Istanbul - Solo Female First-timer

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Jul 14th, 2012, 12:33 PM
  #1
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Istanbul - Solo Female First-timer

Hey guys -

First-time traveller here (outside of North America, that is) and I'm considering Turkey. I've read up on the general idea (keeping modestly dressed is a good idea, don't smile openly at strange men as they may take it as an advance) but I'd like to hear it from other women, or men who have talked to women, who have done it solo. Is there a pretty good travelling infrastructure there? Easy to meet other foreigners? Any horror stories/cautionary tales?

Thanks!
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Jul 14th, 2012, 05:35 PM
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Turkey is one of my favorite destinations. The people are some of the warmest I've ever encountered, and the history and architecture is unbeatable.

Language is more of a barrier than I'd anticipated, things were much better with a group than on my own. If I had to do it over again, I'd travel with a private guide which is my philosophy in general when I don't speak the local language. It makes my vacations so much more enjoyable.

You'll probably receive more responses if you post your question on the Europe board. Totally understandable that you would post here though. Happy travels!
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Jul 14th, 2012, 07:10 PM
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I am a female who spent a couple of days alone in Istanbul before joining a group. You will get a lot of attention from men but it's not threatening. The biggest nusciance is the carpet salesmen. They will approach you on the street, usually saying something like, "Hey, where are you from?" Then they will chat you up until they finally get to the point, which is they want to sell you a carpet for a few thousand dollars. It will happen again and again, and they will take up a lot of your time if you let them. I soon discovered the best way to get rid of them is to speak Pig Latin. If they can't understand you, they won't stick around.

Except for the pesky carpet salesmen you will find the Turkish to be some of the finest and most welcoming people in the world.
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Jul 15th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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The carpet men sommetimes had a good sense of humour. It helped to have a witty response to their (poorly disguised) attempts to lure one in to the shops.
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Jul 15th, 2012, 01:39 PM
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Likewise, Turkey was one of my favorite destinations. However, we (two women who had traveled elsewhere independently) did for this visit go with a group. It was small, about 25/people, with a great guide who actually preferred to be with us than the others... we were just so much fun for him

Why by group vs independent? Because the country is so large (we visited from Instanbul, down east coast, the Mediteranean, and thru the mountains to Ankara, back to IST), and the history so intense, neither of us wanted to have our heads stuck in a guidebook. That's not to say one couldn't do this solo, but suggest, for more details on how to plan... post this on the European Forum, where you should get more replies.
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Jul 16th, 2012, 10:28 PM
  #6
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Thanks for the responses! Hm interesting, never thought of posting it in Europe. Thanks for your help!
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Jul 17th, 2012, 05:43 AM
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jenpan, the reason posting in Europe was suggested is because Turkey is not in Africa. A small part of it is in Europe and the rest is in Asia. However most of the discussions about Turkey are found in the Europe forum.
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