İstanbul provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences for solo travellers

Ranked as one of Europe’s top destinations for solo travellers, İstanbul provides a wide range of activities and experiences for visitors travelling on their own. Thanks to the city’s endless diversity and welcoming atmosphere, solo travellers will find İstanbul – an enjoyable, vibrant, and easy-to-navigate destination recommended by many world-renowned travel publications for 2024. Home to museums, monuments, special exhibition programmes, picturesque streets, luxury hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, and upscale shopping options, this cosmopolitan metropolis beckons visitors to explore the city independently.

Two Continents One City 

If this is your first visit to İstanbul – the only city in the world built on two continents – start on the Historical Peninsula. The area houses numerous monuments, including the majestic Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern , as well as the Topkapı Palace and Blue Mosque . The İstanbul Archaeology Museum , set in the garden of the Topkapı Palace complex, is a must-see for anyone curious about Türkiye’s archaeological heritage. Of course, no trip to İstanbul is complete without a visit to the centuries-old Grand Bazaar . Similarly, the Spice Bazaar in Eminönü offers visitors a unique shopping experience in a historical setting. After sampling – and perhaps purchasing – various spices, herbal teas, dried fruits and vegetables or other delicacies at the bazaar, you can board a boat at the nearby ferry terminal and embark on a tour of the Bosphorus, where you’ll be greeted by the legendary Maiden’s Tower, the first of many splendid sights along the Bosphorus.

Unique city experiences

Suppose you land in Karaköy, a popular tourist destination known for its museums, modern cruise port Galataport İstanbul, and open-air shopping mall. You can also visit the İstanbul Museum of Modern Art . Designed by star architect Renzo Piano, the İstanbul Modern was Türkiye’s first museum for modern and contemporary art. After exploring the collection at the museum, you can walk to the İstanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Türkiye’s first and most comprehensive plastic arts museum. Leaving Karaköy, you can visit the Galata district, known for its stylish design boutiques, and ascend the Galata Tower . After enjoying panoramic views of İstanbul from the tower, head to İstiklal, the city’s most famous street. On İstiklal, you can board the iconic red tram or stroll along this bustling street lined with historical inns, churches and other elegant buildings, stopping for a Turkish coffee at one of the famous cafes. In addition, the traditional Turkish baths in Karaköy, Sultanahmet, Cağaloğlu, Beyoğlu and Beşiktaş are the perfect places to unwind and enjoy a memorable experience.

Solo Adventures Full of Flavours

İstanbul is an ideal solo travel destination with its vibrant and hospitable food scene. As you traverse the city, you can observe how the city’s food and drink culture drives daily life. İstanbul embraces diverse culinary experiences from street food to traditional taverns and Michelin-starred restaurants. Many of the city’s fine-dining establishments, helmed by women chefs, feature classic and innovative interpretations of international dishes and Anatolia’s millennia-old recipes.

On the European side of the Bosphorus, you can dine at the exclusive fish restaurants along the Kuruçeşme, Arnavutköy, Bebek and Sarıyer lines and enjoy a meal of seafood and regional appetisers.

Suppose you’re looking for the city’s typical street foods. In that case, you’ll find a comprehensive range of flavours from kokoreç, döner and baked potato  to fried or stuffed mussels in Taksim and Beşiktaş, on the European side and at the Kadıköy marketplace on the Anatolian side.


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