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Is it Safe to Travel to Turkey as a Woman?


Turkey is a gorgeous country, inviting everyone to immerse in its beauty. Whether you want to enjoy a romantic getaway with your partner or a family vacation, Turkey makes it to the list. At the same time, it is also a favorite choice for solo travel. However, women traveling alone often wonder, “Is it safe to travel to Turkey as a woman?”

Turkey, located in Western Asia and Southeastern Europe, attracts tourists from all around the world. Combining the Asian and European cultures, Turkey is a welcoming country for tourists of all kinds. The gorgeous hot air balloons in Cappadocia especially make you want to experience the ride at least once. The colorful sight is a treat to the eyes, especially attracting female tourists. 

This article answers all your queries and concerns regarding traveling in Turkey as a female. We have compiled all the safety measures and tips for traveling to Turkey as a woman. Keep the culture and norms in mind to enjoy your trip to the fullest in this serene country.

Is Turkey Safe?

Before we jump to our main topic, we’d like to discuss whether Turkey is overall safe to travel or not. The question typically arises regarding the ISIS attacks in Istanbul in 2016. At the same time, the failed coup made the situation worse, also for people living in Turkey. However, life returned to normal in 2017 and has been peaceful since then. 

Since then, Turkey has been an amazing place to live and visit. The level of safety in Turkey is unmatched. Instead of pickpocketing and stealing, the Turkish people return lost items. Moreover, you can leave your gadgets unattended in cities like Istanbul, and anyone is unlikely to steal them.

So, when you plan to travel to Turkey from the USA or any place in the world, be assured that you are visiting one of the most safe tourist favorites. 

Is Turkey Safe for Women?

Turkey is overall a safe country with no particular violent crimes or scams. The locals are lovely and friendly. You will see most people helping visitors and ensuring they enjoy their trip. So, you can roam around the country as a female without worrying about harmful crimes.

The environment provides a sense of security that allows you to travel freely. You can visit the shops and important landmarks, and enjoy food alone in restaurants. Unlike many countries unsafe for female travelers, you do not have to worry about harassment or violence in Turkey. 

Is Turkey Safe for First-time Solo Female Travelers?

Now that we have discussed if is it safe to travel to Turkey as a woman, is it safe for first-timers? 

Turkey could be the perfect choice for women traveling alone for the first time. The locals are friendly and welcoming. It might not be the best introduction to solo travel life because of the safe environment. But Turkey is a suitable location to enjoy your trip to Turkey from the USA hassle-free.

Traveling to Turkey as a female can be an empowering experience if it is your first solo trip. You do not have to worry about pickpockets, thefts, harassment, and other similar issues. Tourists love the hospitality of Turkish people and visit this beautiful country multiple times.


Safety Tips for Women Traveling Alone to Turkey

While the answer to “Is turkey safe for a woman to travel alone?” is generally “yes,” you must still stay vigilant. Most locals are friendly, but they may sometimes try to scam tourists or ask for your phone number. 

Here are a few safety tips women must keep in mind when traveling to Turkey alone:

Tourists Get Extra Attention

Despite Turkey welcoming many tourists yearly, people love seeing tourists there. Female tourists, especially blondes, get more attention from the locals. You might see men and women wanting to take pictures with you. Typically, men in Turkey are respectful, but avoiding taking pictures with them is better. You can always take photos with females and families if you feel comfortable. Otherwise, excuse yourself politely from the situation.

Avoid Taking Anything for Free

It is a rule not to take anything for free from a stranger. The same applies when traveling to Turkey as a woman. The region is known for its fondness for tea. So, the shopkeepers often offer delicious tea to customers.

You will see shopkeepers offering tea to potential buyers when they enter the shop. This leaves a good impression, and you eventually want to buy something not to seem rude. 

While most people do not mean harm, some tourists say that the tea has drugs that make you agree with the sellers. Eventually, you end up buying things at the prices they offer. Though it’s not a common tale, you must still avoid taking anything from shopkeepers for free, even if it is just tea.

Understand the Culture

Understanding the culture can help make your trip to Turkey more pleasant. Talk to the locals about their families and share your culture. It will help you fit in easily and avoid anything that might offend them. Some people might also offer you tea during the conversation. Drinking it while you enjoy the conversation is fine unless any transaction is involved.

