Solo Female Travel in Istanbul

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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Is Istanbul good for solo travel?

Safety:

Safety:Safe

Istanbul is generally safe for solo female travelers with some caution required. Although crime rate is relatively low, it is advisable to stay vigilant especially in crowded tourist areas due to occasional pickpocketing and scam incidents. It's also important to respect the local customs and dress modestly to prevent unwanted attention. Stick to well-lit areas at night and always inform reliable contacts about your whereabouts.
Transport:

Transport:Moderate

Istanbul is a sprawling city that merges the charm of the old world and contemporary amenities. With its quite compact and walkable tourist areas, you can easily explore places like Sultanahmet. However, the city's sheer size and sometimes chaotic traffic can pose a bit of a challenge. Navigating through the network of buses, trams, metro, and ferries can also be somewhat daunting for first-time visitors. Though, with a bit of preparation, language apps, and good offline maps, you should find your way around smoothly.
Things to do:

Things to do:Interesting

Istanbul presents a fascinating blend of East and West, providing an array of activities and attractions. The city's rich history has given it numerous historical landmarks like Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace that enchant history enthusiasts. Food lovers could find a paradise in its vibrant local markets and food stalls selling everything from Turkish delight to kebabs. Art and culture are richly represented in its bustling arts scene, which includes galleries and museums such as Istanbul Modern and the Pera Museum. Shoppers can lose themselves in the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar. However, getting around may be a challenge due to traffic and crowded public transport.
Food:

Food:Excellent

Istanbul boasts an exceptionally diverse and exciting culinary scene. From the widely renowned savoury kebabs and fresh delicious meze dishes to the lovely sweet pastries like baklava and kunefe, the variety is truly astonishing. The city offers you a wide range of tastes from different regions of the country, as well as some exquisite fusion food with international influences. The freshness and quality of their ingredients, especially the fruits, veggies and fish, are top notch. Healthy eating is easily achievable with the variety of salad and vegetable-based dishes. On the other hand, for the sweet tooth there are many delightful dessert choices. You can also find an array of local beverages including Ayran, Raki, and traditional Turkish tea that complements the meal perfectly.
Budget:

Budget:Affordable

Istanbul offers a wide range of options for all budgets. Street food like kebabs and baklava are delicious and very affordable, while public transportation is also cheap. Accommodations can range from budget hostels to luxury hotels. Entrance fees to major attractions can add up, but many sites are free. The biggest expense might come from shopping at the irresistible markets and boutiques.

Is Istanbul worth visiting?

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 72 experiences

Things to do

4.7/5

Safety

4.1/5

Food

4.6/5

Budget-friendly

4/5
Celine

Celine

Spain

Solo travel experience

Istanbul was a dream coming true for me Every day was a blast I felt super safe as a solo traveler and stayed in a pension in kadiköy Istanbul is expensive but I could eat for 7 euros in local restaurants

Posted: July 10, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 5/5
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Sarra

Sarra

Tunisia

Solo travel experience

Hey ladies! I’ve been to turkey 4 times and I highly recommend, it is safe for travelers, tamales specifically. The food was amazing specially Kofte and iskander , am a huge fan ahah Transport is well organised and safe also

Posted: July 4, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 2/5Safety: 5/5
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Bella

Bella

United States

Group travel experience

Would absolutely recommend Istanbul as a destination to explore!! The only thing I would recommend is having a local and/or someone with you who can speak Turkish - you can get around fine without, but we were able to have a bit of a more “authentic” experience, especially when going out to eat.

Posted: July 2, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 4/5
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Couple travel experience

I was really disappointed in this city. It was so extremely touristy, everything felt like a scam, and it was so incredibly crowded. I thought this city would be magical and I had a really bad experience overall. I would recommend to skip the European side and stick to the Asian side! The prices are much better and it has a much more authentic feel to it.

Posted: June 27, 2024
Things to do: 2/5Food: 3/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 5/5
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Leah

Leah (33)

United States

Solo travel experience

It was my first time to Istanbul and it was absolutely gorgeous. People were wonderful but you will definitely get cat called a lot. Food was fabulous but always check the price when in tourist areas. I recommend using Get Your Guide for some skip the line & audio guide options. The Basilica Cistern is a must and make sure you check the mosque prayer times to plan your visit. I always recommend getting places early. For off the beaten path check out the Little Hagia Sophia.

Posted: June 27, 2024Experienced: May, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 4/5
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Solo travel experience

I visited Istanbul for the first time after experienced the Sochi Olympics 2014. It was the cheapest flight out from Russia at the time. It was a nice surprise to find out there was this country hidden for me but at the same time so close to my heart. I stayed for 7 days and 6 months later I moved there to live for 7 years. Is safe enough if you know how to say - defol- to men who literally harras you on the streets. Is a safe place if you don't mention you are a Christian woman. Is safe if you stay away from their religion. When you are a tourist you are very welcome. But when you live there most of them turn their back to you. Is not safe if you live there and you plan to stay there. Few people would stay close to you once you stay there longer than a visit. Overall experience is good but is not healthy for your heart.

