Is Istanbul Worth Visiting for Solo Female Travelers?

Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul, Turkey is a vibrant city steeped in history and culture. The city is famous for its stunning architecture, most notably the Hagia Sophia with its massive dome and stunning mosaics, and the Blue Mosque known for its beautiful blue Iznic tiles. The bustling Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets globally, offers a diverse array of goods from local artisans. Istanbul is also home to the impressive Topkapi Palace, once the main residence for Ottoman sultans, and its renowned cuisine, famous for its mouth-watering kebabs, sweet baklavas, and aromatic Turkish tea is a unique culinary treat for the taste buds.

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Travel experiences

Overall rating

4.7 /5

based on 52 experiences

Rating summary

Things to do

4.8/5

Safety

4.1/5

Food

4.7/5

Budget-friendly

4.4/5
Kristen

Kristen

Japan

Solo travel experience

I had a wonderful time in Istanbul, coming from Japan I had to keep in mind their idea of "space" is different and for them to be standing close to you is not seen as intimidating. I had one experience when an older man directly asked me for a blow job (of course he said it was a "joke" when I told him how inappropriate he was being) but there are rude men anywhere. Other than that, I felt generally safe and had an amazing time and loved the food especially. I highly recommend taking a food tour, that was one of my best memories of the trip.

Posted: January 26, 2024
Things to do: 4/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 3/5
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Letitia

Letitia (30)

United Kingdom

Solo travel experience

Lovely city to explore,great transport links and brilliant food. The city has so much to offer that you need a week just to explore the city as the Asian side is a bus and ferry ride away. Lots of places to eat and lots of cats.

Posted: January 9, 2024Experienced: August, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 4/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 4/5
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Asal

Asal

Lithuania

Solo travel experience

Amazing journey with my mom. Actually I was not using anything but the Google maps and roaming around the city . I used to study there so maybe that’s why I can easily create a tour in there . If you want to ask anything about the tour lemme know ) Write me on my instagram @_asulam_ Will be happy to help you

Posted: December 25, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Solo travel experience

Istanbul has a lot to offer. Galata Tower and Bridge, Colorful Stairs, Covered Bazaar, Balat, terrace-view restaurants, etc. I was personally enchanted and will definitely return there. Charming people, delicious food, beautiful views, and a great atmosphere. One of the best cities.

Posted: November 28, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Solo travel experience

In my opinion Istanbul is city of love. If you want to have a good experience with food and the view of every street of a city you should see Istanbul with your partner. People are so nice and accepting to foreign visitors. But i recommend you to visit with your friend or your partner because some areas of Istanbul can be dangerous at the night time.

Posted: November 1, 2023Experienced: August, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 2/5Safety: 4/5
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Solo travel experience

I had a really good time in Istanbul. I felt safe, but I was careful and I really didn't hang out with people I met randomly. I even walked alone at night and it was fine. It's a fun city, full of energy. I stayed in Kadikoy, which is on the Asian side and has a more hipster, youthful vibe. I loved it.

Posted: October 25, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Solo travel experience

I spent 2 weeks in Istanbul and ate some of the best meals of my life there. But I will never return there as a solo traveler. Harassment on the streets is unbelievable, and I had to change hotels due to harassment by the hotel staff. I felt much safer on the Asian side, I didn't even experience similar levels of problems there, and the atmosphere is much calmer than on the European side.

Posted: October 23, 2023
Things to do: 4/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 3/5
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Solo travel experience

Istanbul is a very safe city. I traveled around alone for 2 days, feeling very comfortable. I do not recommend driving due to heavy traffic. The Asian side is very nice, more local, with fewer tourists. I admired the beautiful sunsets with a view of the Bosphorus and the old (European) part of the city.

Posted: October 22, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Solo travel experience

I visited Istanbul alone in April. People were very helpful, especially women, they were kind. Most young people speak English. Most men wanted money or to take me to their carpet shop, so don't ask them. Some were nice, but it was hard to understand their intentions. I felt safe, but I maintained normal precautions during the trip. Public transport also seemed safe.

Posted: October 19, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 4/5
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Solo travel experience

I was recently alone in Istanbul and I was really afraid to go there because a few years ago I had a horrible experience in Morocco. I stayed in the tourist parts of the city, mainly in Sultanahmet and Galata, and did not experience any forms of sexual harassment. A couple of times I met too pushy sellers at the market, but that's not a big deal. Overall, I felt pretty safe. I dressed quite modestly: a long dress and cardigan, or a knee-length skirt and a shirt with short or long sleeves.

Posted: October 17, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 4/5
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Local tips

FEYZA

FEYZA

Poland

Istanbul is pretty crowded city and sometimes it can be dangerous you need to protect your bag in crowded areas. The transportation is really good here. There have lots of options and you can take it easily.

