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How to Dress in Istanbul as a Tourist

Some tourists may get confused about dress codes or how to dress in Istanbul. Thus, as an inhabitant, I would like to guide you and answer this question.

So how to dress in Istanbul as a tourist? To say directly, you don’t have to overthink about it. You can wear whatever you want but I recommend you wear comfy outfits to travel more easily. In general, the main concern is how to dress properly according to culture. Actually, there is no specific dress code in Turkey. Although Istanbul has Sunni Muslim inhabitants predominantly, the Muslim dress code is not obligatory for men or women. So, there is no need for you to worry about your dress except if you want to visit mosques or any religious sites. Then you need to dress neatly. Think like dressing for church. You should wear long sleeve tops or dresses that cover your shoulders, knees and for women don’t forget to take a scarf with you.

Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city. She congregates the cultures of Asia and Europe. That’s why you can observe the differences between people’s way of life, their mindset, culture and the way they dress from one to another. If we make a comparison, it is more likely to say some parts of the city are more conservative like Fatih, Ümraniye, Bağcılar, Esenyurt, Gülsuyu etc. So, you may prefer dressing more modest in these parts of the city. But it doesn’t mean that you need to dress according to the Muslim dress codes.

Besides, Istanbul is a big city that gets you fall in love with her immediately after seeing its enchanted structure that connects numerous people from different ethnicity, culture, religion, race, and nation. While you are walking through the streets, you can see people who dress casual or flamboyant, sporty or chic, bohemian or conservative.

 The way we dress reflects our culture and interpretation of ourselves. When we are in our own country, we don’t overthink about what we wear because from our childhood we have grown up by learning codes that guide us subconsciously about social instructions like how to dress, behave and act. However, when we plan to travel to other countries, especially with very distinct cultural motives and codes, we tend to step out of our comfort zone. So, in order to show respect to that culture, act according to it or blend in easily, we make some researches on how to dress, how to act or to learn more about their cultures. That is the reason why most tourists, especially from European countries, tend to research dress codes before visiting Istanbul or any part of Turkey since her confusing yet magical social and cultural construction that ranging from Ottoman Empire to these modern times.

Some people are inclined to think that there are legal and social limitations on dress code, especially for women, in Turkey that inherited from Ottoman Empire, but unlike some Arab countries, there is no limitation or rule on dress code. The main reasons of this confusion are predominant Muslim population, cultural effects of Arab region on Turkey, and its location in the Middle East (apart from its European side) but there is no constraining situation in Turkey, unlike Arab countries. In fact, Turkey, especially Istanbul, hosts many different cultures and way of lives.

Predominant population of Muslim people gives foreigners the idea of likeness between Turkey and Arab countries. Because Muslim countries come to the front with their dress codes and strict rules for that, it makes tourists search for the proper dress code in Turkey, as well. However, due to having no official religion and multicultural characteristic of Turkey, it is not like that.

In fact, not everyone believes or practices the religion of Islam. There are lots of other religions that people practice and believe in. However, Islam is the predominant one. Also, there is one thing to keep in mind; not all Muslim women wear hijab. Everyone has their own interpretation of Islam. Some prefer to wear hijab while others don’t. On the other hand, you may see some women that wear the burka (the black dress that covers the whole body and face with a veil). These women are likely to be from other Muslim countries that have strict dress rules for women. However, some Turkish women may prefer to wear the burka as well according to their thoughts and preferences in terms of religion.  

While I was gathering information on the subject ‘’how to dress in Istanbul as a tourist’’, the first thing that questioned most was ‘’how to dress in Istanbul as a woman’’ and in ‘’People also ask section’’: ‘’How should a woman tourist dress in Turkey?’’. People still feel like they need to search for dress codes before visiting Istanbul or any part of Turkey and that is the reason why I wanted to explain the difference between Arab countries and Turkey in terms of the dress code.  