Dress Modestly

While half of Turkey is in Europe, most people dress modestly. Women also wear head scarves in some parts of the country. When traveling to Turkey, you must wear something that suits the local culture. Maxi dresses are the safest choice for women regardless of the city or town you’re visiting, especially in East Turkey.

Opt for wide-legged pants and tunics if you do not want to wear maxi dresses; avoid wearing something too revealing or tight. You can also pick long skirts for your trip to Turkey.

However, Turkey has no hard and fast rules for women to dress modestly. You can wear shorts and crop tops as well. Study your surroundings and dress accordingly to not seem out of place.

Cover your Head in Mosques

Mosques are significant to Islam and Turkish people due to the majority Muslim population. Compared to other Muslim countries, tourists can visit the mosques in Turkey. Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque are favorites among visitors; these mosques are not only religious spaces but also splendid pieces of art.

However, visiting the mosques requires you to remove your shoes before entering the premises. Moreover, women must be dressed fully and cover their heads with a scarf. It is considered an element of respect, and you might not be allowed to enter otherwise. You can rent scarves from stalls near the mosque if you do not have one.


Download Google Maps Offline

Save Google Maps on your phone with your hotel’s location to avoid hassle when visiting Turkey as a woman. Downloading the maps online gives you the complete look of your area. It helps find a way out even in a non-recognizable area. It is safer than asking random people for directions and getting lost due to miscommunication.

Do Not Respond to Every Call

If you are visiting Turkey for the first time, roaming through the markets will be a unique experience. Many shopkeepers will ask you to visit their shops. There is no harm in checking a few, but it is more common in Turkey than in other places. 

You might also come across phrases like “Hellloooo Beautiful!” “Do people not say Hi in your country?” “Come to my store, I need money.”

Sometimes, people might even try to drag you into their shops physically. Thus, it is fine to keep walking instead of entering all shops.

Learn the Art of Bargaining 

Markets and shops in Turkey are generally not fixed-price. You will see locals bargaining with shopkeepers, and you must do the same. In fact, many shopkeepers will quote a high price if you are a foreigner female traveling alone. So, it is best to haggle your way to the right price. But do not go overboard and move away if the price doesn’t suit you.

Do not Drink with Strangers

Despite being a Muslim country, Turkey shares its culture with Europe. So, you will find many bars and party spots to enjoy a drink of choice. But remember to drink less alcohol than usual. Also, do not take drinks from strangers.

Opt for Touristy Times

While mostly you will see safety guides telling you to visit a country during the off-season, Turkey is slightly different. If you plan to see big cities like Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia, etc., it is best to visit during the summer. The towns are filled with tourists everywhere. So, the locals do not give extra attention (which can sometimes be annoying) to anyone in particular.


On the other hand, visiting in winter means fewer tourists. Thus, local tourist companies try to initiate conversations and convince you to take their tourist packages. Also, despite dressing modestly, you will stand out among locals. Thus, when traveling solo as a female to Turkey, it is best to visit during summer to avoid unwanted attention.

Learn Basic Turkish

Learning basic Turkish phrases will help you communicate with the locals to improve your trip. It will help you communicate with people who cannot speak English. Merhaba translates to Hello whereas Teşekkür ederim means Thank You. Moreover, Lütfen is Please, Hesap lütfen means Bill Please, Evet is used for Yes, and Hayır is No. You can also learn sentences like Türkçe bilmiyorum that means “I do not speak Turkish.”

Buy a Local Sim

Buying a local sim will allow you to use internet data to navigate the city easily. Vodafone, Turkcell, and Turk Telekom are common service providers in the region. You can get the sim from the airport or one of the franchises. The seller can help you choose a package according to your needs. 

Avoid Drinking Tap Water

Tap water in Turkey is safe for drinking in only some parts of the country. So, locals and tourists mostly rely on bottled water instead of drinking tap water. Avoid drinking tap water when you travel to Turkey from USA. You can get water bottles at almost every corner shop in Turkey.

Get Familiar with iTaksi

Understanding the local transport options is critical to a safe trip when you travel to Turkey from the USA. iTaksi is the local version of Uber in Istanbul. It is always recommended that female solo travelers use local taxi apps. These apps are registered with the company, and you can share the location with trusted ones. So, they are better than taxis on the streets. 