Posted: February 25, 2024
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I am Turkish and i was born and raised in Istanbul. I have always been interested in travelling since my childhood and my mother used to take me to historical and cultural tours in Istanbul. So I can definitely say that I’m an expert. To me Istanbul is the most beautiful place on earth for many reasons. First, you have to know about Istanbul’s history and geography. Istanbul has a population of near 20 millions and is the largest city in Türkiye and has been one of the most important cities ever since. It was the capital of Roman Empire and Ottoman Empire. Many nations, religions and cultures lived in Istanbul and currently living in Istanbul as well. For example Istanbul has many mosques, churches and synagogues. Istanbul’s neigborhoods differs from each other. Meanwhile Kadiköy is a very modern place, Eminönü is quite different from that. Istanbul is located in 2 continents -Europe and Asia- and you can change continents easily! You can cross the Bosphorus with one of 3 bridges, a tunnel, marmaray (a public transport like subway but it goes under the Bosphorus) and -the best one- ferries. Ferries are a big part of Istanbul’s public transport and can be used with a card called ‘Istanbulkart’. You can even use Mastercards at some public transports. An advice: Instead of paying a ton of money on private Bosphorus tours and crossings, use the public ones and you can check the routes online. These can be found on many docks. Just simply ask them but remember if you will purchase an Istanbulkart, you can’t buy them on docks. There are machines for that in subways and metrobuses. Remember one more thing: don’t use taxis in Istanbul. You will probably get scammed. I even got scammed a couple of times. Istanbul’s traffic is the worst and you will probably get to places more easily with public transports. You can use Uber if you want. You probably won’t get scammed. There are many places to go in Istanbul. You can check them on Yelp and basically in many websites. But if i have to recommend something, just walk on the coast. It’s the best in sunrise and sunset but i recommend go before sunset and walk a little in daylight then watch the sunset. Both Asia and Europe has splendid views. Especially walk somewhere between 1st and 2nd bridge. For example you can walk in Üsküdar, Kadıköy, Moda, Kuzguncuk etc. in Asia and Ortaköy, Bebek, Beşiktaş and Rumeli Hisarı (this is also kind of like castle). The coast is amazing and you can enjoy both the views and the smell of Bosphorus. Istanbul is a relatively safe place. Be careful in public transportation and don’t go remote places after dark if you are alone. You can go many nightclubs, pubs etc. but make sure you won’t go through somewhere remote and dangerous. I hope you’ll enjoy your time there!!!

Posted: February 7, 2024
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I love this city. It’s very big city. It’s have many historical places. You can visit many museums. You can find turkish cookery. All the food is delicious. Nightlife is colorful and funny. Be careful this city

Posted: February 4, 2024
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Basak

Basak

Turkey

Hello, I am Başak. I was born and raised in Türkiye and currently living in İstanbul for almost 5 years now.Unfortunately, from what I experienced for all my life, Turkey is not a safe place for woman at all compared to decent europian countries.Because crime rates (murdering,hijacking’s,verbal or physical assaults etc.)is very common in here especially If you are traveling alone as a woman.In the day time and in general,I strongly recommend you to travel touristic places because they are very safe for everyone including locals.But at nights you should be careful for your safety and prefer crowded areas.

Posted: January 24, 2024
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Sevcan

Sevcan

Turkey

Hello everyone, I have been living in Istanbul for 4 years now. I am a student living on the Anatolian side, so I will do my best to give you good advice:') If you are planning to see old mosques, churches or synagogues, I recommend Kadıköy and Üsküdar districts, which are on the Bosphorus line. These areas also fulfil your need for nature with their gardens. But it should be noted that this is a city with too many buildings. These areas also offer different country cuisines in terms of food. I recommend the small restaurants on the side streets for the most suitable places to eat. Especially when you get away from the crowd in Kadıköy and cross the Bull Statue, the tiny restaurants you find on the side streets can add new flavours to you. I would like to point out that most of the popular places with queues are pointless, they are not price/performance products. I recommend you to examine the street before deciding where to stay, most places have 2024 shots on Google maps. Unfortunately, the ?strange? neighbourhoods found in every district are also found here, examining the street can give you an idea. There are vehicles such as Uber, Tag, you can call them according to their scores through the application, you can also provide transportation with scooters and tiny motors that you will find everywhere. There are public transport cards, these are sold with the number of prints. It should not be forgotten that since the fares of the means of transport are different, the number rights also change. Currently in 2024, metro and bus 1, metrobus 2, marmaray 3-4 rights. I recommend that you should prefer more public transport and less vehicles that still work with money such as taxis, minibuses, yellowbuses. Since it is a crowded city, public transport is usually used with many people, I did not have any problems, but you can put important documents such as passports in your inner pockets. You can find metrobus every hour on weeknights, but the rest of the public transport ends at 00.00 and starts at 05.30. At the weekend the metro also leaves every hour. Not everyone from the local people may speak English, but I can say that we are a good country in terms of dealing with hand signs :D Since there are many people of different nationalities living in Kadıköy, there are English speaking cafes on some streets. Most workplaces may be closed on Sundays and Google maps may mislead you, pay attention to this. If you have a telephone line or WhatsApp application, you can reach the companies here and ask questions. If you have come here for a touristic trip, districts such as Kartal, Pendik or Tuzla will make you spend a lot of time on the road, as you will want to see more historical places and nightlife on the European side. But if you still want to stay there, I recommend you to go somewhere close to the metro line. Thank you so much for reading. I hope you're going to have a great trip<3

Posted: January 21, 2024
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Hello, I wanted to give advice for anyone who wants go stay in Istanbul:) First of all, the food is AMAZING here. You should definitely try our local goods like döner, baklava, ayran or even REALLY traditional ones like imambayıldı. For your stay and satisfaction, it would be best to visit İstanbul in spring or summer. The weather is beautiful, it's colorful outside and you can enjoy beach. Sometimes, it can be dangerous for women so I wouldn't advice to travel alone. It would be best for you if you have a friend with you.