Dress Code in Istanbul

Istanbul offers people a wide diversity in terms of culture. That’s why it is hard to make sweeping generalizations. There are no rules to limit the way people dress or how they live. Therefore, you can see people who dress very different from each other. However, as I stated before, there are some conservative parts in the city like every other country. To feel more comfortable in these places, you may prefer to choose more modest clothes. But it does not mean that it is a rule or an obligation. Nobody has a right to tell you how to dress. For some parts of the city, we can call them more liberal such as Bebek, Nişantaşı, Etiler, Ortaköy, Kadıköy etc. you may feel more comfortable to wear whatever you want while visiting these places.

Additionally, we can say that dressing is much more context dependent. It is related to the seasons and where you are planning to visit. Thus, it would be more proper packing your luggage according to your prior visiting preferences. If your preferences center around cultural sites generally, especially mosques which are highly recommended, then more modest outfits would be appropriate for you to bring alongside.

Also, there is no need to worry on condition that you forget to bring modest outfits since Istanbul is known for amazing bazaars and streets for shopping. Besides, these bazaars are the right place for you to spice up your closet. On the other hand, there are so many fancy restaurants famous for their delicious foods ranging from Asia to Europe cuisine, or traditional Ottoman food and cocktail bars that you would like to go and have a good time. So, you may want to consider bringing some chic clothes, as well.

In daily life, comfortable clothes like sneakers and jeans would be handier when you consider long-term walking. Istanbul is a big city and has numerous places that await you to wander so comfortable clothes can be more practical and it is important to wear comfortable shoes especially if you are planning to walk around the city.

How to Dress in Istanbul According to Seasons

During summer times, Istanbul is hot with temperatures that rise to 90s or 100s F, especially from July to August. During winter times, the city is generally cold. Snow and rain are common in January and February. During spring and autumn times, the weather can be confusing. It can change from one day to another and day to night. For winter, cold weather clothes, for summer lightweight, light-colored and comfortable clothes and for spring and fall, layered dressing can be the savior. In any season, bringing comfortable shoes is a must because a lot of your time in Istanbul is likely to be spent by walking around. If you are planning to visit Istanbul in winter times, then sturdy boots are needed since sidewalks would probably be icy or wet.

How to Dress in Istanbul as a Woman

As I stated before, there are no rules for the dress code for women or men. Dress code for women is more questioning when you think about visiting some predominant Muslim populated countries due to the strict Muslim dress codes for women. Istanbul is a very crowded and multicultural city. You can see women with hijabs or short skirts. You can observe that dress preferences can change from one person to another. But to generalize, women usually wear casual outfits like jeans and sneakers to be more comfortable. In more conservative areas, you may be stared at with some weird looks in less modest outfits. So, jeans or tracksuits and sneakers or gym & training shoes can be your comfort zone to wander around the city.

Is Istanbul Safe to Travel?

This question was one of the most searched questions. The reason must be the bomb attacks that happened back in 2016. It was dangerous to travel or be in Istanbul at those times, but today Istanbul can be traveled without safety hesitations. However, like in every other country or big cities in the world, there are always some places that contain safety risks mainly about pickpocketing especially in crowded places or streets, so you’d better be careful about your properties while traveling.

Traditional Dress in Turkey

In daily life, Turkish people dress in western ways; however, they have some traditional clothes that originally come from the Ottoman Empire. The salwar and the fez are the ones that generally worn in special events.  Also, in some remote villages, people still may wear some of the traditional clothes. Especially in some traditional weddings, they dress according to the traditions. All seven regions in the country have their own traditional clothing. They wear it in big events and dance with their own traditional music.

How to Dress to the Blue Mosque

Women should choose clothes that cover their arms, shoulders, and legs. You will also need a scarf to cover your hair when you enter the mosque. If you are unprepared then Blue Mosque offers scarves for visitors. Also, you should wear loose-fitting clothes that don’t reveal your body shape. Men should choose clothes that cover their legs and prefer loose clothes while avoiding tank tops and vests.


Is the Dress Code Same Through the Whole Country?

