Solo Journey In Istanbul | Final Information To A Protected & Enjoyable Solo Journey

By Cassie Yoshikawa. This information to touring Istanbul solo accommodates affiliate hyperlinks to trusted companions!

Seeking to expertise solo journey in Istanbul for your self, however need assistance with the planning?

Then you definately’re in the fitting place!

Touring solo in Istanbul could be a actually rewarding expertise, with a lot to do, see, and expertise.

To begin with, it’s a metropolis of contrasts, with historic buildings from numerous dynasties sitting proper subsequent to trendy constructions. You possibly can spend a morning visiting a Fifteenth-century mosque and the afternoon sipping cocktails at a rooftop bar.

And since you may actually cross continents inside this Eurasian metropolis in a single afternoon, deciding tips on how to spend your time here’s a feat in itself.

Fortunately, this information will allow you to to take advantage of your time in Istanbul — with suggestions on the highest issues to do, tips on how to get round with no automotive, and extra.

With its wealthy tradition, lovely views, and scrumptious meals, you’ll actually have an unforgettable and pleasing journey to Istanbul!

Fast tip: Lower your expenses whereas touring Istanbul solo with an Istanbul E-Pass, which incorporates entry to greater than 40 prime Istanbul sights and guided excursions!

Confidently Get pleasure from Solo Journey In Istanbul [Free Course]

Earlier than we dive into our journey information to Istanbul solo journey, right here is an invitation to seize a seat in Jessie’s free Savvy Solo Traveler E-Course.

The 6-day course is designed that can assist you really feel assured about reserving your first solo journey and exploring the world alone.

Classes embrace:

  • Widespread solo journey fears and tips on how to overcome them
  • How to decide on your excellent solo journey
  • How one can inform family members you’re going to journey solo
  • Mentally getting ready in your solo journey with out shedding your thoughts
  • Important steps for staying secure on a solo journey
  • How one can take superb solo selfies

When you’ve grabbed your seat, learn on to dive into our Istanbul solo journey information.

Solo Journey In Istanbul: Is It Value It?

For the solo traveler in search of a enjoyable, secure, and memorable expertise, Istanbul is a superb vacation spot.

To begin with, it’s straightforward to get round. Lots of Istanbul’s principal sights are inside strolling distance of one another, and public transportation is straightforward to seek out and use.

When it comes to security, as the biggest metropolis in Turkey, Istanbul has a booming tourism business — which helps to make it comparatively secure for foreigners and solo vacationers.

With its dimension and myriad of sights, there’s one thing for each kind of solo traveler. From its world-renowned historic websites just like the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque to its bustling streets the place European and Center Japanese cultures collide to its east meets west environment, there may be a lot to discover.

It’s a type of cities that may be no matter type of expertise you need. Discover it at your individual tempo and uncover what makes this vibrant metropolis actually particular.

visiting the Blue Mosque during Istanbul solo travel
The Blue Mosque is among the prime issues to see in Istanbul. Photograph by Cassie Yoshikawa.

The place Is Istanbul?

Istanbul is among the world’s most unusual cities. In reality, it’s the solely metropolis that spans two continents!

Positioned in Turkey (Türkiye) and divided by the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul lies each in Europe and Asia. It’s famously dubbed the “metropolis throughout two worlds” and attracts many guests who wish to discover its contrasting cultures and depths of historical past.

On prime of that, it’s usually related to the Center East, relying in your supply. And if you happen to’re interested in solo journey in Turkey usually, know that it’s usually touted as top-of-the-line locations to journey solo within the Center East!

The nation of Turkey is kind of massive, bordered on one facet by Syria, Iraq, and Iran; nevertheless, Istanbul is tucked away within the nation’s northwestern nook, sharing a border with its European neighbors, Bulgaria and Greece.

Previously referred to as Constantinople, Istanbul continues to be a vital passage for contemporary maritime transport between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Its historic and continued significance as a port creates a shocking mixture of historical structure with modern vibrancy and an abundance of actions for solo vacationers.

On the identical road, you can see hammams from the Ottoman Empire and rectilinear glass espresso retailers from the present decade. So whether or not you’re within the temper to immerse your self in historical past or if you happen to want a contemporary consolation like a cappuccino, each worlds are at your fingertips.

visiting Topkapi Palace during solo travel in Istanbul
Add Topkapi Palace to your Istanbul travels. Photograph by Cassie Yoshikawa

Greatest Time To Go to Istanbul

Whereas Istanbul is a year-round vacation spot, October and November are the perfect months to go to.

