bit more of Turkey is recommended. There are some fun trips for teenagers and families from Istanbul to make out of the city.

The best vacations for teenagers usually include at least one day trip from Istanbul. Below we have a couple of day trips from Istanbul recommendations for families travelling with teenagers.

There are also so many more things to do on your vacation with teenagers when you add a day trip from Istanbul.

Troy the home of the Trojan Horse

If you’re looking for a day trip from Istanbul with teenagers full of history and culture, Troy is the perfect destination. The ancient city is located just two hours away from Turkey’s biggest city and is home to the famous Trojan Horse story.

a  odel of the horse of troy
The historic city of Troy.

Although much of Troy’s history has been lost over time, visitors can still walk through the ruins of the ancient city and see where Achilles and Hector fought. If you’re interested in learning more about Troy’s history, be sure to take a tour with a local guide who can share fascinating stories about this legendary city.

The Princes Island

If you’re looking for a day trip outside of Istanbul, the Princes Islands are the perfect destination. The Princes’ Islands are a cluster of 9 islands southeast of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara.

There are four islands in total, all of which can be reached by ferry from Istanbul. The largest and most interesting of the islands is Büyükada. Once on the island, you can explore the small towns, go for a swim, or simply relax in the sun.

Amazing restaurants in Istanbul for teens

Vacationing with teens absolutely needs to include a brilliant meal to remember the family holiday. Family travel with teenagers is a wonderful thing, and bonding over a meal at the end of the day or even during it is a great way to connect with your teen travellers. Having a meal with family is one of the top things to do in Istanbul with teenagers.


Located in the heart of Istanbul’s old city, Deraliye Restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience. The restaurant’s traditional Turkish cuisine is sure to tantalize your taste buds. From kebabs to dolmas, there is something for everyone at Deraliye.

Deraliye Restaurant offers its guests the unique chance to taste the authentic Ottoman meals that were once only worthy of a sultan. The restaurant’s intimate atmosphere and stunning views of the Bosphorus make it a must-visit for any traveller to Istanbul.

Street food for teens in Istanbul

Street food is a popular way to eat in many parts of the world. It’s a quick and easy way to get some delicious local food without having to go to a full restaurant. Street food can be found in many different styles and options.

Some of the most well-known street foods include tacos in Mexico, Zapiekanka in Poland, Dan Dan noodles in China, and Shawarma in Middle Eastern countries.

donner kabab meat in istanbul
The most popular Turkish street food includes Kababs.

Street food in Istanbul often has its origins in the cultural history of people who have immigrated to Turkey in the past. Some of the most popular Istanbul street foods include İçli Köfte (Stuffed Meatballs), Börek (Baked Filled Pastries), a fish sandwich and Doner Kabab.

Planning a camping trip with teenagers? Here is the ultimate guide on how to keep teens entertained, engaged and wanting more on your camping trip!

Frequently asked questions about Istanbul

There are so many frequently asked questions about Istanbul, especially from families travelling with teenagers. 

Istanbul is one of the best family city breaks in Europe and Asia and one of the best places to vacation with teenagers. There are so many things to consider when you are planning your family vacation to Turkey. Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about Istanbul to help you make your family vacation to the Turkish capital easy and hassle-free.

What is the legal drinking age for teenagers in Turkey?

You must be an 18-year-old teenager in Istanbul to drink alcohol

Is Istanbul a safe city for families to visit?

Istanbul is a relatively safe city to visit if you avoid some parts of it that are considered somewhat dangerous. Tourist hotspots, restaurants, shops, and public transportation are places where most thefts and pickpocketing occur. Violent crime exists, and acts of terrorism have been perpetrated in the past. Be aware and alert.

How do I call the Police in Istanbul?

Call the police directly in Turkey by dialling 155

Is tipping required in Istanbul?

In Turkey, you can tip between 5% and 10%, depending on service. Don’t tip if you receive bad service. Only tip in cash and give the tip directly to your wait staff.

Can I drink tap water in Istanbul?

Tap water is perfectly safe to drink, alternatively, you can buy a filtered water bottle for your holiday in Istanbul with teenagers.

What type of power sockets are used in Turkey?

The type of plugs and sockets found in Turkey are Type C or Type F so you will definitely need an adaptor or travel plug to plug your appliances and devices. Buy your travel adaptor today,

Do people speak English in Turkey?

English is quite widely spoken in central areas of Istanbul, with staff in hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions speaking English. If you’re still concerned, you can buy a Langogo translator to use on your trip.

Where are the best places to stay in Istanbul for teenagers

At the top of the article, we suggested some accommodation choices for your holiday in Istanbul with kids. If you are looking for a wider variety of choices for your family stay in Turkey please find below an interactive map from Booking.com for you to find your perfect stay for your Istanbul vacation.


Are you looking to book flights, hotels, apartments, tours, airport transfers, travel insurance and more for your vacation with young adults? Are you just not sure what travel companies you can trust to book your family travel online? We have a family travel resource page that is full of companies that we personally use, trust and book through for all our family vacation trips from a weekend away to long-term travel with older children around the world. Click here to search our travel resources page.

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Istanbul with teenagers. There are so many things to do in Istanbul with teenagers that will have you entertained for your family’s whole stay in the city.

Travel with teenagers and tweens. Travelling with young adults has just as many issues as travelling with young children. Choosing the best teenage vacation destinations can be so time-consuming. Planning a family holiday can be stressful and finding the best tips for travel is essential. 

Use our Travel with Teenagers Destination Guides from all over the world for your next family vacation inspiration to make your family vacations with teens epic.

More travel inspiration for your Europe trip with teens

14 thrilling adventure activities in Portugal for teenagers

If you’re looking for an adventure vacation that will keep your teenagers entertained and active, Portugal is the perfect place to go. The country has stunningly beautiful beaches, mountains and countryside with plenty of activities to choose from. Adventure Holidays Portugal offers a wide range of thrilling activities such as … Read the full article here
a teenagers exploring Scotland

12 exciting teens adventure activities in Scotland

If you are looking for a teens adventure, then Scotland is a great place to be. There are plenty of activities that will give you a thrill and adrenaline rush. If you are looking for something fast-paced, you can try out zip-lining, quad biking or coasteering. If you want to … Read the full article here
teenagers having fun i madrid with pigeons

41 astounding things to do in Madrid with teenagers

Madrid is one of the best cities in Europe to visit with your teenager. It has a lot to offer and it’s perfect for teenagers who want to explore the world. If you’re looking for things to do in Madrid with teenagers, this article is just what you need. We … Read the full article here

41 amazing things to do in Edinburgh with teenagers

Edinburgh is a great destination for a family vacation, There are plenty of things to do and see in Edinburgh with teenagers. Edinburgh is home to many historical sites and museums, as well as a strong association with Hollywood blockbusters like Harry Potter and Outlander. There are plenty of things … Read the full article here

Author bio:

Father, husband, traveller, and chief destination manager here at Wyld Family Travel. When Mark is not talking about travel or planning travel you will find him working in disability support. Mark is a family travel advocate, having travelled to over 45 countries with his kids from 10 months old, through to their teenage years. You will find his work here and on other popular websites.

Having a beer in Pilsen Czech
Mark Wyld

Content Creator