Trippy
 
  Questions  
Drive      Fly      Stay      Login    Signup

Bertha
New York State

Istanbul

Layover in Turkey - is it safe to leave the airport?

I'm traveling to Spain this Spring from the US and on my way back to the states I have an 8 hour layover in Istanbul. I plan to get a visa and assume I'll have no more than 4 hours to try to hop on a tour bus or figure out my way to the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and/or Bazaar. I'm a single, black American traveling solo and I have been told I should be concerned about my safety in this area. My question(s) is:

1) Is there any reason for me to fear for my safety and opt to stay at the airport for the 8 hr layover? 2) Is it possible for me to visit the places I listed (Hagia Sophia, mosque and bazaar) in the short time I have? Any advice would be helpful!


11 Answers

answered first by
Scott from Fort Collins

Hello Bertha.  I cannot speak to being a single female traveler, but I can tell you I felt very safe.  In fact, Istanbul is one of my favorite cities.  I would look at tour operators on line that have been vetted well, and something you can do with other travelers, especially if you have a little trepidation.  If you only have seven hours, I would research what is most important for you to see.  Most people would probably lean towards some combination of Blue MosqueHagia SophiaTopkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern.  You could incorporate several of the above with the Grand Bazaar, but I really enjoy a slow, lazy walk through the Grand Bazaar, just to enjoy and surround myself with the craziness, without any rush.  Any combination of the above choices would be totally worth it, just a personal decision in that regard.  And walking betwen the the first four is very easy and enjoyable.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Blue Mosque (attraction)
  2. Hagia Sophia (attraction)
  3. Topkapi Palace (attraction)
  4. Basilica Cistern (attraction)
  5. Grand Bazaar (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Leeann from Istanbul

1) No reason to feel unsafe. Take the normal precautions you would anywhere else. To be honest, cities with a drug and alcohol problem are more dangerous - Istanbul is extremely clean in comparison. Normal hagglers and pick pocketers are a problem in crowded areas but overall, being a woman in Istanbul travelling solo is quite safe - I do it all the time. I live here.

2) You can take a taxi (45TL) from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Sultanahmet Square where the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome and Basilica Cistern is. Depending on the time you land it can take up to an hour to travel between the airport and Sultanahmet. Normally, with clear traffic about 45 minutes. You can also take the Metro in the basement of the International Terminal and then switch to the tramline at Zeytinburnu to travel to Sultanahmet on the tram. The Metro is 4TL, the tram is 4TL. It will also take up to an hour to get to/from Airport and Sultanahmet. There is an istanbulkart which is like a discount fare card for public transport like the Metro and tram but hardly worth the effort for you to get. The Grand Bazaar is a 15 minute pleasant walk following the tramlines from the Ayasofya.

This might also be useful? http://www.istanbulinhours.com/


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Istanbul Ataturk Airport (attraction)
  2. Sultanahmet Square (attraction)
  3. Blue Mosque (attraction)
  4. Hagia Sophia (attraction)
  5. Hippodrome (attraction)
  6. Basilica Cistern (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Claudia from Houston

I travel to Istanbul every year with my husband, he is Turkish. Last year I took my Indian colleague and she said she felt safe because she was with me. She has very dark complexion. I walk by myself through the city for exercise and never have trouble but I walk briskly and wear street clothes. My mother in law didn't feel it was safe for me to be by myself at first but since I can speak a bit of Turkish I can get around. Take few valuables (it can be crowded like NYC) especially on the metro stations. Cab drivers usually don't speak English.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Istanbul (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Eda

Definitely no reason for you to worry. It is very safe and tourist friendly here. 

Feel free to contact Istanbulite Travel Agencyfor a half day tour during your time here. 


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Istanbulite Travel Agency (attraction)


answered by
John

Safe ?- I think so.I wouldn't bother with Grand Bazaar because you have too little time and that really is an easy place to get lost.Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque Apart are within brief walking distance of one another and are both doable on a quick basis if the lines aren't that long.You might also consider Spice Bazaar which i like better than the Grand Bazaar.You might also throw in Basilica Cistern which is nearby and doesn't take long.Check out public transport in advance and get your visa online.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Grand Bazaar (attraction)
  2. Hagia Sophia (attraction)
  3. Blue Mosque Apart (attraction)
  4. Spice Bazaar (attraction)
  5. Basilica Cistern (attraction)


answered by
Yuksel from Kuşadası

This atractions are totaly SAFE !!




answered by
Anne from Lafayette (California)

Definitely safe, as others have mentioned. For a very short trip like yours, skip the Blue Mosque (the lines are often horrific!). Go to Hagia Sophia instead. Be sure to buy your ticket ahead (at the machine at the back of the square between Hagia Sophia and the Hammam). Skip the line of people waiting to buy tickets and go to the front.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Blue Mosque (attraction)
  2. Hagia Sophia (attraction)


answered by
Missy from Newport

Hi, do purchase your Visa in advance to save time which is very easy to do online at certain sites such as https://turkishvisa.com/?gclid=CP6hpo-Q7MMCFRRo7AodCVsA9w.  I have not personally used this site, but do know people that have with no complaints.  This will save time in the Istanbul Airport.  It is about 45 minutes from the airport into old city Istanbul via public transportation.  I would consider 5 hours total including transportation into Old City and back to the airport.  The Istanbul International Airport can take significant time to go through security points.  5 hours including transport back and forth between and Old City and airport will not enough time to do Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque. The Roman Cisterns, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are all together side by side in one location, so could be a consideration to visit all three.  The Topkapi Palace is a walk from this other area, so perhaps a visit just to the Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar is a further walk.  You will want to choose what is the most important to you to see and also check opening times, especially if your layover is on a Monday, when there are more closures.  I suggest you may want to do either just attractions, or just Bazaars, for the Grand Bazaar and possibly the Spice Bazaar.  If you go to the Grand Bazaar ask to be directed into the interior Old Bazaar as I think the more interesting shops are in this area. Enjoy


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Topkapi Palace (attraction)
  2. Basilica Cistern (attraction)
  3. Hagia Sophia (attraction)
  4. Blue Mosque (attraction)
  5. Grand Bazaar (attraction)
  6. Spice Bazaar (attraction)


answered by
Latif from Sarkoy, Tekirdağ, Turkey

It is very easy and safe; Hop on m1 metro line in the airport , then transfer to tram T1 at Zeytinburnu Station and you can get off Sultan Ahmet Mh. station where all attractions are located nearby. You can find token machines next to entrance to metro; 4 tl per ride. So you will need 4 tokens (jeton in Turkish ) 

Each direction will take 45 -50 minutes.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Zeytinburnu (attraction)
  2. Sultan Ahmet Mh. (attraction)


answered by
claus

Istanbul is not a dangorous city so no need to worry about safety issues.

There might be a little hassle from vendors if you are going to the main tourist sights but that is all.

I have lived and worked in Istanbul and visited over 20 times and never had one problem there.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Istanbul (city)
comments (3)


answered by
Luis from Caracas, Venezuela

If I were you I would go for a walk between Blue Mosque Apart and Sophia Cengelkoy.

You may count with around 4 or 5 hours to do so, consider a 30 min trip from the airport.  

I am a male and felt super safe in the city, specially around those two places.  

Best luck


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Blue Mosque Apart (attraction)
  2. Sophia Cengelkoy (attraction)




© 2019 Trippy.com   ·   View: Full | Mobile

Follow us:        
Questions   ·   Destinations   ·   Drive   ·   Fly   ·   Airports   ·   Stay   ·   Search

Login   ·   FAQ   ·   About   ·   Feedback   ·   Privacy   ·   Terms