It is because the climate throughout this time of 12 months is gentle and pleasing, with temperatures often starting from the low 50s within the mornings to the excessive 60s within the afternoons — nice for sightseeing with out uncomfortably excessive temperatures.

Personally, I visited in November, which can also be shoulder season when costs go down in Turkey.

It was so good to benefit from the metropolis with out {the summertime} crowds whereas nonetheless avoiding the chilly temperatures of late winter.

It additionally helped decrease my packing as a result of I used to be positive bringing one jacket and didn’t have to fret concerning the temperature fluctuating wildly from day to nighttime.

solo female traveler in Istanbul looking at the Blue Mosque
Solo feminine traveler gazing out on the Blue Mosque. Photograph by way of Beyzanur K. for Pexels.

Getting To Istanbul

The commonest method to get to Istanbul is by flying into Istanbul Worldwide Airport, the world’s largest airport. That is the place most individuals who solo journey to Istanbul start their journey.

Due to its nice dimension, it does take a commute to get to the airport from town heart. The airport is about 40 kilometers (~25 miles) from the guts of Istanbul, which is a couple of 45-minute drive.

When it comes to public transportation in Istanbul, there’s a metro; nevertheless, that route will take you about three hours. For that reason, I like to recommend an airport switch — however arranging it forward of time.

I’ve beforehand been scammed by a “taxi” driver that drove me in circles for miles to jack up the fare and have heard related journey horror tales from associates about taxi drivers who goal vacationers.

On my subsequent go to to Istanbul, I took no probabilities and deliberate a experience with Tranigo. The drivers have been straightforward to seek out and make sure for security, and so they have been well timed with very clear vehicles. Better of all, I might schedule my pickup and departure rides concurrently, and the worth was corresponding to taking a taxi.

Getting Round Istanbul As A Solo Traveler 

Touring round Istanbul is straightforward too; there are buses, ferries, and even funiculars which might be well-connected inside the metropolis.

Except for the airport switch, until you’re venturing outdoors of town, there actually isn’t any have to lease a automotive and even get a taxi when you are visiting Istanbul.

You’ll, nevertheless, have to get an Istanbulkart pay as you go chip card. The Istanbulkart conveniently works on all public transport together with ferries. In reality, most public transport won’t settle for money, you may solely pay utilizing the reloadable chip playing cards.

solo female traveler in Istanbul taking in a view of the Bosphorus from the ferry
The ferry provides an awesome view of the Bosphorus. Photograph by Cassie Yoshikawa

I like to recommend buying the Istanbulkart within the airport the place it’s straightforward to get help if wanted.

Whereas you should purchase the Istanbulkart within the metropolis at virtually each tram cease, I remorse buying there as a result of there have been no English directions on the kiosks that I discovered. Fortunately, a neighborhood helped me via the method.

To not fear, when you do have the cardboard, it is vitally straightforward to make use of and reload utilizing money.

Istanbul Journey Map

To assist in giving you a lay of the land for touring solo in Istanbul, here’s a map. It has a few of the details talked about on this information pre-plotted.

solo travel Istanbul map

You can even click here for the interactive version.

Is Istanbul Protected For Solo Feminine Vacationers?

Probably the most widespread query vacationers ask: Is Istanbul secure to journey alone?

Total, Istanbul is secure for solo feminine vacationers; nevertheless, as with every large metropolis, primary precautions are mandatory.

When it comes to security ideas, don’t carry valuables on you, be on guard in an effort to keep away from pickpockets in crowded areas, and don’t stroll secluded streets alone late at night time. For probably the most half, widespread sense goes a good distance in staying secure.

One particular factor I might keep away from as a solo feminine traveler in Istanbul is wandering too deep into the bazaar alone.

The Grand Bazaar itself is a must-do expertise; however, the market sprawls out into tiny corridors and small alleyways the place it’s fairly straightforward to get misplaced. The deeper you go, the less vacationers there are and the simpler it’s to be focused.

I discovered that the hagglers turned extra aggressive and pushy the farther from the primary paths I wandered. I by no means felt I used to be in hurt’s means, however I actually felt uncomfortable and probably the most harassed as a lady.

If extensively procuring and exploring the bazaar is in your record, then I might contemplate reserving a guided strolling tour (like these). It’ll make your solo feminine journey Istanbul expertise loads simpler.

people shopping the stalls of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar is a must-visit throughout your solo journey to Istanbul. Photograph by way of Merve from Pexels.

