Why in the World Istanbul? – Solo Female Travel in Today’s World

From the moment I first mentioned that I was planning to travel  to Istanbul, I’ve been warned about travelling there.

Just yesterday, when the Australian Government updated it’s travel warning to Turkey because of potential terrorist attacks on the Gallipoli ceremony, I was told once again that I’m crazy to be heading to Turkey.  I hear things like, “Why would you want to go there?”  “You know there are terrorist attacks in Turkey all the time.”  The funny thing is that these were the same types of things I was told before my last two trips to France.  In some ways I can understand that some people are frightened of the world at the moment.  Just this morning we awoke to news of another possible ‘terrorist’ attack in Sweden and in the last weeks, an attack in London and a bombing of a train in Russia.  With all the things that are going on and everyone asking is istanbul safe for a woman traveling alone 2017, even I had to stop and ask myself why do I want to venture out into the world and why travel solo as a female to Turkey?

My answer to these question is Istanbul safe to travel to, is simple.  

Quite frankly, the world does not scare me.  Where ever I go in the world, I see people just like me, living their day to day, making a living to put a roof over their heads, food in their bellies and loving their families and friends. I’m not afraid of people with different belief systems, or those who see the world in a different way. No, I am not afraid to venture out into the world. Terrorist attacks can happen anywhere, even here at home in Australia.  In some ways, I want to show others that overall the world is not a scary place.

Turkey has always been on my bucket list of places to go.

As a young girl, I would read about it’s amazing and sometimes tumultuous history.  A place where East meets West and cultures collide in an explosion of colour and experience.  Istanbul is a place where old meets new and filled with beautiful, yet different architecture and art.

Istanbul. Panoramic View from Galata tower to Golden Horn, Turkey








Going Solo to Istanbul.

This week I have been researching how to get around and things to see and do in Istanbul.  As usual, I won’t be part of a tour and will be discovering the city out and about on my own.  Of course I’m hoping to see some of the famous places like the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar, but I am equally excited to walk the streets of the Old Town and finding a cafe to sip on Turkish coffee and sup on a traditional Turkish breakfast overlooking the Bosphorus and just watching the world go by.  I am dreaming of seeing the beautiful colours of Istanbul and taking in the sites and smells of a foreign land.

I’ll be flying from Australia to Kuala Lumpur and then on to Turkey, a long journey with two long haul flights and one that as usual I will need to get myself prepared for. So this week it’s early nights and plenty of rest for me.  I’ve researched the public transport and how to get to my hotel, what currency to take (Turkish Lira) and how much food and transportation costs.  Just like anywhere in the world I visit, as a solo female traveller, I know I will need to stay alert to keep myself safe and sound in Istanbul.

I can’t wait to see you Istanbul!

Update: I had a magical time in Istanbul and can’t wait to return.  Read more about my adventure there here.

Please note: things can change in the world all the time, make sure you check your Government travel warnings before you book any travel!

You can follow all my travels on my Facebook Community @anotsoyoungwomanabroad.

Happy Travels









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  1. Ellis

    I was in Istanbul last year and I felt absolutely safe. I only had one day which is way too short for this beautiful and amazing city. The food is also delicious. I hope you will have a great time

  2. Josie

    This time last year I was on my way to Istanbul! The Australia government had just increased the warning to “reconsider your need to travel”. We still went, and had a fantastic time! The best thing of all – no queues! We walked straight into the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia and pretty much every other attraction we went to! We did not feel unsafe for a single minute. I am planning to go back there on my travels later this year.

  3. Kelly

    Totally relate to this post. I travel alone usually and always get gasps of horror when I mention places like Turkey. But i refuse to live in fear and have faith in my ability to take care of myself. Great post!

  4. Adrienne Lee

    Good for you! Lots of people warned us before we went last month, but we felt completely safe and had a fabulous time! So much history, culture and REALLY good food. I can’t wait to to go back.

  5. Bob R

    As in all aspects of life, there’s no reason to let fear guide your decisions. I’ve visited Istanbul a half dozen times over the past eight years –I transited through the airport just a few day prior to last year’s attack there– and have always felt welcome. I’m sure you will too. 🙂

  6. Ilana

    I visited Turkey, and particularly Istanbul several times, including as a solo traveler and always felt safe to. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  7. Lisa

    Very nice and true article. Go for it girl, live life to it’s fullest, get out there and enjoy and explore all you can. There are dangers everywhere, just be aware of your surroundings and you’ll be fine. Your an inspiration to others, good job.

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