I'm going to accompany my husband to Istanbul next weekend. We are staying for a week, but he will travel down south to do some consulting work. I will be alone in Istanbul for 3 days. Usually I wouldn't worry. I often come with my husband on trips and he goes off to work and I "play" around town. I'm a very good traveler and used to being on my own. I've never done a tour group, just used Rick Steves books and had a great time! But my husband is very concerned about me "getting myself in trouble running around by myself", and he has a point! I have a history of trying anything! So what do you think? How independent can I be without just being an idiot.
I don't know what kind of trouble you can get yourself into (buying a Turkish carpet?) but I spent over two weeks alone in Istanbul (petite female). Yes, you will get touts bugging you all the time in the Old City but just ignore them and keep going. I had a wonderful time - I purposely dressed very modestly so as to attract the least bit of attention. Three days can be easily filled up with great museums - go first thing in the morning before they get busy.
My experience is the same as Agnes'. If you do accept an invitation to drink tea (or to see a real Van cat) in a shop, remember that you are still under no obligation to buy. A Bosphorus ferry cruise is also a low-stress day plan, if you won't have time to do it together.
Great! Thanks for the advice! And I love the cruise idea too. I usually don't have trouble with shopkeepers, but will keep the advice in mind. Here I go!!