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 practice 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 international locations of full-time worldwide journey, Turkey ranks in my prime 10 locations for solo feminine vacationers.

Right here’s why:

woman smiling cappadocia turkey

1. It’s Safer Than You Suppose.

A traveler is 8 occasions safer from violent crime in Turkey than within the U.S., even in large 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 road crime right here. 

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

These widespread ‘warnings’ are discriminatory, inaccurate, and may forestall you from experiencing among the greatest hospitality on the earth. 

woman in istanbul

I’ve felt safer strolling down the road alone in Turkey day or evening than in Italy, Spain, or Greece. There have been precisely two gentle road 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.

In fact, vacationers ought to take affordable security precautions in every single 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 resorts
  • Visiting sure components 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 evening and feeling uncertain or unsafe for no matter purpose, the abundance of mosques in Turkey give you a tremendous protected haven. 

Many giant mosques stay open via the evening. So long as you’re dressed modestly, take away your sneakers, and have a shawl useful, you’ll be able to respectfully duck into one in every 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 companies. However for these all-too-familiar grey zone conditions that merely give solo feminine vacationers a nasty intestine feeling, it’s good to know that you’ve got 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 provided a heat welcome tea in every single place they go. 

The gorgeous factor about Turkey is that this nation embraces each tea and occasional. No have to 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 sort of traveler.

woman drinking turkish tea in cafe

4. Multicultural Turkish Cities Provide A Secure Method 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 interesting alternative to strive Syrian meals, have conversations with Syrian refugees and immigrants, and be taught extra concerning the Syrian diaspora. 

Advisable actions embody:

syrian food fattet hummus

There are about 4 million Syrians dwelling in Turkey, creating a tremendous multicultural alternative for vacationers. Nonetheless, it’s necessary 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’ slightly than an understanding of creating a observe of dwelling collectively,” defined a study from UNHCR.

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

Strive to not let this stress forestall 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 understand simply how large Turkey is. With almost 800 sq. kilometers of historic cities, surreal moonscapes, and extra seashores than you might rely, this nation has a lot extra to supply than its widespread capital Istanbul. 

Nice locations for solo feminine vacationers embody:

  • 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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