In an effort to get visitors closer and educate them about the mysteries of the seas and their importance to human life, two major aquariums have been inaugurated in Istanbul, Turkuazoo and Istanbul Akvaryum.
Turkuazoo is located in the biggest shopping center in Europe, Forum Istanbul, and was the first of its kind to be opened in the city in 2009. With 43 exhibits divided according to different environments such as Deep Mediterranean, Docks and Piers, The Great Barrier and Dangerous Sea Creatures, the aquarium holds up to 10,000 sea creatures in total. The highlight of the aquarium, however, is the biggest underwater tunnel in Europe. This is probably as close as you will ever get to some of the most magnificent creatures of the world. Massive tiger sharks, nurse sharks, guitar sharks, zebra sharks, white tip and black tip sharks and giant stingrays, all swim around an incredible 270 degree view provided by the tunnel. Forum İstanbul Avm No:5/5 Kocatepe Mahallesi Paşa Caddesi Bayrampaşa; P: (0212) 640 2740
If you want to recreate some of the beauty and serenity of the Istanbul Aquariums in your own home, check out Waterlife in Ümraniye where all kinds of fresh water fish and necessary equipment as well as set-up and cleaning services are available.
The Istanbul Aquarium is an impressive two-story 22,000 square meter building standing by the Marmara shore of Florya, Inaugurated in July 2011, Istanbul Akvaryum is designed as an interactive self guided excursion through 64 aquarium tanks, with more than 1,500 species of land and sea creatures, along a 1.2 km special themed environment tour. This tour intends to simulate a long journey of a ship (or rather a submarine) that starts in the coastal waters of the Turkish Black Sea and finishes in the Amazon Rainforest with interactive computers and informative panels in both Turkish and English. The tour also includes both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, a small detour to the Arctic and the Red Sea and a recreation of deep-water exploration aboard Jules Verne’s fantastic submarine, The Nautilus. The highlight of the tour is the Amazon Rainforest recreation with an array of native species like the Yellow Anacondas, Dwarf Caymans and deadly Piranhas. Şenlikköy Mahallesi Yeşilköy Halkalı Cad. No:93, Florya; P: (0216) 326 4614