I am considering including Croatia and the above listed countries in my next trip. Can anyone offer feedback from experience on how prudent this is as a seasoned 30-something solo woman traveler? I was thinking Croatia was fine until one guidebook suggested women shouldn't be alone. That surprised me. I also got that sense a bit from some things I've read on Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. I'd hate to miss these if those comments are overly cautious. Thoughts from anyone?
I can only speak to Romania and Bulgaria and in those countries if you practice just a little common sense I wouldn't worry. I would even let my 21 year old daughter go. But I think both Romania and Bulgaria are best done with a guide. A guide, car and a decent hotel room will set you back about $300 a day.
Did the guidebook offer a reason? If not, I would take it with a grain of salt...Croatia is safe and friendly (caveat: I traveled from Split down the coastline to Montenegro). I've been to Istanbul alone for over two weeks - no problems except you'll have to get used to "standing out" (it didn't bother me but I have a high tolerance for that kind of thing). Romania and Bulgaria may be more challenging only because their tourist infrastructure is probably less robust so you need to be a bit more flexible and adventurous
I've traveled alone in Turkey for nearly two months and had no problems. Just normal caution should suffice.
ive been to croatia solo, i was fine. next month ill be in bulgaria and istanbul solo. i will be fine.
Istanbul is the only place I can speak for. I went there alone when I was 22. There was only one time I felt at all unsafe and it was because I didn't make the best decision (it wasn't that bad everything turned out fine, though). As long as you are careful, I wouldn't hesitate to go alone. It is a beautiful and busy city! My biggest problem when I was there was that I didn't speak Turkish and a lot of people I encountered (even in the city center) didn't speak English, so I got pretty lonely after a few weeks. One thing that helped me was expat-blog.com, because they have meet-ups with English-speakers from different countries as well as Turkish people who want to learn English.