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 shortly realized I used to be in love.

After 5 years and 40 international locations of full-time worldwide journey, Turkey ranks in my high 10 locations for solo feminine vacationers.

Right here’s why:

woman smiling cappadocia turkey

1. It’s Safer Than You Assume.

A traveler is 8 occasions safer from violent crime in Turkey than within the U.S., even in huge cities like Istanbul and Izmir. 

Primarily based 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 avenue crime right here. 

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

These frequent ‘warnings’ are discriminatory, inaccurate, and may stop you from experiencing a few of the finest hospitality on the planet. 

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 delicate avenue 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.

After all, vacationers ought to take cheap security precautions all over the 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 weak to straightforward pickpocketing
  • Taking drinks from strangers in bars or golf equipment
  • Public shows of affection in LGBTQIA+ relationships outdoors of main chain resorts
  • Visiting sure elements 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.

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

Many massive mosques stay open by way of the evening. So long as you’re dressed modestly, take away your sneakers, and have a shawl helpful, you possibly can respectfully duck into one in all these well-lit homes of worship to make certain 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 foul intestine feeling, it’s good to know that you’ve 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 all over the place they go. 

The attractive factor about Turkey is that this nation embraces each tea and occasional. No must take sides. Merely take pleasure in each! 

From iconic Turkish espresso in an Izmir antique shop to artisan roast flat whites in Moda’s plentiful third wave espresso retailers, there’s some java right here for each sort of traveler.

woman drinking turkish tea in cafe

4. Multicultural Turkish Cities Supply A Secure Means To Discover Syrian Tradition.

Whereas Syria isn’t a really helpful vacation spot for solo feminine vacationers for the time being, multicultural cities in Turkey actually are. They provide a protected and interesting alternative to attempt Syrian meals, have conversations with Syrian refugees and immigrants, and study extra concerning the Syrian diaspora. 

Really useful actions embrace:

syrian food fattet hummus

There are about 4 million Syrians dwelling in Turkey, creating a tremendous multicultural alternative for vacationers. Nevertheless, it’s necessary to notice that many Turks will nonetheless make destructive feedback to guests about Syrians of their nation. 

“Turkish society’s acceptance of Syrians has largely been reworked into ‘toleration’ somewhat than an understanding of building a follow of dwelling collectively,” defined a study from UNHCR.

When touring in Istanbul, you might hear locals inform you 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 stress 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 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 understand simply how huge Turkey is. With practically 800 sq. kilometers of historic cities, surreal moonscapes, and extra seashores than you would depend, this nation has a lot extra to supply than its common 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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