5 takeaways for solo travellers.

When I told my friends I was going to Istanbul, I was met by one of two responses. 

There were people who have never been, so didn’t have any strong opinions on Türkiye’s most populated city, telling me a vague “Cool!” in reply.

And there were the people who were IN LOVE with Istanbul, listing the city as their most beloved destination in the world before offering up advice for countless tourist sites and restaurants to visit. It seems once you go to Istanbul, you can’t shut up about going to Istanbul.

And after spending five days exploring the stunning city, I am now one of these people. But is Istanbul suited for solo travellers, especially a woman touring on her own? Here are my major takeaways and travel tips from my trip.

1. Preparation, preparation, preparation!

I’m the type of person who tends to get overwhelmed when travelling solo. Without the ability to bounce ideas off someone else, I find myself paralysed by choice. This is where preparation comes in. Before heading to Istanbul, I researched absolutely everything (aka I watched about 50 TikToks) that I needed to know about the sweeping city that holds more than half the population of Australia.

This meant that when I arrived, I already had a list of the authentic food I needed to try (street food culture is huge and I had to try a wet burger), the amazing historical sites and markets I needed to visit, and an understanding of how the city is separated by the Bosphorus Strait into the European and Asian sides… something I shamefully had no clue about before.

Armed with knowledge, it wasn’t quite as daunting when I stepped off the plane. Which brings me to the next point…