Travel Solo Through Istanbul

Travel Solo Through Istanbul

Written By: Merci

Istanbul has gone through numerous name changes and identities throughout its thousands of years -- and once you set foot in the city, all of that history and beauty is evident everywhere you look. Located on the Bosporus River, Istanbul has been a fascinating city for me and my family and I have been mesmerized with it since I first visited as a young child.

There is so much beauty to appreciate in the city -- the architecture alone is enough to draw travelers from around the world. Add in food and culture and you have a destination that is often unmatched to anywhere else in the world. As a young woman traveling to Istanbul alone, there were a few security measures I needed to take to ensure that I would have a safe trip. I want to provide you some tips, especially if you plan on traveling alone that will help ensure your visit to Istanbul is memorable for all of the right reasons.

As is the case when traveling anywhere solo, you’ll want to take necessary precautions in order to stay away from dangerous situations or questionable people. Even though Istanbul is often seen in a dangerous light, there are countless places around the world that are equally as dangerous -- I don’t want you crossing Istanbul off of your list because you’re afraid to visit this magnificent city. Here are my tips for enjoying and exploring this wonderful destination depending on your needs.


DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO STAY

There are a variety of accommodations for you to choose from throughout Istanbul, but it often depends on what you’re looking to do while you’re there. For some travelers, especially those on a budget, a hostel type accommodation is suitable, but I recommend you choosing a female-only dorm whenever possible to add a more safety if you’re traveling alone.

There’s a little bit of everything in Istanbul, so choose your accommodations accordingly. If you’re looking for a nightlife-central hotel or hostel, you’re better off looking in areas like Galata or the Golden Horn. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy more of the history and culture of Istanbul, you’ll definitely want to stay in the more historic part of the city, particularly the Sultanahmet area. No matter what you like to do while you’re on holiday, Istanbul has an amazing mix of modern and historical things to see and do you so there’s plenty of options.


CHECK OUT THE ARCHITECTURE!

As I mentioned earlier, the architecture and cultural elements featured throughout Istanbul are truly marvelous. Since the city is thousands of years old, anywhere you look you’ll find different influences and architectural styles to enjoy. For example, check out the Hagia Sofia, which is over 1,000 years old and from the Byzantine era to the Galata Tower, which features more of a Romanesque influence.

Istanbul, though completely filled with beautiful and breathtaking architecture and history, also features its fair share of beautiful outdoor markets and gardens. One of my favorite parks to visit is Sultanahmet Park, which features a beautiful tulip bloom season between March all the way through May. Most people don’t know that the tulip originated in Istanbul, which makes it even more special to see the vast number of blooms in the city if you happen to visit during springtime. For those who are especially into religious or historical art, be sure to visit many of the churches in the area -- these structures often feature beautifully created mosaics or painted frescoes that truly allow you to take a step back in time.


ENJOY A WALKING TOUR

One of the best ways to see a city, especially when traveling alone and looking for an added element of safety, is to sign up for a walking tour. These tours typically take you to some of the most notable points of interest and of course traveling in groups is always a safe way to go. Those who are also limited on time will find that tours are highly efficient and affordable, which is perfect when you have a lot that you want to see and you don’t have much time to spend. Many of the tours include trips through the Grand Bazaar or Blue Mosque, but there are also river cruises that give you amazing views of the city skyline.

Public transportation is also an easy way to get around if you’re short on time or don’t want to walk -- one word of advice is to carry smaller bills in the local currency so that you can pay taxis exact change. This will help cut down on negotiated fares or taxi drivers who potentially want to shortchange you.  

Related Links
Countries: Turkey
Cities: Istanbul
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