One thing you might find inconvenient is that iTaksi takes cash. Take out cash from ATMs throughout the country to travel safely through iTaksi.

Stay Vigilant in Taxis

Alternatively, you can travel in local taxis, but they are not the best pick. If you travel in a local taxi, ensure the meter is on. Sometimes, taxi drivers do not turn on the meter to charge you per their will. You can ask the driver to turn on the meter or get a different taxi. 


Some female tourists have also reported that taxi drivers say you gave a smaller bill when you gave a larger one. Be vigilant when handing over money so you do not get scammed.

Bring Gifts

Turkish locals love inviting tourists to their homes, and host you to a delicious feast. Especially, if you are a female tourist visiting Turkey as a woman, you might get a few invitations. If a local family invites you for lunch or tea, do not visit them empty-handed. The Turks have a rich culture, and exchanging gifts helps them bond with people. Buy sweets from a nearby shop or get a small present for the house. 

Always take out your shoes when visiting a Turkish home and say elinize saglik after the meal. It means health to your hands, to show that you loved the food. 

Leave Your Valuables at the Hotel

Though theft incidents are minimal to low in Turkey, leaving your valuables locked safely at the hotel is safe. Hide an extra debit card and some cash in your luggage for emergencies. 

Arrange your Airport Transport Beforehand

Airport scams are among the first ones tourists often experience due to their inexperience and negligence. Especially when traveling alone as a woman, taxi drivers might try to charge you more than usual. So, always arrange your transport to the hotel before you reach Turkey.

You can use the private shuttle or Havabus Airport Shuttle Service in Istanbul. If you are street-smart, bargain with taxis outside the airport to go to your hotel. The best is to ask your hotel if they offer airport pickups and benefit from the facility. 

Get Travel Insurance

Turkey is usually free from luggage thefts, but travel insurance can protect you in case of a mishap. So, it is better to get travel insurance when visiting Turkey as a woman to avoid issues. It will also make it easy for you to get treatment if you injure yourself during the trip. It seems like an added expense, but travel insurance is helpful when traveling solo.

Be Aware of Fake Employees

Fake employees are common in many parts of the world, but it’s a surprise in Turkey, where people are usually very welcoming. 

The fake employees ask women to follow them to get scarves on rent and take them to a dark alley. Then they take you to a cellar where they try to sell carpets. 


It is quite awkward, especially for female travelers who have not traveled solo much. Always try to avoid people who seem shady, and take help from Google to get around.

Keep the Local Numbers with You

When traveling to Turkey as a woman, ask your hotel for a business card and always carry it with you. Preferably, keep it in your pocket instead of the wallet. Also, remember or save important numbers like 115 for police and +90 212 527 4503 for tourism police in Turkey.

Always Check Reviews

Avid travelers suggest taking city tours when you visit a new place to easily get around. Choosing the wrong tour company can ruin your trip and waste your money. So, you must always check reviews and opt for 5-star companies.

The tour guides usually approach tourists, telling them that they are offering a service at the best rates. You only know once you compare. Especially when traveling alone as a woman, you should check reviews online instead of relying on self-praising guides. Skim through local Google search results or review websites to find the best service providers.

Check the Local News/ Website

Whenever traveling to a foreign country, even Turkey, it is recommended to check the local news for the current situation. Moreover, almost every country has a foreign travel advice website. These websites usually have the latest information so you can avoid a bad trip. They share the latest information regarding prevalent diseases, safety conditions, and more.

Be Confident

Traveling solo as a female in Turkey calls for confidence and street-smartness. Maintain a confident gait when walking and communicating with people. Do not show that you are traveling alone or for the first time (if). Be nice to people but do not be overly friendly to give them wrong signals.

Trust your Gut

Women are blessed with an amazing instinct. So, if you feel uncomfortable in an otherwise comfortable situation, excuse yourself. You might also see people follow you; they don’t mean harm. Most would want to talk to you to practice their English. However, you can always refuse politely and keep moving.

How to Get Around Turkey as a Woman?