Well, as I addressed before, there is no rule or limitation on how to dress but some parts are likely to be more conservative such as Eastern sides. So, you may feel more comfortable wearing modest clothes while visiting there. On the other hand, coastal areas like İzmir and Antalya, it is likely to say that people are more open-minded and to say liberal. People, especially women, are freer to wear whatever they want.

Is Turkey Part of Europe or Middle East?

It is always confusing when it is questioned especially if you ask it to a Turkish citizen. Turkish people practice Middle Eastern religion in general but culturally Turkey differs from the other Middle Eastern countries. The way Turkish people live and dress are more likely to say in European style. Turkey has a very detailed history of these two regions. So, when all these terms combined, you can think Turkey is a bridge between that bonds Eastern and European cultures both literally and metaphorically. She embodies both Eastern and European ways but also has distinctive characteristics to identify herself as Turkish.   

What Is the Best Time to Visit Istanbul, Turkey?

The best time to visit Istanbul is the last term of spring and the first term of summer. In these times, the weather is the best since it is not too hot or cold to restrain traveling cozily. It is easier to walk around without sweating or an umbrella. However,  You may visit touristic sites in every season and if you are intrigued in and want to spend your traveling with cultural, artistic or any kind of special events, then you can follow agendas on the websites of Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), Pera Museum, Istanbul Museum of Modern Arts etc. 

How to Get to the Asian Side of Istanbul from Taksim

Istanbul might be scary for those who do not get used to living in a big city. To be honest, İstanbul might seem quite complex and crowded to handle at first. However, you could be able to understand that everything is located systematically, which makes your life easier in time.

If you want to get the Asian side of İstanbul from Taksim which locates in Europe side of İstanbul, you will see multiple ways by various vehicles. Various vehicles mean here bus, boats, Metrobus, Marmaray, and even Havabus.

On one hand, choosing to walk through Eminonu and take a boat to go to the Asian side of İstanbul from Taksim might be one of your choices.

On the other hand, you can feel a nostalgic atmosphere by taking nostalgic tramway during Istiklal Street and then you can try other alternatives like tunnel and modern tramway.

In short, there are plenty of choices to get the Asian side of İstanbul from Taksim. You can choose whichever you want according to your mood, but it is better to take some parameters such as the rush hours, fares, and travel durations into consideration for your good.

Beyoglu Nostaljik Tramvay (The Historical Tram)

At the end of the 1990s, the historical tramway was ready for its voyage after the USA (Broadway) in 1852, and Paris in 1855 get started to have this type of public transportation.

1.Get off the nostalgic tramway

With very authentic and old movie looking, it takes many people’s attention. Even those who do not use it stand in front of the tram to take a group photo or selfie. It is kind of a symbol of Taksim and Istiklal Street for everyone.

It takes you from Taksim Republic Monument ( Taksim Cumhuriyet Aniti), which is the starting point of Istiklal Street, to the other side of Istiklal Street.

2. Turn the right side after getting off the nostalgic tramway

For weekdays and every Saturday, the working hours are between 7.00 am – 10.45 pm, and for Sunday it is between 7.30 am – 10.45 pm. The distance between the two voyages is approximately 20 minutes.

After running down Istiklal Street from Taksim Square to Tunnel, you can follow two different ways:

  • Tunnel Funikuler Line: By taking this, you can reach Karakoy. It is the second oldest metro line in the world after the one in London and gives a nostalgic feeling like the historical tram.

This funicular allows you to go quickly down Istiklal Street and you will avoid climbing the slopes to get in neighborhoods like Galata, which runs from 7 am to 9 pm.

Now, you are in Karakoy and the beginning of Galata Bridge (Galata Koprusu). When going the opposite of Karakoy, or let’s say when you turn your face into Eminonu, you will see a boat terminal.

It allows you to move from the European Istanbul to the Asian side of Istanbul with so much time saving since the bridges over the Bosphorus are constantly congested.

