Solo female Travel in Turkey, is it Safe?

by Fay

People frequently ask for tips and ideas about travel in Turkey, such as what to do and where to go. But one of the popular questions I have come across is about solo female travel here in Turkey. Is it safe for a female to travel in Turkey, alone? Many women who have never been to a Muslim country might be intimidated to visit Turkey or any other Muslim country. Turkey is also perceived as being in an unstable region, bordered by countries like Syria and Iraq.

In this post, I will talk about safety in Turkey as safety is the first thing people generally consider before visiting a country. Most people want to be safe during a holiday…

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Is Turkey safe for a female traveler?

YES. Turkey is one of the safest countries to visit. I have been living in Istanbul for almost 2 years now and I have never felt safer anywhere else. It is true that there is a massive civil war in Turkey’s neighbor Syria and Iraq has had its moments too, but this does not make Turkey less safe. Thus, you should not cancel or avoid visiting Turkey just out of fear of political issues in other countries.

Keep in mind that there is no place in the world that is actually”safe”. Bad things can happen, anywhere and anytime even in the safest countries in the world.

Are airports in Turkey safe?

Turkey’s airports are safe with high-security levels. Turkey cares about foreigners and travelers and since airports are the main spot for them they make sure that they are safe. However, don’t be put off completely because as I said no place is really “safe”.

Safety tips for females when visiting Turkey

  1. Enroll in a travel insurance program, should something happen to you. We recommend World Nomads travel insurance.
  2. Have enough money saved in the bank account or a credit card
  3. Plan your trip and the places you will visit ahead
  4. Register with your country’s program for foreign travelers if there is any.
  5. Inform your loved ones about your destination and the places you will stay in.
  6. Avoid crowded gatherings during your travel. Nobody likes the crowds anyway
  7. Keep an eye on your belongings in all public places including airports
  8. Get in touch with your embassy. If you are traveling through remote areas, let them know. They may be able to advise about possible security and safety issues.

Important emergency numbers to remember

  1. Emergency: 112
  2. Police emergency line: 155
  3. Communication center for foreigners: 157
  4. Coronavirus emergency line: 184

Is Turkey safe for a first-time solo female trip?

Yes, Turkey is definitely a terrific place for inexperienced solo female travelers. In 2019 Turkey welcomed almost 52 million tourists according to government official data. Among these, I’m sure there are thousands of solo female travelers who enjoyed a trip to Turkey. According to my experience, Turkey is a hospitable and safe country for everyone, It’s just that the media sometimes exaggerates security issues.

solo-female-travel-Turkey

But as much as I love Turkey, I hate to admit that as a solo female traveler, you might face some issues when visiting Turkey. However, large touristic cities offer a safer environment compared to small hidden cities.

#1 Embrace the cultural differences

Maybe you are visiting Turkey with a fixed opinion on how the country is or will be. DON’T, Turkey is a diverse country with its landscape, cities, villages, and people. It is a mix of different cultures and mindsets. Regardless of what you were expecting, your trip to this rich country should come with an adjustment to a new culture.

Remember that one of the best things we get from our trips is to experience a different way of life and thinking. However, this sometimes comes as quite a shock. A culture shock and this is when you need to embrace it most.

#2 Learn some basic Turkish language skills

Learn-Turkish

Not everybody speaks English here. Most service providers such as taxi drivers and vendors can’t speak foreign languages. So, learning a few words and sentences would be extremely helpful and the locals will appreciate your effort speaking their language. Check this link below to know more about how to learn basic Turkish language skills.

#3 Planned vs Spontaneous

Planning-your-solo-female-trip-to-Turkey

It is always recommended to plan ahead but sometimes travelling ‘out of the blue’ can be amazing, in Turkey.

#4 Know the rules

Turkey-culture-rules

Whenever you travel to Turkey or any predominantly Muslim country, dress more conservatively. It really does draw a lot less attention to you, you get eye-balled less and it will give you a sense of comfort. It is true that Turkey is a secular country and less strict about dressing codes than other Muslim countries, but it will definitely help especially when vising sacred places such as mosques. If the people around you are comfortable, then you will also feel more comfortable.

#5 Be confident but careful

solo-female-travel-turkey

You will come across situations where you have to be either confident or careful. Don’t drive negative energy to you by fear. If you believe your trip will be perfect so, it will be. Just trust yourself. Also, don’t be afraid or shy to say NO, whether it is to people trying to sell you things or to anybody trying to take advantage of you being nice. Just give them a big NO and move on. But, being confident does not mean taking risks. For instance, I would not recommend walking in dark and empty places, avoid that by taking taxis late at night or whenever the place seems shady.

#6 Get the most of your solo female trip

It helps to combine online resources with people’s personal experiences. Talk to people, everywhere you go. Try and meet other fellow travelers to hang out with sometimes. By doing so, you can visit places that you couldn’t go alone to. And of course, it is always nice to have company. I hope this post about solo female travel in Turkey will help you make the most of your trip.

Have more questions? Let me know in the comments!

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