Most tourists coming from other parts of the world reach Turkey by air. Though Istanbul Airport is the most common choice, flights to Dalaman and Antalya are usually cheaper. Otherwise, solo female travelers can also opt for trains and buses from neighboring countries. You might hear about boat rides across the Black Sea. But always check the current situation.


On reaching Turkey, you can leverage various options to go around the country. Here are some standard modes of traveling for women through Turkey:

By Air

Traveling by air is not the most economical, but the fastest way to travel from Istanbul and Ankara. Opt for Turkish Airlines for a more convenient experience or pick cheap flights to Turkey to make your trip pocket-friendly.

By Train

Turkey has an extensive and comfortable railway system throughout the country. They are a suitable choice when traveling inter-city. You will also get to enjoy the gorgeous views on your train journey. 

It is best to get your tickets through a travel agent as it can be challenging to book one yourself online. Also, do not wait until the last moment to book your tickets; they run out quickly.

By Bus

Turkey has an extensive bus system with inter and intra-city buses taking you everywhere. Visit the local bus station or otogar to see available buses at the time. The buses usually have assigned seats; women are seated next to women, and the same for men. So, if you wonder if is it safe to travel to Turkey as a woman on a bus, you have your answer!

Moreover, you can enjoy tea and coffee on the buses free of cost. Sometimes, buses also have lunch stops, depending on how long you are traveling. 

By Car

Besides flights, trains, and buses, you can also get cars on rent when living in Turkey as a woman. Despite the respectable culture, we won’t suggest renting cars for long routes when traveling alone as a woman; better safe than sorry. However, if you feel uncomfortable on trains or buses, choose 5-star-rated car rental services only.

Street Harassment in Turkey

You will not come across many street harassment incidents in Turkey. Mostly, people are respectful and do not harass tourists like in some other countries. The only problem is shopkeepers calling and dragging you into their shops in the Grand Bazar especially.

You might feel overwhelmed by the constant calling but do not respond to them. Do not even pass a smile out of courtesy. Most shopkeepers will try to engage you further, making it difficult to excuse yourself from the situation. 

If any passerby or shopkeeper says something insulting in English, it is best to avoid it. Alternatively, you can respond with “Çok ayıp!” looking at the individual. It means “very shameful,” and you will get attention from others around you. You can also complain to the tourist police or your hotel reception.

Petty Crimes in Turkey

Turkey is not essentially the hub of petty crimes; you might be surprised how few they are. Yet it would be best if you took care of your belongings. Keep your purse close to you, and do not wear flashy jewelry. Take more care in crowded touristy areas as they are more susceptible to such crimes and activities.

Is Turkey Safe For Female Travelers At Night?

Turkey is one of the few countries where you do not have to worry about reaching home safely at night. You can roam around at night without the risks of potential crimes when traveling to Turkey as a woman alone.


Cities like Istanbul and Ankara have lively nightlife, making it common for everyone to stay out at night. Furthermore, areas like Kadikoy, Cihangir, Sultanamet, Karakoy, and Begoglyu are also safe to walk around at night.

However, smaller towns might not be very welcoming to women staying out late at night due to the conservative atmosphere. 

But still, avoid going to dark alleys and stay in well-lit areas regardless of the location. Do not talk to strangers, and take iTaksi to go back to your hotel if needed.

Is it Safe for Females to Eat Alone in Turkey?

You won’t feel weird when eating alone in cities like Istanbul because many others do the same. Cafés and restaurants are filled with people eating alone while enjoying the environment or working. 

You might encounter locals thrilled to see you in smaller cities. However, it’s more because they see tourists less and not because of you eating alone. So, eating alone when traveling to Turkey is safe in all parts of the country.

Explore the local eateries and enjoy cultural food. Turkish döner, lahmacun, pilav, and börek are common everywhere. Also, don’t forget to try the world-famous baklava.

Is it Safe to Visit a Hammam in Turkey?

Hammams are not only a favorite among locals but equally popular among tourists. Hammams are Turkish baths that seem like a sauna.

It is totally safe to visit a Hammam in Turkey as a woman. Research Hammams around you and pick a high-end one to ensure a pleasant experience. These Hammams also have people who speak English, making it easier to communicate. 

You can wear a bikini or go without it if you like. A woman scrubs you after you enjoy your steam. Then, they give you a towel or robe to dry yourself. When visiting the Hammam, enter the entrance that says “bayan,” which means woman in Turkish. Also, check the timings before visiting, as some hours are reserved for women exclusively.