The place To Keep In Istanbul When Touring Solo

To keep away from needing a automotive and to remain secure at night time, solo vacationers ought to keep inside strolling distance of Sultanahmet Sq.. Whereas it is a touristy space, there are nonetheless loads of locations to discover and have an genuine Turkish expertise.

I stayed on the Aren Suites and would positively keep there once more. It was fairly inexpensive, had a rooftop view of the Bosphorus and the Blue Mosque, and there have been a number of candy retailers and eating places alongside the encompassing roads. Most significantly, it was a simple stroll to Sultanahmet Sq. and the metro.

For a extra price range keep, take a look at Antique Hostel, which provides co-ed dorms, women-only dorms (that are very fashionable with these having fun with solo feminine journey to Istanbul), and personal rooms.

And for a bougie expertise, the Hagia Sofia Mansions Curio Collection gives an expensive keep, options onsite facilities like eating places and a pool, and in addition has its personal spa for some pampering.

Click here for a full list of hotels near Sultanahmet Square, an awesome space to remain when touring alone in Istanbul! You can even browse the map under for nearby hotels and self-contained stays:

Prime Issues To Do On A Solo Journey To Istanbul

For probably the most half, the primary vacationer sights in Istanbul are all inside straightforward strolling distance of Sultanahmet Sq., which is the place many of the prime issues to do in Istanbul alone are positioned. Something past the sq. is straightforward to entry utilizing the Istanbulkart card.

Stroll Sultanahmet Sq.

Begin your Istanbul solo feminine journey journey at Sultanahmet Sq.. Inside one afternoon, you may simply discover prime sights like:

  • Blue Mosque: Formally known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, this Ottoman-era mosque is known for its blue-tiled inside.
  • Hagia Sophia: The Hagia Sophia was initially constructed as a Byzantine church and has since been transformed right into a mosque, then to a museum, and is now again to a mosque.
  • Basilica Cistern: The Basilica Cistern is a Byzantine-era water filtration system beneath town.
  • Topkapi Palace: Now a museum, Topkapi Palace is the previous residence of Ottoman sultans.
visiting Topkapi Palace while traveling alone in Istanbul
Add Topkapi Palace to your solo Istanbul itinerary. Photograph by Cassie Yoshikawa.

The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are each free to go to. Simply be aware of visiting hours as each are functioning mosques.

Though they’re Muslim locations of worship, the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia are safe for Christian tourists and non-believing guests alike. Simply make sure to convey a shawl as a result of all feminine guests are required to cowl their hair and shoulders.

Additionally, make certain to organize for lengthy ticket traces at Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern.

For a barely larger value, you may e-book prematurely via a third-party tour firm like Viator to keep away from the traces.

Fast tip: On the lookout for a guided tour of the primary websites? This highly-rated excursion consists of visits to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern, and the Grand Bazaar — and even features a 3-course lunch at a conventional Istanbul restaurant!

Discover Istanbul’s Completely different Districts

Benefit from your Istanbulkart card and experience the tram to the Grand Bazaar — one of many oldest and largest coated markets on this planet — to get your procuring in.

From there, cross the Golden Horn estuary by strolling the long-lasting Galata Bridge, which connects the northern and southern districts of Istanbul.

You possibly can even keep some time and have a meal in one of many cafes positioned within the bridge. Sure, you learn that proper — there’s a market and cafes constructed into the bridge itself!

Iconic Galata Tower, a Roman-style watchtower that’s now a well-known landmark and viewpoint, is only a 12-minute stroll from the bridge.

After visiting, you may take the tram to cease by Taksim Square, the fashionable coronary heart of Istanbul that includes procuring and eating places. It’s a stark distinction to the historic Sultanahmet Sq., and positively a must-include on any solo journey Istanbul itinerary.

By now, you’ll most likely be hungry, so head all the way down to the port to have the distinctive expertise of taking the ferry from Europe to Asia for dinner. Excellent news: the ferry even accepts your Istanbulkart card!

solo female traveler in Istanbul visiting the Galata Tower
The Galata Tower is a well-liked vacationer attraction in Istanbul. Photograph by Cassie Yoshikawa.

Expertise Turkish Tradition

Finish your busy day of sightseeing by getting a massage at a Turkish bath. A hammam is a really intimate method to expertise Turkish tradition, so be sure to perceive what you’re signing up for!

The hammams are fully separated by gender, and whilst you can convey a swimsuit to put on, you can see most locals put on solely the towel and paper clothes supplied by the hammam.