Posted: January 13, 2024
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If you do not speak Turkish or do not know someone who does, stay in the tourist areas, otherwise it may be difficult. The average Turk knows little or no English. I strongly suggest learning a few basic phrases before visiting. Do not smile at strangers, especially men. Most men will take this as interest. Try to meet and walk at night with other women, this is a typical Turkish women's practice. Many men want to seduce foreign women, keep this in mind. Dress modestly to avoid attracting attention. I do not recommend using taxis if you do not speak Turkish. If you do, always sit in the back. Make sure you know the exchange rate of your currency to lira, so you can make conversions. Men will look at you. Many times. Just ignore them and go your own way.

Posted: October 21, 2023
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Istanbul is a very safe city. I often visit there and I truly love it. The people are kind and welcoming. When you are in Istanbul, especially in tourist places, you will be pestered by men trying to draw you into their stores or restaurants. This usually happens around Sultanahmet, on the lower level of the Galata Bridge where the restaurants are, and at the Grand Bazaar. I avoid these places for this reason. Taxi drivers will always try to scam you. Always make sure the meter is turned on. They will pretend that they forgot or don't understand you, but fortunately tourism is protected by the government, so if there are ever situations where the taxi driver doesn't turn on the meter or demands charges that you never agreed to, simply tell him that you will call the police, and they will support you. Public transport is also easy to use. Istanbul is very hilly, so make sure you have good shoes for walking. Be sure to visit Kadikoy on the Asian side. Cihangir and Çukurcuma are two of my favorite districts on the European side, where the residents live and spend time, it's not a typical tourist spot.

Posted: September 25, 2023
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Dünya

Dünya

Turkey

I live in Istanbul and I have to say that if you like to see historical details, here is an amazing city. You can see a lot of historical buildings, fountains, traditional arts at the same day. Locals and I are says that İstanbul like a toxic relationship, here is so crowded and expensive but we can't go to another city for the living. Because we love here.

Posted: September 25, 2023
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I lived in Istanbul for many years and it is a beautiful city with a rich cultural history. I recommend avoiding walking alone in side streets, watching your belongings in crowded places, and trying to avoid conversations with taxi drivers (show them the address or location on the map). Other than that, it is safe for women traveling alone.

Posted: August 16, 2023
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Meet locals in Istanbul

Sevcan

Sevcan

About Me

Hello, I'm Sevcan. I am a student in Istanbul. Although my life is stuck in the triangle of school-home-work, I try to be intertwined with nature every time I find. Although dog walking is an activity I enjoy, unfortunately I don't have a dog. But I have 2 cats, but it is more accurate to say that I have 2 children:D I have the habit of following artistic activities and examining everything I see in detail. I hope we can get along well, thank you for reading and have a good day.

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Gizem

Gizem

About Me

I am visiting Clermont-Ferrand for Clermont-Ferrand film festival. Then I will go to other countries

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Stay with locals in Istanbul

Meriç

Meriç

Istanbul

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hi, My name is Meriç and I'm interested in swimming, skiing, books, culture, dancing, education, food & cuisine, fashion, live music, running, shopping, cycling, health and nature

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Seda

Seda

Istanbul

Can host for:

3 days

About me

I live in Istanbul. I am 25 years old. I work at the airport and travel whenever I can. I visited 26 cities in Turkey. I'm here for more.

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Upcoming visitors to Istanbul

CocoMont

CocoMont

About Me

I am currently on sabbatical for six months. I’m visiting Eastern Europe with Interrail trains for 1 month before going to Turkey and Greece. I will end my trip in Italy in July. It is my first time traveling alone so I’m feeling excitation and fear at the same time!

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Travelpeacezb

Travelpeacezb

About Me

Friendly, cheerful and random! I love traveling around the world I would love to explore and make friends around the world. I’m a very easy going person, I like to discover the world, adventures, learning about cultures and meeting new people And I like being surrounded by positivity & good energy!☺️ I don’t drink and party so i’m looking for people that would have the same interests! or who can respect me and not forcing me to do. Please feel free to text me Amazing trip that i have done:- Solo traveling around india for 3 months Motorbiking around indochina (Cambodia, Vietnam, Loas, Thailand. Couchsurfing profile: (70 references) www.couchsurfing.com/travel.peace Fb Messenger: www.facebook.com/travelpeace.peace.9 Contact me if you we can hang out! My pleasure if you happy to host me.

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