One of Turkey’s largest theme parks, set on a steep hillside in Istanbul and featuring a number of well themed rides and other attractions
|Opened||29 May 2013|
|Nearby||FunLab (4 miles)|
MOİPark (6 miles)
Bostanci Lunapark (12 miles)
Via/Crazy Park (23 miles)
ViaSea (27 miles)
Isfanbul sits on a large hillside in the European part of Istanbul, as part of a huge entertainment complex comprising the theme park along with a massive shopping centre, restaurants, a show venue, cinema, fitness centre and hotel. The park was originally named Vialand when it was opened by Turkish PM Erdoğan in May 2013, but a change of ownership brought with it the new name Isfanbul in 2016.
Both the attractions and theming are high quality and easily comparable with some of the best parks in Europe. In particular, much of the park’s Ottoman style theming is beautifully done.
Being high up on a hill, Isfanbul’s largest rollercoaster Nefeskesen is visible from miles around. It is one of two Intamin Blitz coasters operating in Turkey. The other one is Red Fire at ViaSea, but with its superior layout and spectacular setting, Nefeskesen has the edge.
Another highlight is the park’s sprawling dark ride, Fatih’in Rüyasi (Fatih’s Dream), which has riders floating in a boat through the middle of the Conquest of Istanbul in 1453.
Elsewhere in the park is another indoor boat ride that shares more than a little in common with Disney’s It’s a Small World; a giant King Kong animatronic that turns what promises to be a gentle sit down in a tram car into something much more thrilling; and a strange simulator version of Thorpe Park’s Angry Birds 4D. The large Viking water ride in the centre of the park is likely to leave you soaked, while 360 will have you swinging through the sky looking at the park upside down from 100 feet above the ground.
Through Isfanbul’s impressive castle entrance and out into the accompanying shopping centre is Jungle Istanbul, a set of indoor animal themed attractions. Two of these – Safari and Zindan – are dark rides, while Jungle Park presents exotic live animals for visitors to view. While the rides are fun, the animal exhibit left me feeling uncomfortable about the cramped conditions that some of the animals were kept in.
With that as an exception, the rest of Isfanbul is a superb international-quality theme park with some great rides and attractions to experience. There’s enough at the park to occupy a good few hours if not an entire day with the rest of the entertainment and shopping complex to also explore.
King Kong swings a tram car through the sky
Double decker carousel
Road train to take guests up Isfanbul's steep hill
Dungeon themed horror dark ride
Interactive dark ride
Indoor animal exhibit