In my view, the perfect place to go for this expertise is Cemberlitas Hamami, which I cherished a lot I went twice! There are less expensive hammams in Istanbul; nevertheless, as a solo feminine traveler, I might not skimp on the worth for this exercise.

Take A Bosphorus River Cruise

The Bosphorus River runs via the center of Istanbul. It separates Europe from Asia and connects the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

There may be an abundance of how to cruise the Bosphorus, which is an efficient method to discover this attraction.

Get pleasure from a sunset cruise on a yacht, an all-inclusive dinner cruise with entertainment, or spend a full day cruising the Bosphorus Strait and Golden Horn with stops and excursions alongside the way in which.

You’ll wish to e-book this one forward of time, as cruise availability modifications seasonally.

Cruising the Bosphorus is a must have expertise when touring solo in Istanbul. Photograph by way of Engin Akyurt for Pexels.

Go to The Istanbul Archaeological Museums

The Istanbul Archaeological Museums is definitely a fancy of three museums: The Archaeology Museum, The Museum of the Historical Orient, and The Tiled Kiosk Museum.

Discover three museums directly for less than 100 Turkish Lira. You can even opt for skip-the-line access.

Better of all, it’s in Sultanahmet, so it’s straightforward so as to add to your Istanbul solo journey itinerary.

See A Whirling Dervishes Efficiency

No solo journey to Istanbul can be full with out seeing the Whirling Dervishes carry out on the Galata Mevlevi House Museum.

Sufi Muslims began whirling as a type of meditation and prayer within the twelfth century, which some teams nonetheless observe as we speak.

There are lots of locations to see “whirlers” in Istanbul. Due to its spiritual significance, discovering a good efficiency heart like a cultural heart or museum is necessary.

E book A Meals Tour (Or Dine In A Native Dwelling)

Among the finest methods to discover a brand new vacation spot is thru meals. Istanbul is understood for its scrumptious delicacies — from delectable mezes (that are like Mediterranean tapas) to recent produce to seasoned meats and past.

Fortunately, there are quite a few meals excursions you may e-book — like a Taste of Two Continents Food Tour. On this tour, you’ll discover a spice market, savor a Turkish breakfast, sip Turkish espresso, and feast on native eats.

Click here for a full list of Istanbul food tours.

Now, together with visiting native meals companies, you can even dine within the residence of a neighborhood via EatWith — a platform showcasing meals excursions and at-home dinners hosted by locals.

It’s a extremely enjoyable method to immerse your self in native life and meet different individuals throughout your Istanbul solo journey expertise.

Study How To Cook dinner Like A Native

Talking of meals, you can even discover ways to cook dinner by reserving a neighborhood cooking class. EatWith additionally options cooking lessons, via it’s not your solely possibility.

One prime decide is this Turkish cooking class, the place you’ll put together conventional dishes like vine leaves or kirde kebabı whereas additionally studying culinary methods from knowledgeable chef. These are abilities you’ll be capable of convey again to your kitchen at residence too!

Be sure that to discover the native culinary tradition when visiting Istanbul solo. Photograph by way of Jack Sparrow for Pexels.

Take An Istanbul Photograph Tour

When touring solo, it may be tough to get good pictures with you within the image — which is the place an Istanbul Photo Shoot Tour is available in.

This two-hour expertise lets you discover Istanbul’s fashionable websites, and be photographed with them! You’re additionally allowed to vary outfits.

It’s a good way to get your whole pictures carried out shortly, after which go away your digicam behind and loosen up as you roam town solo.

Prime Excursions For Solo Vacationers In Istanbul

Together with the above-mentioned sights and experiences, there are a great deal of nice excursions. The fantastic thing about a guided tour for these touring solo in Istanbul is they provide a enjoyable method to study concerning the vacation spot and necessary journey ideas whereas additionally interacting with locals and connecting with different vacationers.

A number of top-rated excursions so as to add to your Istanbul itinerary:

Click here for a full list of tours in Istanbul.

Suggestions For Solo Eating In Istanbul

Whether or not from a roadside vendor or a longtime restaurant, Istanbul has so many implausible meals choices that it may be a bit overwhelming.

Plus, eating places pop up, disappear, or change possession ceaselessly in touristy districts. As a substitute of looking for a selected restaurant, I discovered it useful to make a bucket record of meals to strive that’s distinctive to Turkey.

Then I finished at any restaurant or stand that regarded promising.

