5 Important Things I Learned As A Solo Female Traveler In Turkey

5 Important Things I Learned As A Solo Female Traveler In Turkey


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I had a crush on Turkey from the second I arrived bleary-eyed on the in a single day prepare from Bulgaria. A couple of hours later, I’d completed my first Turkish breakfast, and rapidly realized I used to be in love.

After 5 years and 40 nations of full-time worldwide journey, Turkey ranks in my high 10 locations for solo feminine vacationers.

Right here’s why:

woman smiling cappadocia turkey

1. It’s Safer Than You Assume.

A traveler is 8 instances safer from violent crime in Turkey than within the U.S., even in massive cities like Istanbul and Izmir. 

Based mostly on my private expertise touring throughout Turkey, I’d say you’re extra at risk from kofte kebab meals coma or kitten cuteness publicity than any avenue crime right here. 

Earlier than coming to Turkey, I’d been cautioned time and time once more with imprecise fear-mongering: “You already know what they are saying about Turkish males.” Let me let you know: nothing may have been farther from the reality. 

These widespread ‘warnings’ are discriminatory, inaccurate, and would possibly stop you from experiencing a few of the greatest hospitality on this planet. 

woman in istanbul

I’ve felt safer strolling down the road alone in Turkey day or night time than in Italy, Spain, or Greece. There have been precisely two gentle avenue harassment incidents in my 5 months touring in Turkey over the previous yr – each by foreigners, with Turkish males who didn’t even know me stepping in to assist.

After all, vacationers ought to take cheap security precautions all over the place they go. The few issues I wouldn’t advise whereas touring in Turkey proper now are:

  • Visiting Istanbul’s Taksim space alone after 10 pm on weekends
  • Leaving your valuables susceptible to simple pickpocketing
  • Taking drinks from strangers in bars or golf equipment
  • Public shows of affection in LGBTQIA+ relationships exterior of main chain accommodations
  • Visiting sure elements of southeastern Turkey close to the Syrian border area (as a result of presence of terrorist teams and earthquake devastation)
woman in front of mosque in turkey

2. Girls Are Welcome And Protected In Turkish Mosques.

Should you do end up strolling alone at night time and feeling uncertain or unsafe for no matter cause, the abundance of mosques in Turkey give you a tremendous protected haven. 

Many giant mosques stay open via the night time. So long as you’re dressed modestly, take away your sneakers, and have a shawl helpful, you may respectfully duck into considered one of these well-lit homes of worship to make sure of your security at nearly any hour. 

To be clear: I don’t advocate treating a holy masjid as an alternative choice to a police station. Vacationers in apparent hazard ought to name emergency providers. However for these all-too-familiar grey zone conditions that merely give solo feminine vacationers a foul intestine feeling, it’s good to know that you’ve protected locations to show to with out ringing any alarm bells. 

woman in hagia sofia istanbul turkey mosque

3. You Don’t Want To Select Between Tea And Espresso.

It’s no shock that Turkey is a rustic of tea lovers. The common Turk drinks 1,300 cups of tea annually. Turkey is even house to a tea museum within the form of a 7-story tea glass within the ‘tea capital’ of Rize. It ought to then come as no shock that vacationers will discover themselves supplied a heat welcome tea all over the place they go. 

The gorgeous factor about Turkey is that this nation embraces each tea and occasional. No must take sides. Merely get pleasure from each! 

From iconic Turkish espresso in an Izmir antique shop to artisan roast flat whites in Moda’s plentiful third wave espresso outlets, there’s some java right here for each kind of traveler.

woman drinking turkish tea in cafe

4. Multicultural Turkish Cities Provide A Protected Means To Discover Syrian Tradition.

Whereas Syria isn’t a really useful vacation spot for solo feminine vacationers in the intervening time, multicultural cities in Turkey actually are. They provide a protected and engaging alternative to strive Syrian meals, have conversations with Syrian refugees and immigrants, and be taught extra concerning the Syrian diaspora. 

Really useful actions embrace:

syrian food fattet hummus

There are about 4 million Syrians residing in Turkey, creating a tremendous multicultural alternative for vacationers. Nonetheless, it’s essential to notice that many Turks will nonetheless make detrimental feedback to guests about Syrians of their nation. 

“Turkish society’s acceptance of Syrians has largely been reworked into ‘toleration’ reasonably than an understanding of creating a observe of residing collectively,” defined a study from UNHCR.

When touring in Istanbul, it’s possible you’ll hear locals let you know that Fatih, a predominantly Arab and Syrian neighborhood, is ‘not likely Turkey’ or isn’t ‘what it was.’ Some Turks will voice considerations about Syrians placing stress on social providers or job markets or bringing what they understand as an incompatibly conservative tradition to their metropolis.

Attempt to not let this stress stop you from having fun with two superb cultures in a single journey. 

Aerial view of antalya turkey

5. Turkey Is So A lot Extra Than Istanbul.

Many vacationers don’t notice simply how massive Turkey is. With almost 800 sq. kilometers of historic cities, surreal moonscapes, and extra seashores than you may rely, this nation has a lot extra to supply than its well-liked capital Istanbul. 

Nice locations for solo feminine vacationers embrace:

  • Bursa
  • Fethiye
  • Izmir
  • Bodrum
  • Kars
  • Antalya
  • Cappadocia
  • Pamukkale
  • Amasra
  • Gaziantep
  • Ankara
  • Mardin

Let the security and hospitality of Turkey encourage your subsequent nice solo journey!

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