Also, it is also a good experience to see this lovely city while staying on the water.

There are also other piers in that side. The main piers on the European side are Eminonu, Besiktas and Kabatas, and on the Asian side Uskudar, and Kadikoy.

By taking a boat there, you can go Uskudar or Kadikoy, which are located in the Asian side of İstanbul.

In fact, taking a boat is one of the easiest ways of getting to Asian side because it takes only 15 minutes and you can enjoy with the beauty of Marmara Sea during your journal instead of heavy traffic problem of roadways.

  • The second choice after arriving at the Tunnel side of Istiklal Street is walking down to where Tunnel takes you. It is just walking distance down almost 10-25 minutes.

I suggest you walk from that way down at least one time in your life because that way is one of the places you can feel old Ottoman motifs in İstanbul.

Apart from this, when you are on your way, you can enjoy with Galata Tower view behind you. If you want you can visit the tower first, and then keep walking down but do not forget to know about the legend of Galata Tower!

After arriving at the tunnel station, again you are in Karakoy. You can take the boat now.

What if you are not done with walking towards the beauty and you want to go further by passing from the Galata bridge?

Then, it is time for you to walk on this long bridge. You will see many people fishing here, as a tradition for years. And sometime you might feel like the bridge is shaking, not stable.

Yes, you are right. it is not flexible and it makes you feel it with many cars and people on it. Yet, there is no need to get worried as it is just normal.

After the bridge, you will see many fishing restaurants in Eminonu. If you did not try it before, you should try balik ekmek, which Eminonu is famous for.

After making yourself full, you can take the boat to Uskudar or Kadikoy again just the center of Eminonu near the bus station (here is the first stop of many busses, that is why there is so crowded with people and busses.)

And now, you are in a boat to the way of the Asian side of İstanbul. Enjoy with Marmara sea and your short 15 min trip!

Modern Tramway (Karakoy-Kabatas)

Apart from the historic tramway, there is another alternative in İstanbul goes from Karakoy to Kabatas, which is called modern tramway.

1.Arrive Karakoy tramway statiton

After arriving Karakoy by using one of the ways written above, you can see the station of the modern tramway to the way of Kabatas.

2. Take a boat to go Kadikoy

Although Kabatas is located the Europe side of İstanbul, by boat you can go across, Kadikoy as one of the Asian side places in İstanbul.

You can also take a boat to Princess Island from Kabatas. You will see there many people enjoying their island trip, which is one of the popular activities for those living in this lovely city especially in spring and summer.

Taksim Metro (Subway)

Do not know the location of Taksim Metro Station? There is no need to get worried about.

1.Find Taksim metro statiton

Whoever you ask about Taksim metro, you can find an entrance of Taksim metro just near Taksim Republic Monument and Taksim Square.

2.Transfer Yenikapi Marmaray transit

You should go through ‘Yenikapi’ and after four stations from Taksim stop, you should get off when you are in Yenikapi Station. However, you are still in Europe side.

Yenikapi-Hacıosman (M2) metro line as the longest line among İstanbul subway is very practical for travelers because of its pace and comfort with its big capacity.

However, you are still in the  European side of İstanbul. The next step after getting off Yenikapi is to stay underground and find ‘Marmaray’.

3. Get off Uskudar or Kadikoy Marmaray statiton

Marmaray will take you Asian side. It goes from Sirkeci first, and then by passing under the Marmara Sea, you will be in Uskudar as a first station.

If you want to go Kadikoy, you should get off the last station. Both Uskudar and Kadikoy are the places located in the Asian side of İstanbul, so both might work for you.

The subway in İstanbul is open from 6:15 am to 0:00 am.

Carte des transports en commun à Istanbul


What about if you are a tourist who came to visit İstanbul and needs to return by using Sabiha Gokcen Airport?

Or as a person living in İstanbul but going somewhere else by using the same airport, there is a shuttle named Havabusthat will take you directly in front of Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

It is a good alternative because it goes directly to the airport and it is quite comfortable than other public transportation vehicles to carry your luggage that you need during the travel. Just for the ticket, you might pay a bit more than usual public transportation vehicles.


