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 definitely’re in the suitable place!

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

Initially, it’s a metropolis of contrasts, with historic buildings from numerous dynasties sitting proper subsequent to trendy buildings. You’ll be able to 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 how one can spend your time here’s a feat in itself.

Fortunately, this information will allow you to to benefit from your time in Istanbul — with suggestions on the highest issues to do, how one can get round and not using a automotive, and extra.

With its wealthy tradition, lovely views, and scrumptious meals, you’ll definitely have an unforgettable and pleasant 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 points of interest 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 how one can overcome them
  • How to decide on your excellent solo journey
  • The right way to inform family members you’re going to journey solo
  • Mentally getting ready in your solo journey with out dropping your thoughts
  • Important steps for staying secure on a solo journey
  • The right way to take wonderful solo selfies

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

Solo Journey In Istanbul: Is It Price It?

For the solo traveler on the lookout for a enjoyable, secure, and memorable expertise, Istanbul is a superb vacation spot.

Initially, it’s simple to get round. Lots of Istanbul’s essential points of interest are inside strolling distance of one another, and public transportation is straightforward to search out and use.

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

With its measurement and myriad of points of interest, there’s one thing for each sort 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 Jap cultures collide to its east meets west ambiance, there may be a lot to discover.

It’s a kind of cities that may be no matter form of expertise you need. Discover it at your personal 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. The truth is, it’s the solely metropolis that spans two continents!

Situated 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 when you’re inquisitive about solo journey in Turkey generally, know that it’s usually touted as among the finest 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; nonetheless, Istanbul is tucked away within the nation’s northwestern nook, sharing a border with its European neighbors, Bulgaria and Greece.

Previously often called 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 surprising mixture of historical structure with modern vibrancy and an abundance of actions for solo vacationers.

On the identical avenue, one can find hammams from the Ottoman Empire and rectilinear glass espresso retailers from the present decade. So whether or not you might be within the temper to immerse your self in historical past or when you 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

Finest Time To Go to Istanbul

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

It’s because the climate throughout this time of 12 months is gentle and pleasant, 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 reduce my packing as a result of I used to be advantageous bringing one jacket and didn’t have to fret in regards to 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 option 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 measurement, it does take a commute to get to the airport from town middle. The airport is about 40 kilometers (~25 miles) from the center of Istanbul, which is a few 45-minute drive.

When it comes to public transportation in Istanbul, there’s a metro; nonetheless, that route will take you about three hours. Because of this, 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 comparable journey horror tales from mates about taxi drivers who goal vacationers.

On my subsequent go to to Istanbul, I took no probabilities and deliberate a trip with Tranigo. The drivers had been simple to search out and make sure for security, and so they had been well timed with very clear vehicles. Better of all, I may 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 are well-connected inside the metropolis.

Except for the airport switch, until you might be venturing exterior of town, there actually is not any have to lease a automotive and even get a taxi while you’re visiting Istanbul.

You’ll, nonetheless, have to get an Istanbulkart pay as you go chip card. The Istanbulkart conveniently works on all public transport together with ferries. The truth is, 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 a terrific view of the Bosphorus. Photograph by Cassie Yoshikawa

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

Whereas you should buy the Istanbulkart within the metropolis at nearly 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 extremely simple 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 number of the details talked about on this information pre-plotted.

solo travel Istanbul map

You may as well click here for the interactive version.

Is Istanbul Protected For Solo Feminine Vacationers?

One of the crucial widespread query vacationers ask: Is Istanbul secure to journey alone?

Total, Istanbul is secure for solo feminine vacationers; nonetheless, as with every large metropolis, fundamental precautions are obligatory.

When it comes to security ideas, don’t carry valuables on you, be on guard so as to keep away from pickpockets in crowded areas, and don’t stroll secluded streets alone late at evening. 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 simple 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 definitely felt uncomfortable and probably the most harassed as a girl.

If extensively purchasing and exploring the bazaar is in your checklist, then I might think about reserving a guided strolling tour (like these). It’ll make your solo feminine journey Istanbul expertise so much 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 evening, solo vacationers ought to keep inside strolling distance of Sultanahmet Sq.. Whereas this can be 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 undoubtedly 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 encircling roads. Most significantly, it was a simple stroll to Sultanahmet Sq. and the metro.

For a extra finances keep, try Antique Hostel, which provides co-ed dorms, women-only dorms (that are extremely popular with these having fun with solo feminine journey to Istanbul), and personal rooms.

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

Click here for a full list of hotels near Sultanahmet Square, a terrific space to remain when touring alone in Istanbul! You may as well browse the map beneath 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 points of interest in Istanbul are all inside simple strolling distance of Sultanahmet Sq., which is the place a lot of the prime issues to do in Istanbul alone are situated. 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 points of interest like:

  • Blue Mosque: Formally referred to 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 dwelling 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 you should definitely deliver a shawl as a result of all feminine guests are required to cowl their hair and shoulders.

