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Safety and communication

Watford, UK
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398 posts
3 reviews
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Safety and communication

I am thinking about backpacking to Istanbul in early September, and need to know a few things first.

* What kind of weather do they have at that time of year?

* How easy/hard is it to communicate with people there (I am always up for learning useful phrases, and making an effort in another language, but I'm no native speaker of Turkish)

* Is it safe for lone travellers? Are there any specific risks or should I just do the 'normal' big city precautions? (I will probably be staying in a hostel, and making friends there)

Thanks a lot for your replies.

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1. Re: Safety and communication

Hi Global Geezer: first of all Istanbul is safe for the lone male/female traveler, just use the normal caution you would use in any foreign city or your own city for that matter. For males it is important to avoid high price drink scams. This has happened to unwary travelers in Taxim. You are approached, especially if you are a man alone and and the guy will want to take you to a "special club" with drinks, ladies, etc. ALWAYS REFUSE, this inevitably results in you being handed a bill for hundreds of dollars, euros. People have been followed to cash machines. This scam is prevelant in a lot cities all over the world. My sons fell victim to it in Rome one year. Ladies should not go off with men of any nationality, should watch their drinks in bars and clubs at all times and take taxis when returning to hotels late at night and leave jewelry at home. You can buy inexpensive nice jewelry in Istanbul and wear it out.

Weather is nice in September, hot days, cool nights, drink bottled water and take along sunscreen. It gets humid too.

Most everyone speaks some English. But it is nice to speak a few words of Turkish. Turkey Travel Planner turkeytravelplanner.com has a list of helpful phrases. Don't worry you will find the people of Istanbul very friendly and welcoming no matter what language you speak.

I don't know a lot about hostels but the Stone House in Sultanahmet is good. I've visited there and it is clean. Check out others before you go. Glad you are coming to my favorite city. Happy Travel, LemonLady

Check out our thread Frequently Asked Questions and our Restaurant Picks permanent thread on top of the forum homepage. Food is inexpensive and very good. You'll enjoy it.

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2. Re: Safety and communication

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Removed on: 03 April 2007, 19:21