Although roadway is the most annoying one in Istanbul, it is good to now that you have this alternative.

It is quite boring than boats or Marmaray as there is almost every hour high traffic in İstanbul because of the number of vehicles and the number of such a crowded population.

By using the IETT numbered 129T Taksim-Bostanci Bus Line, you can go Bostanci in the Asian side of İstanbul.

By getting off Bostanci or former stops, you can go wherever you want to go to the Asian side by taking another transfer, bus or Metrobus. The rest depends on where you are planning to go.


As one of the popular and practical ways to travel in İstanbul, Many people love to use Metrobus. It has its own way to go, so there is no traffic there and it is so fast than compared to the other vehicles on roadways.

1.Go to Mecidiyekoy by using Taksim subway

However, there is no station in Taksim or near Taksim like walking distance to a Metrobus station. The way you can take Metrobus is that you can go to Mecidiyekoy by using metro and can take Metrobus there.

2. Take Metrobus from Mecidiyekoy stop

After passing from Zincirlikuyu and the Bosporus Bridge, you can arrive the Asian side of İstanbul within 15-20 minutes.

Here are some pieces informations about three of Metrobus lines:


Line distance: 30 kilometers

Voyage duration: 120 minutes (round trip)

Number of station: 26

Avcılar Campus – Şükrübey – İBB Social Facilities – Küçükçekmece – Cennet Mah. –Florya – Beşyol – Sefaköy – Yenibosna – Şirinevler – Bahçelievler – İncirli – Zeytinburnu – Merter – Cevizlibağ – Topkapı – Bayrampaşa (Maltepe) – Edirnekapı – Ayvansaray – Halıcıoğlu – Okmeydanı – Darülaceze – Okmeydanı Hospital – Çağlayan – Mecidiyeköy – Zincirlikuyu


(working hours 01:30 – 05:00)

Line distance: 52 kilometers

Voyage duration: 200 minutes (round trip)

Number of stations: 44

Beylikdüzü Last Station – Hadımköy – Cumhuriyet Mah. – Beylikdüzü Municipality – Beylikdüzü – Güzelyurt – Haramidere – Haramidere Sanayi – Saadetdere Mah. – Mustafa Kemal Paşa – Avcılar Center – Avcılar Campus -Şükrübey – İBB Social Facilities – Küçükçekmece – Cennet Mah. – Florya – Beşyol – Sefaköy – Yenibosna – Şirinevler – Bahçelievler – İncirli – Zeytinburnu – Merter – Cevizlibağ -Topkapı – Bayrampaşa (Maltepe) – Edirnekapı – Ayvansaray – Halıcıoğlu – Okmeydanı – Darülaceze – Okmeydanı Hospital – Çağlayan – Mecidiyeköy – Zincirlikuyu – Boğaziçi Köprüsü – Burhaniye – Altunizade – Acıbadem – Uzunçayır – Fikirtepe – Söğütlüçeşme


Line distance: 11,5 kilometers

Voyage duration: 60 minutes (round trip)

Number of stations: 8

Zincirlikuyu – Boğaziçi Bridge – Burhaniye – Altunizade – Acıbadem – Uzunçayır – Fikirtepe – Söğütlüçeşme

How to Get Public Transportation On? Istanbul Travel Card

Except for HAVABUS ( you can use both İstanbul Card and cash here), other public transportations are needed to use a card called İstanbul Travel Card or One passing (or more) Tickets.

You can buy Standard Fare Transit Cards you can get off public transportations or you can buy a card for only one or few passing that you will throw after using it. Otherwise, it is not possible to get those public transportation vehicles.

La "Istanbulkart"

Is Public Transportation in Istanbul Safe?

With its well maintained and constantly supervised by security personnel metro, Metrobus, tramway, buses, and boats are safe in İstanbul.

