Solo Girl Traveling To Istanbul

All photos belong to Gretel Pahmer Sanchez.  By: Gretel Pahmer Sanchez - E.E. Chief Story Teller 3 MIN READ. 

All photos belong to Gretel Pahmer Sanchez. 

By: Gretel Pahmer Sanchez - E.E. Chief Story Teller


This is not your typical travel post about Istanbul, it’s just my perspective as a solo girl traveling to Istanbul. In the hopes that it will inspire many girls to travel on their own.

After hearing a lot of good things about Istanbul from different people, I was very curious to go there and see what the city was all about. Last April I had a break of nine days and it was indeed a much-needed break. 

In 2014 I met someone from Istanbul, who I worked with on volunteering teaching in India. By the time we left India we were already good friends and we didn’t lose contact afterward. Two years passed and after short messages, Snapchats and a promise that I would go to Istanbul one day, I eventually made it there.

For me, the most beautiful thing about Istanbul was its mixture of two worlds in one place. And I don’t mean the fact that the city is partly in the European continent and partly in Asia, I mean the mixture of Europe and the Middle East. Its streets and many buildings look a lot like what you find in Europe, but at the same time with its mosques and typical restaurants you get a feeling of Middle East as well. Walking around in Istanbul gave me the feeling as if someone took the best of two worlds and combined them in harmony inside one city.

Parisian architecture with Mosques in the landscape. 

Parisian architecture with Mosques in the landscape. 

Istanbul has a lot of places to visit, from its spirituals mosques to refreshing Turkish baths, which makes it an optimum place for any kind of visitor. Personally, I always like to see the highlights of a city and walk around as much as possible. These are some of the places I visited that you may find interesting:

·      Hagia Sophia

·      Sultan Ahmed Mosque (also known as Blue Mosque)

·      Topkapı Palace

·      Basilica Cistern

·      Galata Tower

·      Taksim Square

·      Grand Bazaar

·      Cağaloğlu Hamamı Turkish bath.

The city also has a lot of different areas to visit and each has its special touch. For example, I was staying on the Asian side and the architecture is different considering the European side is the one that has all the historical monuments. Definitely one of my favorite things in Istanbul was using the ferries to cross from one side to the other, or more like from one continent to the other. I also visited other areas such as:

·      Ortaköy

·      Besiktas

·      Karaköy

There were more, but honestly their names were too difficult for me to remember (you have to give me some credits for the ones I did remember). 

A view of both sides. 

A view of both sides. 

There are also a lot of restaurants, cafes, and small places where you can just grab a quick bite (like a Döner). The prices of the food are very good and I was never disappointed with any of the places where I ate. I mean of course I was sometimes with my friend, who is a local and knows great places, but also the times I was on my own I did find good food. In general, I really liked the Turkish food and I loved their tea as well...But I haven’t reached that point in my life of enjoying strong coffee, so Turkish coffee was not my favorite –nonetheless, I did tell the fortune to my friend.

Overall I enjoyed greatly my break in Istanbul. I was happy to meet friends again and to be able to treat myself and do what I love so much, which is to travel. I spent a lot of time walking and it was an amazing way to see more of the city and get a better feeling of Istanbul. Of course I got lost and struggled finding people that spoke English, but it was all part of a wonderful adventure. Because my close friend had to work and two other friends (that also happen to live in Istanbul) had classes, I spent most of my time on my own. Hence why, I can tell you with certainty that whether you are a solo traveler or you are going with a group, Istanbul is a city where you can do either and enjoy many activities.  

Blue mosque looking grey. 

Blue mosque looking grey. 

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