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Solo female travelling to Turkey! Suggestions?!

Solo female travelling to Turkey! Suggestions?!

Aug 28th, 2014, 01:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 6
Thanks for all the information, you guys are fantastic!

Special thanks to wintersp for the reassurance although I'm sure OC was just giving me practical advice.

Odin, I would consider going solely to Cyprus but I really want to go to Turkey as well.

I think I'm trying to do too many things all at once. So, I'll just stick with Istanbul this time. Do you guys recommend Bursa or Cappadocia as a side trip? So either like 6-7 days in Istanbul and 2 days in one or the other?

Also, would it be better to go directly to those places and save Istanbul for the latter part of the trip? That way I save myself the trouble of checking in and out of hotel in Istanbul twice?
Kassian is offline  
Aug 28th, 2014, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,656
I loved Cappadocia, but I am not sure you have enough time for both. Where are you flying from?
rialtogrl is offline  
Aug 28th, 2014, 04:01 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
The problem is the days are so short in December. That limits your sightseeing, especially outside cities. And if you're uncomfortable in the dark....
Mimar is offline  
Aug 28th, 2014, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,703
As Mimar says, facing short days will make a huge difference. And with so little time, like rialtogrl, I'm not sure Cappadocia makes sense for this trip (much as I loved it).

I thoroughly enjoyed Bursa, but is more conservative than any of the other places I visited. Too, I think you might want to go somewhere that is unlike Istanbul -- maybe one of the magnificent ruins.

If you aren't sure, you might want to consult one of the guidebooks that has lots of high quality pictures, like the Eyewitness Guide, Insight Guide, or National Geographic Traveller.

Depending on where you end up deciding to go, I would think going straight there makes sense -- as you say, it would save you checking in/out (not to mention getting to/from the airport).
kja is offline  
Aug 28th, 2014, 04:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,332
I was shocked when I saw you mention traveling to Antakya in light of it's situation near the Syrian border and influx of refugees there. I'm glad that OC saw your post and gave you a realistic picture of that area.
Follow OC's advice on everything he offers.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Sep 10th, 2014, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 4
Did Istanbul for 7 days solo in March 2013 and 8 days in March 2014. Going back again in a couple weeks. Spend as much time as you can in Istanbul. The is so much to see and do there. Consider taking an Istanbul Eats food walking tour for about 6 hours and try all sorts of foods and get to know a bit about the city from the guide. If you travel to another place a lot of time is taking up going to the airport, etc. Doing Cappadocia this time with a balloon ride. Looking forward to that. Istanbul is one amazing place so spend the time there.
chmiss105 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2014, 04:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 756
You might benefit by reading my two trip reports, one from 2011 is here:


For the one just completed I had an entirely different reaction:


Here is the post on my blog where I had some concluding remarks to this summer's experience and the current difficult Turkish political situation:


There are other posts on Turkey on the blog. If go to the blog, you just need to look around to find them. The main page for the blog is here:


I have been to Cappadocia, Edirne, Gallipoli, Ephesus and Troy. There are posts about all those areas.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Sep 10th, 2014, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 756
In the controversy of Sultanahmet vs. Taksim as a place to stay: Sultanahmet has the main tourist sites a first timer will want to see. Taksim has the restaurants and "action". For first timers, I'd recommend Sultanahmet to reduce the exhaustion factor--and Istanbul is exhausting. For my second time I had a home exchange near the Galata Tower on the Taksim side. Having seen everything I wanted to see on the Sultanahmet side of the Golden Horn the first time I went to Turkey, I spent very little time on the Sultanahmet side and did other things (Museum of Innocence, hanging out on Istikal Caddesi and Taksim, etc.). The focus was entirely different.

Of all the side trips I have done, Cappadocia was by far the most interesting. I did not do the balloon ride because (a) it cost a bundle, (b) I have been in a balloon before and (c) I did not fancy getting up at 2:00am for a 4:00am balloon ride on a vacation, but that is just me.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 03:34 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,582
Take OC's excellent advice on where to stay and where to go- and NOT go. We stayed in Sultanahmet with my daughter, then 21, who had some uncomfortable moments exploring on her own. If any of us were to go back, we'd go to Taksim, which is much more populated after dark. Good luck!
WWK is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 756
Taksim Square is the scene of a lot of petty pickpocketing. When I was in the Taksim police station reporting (or trying to report) the burglary of my apartment, others were in there about pickpockets taking cellphones in Taksim Square.

If you end up at the police station, you need to bring an interpreter, as the police do not have any interpreters on call.

If I were to hang out in Taksim in the evening, I would leave my electronics elsewhere.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 11:15 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,084
@chmiss, what was the weather like for both your March visits? I'm going end of March 2015.

jdc26 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 03:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 4
jdc, the weather was mostly sunny with highs getting to around 60. For me that was just perfect. Could wear a light jacket and not get too hot. Had one day that had a little rain. Some of the flowers were out especially this year. By the end of the month there should be tulips. Since this is where tulips started they really have lots of them all over the city. It is also nice that the crowds aren't too bad.
chmiss105 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 04:39 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,084
chmiss, thank you. That's my kind of weather and is making me even more excited about my upcoming trip.

jdc26 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
OC is everything BUT sarcastic..I'm fond of his habit of telling it like it is. We have our occasional differences, but listening to his suggestions can only help you while in Turkey. If you talk with his sweet wife she gives you an altogether different picture of the Risk Manager that he is.

You owe me one OC.
tower is offline  
Jul 12th, 2015, 09:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2
Great advice! This is where I want to go next!
AlanaR is offline  

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