Female solo traveler to Istanbul - safe?

Nov 29th, 2006, 05:01 AM
  #1  
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Female solo traveler to Istanbul - safe?

I'm going on a cruise next year and hopefully my husband will be able to go with me. If not, then I would either have to book a tour (with fellow cruisers) or go alone to the sights. I've been to Istanbul before (1993) so I know the cost of the tours are very expensive and would rather go on my own.

Is Istanbul a city where I'll be safe? I'm talking about touring the sights during the day and hopefully will have friends to dine with at night in town.

Thanks!

Monica
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Nov 29th, 2006, 05:02 AM
  #2  
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PS: I'll actually have 1-1/2 days in Istanbul.
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Nov 29th, 2006, 05:07 AM
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Monica I spent about a week there last year and much of this time I was on my own. NO problem. During the day you most definitely do not need a tour to go anywhere..just a good map. At night if you feel uncomfortable (which I doubt) you can find a place near your hotel to eat, or take a taxi. I was a little worried about this before my trip, since I planned to stay on longer than my friends, and since we all went our way alone during the day....again, no problem at all. In fact, less of a problem than in Paris, for example, because everyone is eager to help and many speak English..and taxis are cheap...Have fun, in Paris and on the cruise..and don't forget to leave the plastic bags at home!!!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 29th, 2006, 05:26 AM
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LOL!! Okay, no shopping for me. Will leave the plastic bags in the stores.

Thanks for your comments. I do hope Tony can go with me, but if not, I'd rather tour on my own.

Monica
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Nov 29th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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No, you can shop!!!! But you can't carry the huge bags into the restaurant! Just kidding, Monica! Really, there is nothing to worry about in Istanbul. As I said, I was worried, too but there really was no need.
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Nov 29th, 2006, 05:50 AM
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I know you're kidding around. I made the mistake of holding my groceries while my picture was taken and now I'll never hear the end of that story!

Any shopping suggestions? On our last visit we purchased a turkish tea set, which I have on display in my living room. Also purchased a crystal chandelier. And a small gold turkish mosque pendant.

Any dining suggestions for my one night? Something local/typical and inexpensive. I don't plan to eat on the ship while we're in port. Love all the mezes!

Monica
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Nov 29th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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fnn
 
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I just returned Sunday from a week in Turkey on my own. Most of the time was spent on a tour but I had about a day and a half free in Istanbul. I had no problems walking around on my own, I just got a lot of stares and at times people would just start a conversation as I was walking down the street. Most of my time was spent in the Sultanamet area.
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Nov 29th, 2006, 09:02 AM
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Can't speak from the perspective of a solo female, but can recommend that you stop by the Spice Market and pick up some saffron. Do NOT consider the prepackaged stuff - they dye the few strands on display and the stuff inside is inferior. There is a stall that sells in bulk and you can see what you are getting; IIRC it is located near the exit on the front aisle. They will sell it to you in little glass jars with screw tops (sort of like a mini baby food jar) and you pay by weight. What I brought back has been great to use at home as was well recevied as gifts.
There was one other thng that was a great purchase - underwear. Really! My luggage was delayed a couple days and I had to purchase locally, and the stuff was so great - really soft cotton, well made and cofortable - that I bought more to carry home.
Seamus is online now  
Nov 29th, 2006, 09:02 AM
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I was in Turkey for 10 days 2 years ago and did feel safe; including Istanbul. However, Cabet Cove, Maine seems to have a murder every day. I won't go there until the reruns are over.
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Nov 29th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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I visited the spice market and plan to go back! Thanks for the saffron suggestion. I'll also look for other spices I might not normally get here.

Monica
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Nov 29th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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I spent a 3 days in Istanbul on my own - mature woman - and had no problems at all.

The carpet sellers in the Sultanhemet area will all try to talk to you and get you into their stores, everyone in the market will say "hello, how are you" and so on, but it is completely safe.

Go and enjoy!
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Dec 16th, 2006, 12:17 AM
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I've just returned from a week in Istanbul by myself. You will have absolutely no problems! Of course you will be approached by random men telling you how beautiful your eyes, hair, etc. are, but they mean no harm. Make sure to visit the spice market and go to shop #67!! My very close friend works there and everyone in the store is wonderful!
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Dec 16th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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You will be safe. Besides, at least if a woman is middle aged the Turkish men are gentlemen, they give you their seat in metro, and so on.
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Dec 16th, 2006, 06:36 AM
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We found Turkish people in Istanbul to be wonderfully kind and pleasant, at least all those not giving you the hard sell for carpets. There are four areas I'd recommend for dining reasonably--Sultanhamet near the Four Seasons Hotel. Lots of nice restaurants in the area. Same for Kumkapi where you'll find oodles of fish restaurants. Then the area off Istikal Caddesi in the newer part of Istanbul, just down from Taksim square. Go to the area just behind Cicek Pazuji (Flower Passage) Look for Nevizade street and go to Nevizade restaurant there. Best Mezes we had. Went twice. We also enjoyed the Ortakoy area by the Ortakoy mosque. Lots of restaurants facing a lovely square right on the water. Big time nightlife in the streets surrounding. You'll want to schedule a longer, return visit to Istanbul, trust me.
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Dec 16th, 2006, 06:56 PM
  #15  
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Thanks for the recent postings. I appreciate it!

Monica
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