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 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 huge cities like Istanbul and Izmir. 

Based mostly on my private expertise touring throughout Turkey, I’d say you’re extra in peril 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 imprecise fear-mongering: “ 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 among the finest 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 road harassment incidents in my 5 months touring in Turkey over the previous 12 months – 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 in all places 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 straightforward pickpocketing
  • Taking drinks from strangers in bars or golf equipment
  • Public shows of affection in LGBTQIA+ relationships outdoors of main chain motels
  • Visiting sure components of southeastern Turkey close to the Syrian border area (because of the presence of terrorist teams and earthquake devastation)
woman in front of mosque in turkey

2. Ladies Are Welcome And Protected In Turkish Mosques.

For those who do end up strolling alone at night time and feeling uncertain or unsafe for no matter motive, the abundance of mosques in Turkey give you a tremendous secure haven. 

Many giant mosques stay open by the night time. So long as you’re dressed modestly, take away your footwear, and have a shawl helpful, you’ll be able to respectfully duck into certainly 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 secure 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 typical Turk drinks 1,300 cups of tea every year. Turkey is even dwelling 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 all places they go. 

The gorgeous factor about Turkey is that this nation embraces each tea and low. 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 Protected Method To Discover Syrian Tradition.

Whereas Syria isn’t a advisable vacation spot for solo feminine vacationers in the meanwhile, multicultural cities in Turkey definitely are. They provide a secure and interesting alternative to attempt Syrian meals, have conversations with Syrian refugees and immigrants, and be taught extra concerning the Syrian diaspora. 

Beneficial actions embrace:

syrian food fattet hummus

There are about 4 million Syrians residing in Turkey, creating a tremendous multicultural alternative for vacationers. Nevertheless, it’s vital to notice that many Turks will nonetheless make unfavourable 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 building a apply 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 ‘probably not Turkey’ or isn’t ‘what it was.’ Some Turks will voice issues 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 wonderful 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 huge Turkey is. With almost 800 sq. kilometers of historical cities, surreal moonscapes, and extra seashores than you could possibly 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 protection and hospitality of Turkey encourage your subsequent nice solo journey!

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