However, it is still important to be careful about some dangerous potential such as watching out for pickpockets is important because especially some places like Taksim are very crowded with the local population and the number of tourists here.

When it comes to being comfortable or not, as I mentioned a bit above, except buses, metro, tram, funicular and train vehicles are relatively new, and air-conditioned.

Also, the Turkish people are famous for being hospitality. For example, they always leave their seat for pregnant women and senior citizens.

In fact, there are also some designated areas for pregnant women and people using a wheelchair.

Another advantage is to have some stops equipped with elevators. It is also very beneficial for a big percentage of the population but not every station has it today; it is still in progress.


Istanbul is such a big city located over 5,000 km ², which makes the travel from one place to another harder and harder.

Yet, luckily you have many choices and alternatives that you might not find in the other cities of Turkey; they can be listed as bus, minibus, metro, tunnel, and boat to get to the Asian side of İstanbul from Taksim.

All give you a great opportunity to get to the Asian side of İstanbul from Taksim.

Is Istanbul Safe for a Woman Traveling Alone?

I never see a person who hates Istanbul, a combination of East and West, which is such a good and breathtaking city you can ever see in your life.

I think everyone should experience the uniqueness of Istanbul with Bosphorus, Maiden Tower, Blue Mosque, and many other places Istanbul is famous for. However, on the other hand, the reputation of Istanbul with crowded makes tourist and local travelers scared.

Is there any possibility to make money stolen? Will I face dangerous people who want to harm me?

These kinds of questions might be more in your mind, especially if you are a woman. In fact, is Istanbul safe for a woman traveling alone?

You will feel more relax when it comes to travel alone in İstanbul after reading my article as a person who was born in Istanbul and visited many places in this lovely city alone.

Why Are People Afraid of Traveling to Istanbul Alone?

Almost everyone agrees about the beauty of İstanbul, but what is the reason behind the scare of travelers toward İstanbul?

This purpose of this article to fix the misconception of being unsafe. At first sight, you can think that Turkey is a Middle East country with the majority of Muslims and it makes more dangerous this county.

One of the reasons for this misconception is the population of different ethnic groups in Turkey. According to Turkish Statistical Institute 2012 data, there are many ethnic groups living in this city such as Kurds, Zaza, Circassian, Arab, and Laz people.

There is a percentage of groups in Turkey and many of them living in Istanbul depending on economic and social status. This comes from Ottoman Empire times and there is no need to get worried about security issue as they live in a feeling of peace from those times.

There is a percentage of groups in Turkey and many of them living in Istanbul depending on economic and social status. This comes from Ottoman Empire times and there is no need to get worried about security issue as they live in a feeling of peace from those times.

However, Turkey and especially Istanbul is quite different when it comes to freedom of life and voice.

Unless you do start your travel with a kind of prejudice or bias, you will see how kind people here are. Unlike this, travelers coming to İstanbul generally see that people tripped over themselves to assist others who do not the place.

Is Istanbul Is Safe to Visit as Solo Female Traveler in Terms of Terrorism

Despite the peaceful corners of Istanbul, it is a fact that this city is such chaotic because of the population and tourist coming to travel this beauty.

This might make solo female travelers scared but there is no need to get worried. I will show you it is kind of misunderstanding of others living outside of İstanbul.

To begin with, it is hard to deny that there are some ‘bad guys’ in İstanbul, just like many modern and big cities. However, compared to other cities like Texas or other crowded cities in America, İstanbul is quite safe.

There are many security precautions. Especially when it comes to the touristic places, you will see how strong some regulations are to control in case any terror attack or that kind of things.

Should you worry about terrorism?  According to some statics, you are more likely to be shot at home than killed by a terrorist in İstanbul because İstanbul is such a big city and it makes the percentage decrease.

It is normal to be afraid of this kind of possibilities, but what I think is that you should not miss the chance to visit this beautiful city as a solo female traveler because I am sure it will expand your horizon and make your self-esteem increase when learning lots of historical stories and witness of ancient times architecture.

