Tips for Women Travellers
You will find here the most necessary tips for women travelers, prepared by an Istanbul insider.
women wonder if Istanbul is safe for them to visit as a solo traveler.
Yes, it most definitely is. Most female visitors find Turkish people
extremely warm, welcoming, accommodating and helpful.
statistically one of the safest major cities in Europe with low
incidence of violent crime. But of course there are some reminders for women travelers.
Just take the same precautions you'd normally take while on vacation, and you'll be fine.
Here are some useful tips for women travellers:
you're a female, you'll definitely attract the attention of the young
males. This attention is harmless, but it surely can be annoying. The
best way to handle it is to remain calm, to avoid eye contact and to
make it clear that you are not interested by your behavior. Don’t talk
back, it’s no use.
- If you are a single woman
or a woman-only group, you should be a bit more cautious when someone or
a group of men try to approach you or are following you. This rule
applies in walking on a street, eating in a restaurant or drinking in a
- Be formal at all times, even on third or
fourth encounter. Be pleasant, but don't smile readily at men you don't
know, even you think it is totally normal (like when registering at a
hotel, taking a taxi ride, ordering food…).
- If a man approaches by being overly friendly, you should be overly formal.
you're traveling alone and somehow you felt a little insecure,
introduce yourself to Turkish women or families. You can simply start a
conversation by asking a question. This informally includes you in their
- Establishing eye contact and a polite
smile is not the normal way of interacting with strangers in Turkey.
These can be easily misinterpreted as a signal of more personal
interest. Turkish men tend to interpret an innocent act
very differently. So if you smile at a Turkish man just to be nice, he
might assume it to mean that you're interested in being even
friendlier. (Not every Turkish man, but the ones that you will encounter
in touristic areas. No offence guys!)
make eye contact with men on the street. If someone tries to talk to
you, there is a great chance that he is trying to sell you something. Don't even bother answering and just keep walking.
are cons in Istanbul too, like any other big city. You will encounter
these people mostl in Sultanahmet. They are young men who approach very
kindly and ask questions to start a conversation. Just ignore them.But
this kind of behavior shouldn’t be considered as general. Usually,
alone female travelers are treated with an almost exaggerated courtesy
in Turkey. Turkish people will treat you as a member of their family and I’m sure you will be surprised by such behavior. Having
all this warmth and hospitality at one hand and possible risks for
encountering sexually hungry young men on the other side, it might seem
difficult to balance your actions. It is not. You will soon learn
to recognize how different these people are. It's important to find a
balance between polite formality and the openness that North American,
European, and Australian women find so normal.
- Reported hassles include staring, minor groping and pinching, unpleasant sounds and comments, and unwanted romantic advances.
- Hassle is not what happens to all female travelers. Absolutely not! Most Turkish men are extremely polite to women.
- Violent crime, including assault and rape, is less common in Turkey than in many developed Western countries. Remember you will probably be in far less physical danger in Turkey than you'd be in many more "liberal" countries.
women traveler say they feel safer in Turkey than at home. Observe
local norms, take common-sense precautions and you will be safe. As
long as you adjust to local customs and attitudes (as you would do in
any country you visit) and take normal, common-sense precautions, there
is no need to worry.
Going out at night;
you are a woman I'm sure you have felt unease at one point in your life
when you were going out alone. These are my tips for women travelers
who love going out at night;
- If you're out late at night don’t wander in dark streets, take a taxi back to your hotel.
- Do not wander into dark and deserted streets.
- This is one of the most obvious tips among other tips for women travelers, but it works wonders; Dress neatly and act reserved.
local customs. Dress and behave according to those local customs. Do
things with others (a female or male companion you know, or a mixed
group) when possible.
- Try to be in public and do
things in public mostly. If you will go to a private place, like a
house, an office etc, make sure that you are in group settings in which
you know most of the people.
- This is one of the most important
tips for women travelers; Do not go out with men you don't know. Avoid
being alone in private with a man or men you do not know well, at all
times. Do not get in a car alone with a stranger man or men under no
- If you are going to hang out with locals, mixed groups, including both Turkish men and Turkish women, you are usually fine.
you go somewhere for the first time, observe the place to find out if
there are any mixed groups. If so it is a safe place. If
not, if there are only men staring at lonely women behind their
mustaches, I don’t know how you got there at the first place but get out
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Just be aware, not over-precautious.
Enjoy Istanbul, it's one of the greatest cities in the world!
Those are my tips for women travellers in Istanbul.
You can see other travel advice pages full of essential tips for travellers if you want to know more.
Here is a page that you will find useful if you are interested in shopping in Istanbul:
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