Warnings and Dangers for Istanbul for Women’s Safety
All things considered, beautiful Istanbul is a reasonably safe city. That said, it’s best to take precautions, just as you would in London or New York. Here are some warnings on dangers to look out for in Istanbul.
Be sure to keep your handbag, purse or fanny pack close to your body and in sight at all times. Purse snatching in Istanbul happens in popular, crowded tourist areas, and is usually done by young children, just at a moment you are not paying attention. If you happen to get your bag nicked and attempt to chase the thieves, their parental guardians won’t take kindly to your confrontations. Be vigilant!
Taxi Driver Scams
Odds are your cab driver doesn’t speak English, and communication is risky. Know where and how far away you’re going; have local maps. Keep your hotel’s business card so you can get back home. Accept that you will be taken ‘the long way’ to your destination, and that the driver ‘doesn’t have change’. Solve this problem by having lots of change. You will often be charged the expensive rate. Take taxis from a lit taxi station with multiple cabs rather than a random one passing by.
Don’t travel off the beaten path. You’re in a foreign country; chauvinism is rampant. Visit tourist areas where crowds congregate. The city is dark and empty after sunset; avoid suspicious side streets, especially Sultanahmet and poor neighborhoods. Walk with at least one other person, preferably a male. Don’t carry much cash; pay via credit card. Leave fancy jewelry home.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Women’s Safety in Istanbul