Additionally, ensure to organize for lengthy ticket strains at Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern.

For a barely increased value, you may guide upfront via a third-party tour firm like Viator to keep away from the strains.

Fast tip: Searching 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 standard Istanbul restaurant!

Discover Istanbul’s Totally different Districts

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

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

You’ll be able to even keep some time and have a meal in one of many cafes situated 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 trendy coronary heart of Istanbul that includes purchasing 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 in all probability be hungry, so head right 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 option to expertise Turkish tradition, so be sure to perceive what you might be signing up for!

The hammams are fully separated by gender, and when you can deliver a swimsuit to put on, one can find most locals put on solely the towel and paper clothes offered by the hammam.

For my part, the perfect place to go for this expertise is Cemberlitas Hamami, which I beloved a lot I went twice! There are less expensive hammams in Istanbul; nonetheless, 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’s an abundance of how to cruise the Bosphorus, which is an effective option 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 guide 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 may as well opt for skip-the-line access.

Better of all, it’s in Sultanahmet, so it’s simple 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 at present.

There are a lot of locations to see “whirlers” in Istanbul. Due to its non secular significance, discovering a good efficiency middle like a cultural middle or museum is vital.

E-book A Meals Tour (Or Dine In A Native Residence)

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 contemporary produce to seasoned meats and past.

Fortunately, there are quite a few meals excursions you may guide — 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 too can dine within the dwelling of a neighborhood via EatWith — a platform showcasing meals excursions and at-home dinners hosted by locals.

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

Be taught How To Cook dinner Like A Native

Talking of meals, you too can learn to cook dinner by reserving a neighborhood cooking class. EatWith additionally options cooking courses, via it’s not your solely choice.

One prime choose is this Turkish cooking class, the place you’ll put together conventional dishes like vine leaves or kirde kebabı whereas additionally studying culinary strategies from knowledgeable chef. These are expertise you’ll have the ability to deliver again to your kitchen at dwelling 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 means that you can discover Istanbul’s widespread websites, and be photographed with them! You’re additionally allowed to vary outfits.

It’s a good way to get your whole pictures achieved rapidly, after which depart your digital camera behind and loosen up as you roam town solo.

Prime Excursions For Solo Vacationers In Istanbul

Together with the above-mentioned points of interest 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 option to study in regards to the vacation spot and vital 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.

Ideas For Solo Eating In Istanbul

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

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

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

The perfect factor about solo eating in Istanbul is that even at nicer eating places, consuming alone is kind of widespread. A number of instances, the host requested if I would like 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 advantageous grounds and no filter. That is complimentary at most resorts and out there at most cafes.

Then, have a freshly pressed pomegranate or orange juice at one of many many avenue 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 might be in for a deal with (or trick) once you discover somewhat purple cart with the seller adorned in a purple 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 after all.

On at the least one evening, splurge on a rooftop restaurant with a view of the Blue Mosque. I beloved the view from the Lady Di Hotel. The workers had been very happy with the view and had been greater than prepared to take my image and share the perfect angles to see.

To finish the day, pop in to a window store to attempt 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 finest meals to attempt in Istanbul. Photograph by Cassie Yoshikawa.

Getting Journey Insurance coverage To Journey Solo In Istanbul

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

One of many finest journey medical insurance coverage for vacationers is SafetyWing as they’ve bought a big community and supply each short-term and long-term protection — together with protection when you’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 total 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 superb vacation spot for solo vacationers due to its massive measurement, abundance of issues to do, and fusion of European and Center Jap cultures. Plus, Istanbul is comparatively secure and simple to discover and not using a group or information.

Q) Can a girl journey alone in Istanbul?

Sure! The truth is, solo feminine journey in Istanbul is widespread, and girls can really feel secure exploring town on their very own. In fact, as with every large metropolis, it’s vital to take fundamental 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’ll be able to expertise the most well-liked websites in Sultanahmet Sq. in Istanbul in sooner or later; nonetheless, to essentially get to know town, two days is an effective 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 least $1100 for per week, together with a mean resort keep.

Q) How ought to a girl vacationer gown in Turkey?

The extra remotely they journey, the extra modestly ladies ought to gown in Turkey; nonetheless, in massive cities like Istanbul, ladies mustn’t really feel too restricted in what they will put on. It’s a good suggestion to all the time have a shawl and an extended sweater within the occasion of visiting a mosque or non secular attraction. In any other case, western style is kind of widespread in Istanbul.

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

Last Ideas On Solo Journey In Istanbul 

Total, Istanbul is a superb 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 Jap 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 checklist?

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About The Writer

Cassie Yoshikawa has a critical 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, yow will discover her in a espresso store in Fresno, California. Observe her wherever at @cassiescompass.