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. Just a few 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 high 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 instances 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 obscure fear-mongering: “ what they are saying about Turkish males.” Let me let you know: nothing might have been farther from the reality. 

These frequent ‘warnings’ are discriminatory, inaccurate, and may stop you from experiencing a few of the greatest 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 delicate 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 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 susceptible to straightforward pickpocketing
  • Taking drinks from strangers in bars or golf equipment
  • Public shows of affection in LGBTQIA+ relationships exterior of main chain lodges
  • 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.

In the event you do end up strolling alone at night time and feeling not sure or unsafe for no matter cause, the abundance of mosques in Turkey give you a tremendous secure haven. 

Many massive mosques stay open via the night time. So long as you’re dressed modestly, take away your footwear, and have a shawl helpful, you possibly can respectfully duck into certainly one of these well-lit homes of worship to make certain of your security at virtually 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 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 annually. Turkey is even residence 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 supplied a heat welcome tea all over the place they go. 

The attractive factor about Turkey is that this nation embraces each tea and low. No must 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 retailers, there’s some java right here for each kind of traveler.

woman drinking turkish tea in cafe

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

Whereas Syria isn’t a really useful vacation spot for solo feminine vacationers for the time being, multicultural cities in Turkey actually 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. 

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 essential 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’ fairly than an understanding of building a follow of dwelling 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 ‘not likely Turkey’ or isn’t ‘what it was once.’ Some Turks will voice issues 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 pressure 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 practically 800 sq. kilometers of historic cities, surreal moonscapes, and extra seashores than you can rely, this nation has a lot extra to supply than its common capital Istanbul. 

Nice locations for solo feminine vacationers embody:

  • 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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