Posted: June 22, 2024Experienced: March, 2014
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 3/5
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Solo travel experience

Istanbul Even though my family was so scared for me since i was traveling there alone i never felt unsafe. It’s my favorite city that i’ve visited so far and it has a peace of my heart still there. I can’t wait to go there again!

Posted: June 22, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 4/5
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Solo travel experience

As a woman traveling solo, I found the city remarkably safe and welcoming.Istanbul provided a secure environment throughout my visit. From exploring historical sites like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque to navigating bustling markets, tasting the most delicious cuisine: lahmaacun, pide, kebab, balık ekmek... I felt comfortable and respected.I advise against purchasing pre-packaged baklava and spices from touristy areas. Opting for freshly weighed baklava. For gifts, consider planners, calendars, mugs, tote bags with local inspirations, spinning bulbs, Turkish delight, tea sets, and traditional hats for unique souvenirs that capture Istanbul's charm and culture.

Posted: June 20, 2024Experienced: November, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 2/5Safety: 5/5
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Group travel experience

- first things first, we stayed at Airbnb , the host was an amazing person. It was our first time traveling and he was very fun and welcoming person. - i honestly felt safe around the city, we stayed at Besiktas and it was very good , we had very cheap shops around us. - remember, food portions are huge in Istanbul and always try to share 💖

Posted: June 14, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 4/5
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Solo travel experience

My experience in istanbul was very good , i went to asian side , it was safe , food is amazing, transportation is easy by taxi i use apps for taxi , always payment by card , shopping is amazing also , for 4 days it cost me 800 - 1200 dollar as mid cost without flying ticket , I recommend it

Posted: June 10, 2024Experienced: June, 2024
Things to do: 3/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 5/5
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Is Istanbul safe for women?

Safety rating

3.2 /5

Based on 49 experiences

Crime rates rating

2.2 /5

Based on 49 experiences

As a young adult woman in İstanbul, your point of view will change according to where you are in İstanbul. So if you want more open minded people, you should go to Caddebostan, Nişantaşı. Because this places are decent. And avoid to go Ümraniye, Unkapanı, Bağcılar.

Posted: July 14, 2024
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In the areas that are defined touristic you don’t need to worry about as a female but apart those places it’s not feeling the safest to wonder around as a female. Especially after the uncontrolled migration of the male population from Middle East. It used to be way safer that you could walk around as a teenager without any worries any time of the day. So stay in safe areas for not being worried, enjoy your travel ladies 🌸

Posted: July 9, 2024
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Meet locals in Istanbul

Meet local women in Istanbul who are open to meet up for a coffee or a drink, show you around, give local advice or practice a language with.
Ayşenur

Ayşenur

About Me

Hii ı am ayşenur,ı am erasmus student in ljubjlana.I would like to know different persons and to travel some places🌝

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Eda

Eda

About Me

I am an academic who lives and works in Turkey. I love travelling and see new cities, countries and meet local people to learn more about culture. I have lived abroad for around 10 years, hosted many international visitors during that time. By hosting visitors, I met lots of nice people with whom I am still in touch with some of them.

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Local tips

Ece

Ece

Turkey

Get an Istanbulcard to travel and try to use public transportation as much as possible. Keep in mind that metro lines stop around midnight, except for Friday and Saturday night (They are less frequent but still run through the night). Metrobüs which crosses to Kadikoy runs all night every night, but try to avoid it during rush hour. Definitely take a ferry to cross to Kadiköy and try food at Çiya. Get the mussels from an actual booth and not from street sellers. Try local craft beer at Muhit. Or enjoy cocktails and music at Arkaoda. For Beyoğlu: Ziba, Urban and Sendika. For Jazz: Bova, Nardis. Definitely go to Topkapi Palace’s Harem section it’s definitely worth the extra money. If you don’t have the time you can skip Dolmabahce Palace if you’ve been to many European palaces already. But Topkapi is a must.

Posted: June 25, 2024
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Istanbul is a very crowded city. It's not very safe for a woman at night. You must have someone with you who knows Istanbul. There are many ways to travel in Istanbul. You can use Marmaray or metro. You can find many cultural activities. It also hosts many tourists with its rich historical structure.

Posted: April 11, 2024
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Istanbul is generally safe, but some regions can be dangerous. Some local restaurants aim to earn too much money from tourists, and taxi drivers also try to do the same. Travellers should use public transportation and they should not prefer small restaurants for dining. Instead, they can opt for chain restaurants.

Posted: March 11, 2024
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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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Stay with locals in Istanbul

Stay with local women in Istanbul who offer free accommodation as part of cultural exchange. Couch surfing is a great way to meet new people, learn more about new cultures and experience destinations like a local.
Elif

Elif

Istanbul

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Psychologist & Traveler & Digital Nomad

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Upcoming visitors to Istanbul

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Aubrey

Aubrey

About Me

Hi! I’m Aubrey, I’m a social worker in the Midwestern US. When travelling, I love sampling local coffee and tea, hiking, and touring religious sites like cathedrals and mosques.

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