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Single Female traveller in Istanbul

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Single Female traveller in Istanbul

Hi there,

I was just wondering. I am considering travelling on my own. Will I experience any trouble if I travel through Istanbul, or Turkey for that matter?

And if I do, will it just be the hassling kind?

And this might sound silly but does appearance also make a difference in terms of the attention you may receive? e.g. blonde hair, or asian features?

I am keen to understand if it is safe to come here on my own.

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

Pretoria, South...
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11. Re: Single Female traveller in Istanbul

I also just returned from Istanbul as single female traveller, being there for business. Perhaps my age (40+) prevented the "butt swiping" described above , but I did find that men would try to talk to me or looked at me. However, never did I feel threatened or uncomfortable, even when walking back to where I stayed after midnight. I was able to dine with colleagues most evenings, but had one evening on my own. I took my time to find a restaurant where I would feel confortable . Even while walking through the busy restaurant streets with lost of men hanging around, I felt OK as I just ignored the touts. I finally found a place with a dining room ion the second floor, where it was fine to eat alone.

Single female travellers can enjoy Istanbul. Just be sensible and do not come across as too friendly. I am definitely going back, but this time with my husband because I would love to share this magical place with him!

Desborough, United...
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12. Re: Single Female traveller in Istanbul

I have taken a few single trips to Istanbul and never once did I feel threatened or uncomfortable-which is more than I can say for the UK!! I do not agree that you have to cover up to any great extent just dress according to the place and occassion,as you would at home.Don't forget to go to a Hammam while you are there.The get on-get off busses are a great way to see the areas and very easy and convenient to use.Also buy yourself a ferry ticket to go up the Bosphorous,I saw dolphins last time I went on it.

Above all,remember to be polite,even if shopkeepers etc.hassle you.A smile and a "no thank you" as does"I've already eaten thank you"(even if you haven't) works wonders.Go and enjoy!

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13. Re: Single Female traveller in Istanbul

To all the solo female travelers who mentioned they are planning on being in Istanbul in September,

I too am a solo female traveler. I have been in Istanbul for a week and will be here solo until September 12th, 2011. Send me a message via tripadvisor if you may want to meet up. I have done all of the touristy things to do in Istanbul but it would be nice to have another English speaking female with whom to explore restaurants and nightlife.

New York City, New...
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14. Re: Single Female traveller in Istanbul

Great information, I'll be joining the solo female traveler in Istanbul group in a month. Any hotel/neighborhood recommendations?

Cincinnati, Ohio
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15. Re: Single Female traveller in Istanbul

Certainly most first-time visitors interested in the historical sites would stay in the Sultanahmet or nearby Sirkeci areas because so many of the places you would be planning to visit are concentrated around Sultanahmet Square.

Houston, Texas
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16. Re: Single Female traveller in Istanbul

Hi Jam -

I was solo traveler in May of this year. Not only did I not experience any trouble or harassment (except for a bit of flattering flirting), I was overwhelmed by the hospitality of anyone I encountered.

In fact, I will be going back the first week in December. I would recommend highly the Erboy Hotel. It is but a mere block from a tram stop that can get you to any of the historic sights within minutes. A fabulous walk as well. Check out the reviews of this hotel and be assured that there is no embellishment there. The staff is wonderful and service impeccable. All at a fair price.

This is in Sultanahmet - District of the historical peninsula. A must for first-timers.

Easy access to Taksim Square - heart of Istanbul's New District - cosmopolitan pedestrian-only area with much shopping, eateries, bars and people!

Have a great time.

Bromley, Kent
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17. Re: Single Female traveller in Istanbul

Just back from a whirlwind tour of Ankara, Goreme, Pamukkale Selcuk and Istanbul - and each place had its own approach to solo women that was quite consistent. Despite my negative experience going solo that wont stop me travelling in Istanbul, I would just give Sultanahmet a wide berth!

I dont believe that Turkish men have a different view of harassment to ours in the west; just consider if they would be upset if a strange man was to inappropriately touch a woman they accompanied. But it is different to what I would accept in London.

I am in my late forties, dressed in t-shirt and jeans and with a no nonsense fast paced walk and walked away from any area which appeared empty at dusk. Yet I couldn't linger as I would be subject to a barrage of nonsense, which I learnt to tune out. I was never touched inappropriately however. I had learnt a few choice phrases of Turkish should that happen, but who knows if in the heat of the moment I would have implemented my plan.

In Ankara there was no calling out, demanding my origin or name, no approach at all, and anytime I asked for help it was immediately offered. I found Ankara the most relaxing place to enjoy my surroundings for this reason.

Pamukkale and Istanbul Sultanahmet district win the prize for the most obnoxious persistent men, all of whom earnt the accolade by following me down the street repeating questions and wondering aloud why I would not answer. It usually led to me temporarily abandoning my planned excursion to shake them off, but rolling my eyes only encouraged them.

I believe they are paid to draw solo travellers to the restaurant, leather factory or carpet shop they are talking about, and as soon as you respond they start to work on you seriously. One of them would not leave me alone just talking at me about a restaurant we had passed the entire length of the tram track so I turned to him and said ok lets go back. I sat in the restaurant until he had left then left without eating there.

One other option if my turkish was better would be to approach a police van, of which in Sultanahmet there were many in evidence. But as I said I did not feel in danger of anything except being bored to death.

On the positive side whenever I sought help from taxi drivers, people sitting on their doorsteps or aat their stalls, everyone was unfailingly kind and genuinely helpful. They tried their best to understand what I needed and directions if offered could be relied on. I enjoyed an invitation into a small mosque in the Pera district and appreciated it very much.

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18. Re: Single Female traveller in Istanbul

Thank you Patricia for your post. I agree Ankara is a very relaxing place. It’s my second home due to the fact that my grandmother is Turkish from there. I always encourage people to visit Ankara for a day or two to see the central of Anatolian region.

In Istanbul I always advise my friends who are visiting Istanbul for the first time to stick to well-known places and avoid going out alone late at night. By being careful , No one of them had a bad experience and all of them keep going back again and again.

Bromley, Kent
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19. Re: Single Female traveller in Istanbul

Hi dandon

I will write a tripreport this week, and what a lovely surprise Ankara has been!

I stayed in the old city and took taxis to get around. It must be lovely to have family there.

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20. Re: Single Female traveller in Istanbul

Patricia and Dandon, your comments remind me of the very lovely trip I and DE Busy-retired made to Ankara. Here are the details: "tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k3265…". For anyone who spends more than a week in Turkey, ı highly recommend a visit to Ankara.