As a solo female traveler, I am wandering around the world to experience it through solo travel. As a female traveler it is great to hear from other female travelers all about solo travel. I went to Turkey as a solo traveler, so lets see how it went.
Turkey is a popular country to travel to for many types of travelers. I recommend Turkey for the budget travelers who are wanting a European feel, but without breaking the bank. Turkey's most popular destinations to visit are Istanbul and Cappadocia. When I arrived to Turkey, I feel as if I could have spent a lot longer exploring in this country. As a solo traveler and especially as a woman I am pleased to say that Turkey will be a great destination for you.
Solo Travel in Turkey
I arrived to Turkey at the Istanbul airport and immediately could feel the vivacious vibes of Turkey. It is a thrilling country to visit, with bustling streets, multilingual people, and a diverse city with a lot to offer. I wandered from the airport to my hostel in the European city centre area near the Hagia Sophia mosque. I used the public transit the whole way, with using limited maps. I went with my intuition mostly to help me navigate to my hostel and with the help of some friendly locals. I arrived in broad daylight and had the whole day to do as I pleased. I download offline google maps, as I always do and took a bus from the airport to a more central part of Istanbul. From there I was in the heart of Istanbul with just my backpack and no Turkish skills at all. I walked with confidence through the Turkish kahve (coffee) smelled streets, amongst wandering street cats, and the sounds of call to prayer. I felt at ease and knew that I could let my guard down a bit. I still walk with awareness, but I felt very safe wandering through this new city.
Since I am experienced with solo travel, I decided to challenge myself a bit on getting to my hostel. I knew the general area and was staying very central, therefore knew it would be easy to get transport there. I took in the smells of Turkey, chatted with some locals, enjoyed little parks, and sat amongst water fountains while on my journey to my hostel. I allowed myself to wander and get a sense of Turkish a bit and just soak in being in Turkey.
It was a mysterious language to me. I used google translate with some people to see how my navigation skills were going. Let it be known, that I did not show my phone I am very cautious about that when in a new country. (definitely be cautious, I lost my phone once while traveling so now I am extra cautious). To my surprise, when I was using public transit Turkish people were extremely friendly and accommodating to help if you needed. I would just ask if this is the correct metro and the stop and that's about it, and the people were very helpful. I felt accomplished, at ease, and confident of my next coming week in Turkey as a solo traveler.
Traveling as a female
When I arrived to Turkey the airport was super busy and filled with lots of travelers. My piece of advice for female travelers is to always be confident in yourself and your abilities when traveling. To put yourself at ease make sure you arrive during the day time, be able to carry all of your belongings with ease, and be mindful of yourself and belongings at all times. When I am new to a country, I make almost no eye contact with others and walk with confidence.
I always download offline maps and get a general idea of the area I will be staying in. I look up the google maps, watch the route a bit, and see what monuments are around. I then have a mind map of the area I am in, therefore I depend on myself for directions and am not completely lost or vulnerable when in a new country. This one is huge ladies! Knowing where you are will help you out tremendously. You never want to look like a "damsel in distress" when you are traveling solo or as a female.
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Walking around the streets of Turkey was very easy to navigate, while hilly it was not bad getting around and was fairly easy to navigate my way in Istanbul. I can say that if you use these precautions and advice that as a female traveler you will have an enjoyable time in Turkey.
There is a huge café culture in this country, so sit enjoy a street side tea and make some friends with locals. Explore the markets, the streets, and the different districts. There is so much sightseeing to do here whether it is the European side or the Asian ide, there is plenty to see and explore here. There is a lot to do here from art museums, artifacts, architecture, mosques, islands, city life, and more for you to explore and all are suited of course for female travel.
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When it comes to nightlife in Turkey, I wouldn't say there is that much to do in this regard. At nighttime I felt left safe walking around and nothing bad every happened. Istanbul is a huge city and the transport doesn't go all night long, so when all of the local transport ends that is generally the time all of the things stop happening. There is some nightlife to experience in Taksim square area, but they are very particular about arriving in groups and having an equal gender distribution for entering the clubs and bar venues. Even though Turkey might not be known for its nightlife, there is so much more to experience in Turkey besides nightlife. Check out museums, sightseeing, tea time, Turkish food, and the nature.
Thoughts about travel in Turkey
Turkey is a great destination for all types of travelers and even those wanting to live abroad. Turkey is attracting a lot of new travelers and a growing expat group. Turkey is a friendly country and growing in diversity. They make it fairly easy for visa's and the cost of living is fairly good as it has a European feel, yet without the European prices. It is a safe country to travel to as a solo or female traveler. This country is enticing to digital nomads and also many Ukrainians and Russians are beginning to find safety in this country as well. The diversity in this country and city is growing more and more. It is a vibrant country with a lot to offer. Turkey I feel is somewhere I will return to as I feel a week and a half trip was just scratching the surface.