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Is it safe to walk the Grand Bazaar and Back Streets and Spice Market Walk?

From the cruise port, our family of 3 is considering going on our own in Istanbul. Considering the political and economic instability in Turkey, is it safe for us to walk the Grand Bazaar, Back Streets and Spice Market Walk, and make our way back to the cruise ship on our own? We will be in Istanbul on May 1st.

Posted by
419 posts

Have you heard or read about any attacks on tourists, or anyone else, for that matter?
Hundreds of tourists and others do what you want to do every day with no problems.

Posted by
833 posts

My husband and I had a young boy try to steal my husband's wallet in a park when we were in Turkey, but really that can happen absolutely anywhere. It is safe - just be smart and aware of your belongings. Those are highly trafficked tourist attractions, you'll be fine walking around there alone. I walked all over Istanbul - in those areas, across the river, and over on the Asian side... never felt unsafe.

Posted by
1306 posts

We were in Turkey for 5 days in early October and walked and used public transportation with no problem. We had been in Turkey two years earlier and had the same experience. Many people speak English and can help you with directions if you need them. As anything can happen anywhere, you should be alert as you would be in any large city.

Posted by
3696 posts

I took my 11 year old grandson there a few years ago and was a bit apprehensive (though I had traveled to Europe many times), Once there I wondered why . It is truly one of the most friendly locations I have ever traveled and felt totally safe... although I am always aware of my surroundings and know things can happen anywhere...but we never felt anything but comfortable.

Posted by
295 posts

We spent 27 days in Istanbul this summer and walked and took buses everywhere, day and night. We stayed in the most conservative area, Fener. We never had any problems or felt unsafe at any time. It's a very safe city.

Posted by
1872 posts

We just did the same this October. We felt completely safe walking the routes you describe. We did not feel apprehensive at any time. We walked until late evening but not late into the night. From our dock we walked to all the sights, but we are big on walking. A tram runs nearby to tourist destinations but we just hoofed it. I've been nervous in plenty of places; this area was not one. Enjoy and safe travels. PS. I just noticed you arrive on May 1. Don't know how this plays out in Turkey, but in other Western European cities on that day we have encountered parades and demonstrations...never fearful but could disrupt normal schedules, operating hours or traffic.

Posted by
12 posts

We spent 5 days in Istanbul, and walked around early in the morning, during the day and in the evening. It's the same as any big city, no worse and no better. As a blonde female, I felt really safe and I didn't get hassled. You just have to be aware of your surroundings. The public transport is brilliant, and a great way to get around, but it's a fabulous walking-city, and the best way to see it at it's best is on your two feet.

It's perfectly safe from the cruise ship ports to the markets and Bazaar... you'll have an amazing time wandering around these places.

Posted by
3 posts

My husband and I spent a week in Istanbul and found it to be a quite a safe, pedestrian-friendly city. I think it's definitely worth your while to explore on your own.

Posted by
191 posts

I traveled solo and walked all over, even in the evening. Very safe place.

Posted by
965 posts

14 days in Istanbul and no worries. We stayed in Sultanahmet and it had tourists, and was completely safe. We stayed in a working class, furniture building area off from Taksim Square and while it looked a bit worrisome, it was fine. People recognized us after the first day and new where we were staying (airbnb). They helped us with directions. And we stayed on the Asian side. A bit more up scale, and less friendly as in more reserved, but completely safe.

I don't want to credit religion alone, but their heritage is to be extremely kind and helpful to strangers. It was so many years ago that charging someone to stay a night was thought of as wrong. Very welcoming. Go, you will love this city. So much to hear, to see, to smell, to feel.

Walk from the Grand Bazaar to the Spice Market taking back streets. What a city!

wayne INWI