TPJThemeParkJames

İsfanbul

Istanbul, Turkey

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

Opened29 May 2013
OwnerGürsoy Group
Websitewww.isfanbul.com
NearbyFunLab (4 miles)
MOİPark (6 miles)
Bostanci Lunapark (12 miles)
Via/Crazy Park (23 miles)
ViaSea (27 miles)
Isfanbul's castle entrance

Isfanbul's castle entrance

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.

The park's hillside location offers views over Istanbul

The park's hillside location offers views over Istanbul

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.

Isfanbul features some beautiful theming

Isfanbul features some beautiful theming

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.

Attractions

Adalet Kulesi

Adalet Kulesi

Drop tower

Çilgin Nehir

Çilgin Nehir

Whitewater rapids

King Kong

King Kong

King Kong swings a tram car through the sky

Küçük Madenciler

Küçük Madenciler

Family rollercoaster

Saray Salıncağı

Saray Salıncağı

Wave swinger

Atli Karinca

Atli Karinca

Double decker carousel

Train

Train

Road train to take guests up Isfanbul's steep hill

Jungle Istanbul - Zindan

Jungle Istanbul - Zindan

Dungeon themed horror dark ride

Jungle Istanbul - Safari

Jungle Istanbul - Safari

Interactive dark ride

Jungle Istanbul - Jungle Park

Jungle Istanbul - Jungle Park

Indoor animal exhibit