Just as a short reminder, I can say that the news about violence and terror attacks in Turkey is mostly about the southeastern part of Turkey. It might be because of the Syrian civil war, or mixed ethnic rooted people and their fighting, unfortunately.

Yet, İstanbul is different and as I said above there are many security precautions against the possible attacks. Therefore, there is no reason to make you scared when you see any news online or in your newspaper about Turkey.

What About Crime Rate in Istanbul?

It is a more complicated question because, with the high rate of population, it is quite inevitable to have relatively less crime rate in this city.

However, the places to travel are not a suitable one to live for those crimes. In other words, those who crime live in some rural side or the places with low economic facilities.

Despite this reality, again compared to other big cities including the biggest cities in the United States, the tare of murder and rapes are less.

Turkey is pretty safe actually when you come to travel. You can see almost everywhere police and police stations if you need something.

For example, according to statistics made by Statista in 2019, Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is in the list of the most visited tourist attractions worldwide top ten. Each year, 15 million people visit there and most of them is a solo traveler.

The other advantage, let assume that you witness any kind of crime, is that you can find police who will help you. And generally, there is at least one police officers knowing English if you are a foreigner traveling alone as a female traveler.

If your worries are about women violence and harassment, you can be sure about the respect of Turkish people to women.

You can hear many times that they call you ‘abla’ or ‘teyze’, if you are older. It is kind of saying that “I see you as my sister or mother and it means there is no harm to you from me.”

However, it is still better not to share your personal pieces of information such as your phone number, hotel address, and other personal pieces of information.

There is no need to say also that you should keep an eye on your belongings just in case because you know there are many other people in Istanbul other than Turkish people.

the Risk of on Being Catcalled in Istanbul?

It is another risk of making solo woman travelers afraid of. In fact, if you go to Grand Bazaar, you will see how many languages traders know there such as English, Malaysian language, Bahasa Indonesian and many more.

If you are a Turkish traveler from the rural side of Turkey, again it might make you shocked how traders and sellers behave you in Istanbul.

Yes, you can see many sincere behaviors or they can insist on you in order to make you buy more stuff but there is no way to be catcalled by them.

People in İstanbul know how to respect others especially travelers. In fact, Turkish people are such hospitable rooted society and you will see how helpful they are if you are into trouble.

Unlike other Middle East countries, Turkey and especially İstanbul is not strick when it comes to the dressing of women. Therefore, there is no rule like you can cover your hair. In other words, if you prefer to wear something like a short skirt, it is okay to walk in Istanbul street like that.

You will already see starting from the airport of İstanbul or bus station that there is a great many different dress choices people choice and nobody intervenes each other.

I think this is the best part for me when traveling İstanbul alone, which makes you free. Is not it one of the meanings of traveling alone as a woman.

Language Barrier When Travelling Alone in Istanbul for Tourists

Despite the fact that English is not a formal language in Turkey, as a center of civilization Istanbul is a city where you can find many people knowing English if you are a foreigner solo woman traveler knowing English.

Sellers, hotel waiters, policemen, and even local people generally know English. Their level is at least enough to direct you when you have a problem.

Apart from this, you can see the English version of Menus in a restaurant, or in transportation vehicles, which will make your life easier. In museums or the historical places you will visit in İstanbul, there are many language options to guide you.

Therefore, it does not really matter if you know Turkish or not when traveling alone in İstanbul. Actually, it is quite obvious that Turkish people in İstanbul are really willing to guide you and suggest some places to go and some foods to try and taste.

High Sofia Museum

Those people fall in love with this city and introducing the beauty of this city foreigners makes them happier. You will see how they will try to make you feel welcome and at ease.

In short, there is no language barrier when traveling Turkey alone but here is a tip for you:

If you lean some Turkish words like ‘Merhaba (Hi! Hello!), Tesekkur Ederim (Thank You!), Kendine iyi bak! (Take Care!) would make you seem more sympathetic and at the same time, you will see how happy it will make Turkish people happy when they hear something from your broken Turkish.

