Connect with us


Keeping Safe in Istanbul Whilst On Holiday

Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, is a popular tourist destination known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. However, like any major city, there are certain precautions that visitors should take to ensure their safety while enjoying all that Istanbul has to offer. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and strategies for staying safe when on holiday in Istanbul.

1. Research your accommodation options

Before booking your accommodation in Istanbul, do some research to ensure that the area is safe and well-connected to transportation. Opt for established hotels or reputable holiday rentals in neighborhoods such as Beyoglu, Sultanahmet, or Kadikoy, which are popular with tourists and have a strong security presence.

2. Use reliable transportation

When getting around Istanbul, it’s important to use reliable and licensed transportation options. Taxis are widely available, but it’s best to use reputable taxi companies or use ride-hailing apps such as Uber or BiTaksi. Istanbul’s public transportation system is also reliable and affordable, with options such as the metro, tram, and ferry. However, be aware of pickpockets and keep your valuables close when using public transportation.

3. Stay aware of your surroundings

One of the most important things to remember when visiting Istanbul is to stay aware of your surroundings at all times. This means keeping an eye out for any suspicious behavior or individuals and being aware of your belongings. Avoid displaying valuable items such as expensive jewellery or large amounts of cash in public, and keep your belongings secure in a locked bag or pouch. It’s also important to be aware of any demonstrations or protests that may be taking place and to avoid these areas if possible.

4. Dress appropriately

Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, and while Istanbul is a more liberal city, it’s still important to dress modestly and respectfully. This means avoiding revealing clothing, particularly when visiting mosques or other religious sites. It’s also a good idea to bring a scarf or shawl to cover your head and shoulders when visiting these sites. Dont be scared to go to these places of worship as there are some absolutely beatiful surroundings and are generally safe places to go.

5. Be cautious when using ATMs

ATM fraud is a common problem in Istanbul, so it’s important to be cautious when using ATMs. Use ATMs located in well-lit and busy areas, and cover the keypad when entering your PIN number to prevent anyone from seeing it. It’s also a good idea to notify your bank before traveling to Istanbul to avoid any issues with your account.

6. Be wary of scams

Like any major city, scams targeting tourists are unfortunately common in Istanbul, particularly in popular tourist areas such as Sultanahmet. One common scam involves individuals posing as friendly locals who offer to take visitors to a local tea shop or restaurant. These individuals may then charge exorbitant prices for the food or drink, or even demand payment for their “services.”

Another common scam involves individuals posing as police officers who ask to see your passport or other identification. It’s important to be wary of these types of scams and to avoid engaging with individuals who seem overly friendly or pushy.

7. Avoid drinking tap water

Stick to bottled water or filtered water when drinking. Make sure that the seal on the bottle is intact before purchasing it, and be wary of any street vendors selling bottled water that may have been tampered with.

8. Be mindful of cultural norms

It’s important to be respectful of Turkish cultural norms when visiting Istanbul. For example, it’s considered rude to point with your index finger, so use your whole hand instead. It’s also considered impolite to refuse an offer of tea or coffee, so be prepared to accept these offers graciously. Finally, be aware that many businesses close during Friday prayers (usually between 12pm-1.30pm) so plan your activities accordingly.

9. Stay connected with your embassy

Stay connected with your embassy for any emergency situations. Ensure you research the details before you set off on your holiday and keep the details to hand. Although Istanbul is concidered a safe city to travel to, there have been attacks recently in Istanbul so ensure you are prepared in case of an emergency.


In summary, Istanbul is a beautiful and fascinating city to visit, but it’s important to prioritise safety during your stay.

By following these tips and strategies, including researching your accommodation, using reliable transportation, staying aware of your surroundings, being cautious of scams, and being respectful of cultural norms, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday in Istanbul. Remember to keep your belongings secure, dress modestly and appropriately, and stay connected with your embassy for any emergency situations.

With these precautions in mind, you can make the most of your visit to this incredible city.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *