Turkey Travel Guide

Welcome to Turkey!

Turkey is a beautiful, exotic country.  If you’re coming from Western Europe or the United States, Turkey will probably feel like a world apart.  Though it’s technically part of Europe, Turkey blends elements of the West and the East, possibly more than any country on earth.  When you look at Turkey on a map, you’ll see that it’s literally the bridge between the continents of Europe & Asia.  It’s a fascinating, at times challenging, modern, erotic, unusual country.  Welcome to your Turkey Travel Guide

In terms of safety, statistically speaking, Turkey is not one of the safest countries in the world for travel.  Bordering Syria, Iran, Armenia, & Georgia to the east, has literally placed Turkey directly beside some of the most unstable regions in the world ~ with Syria at the top of that list.  I’m not saying this to deter you from traveling to Turkey; but it wouldn’t be wise walking into Turkey travel with a blind eye towards the very real issues of stability both inside & outside its borders.  Read about the current political situation prior to any travel there; check with the U.S. State Department; & if you can, speak with other travelers who have recently traveled to Turkey. 

But once you make the decision to go, Turkey may just become one of your favorite countries.  From the soaring Blue Mosque & Topkapi Palace in Istanbul (whose blue tiles I still dream about), to cruising down the Bosphorus Strait that splits Istanbul in two, to the other-worldly white terraces of Pamukkale (pictured above) & the Hierapolis Ruins, to sailing along the Aegean & Mediterranean Seas, with stops in nightlife haven Bodrum, & more laid-back Antalya, to watching balloons at sunrise in Cappadocia (one of the most Instagram-able places on the planet) ~ Turkey is endless.  Opportunities for adventure & immersing yourself in a new culture are endless.  Let’s go…

Turkey Travel Map

Istanbul

Antalya

Cappadocia

Ruins at Ephesus

Turkey Travel Overview!

  • Safety = There are definitely safety concerns in Turkey, particularly the south-eastern region near Syria 25%
  • Cost = Affordable 40%
  • Exotic Adventures = Abundant!!! 95%
  • How Safe I Felt as a Female Traveler = Turkey is a place where I felt the least safe as a female traveler. 40%

Turkey Travel Quick Facts!

  • Turkey in One Word = Exotic.
  • Turkey in One More Word = Mosques. 
  • Wi-Fi = Wi-Fi is readily available in large cities, but less so off-the-beaten path & in central Turkey.
  • Global Peace Ranking = #146 out of 163 countries (U.S. is #103, Syria is #163) = Safety is definitely a concern when traveling to Turkey.  If you are a female traveling without a male, you will most likely encounter some negative attention and/or experiences.  Check with the U.S. State Department for up-to-date, accurate information prior to any travel in Turkey.
  • Hotels = Turkey has world-class hotels (at world-class prices) ~ but it also has plenty of affordable options as well. 
  • Must-Do’s = Cruise the Bosphorus.  Marvel at the Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.  Watch the balloons at sunrise in Cappadocia.  Sail the Aegean Sea.  Dance on tables in Bodrum.  Lay on the beach in Antalya.
  • Is Turkey Good for Solo Travelers = In this current political climate & with the unrest in Syria, I would have to say no.  Especially if you’re a first-time solo traveler ~ I would NOT advise that Turkey be your first solo travel experience.  Turkey is for more experienced solo travelers or group travel.  Having a male in your group will also greatly decrease your chances of negative encounters.
  • What to Expect as a Female Traveler = I traveled to Turkey with one of my best girlfriends, & we experienced quite a bit of negative attention.  Men followed & hassled us, particularly near the Blue Mosque & other high-traffic tourist areas in Istanbul.  One of our worst experiences was in the port town, Kusadasi, where an overly aggressive tout followed us to a phone booth & made some very unsavory remarks when we didn’t use his “services.”  Also be aware, as a female traveler, that dressing more modestly & covering your head with a scarf is expected in mosques & temples in Turkey.  If you don’t, expect to experience backlash or not be admitted.  Also, my friends who’ve traveled to Turkey with male companions said they were not hassled like we were. 
  • Would I Go Back? = Maybe. But it’s not at the top of my list. Turkey is one of the few countries in the world that left a sour taste in my mouth, to be perfectly honest ~ though it may be different now that I’m older & a more confident traveler.

Turkey Travel Resources!

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