I recommend this since as you know traveling is to learn about the culture of that place and language cannot be separated from the culture. You will enjoy more if doing so!

the Economist Intelligence Unit Report

Analyzing digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security, this report shows security issue has increased in a good way in this urbanizing world.

By ranking 60 cities across 49 indicators, this report says that man-made risks and increasing population together might be ended with unexpected results unless there is a rapid deployment of digital technologies in pursuit of the “smart city”.

Considering all those variables and dynamics, Istanbul is fortieth placed in the index 2017 after some Asian cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapur.

Istanbul as one of the mega cities in the world is able to follow technological and digital advances when fighting with the problems and challenges of getting wider as a mega city.

Best Things to Do in Istanbul

In this section, I will give you some instances of good places in Istanbul to go. There are quite many options in Istanbul, so I suggest you have some further search to see other wonderful places to go to.

  • Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi): With its enchanted beauty, it is one of the highest and oldest towers of İstanbul.

You can panoramic view of the old city and sense ancient feelings from 63 meters away from the ground. According to legend, those who climb this tower first time together, get married to each other.

  • Maiden Tower (Kiz Kulesi): It is known as Kiz Kulesi located off the coast of Uskudar district. You will read a legend when you go there from Byzantine emperor about a princess putting in this tower built. Go there and learn more about this legend.

  • Hagia Sophia Museum: Although this place is used now as a museum, it was a triumph of Christianity and the symbol of Byzantium, for almost a thousand years. You will a long queue when you go there for many people who are willing to see this beauty.
  • Istanbul Archaeological Museums: If you are interested in history, this place will take your attention. Near Topkapi Palace, you will see three big museums that The İstanbul Archaeological Museums consists: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient, and the Museum of Islamic Art.

  • Dolmabahçe Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi): Here is a real place that even will make you feel like you are a princess. In fact, this place witnessed six different sultans towards the end of the Ottoman period.
  • Taksim Square and Istiklal Street: Here is the beating heart of the city of İstanbul. Despite the fact that it is too crowded street, everyone there enjoys walking during the street. Instead of walking 1.4 km long pedestrian walkway, you can just take the historic tram all the way to Taksim Square to view the monument of the republic.

  • Ortakoy: If you want to try kumpir and waffle in front of Bosphorus view, here is the best place. You should not leave there before trying these delicious tastes!
  • Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici):  It is İstanbul’s largest surviving Byzantine cistern as one of the historic sites in the city. Constructed in 532 for Justinianus I, this sprawling underground water reservoir when supplied water to the Great Palace of Constantinople. The story of there is quite interesting and the architecture is breathtaking.
  • Süleymaniye Mosque (Süleymaniye Camii): Located in a famous district of İstanbul, which is Fatih by Golden Horn, Istanbul University, and the Grand Bazaar. It is known as one of the most impressive Ottoman mosques built between 1550 and 1557. This grand structure features multiple gardens and a large dome, and other structures such as mother-of-pearl window shutters, painted corbels, traditional ceramic tiles, and stained-glass windows.


So, you do not need to be worried about walking alone in Taksim Street alone at midnight anymore. You do not need to hesitate to buy something just because you think sellers deceive you by giving an extremely high price.

The only thing in your mind before starting your female solo trip to Istanbul should be the list where to go first and what to eat first. The rest will come easily.

You should not waste more time if you ever come to İstanbul before, regardless of you are Turkish citizen or a foreigner tourist. I believe that you will want to experience this city with the warmest hospitable people, the breathtaking architecture, and its delicious cuisine again after your first visit.

With 36.13 U.S. dollars per day, Istanbul is one of the top countries to visit by backpacking travelers. That means, here is one of the
most affordable cities for backpackers based on daily expenses. according to the European Backpacker Price Index.

It is time for sure to discover this truly wonderful city alone. Enjoy your trip!