The very best factor about solo eating in Istanbul is that even at nicer eating places, consuming alone is kind of widespread. A number of occasions, the host requested if I would favor to take a seat a the bar with different solo vacationers; nevertheless it was not awkward to request my very own desk if I most well-liked.

list food items to try during solo travel in Istanbul
Istanbul solo eating problem by Cassie Yoshikawa

Begin your morning with Turkish espresso, specifically ready with positive grounds and no filter. That is complimentary at most resorts and obtainable at most cafes.

Then, have a freshly pressed pomegranate or orange juice at one of many many road carts.

For lunch, discover a sit-down cafe and have a kebab platter.

Within the afternoon, dance in your ice cream. You’ll know you’re in for a deal with (or trick) while you discover a bit pink cart with the seller adorned in a pink vest and fez hat. The ice cream males are recognized for frolicsome sleight-of-hand when handing out the ice cream cones, all in good enjoyable in fact.

On at the very least one night time, splurge on a rooftop restaurant with a view of the Blue Mosque. I cherished the view from the Lady Di Hotel. The workers have been very pleased with the view and have been greater than keen to take my image and share the perfect angles to see.

To finish the day, pop in to a window store to strive a brand new taste of baklava and Turkish Delight for dessert.

woman eating a kebab platter while traveling solo in Istanbul
A kebab grill platter is among the greatest meals to strive in Istanbul. Photograph by Cassie Yoshikawa.

Getting Journey Insurance coverage To Journey Solo In Istanbul

When visiting Istanbul — or anyplace else on this planet — it’s clever to get journey insurance coverage.

One of many greatest journey medical insurance coverage for vacationers is SafetyWing as they’ve bought a big community and provide each short-term and long-term protection — together with protection if you happen to’re touring for months in addition to restricted protection in your house nation.

Moreover, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and provides $250,000 value of protection with only one low general deductible of $250.

Click here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Regularly Requested Questions About Touring To Istanbul Alone

Q) Is Istanbul good for solo vacationers?

Istanbul is a wonderful vacation spot for solo vacationers due to its massive dimension, abundance of issues to do, and fusion of European and Center Japanese cultures. Plus, Istanbul is comparatively secure and straightforward to discover with no group or information.

Q) Can a lady journey alone in Istanbul?

Sure! In reality, solo feminine journey in Istanbul is widespread, and girls can really feel secure exploring town on their very own. After all, as with every large metropolis, it’s necessary to take primary precautions and use widespread sense to remain secure — notably from scams and pickpocketing schemes.

woman traveling solo in Istanbul
Sure, ladies can journey alone in Istanbul! Photograph by way of Ekrulila for Pexels.

Q) What number of days must you spend in Istanbul?

You possibly can expertise the most well-liked websites in Sultanahmet Sq. in Istanbul in at some point; nevertheless, to essentially get to know town, two days is an efficient minimal.

Q) How a lot cash will I would like for per week touring solo in Istanbul?

Solo journey in Istanbul will common about 1200 Turkish Lira or 65 USD per day on meals and bills. Price range at the very least $1100 for per week, together with a mean resort keep.

Q) How ought to a lady vacationer costume in Turkey?

The extra remotely they journey, the extra modestly ladies ought to costume in Turkey; nevertheless, in massive cities like Istanbul, ladies mustn’t really feel too restricted in what they’ll put on. It’s a good suggestion to at all times have a shawl and a protracted sweater within the occasion of visiting a mosque or spiritual attraction. In any other case, western vogue is kind of widespread in Istanbul.

solo traveler in Istanbul covering her hair in the Hagia Sophia
Solo feminine traveler, Cassie Yoshikawa, together with her hair coated within the Hagia Sophia.

Ultimate Ideas On Solo Journey In Istanbul 

Total, Istanbul is a wonderful vacation spot for solo vacationers. Even solo feminine vacationers in Istanbul can really feel secure and revel in the perfect issues this metropolis provides.

Istanbul’s fusion of European and Center Japanese cultures and distinction of historical and trendy marvels make it a vacation spot you’ll undoubtedly wish to return to many times.

What ideas for solo journey in Istanbul would you add to this record?

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About The Writer

Cassie Yoshikawa has a severe ardour for journey, and her mission is to encourage that very same love in others. She curates vacation spot guides in addition to faith-based journey sources on her weblog cassiescompass.com. When she’s not on the highway, you’ll find her in a espresso store in Fresno, California. Observe her anyplace at @cassiescompass.