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The Istanbul Toy Museum

entrance of İstanbul Toy Museum

İstanbul Toy museum was founded by Turkish famous poet Sunay Akın in April 23rd, 2005. This museum houses favourite examples of the toy history from 1700's till now.  The exhibition is held at a historic mansion located in Göztepe  which is a very well known town of Istanbul.

Sunay Akın, the former of the museum, had visited the auctions and antique shops from many other countries and purchased these old toys. The old mansions each room has been decorated for a thema and they exhibit the toys according to the time. The first step of human on the earth was an era for the World. So here you can find the toys produced at that time and how children played. This decorative narration is very useful as our children can define how the mood of children in those days.
The decorator artist of the museum is very well known design artist named Ayhan Doğan, so here I would like to thank him for his great understanding the history of toys even before he was born ;)
The museum stands as an only one example on the world for it is been founded by a poet and decorated by a theatre show designer.

section of castle and soldiers

My kids were wondering the toys of my childhood, so was I ;) I invited my mom to tour visit of the museum. So we all three generations headed towards to see the unforgettable memories.

section of shadow game characters

We bought our tickets , mom, me and my two little kids stepped right into my childhood.
Woow at the entrance I saw  "Karagöz and Hacivat". The funniest two characters of Turkish shadow play. Karagöz means the one with the black eyes and always wears red clothes. He represent the illitereate but straightforward from public. Hacivat, the name means "the pilgrim Ivat", is the other leading character represents the educated class and  speaks in a poetical way. He always wears green clothes.
The central theme of the play is the contrast between these two characters, therefore children and of course adults are always having fun with their interraction of misunderstandings during play.  The shadow play had became popularized in Ottoman time and still is well known and played during the Ramadan month of Muslims.
Mom told to kids the story of my brother of how he used to play the "Karagöz & Hacivat" and earned money from me and my cousins ;))

If you are wondering how the play is, link to this adress please:

The museum exhibits the toys at three different storeys. So we headed upstairs to visit each theme of toy history as my mom and I were telling the stories from our chilhoods.
There were doll houses from 1800's, in other section we saw the planes, trains and cars, in another the toys from star wars, the toy time of soldiers and castles and many more...
I found some of my toys that I used to play alot. I told my stories of how I used to make houses with my "Noppers" and place the dolls and cars to create the city of my dreams. My kids listened eagerly and understood those times.

The museum is also a theatre place and activity place for children . There are acts for children above age of three. Also at the cafe there is a big section for children where they can color their own wooden toys.

some of toys from my childhood exhibited

doll house section

Hereby you will find my notes of a mom's sightsee to visit this museum;

  • The museum is at Anatolian side of Istanbul.
  • You cannot visit each story with the baby strollers, as the museum exhibits at an old Turkish mansion. So you can either leave the stroller at the entrance of the museum or just carry it through the floors as well as with your baby.
  • There is no nursery room for the babies, however you can manage every thing at the cafe section ;)
  • The cafe is very vintage. After you finish the visit of museum, you can have coffee and some little desserts and relax. 

a part of cafe

  • I suggest you to ask the ticket officer the activity time of coloring the wooden toys for children. They will love it as is going to be a memoir for them.
  • If you want to see the plays at the toy museum, please make a reservation before you go or ask to ticket officer at your arrival time. Please note that all the acts are in Turkish except the pantomime play called the "The Journey of Red Nose". This will be a good activity for you and for your children since children are also taking part in this "mim play". I suugest you to have this opportunity to see the interraction of your child with Turkish children and a touch to Turkish culture. Below you can find the phone for reservation for the play or ask at your visiting time. Mostly the plays are held at weekends. In Turkish it is called "Kırmızı Burnun Yolculuğu". However do not worry as most of Turkish people will understand English and will help you a lot.

a scene from the theatre named The Journey of Red Nose

  • There is a parking lot nearby the museum for at least ten cars. You can also park on the other streets as well.
  • I suggest you to use navigation for the address, since the museum stated at a very complicated area of Istanbul..
  • Mom's with toddlers, be sure to have their food with you, since there is no menu for them.
  • Menu consists of hamburgers, cold sandwiches, toasts, hot/cold beverages and some desserts. Please taste pinky basier/ meringue :)
  • The restrooms are at the ground floor where you will find through a decoration of submarines.

children's activity area
Entrance fees and visiting hours

Mondays closed.

Tuesday- Friday: 09.00- 18.00
Saturday- Sunday: 09.00- 19.00

Adult: 10 TL
Children: 7 TL
Theatre fees: 25 TL (including entrance fee of the museum)

right at my heart from my childhood ;)


By Private vehicle:

Drive through E-80 highway on the direction from European to Anatolian side of Istanbul, till you find the "Göztepe" signs. From there drive on the very famous line of minibuses avenue at "Göztepe" till you see the signs of "Istanbul Oyuncak Müzesi". Do follow these signs and you will find the old mansion where you will find easily as you will notice the two giant statues of  giraffes.

By Public Transportation:

There are bus stations at "Kadıköy" and "Göztepe".

Take these lines of the numbers below:

10, 10B, 10S, 14Ç, 14KS, 17, 17L, 19F, 19M, GZ1, GZ2, ER1, ER2.

The museum is at a complicated spot even for a local, so please use your navigator to find the address.

Adress: Ömerpaşa caddesi
              Dr. Zeki Eren Sokak.
              No: 15 Göztepe/ İstanbul

English version of address: Ömerpaşa Avenue
                                             Dr. Zeki Eren Street
                                             No: 15  Göztepe town

Phone: +90 216 359 4550- 51

Please find the map here.

wooden toys are waiting to be colored

children are visiting the cafe

Hope you'll visit İstanbul Toy Museum on your Istanbul tour and find the chance of sharing your best memories with your kids ;))


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