What to Wear in Turkey as a Woman?

Turkey is a beautiful country that makes you want to look your best when visiting Turkey as a woman. It is a Mediterranean country with hot and dry summers and mild winters. You can pack shorts and crop tops for summer and warm coats for winter. However, your attire will depend on the area you’re staying in.

Women living in liberal Turkish neighborhoods wear shorts, skirts, crop tops, and any other outfits of their choice. Yet, some neighborhoods are conservative, and opting for a long skirt, maxi, or long coat is better. However, you can wear swimsuits and bikinis on the beach.

When visiting Turkey as a tourist, we suggest wearing comfortable slip-on shoes. Also, keep a pair of flip-flops if you plan to visit the beach.

How are Men in Turkey?

Men in Turkey are generally well-mannered and respectful towards women. They do not make you feel scared or unsafe. In fact, most older men do not even engage in conversations with girls and women because of religious inclination. Mostly you will see young men and women hanging out together. But, in case you experience chauvinist and sexist comments, it’s best to ignore them as you are there for a few days only.


As a female traveler, you might attract male attention or have Turkish men ask you out for dates. You can decline if you want. They will not get clingy or convince you to go with them if you stall.

Accommodation in Turkey as a Solo Female Traveler

Staying in a reputable hotel is critical to staying safe in a country you barely know. Get a hotel in the tourist area with restaurants and popular landmarks. It saves you from traveling long distances at night when coming back. Because of the short distance, you can step in and out of the hotel anytime.

You might see men trying to help you with luggage. Don’t worry; it’s out of respect. Be polite with them, but do not become over-friendly.

Refugees in Turkey

When thinking of visiting Turkey as a woman, you might rethink because of the refugee situation in the country. Turkey is often in the news because of the refugees it hosts. Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, hitting 3.7 million.

Most refugees in Turkey come from Syria, but they host refugees from other countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Africa, etc. However, the refugees in Turkey are not the same as other countries. They do not live in refugee camps. They live under temporary protection and settle in another country later. However, many still live in Turkey due to slow processes.

Visiting Turkey during Ramadan

Ramadan is an important time of the year in Muslim countries, including Turkey. The majority of people in the region fast during the holy month. So, consider the usual Ramadan atmosphere if visiting Turkey around that time. 

Turkey is a secular country, which makes it easy to find food throughout the day, especially in cities like Istanbul. However, some regions do not have open restaurants during the day. Thus, it is suggested that you research before you reach the country. When staying in a conservative area during Ramadan, buy food after sunset to eat during the day.


You can also have free-of-cost iftar meals in many mosques and enjoy the festive environment as Eid-al-Fitr approaches. You will see decorations and a spiritual environment in all parts of the city. 

The Bottom Line

Turkey is a gorgeous Mediterranean country that hosts thousands of tourists every year. Many females also make solo trips to the area. So, the first question that comes to your mind is, “Is it safe to travel to Turkey as a woman?” Turkey is a safe country for female tourists as the locals are incredibly friendly and hospitable. You can roam freely and see alone in restaurants without feeling awkward. However, you must cover your head when visiting mosques in Turkey. Also, download offline maps, keep important numbers, and avoid being overly friendly when visiting Turkey as a woman. 


Is Cappadocia safe for solo females?

If you are visiting Cappadocia as a solo female, you do not have to worry about street harassment or petty crimes. Most locals might not seem surprised to see you, as it is one of the most touristy Turkish cities. 

Is Antalya safe for women?

Antalya is also a tourist favorite as it has plenty of free things to do. The men and women in Antalya are respectful and welcoming. If you experience harassment, you can always report it to tourist police in the region. 

Do you have to wear a hijab in Istanbul?

You do not have to wear a hijab when roaming around in the streets of Istanbul, especially in liberal neighborhoods. However, if you plan on visiting the mosques, you must cover your head with a scarf. You can take a scarf with you or get one from stalls nearby.

What is the best time to visit Turkey?

Most families visit Turkey in the summer due to holidays. It is best to visit Turkey from April to May, September and October. April is known for the Tulip Festival, and the summer months until October are perfect for beach time.

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