Best Areas To Stay In Istanbul For Solo Travelers: Full Guide

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If you are planning a trip to Istanbul and wondering which are the best areas to stay in Istanbul for solo travelers – you’ve come to the right post.

I recently came back from a solo trip to Istanbul where I tried out a few different areas, made multiple bookings, canceled a few, and finally found ones that made me feel safe as a solo traveler.

As a brown female solo traveler, my experience might differ, but rest assured, this guide is crafted to offer reliable advice for all.

This guide will provide you with a clear understanding of Istanbul’s different areas, highlighting the best ones for solo travelers, areas to avoid, and my recommendations for the best hotels, apartments, and hostels for solo travelers.

Best Areas to Stay in Istanbul for Solo Travelers – Quick Overview

The top areas in Istanbul for solo travel are:

Touristy heart of Istanbul but safe for female travelers. Fairly active but not loud and shady after sunset.
Best hostel: Cheers Hostel
Best hotel (budget): Social House Istanbul


Party hub, modern, contemporary. Always busy during the day and night. Great for youngsters. But bylanes can get shady.

Best hostel: Windrose Hostel
Best hotel: Vardar Palace Hotel


Vibey district on the Asian side with plenty of cafes, restaurants and shopping options with easy connectivity to top Istanbul attractions. Excellent for solo travelers to Istanbul who want value-for-money accommodation.

Best hostel: Yolo Hostel
Best hotel: Cemre Suit

Where to Stay in Istanbul for Solo Travel: 3 Best Areas

Best Areas to Stay in Istanbul - A complete guide (In the pic: A girl traveling alone in Istanbul, Umbrella street in Istanbul and a hotel room that's excellent for solo travelers)

When I was doing my research on where to stay in Istanbul as a female solo traveler, I saw that many forums and threads recommended random neighborhoods in Istanbul to be absolutely safe. I would then look those up on the map and figure out they were all in residential areas – a long distance away from the touristy center.

Now, I am not denying their safety. But as a traveler, staying in areas away from the primary attractions in Istanbul would be pointless. So in this article, I am going to stick to the tourist-friendly neighborhoods of Istanbul only.

So even though the list of neighborhoods is very small – it is useful if you are a solo first-time traveler to Istanbul.


Girl traveling solo in Istanbul - seen near Hippodrome Sultanahmet
Solo traveling in Istanbul – Sultanahmet area

Sultanahmet is the best area in Istanbul for solo travelers – particularly female solo travelers.

Even though many people say that Sultanahmet is full of touristy touts, my experience in Sultanahmet was absolutely pleasant. I have a full post dedicated to the safety of Sultanahmet for solo female travelers.

Why is Sultanahmet ideal for solo travelers visiting Istanbul?

All the major attractions in Istanbul like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, and Grand Bazaar are located in and around Sultanahmet. This means that the place is

  • vibrant during the day
  • budget-friendly as all the places are a short walk away
  • full of excellent accommodation options – hostels, social Airbnbs, safe apartments, and hotels
  • full of cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies
  • well-connected with other parts of Istanbul by public transport

Thus if you stay in Sultanahmet, you get to experience the best of touristy Istanbul without making much effort and spending unnecessarily on commute.

Plus, Sultanahmet is also a safe area. I walked around the area until after midnight and didn’t feel unsafe at all.

The only downside to Sultanahmet is that it doesn’t have too many nightclubs or party places. So if you are interested in meeting new people and partying – avoid Sultanahmet or stay in a party hostel.

Where is Sultanahmet?


  • is located on the European side of Istanbul
  • in the Fatih district
  • and is connected by the T1 Tram

The area around Sultanahmet such as Gulhane, Sirkeci, and Eminonu is also excellent for solo travelers.

Where to stay in Sultanahmet?

Cheers Hostel

  • 💰 Price: $
  • ❤️ Location, Staff, Cleanliness
  • 🏆 Awarded Most Popular Hostel in Istanbul
  • ⭐️ 9.5+ with over 7600 reviews
  • ✅ See availability

The Cheers Hostel Istanbul has a variety of private 2 and 3 bed rooms. It also has 8-bed and 10-bed female-only and mixed dorms. The dorm bed is slightly more expensive than other hostels in Istanbul but the price is worth every penny.

The hostel is incredibly clean. The vibe is youthful with only 15-40 year olds being allowed to stay here. The staff is incredibly friendly. Guests have also given a 9+ star rating to it for cleanliness. You are also given complimentary breakfast in the mornings. There’s a lively rooftop bar perfect for socializing. But if you’re an introverted person, you’ll be comfortable by yourself in the dorm rooms.

But the highlight of the hostel is its central location. All the top attractions in Sultanahmet are within a short walking distance.

If you are a solo traveler visiting Istanbul for the first time and want a place that feels safe, is trusted by tourists across the world, and is centrally located, don’t look beyond Cheers Hostel.

😍 Check Prices and Availability

Antique Hostel

Antique Hostel
  • Price: $
  • ❤️ Location, Breakfast, Cleanliness
  • ⭐️ 9.5+ by solo travelers
  • ✅ See availability

Antique Hostel has private rooms for 2, 3 and 4 people as well as 4 bed and 6 bed female and mixed dorms.

Just like Cheers Hostel, it is also located literally a few steps away from all the main attractions in Sultanahmet.

The rooms and the dorms are clean. Hot water supply is available round the clock. Free breakfast is served in a rooftop restaurant with spectacular sea views.

The vibe at the Antique Hostel is not too loud – ideal for those that like the perfect balance between a party hostel and a calm one.

There’s no kitchen here. But with restaurants all around the hostel, that’s hardly a concern.

😍 Check Prices and Availability

Social House Istanbul

Social House Istanbul
My room at Social House Istanbul in Sultanahmet
  • Price: $$
  • ❤️ Location, Staff, Cleanliness and Room Size
  • ⭐️ 9+ across platforms
  • ✅ See availability

I have raved about the Social House Istanbul in almost all my posts on Istanbul.

Social House Istanbul offers private rooms that are suitable for all types of guests including solo travelers.

The place has a lovely socializing area with a laptop, board games and books. There’s also a private kitchen, and a laundry area with all the amenities. The terrace on the top is also a great place to chill or even get in a quick small workout.

But the highlights of the place are
its location – super central yet quiet.
– its incredibly friendly staff (ever smiling and accommodating)

The rooms are quite big for the price, and the shared bathrooms are extremely clean and well-maintained.

Its an ideal hostel for solo female travelers, introverted travelers, older people traveling solo to Istanbul.

😍 Check Prices and Availability

White Palace Hotel

  • Price: $$$
  • ❤️ Connectivity, Cleanliness, Staff
  • ⭐️ 9+ by solo travelers
  • ✅ See availability

If you are a solo traveler who prefers to stay in a mid-range hotel instead of a hostel or a private room with a shared community space, the White Palace Hotel is perfect for you.

Its location is not exactly next to the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque but rather close to the Spice Market and the Eminonu Pier.

Its slightly away from major tourist attractions yet conveniently located in terms of connectivity. Metros, trams, bus stops as well as the Galata bridge are not too far away.

There are many less touristy but absolutely marvelous mosques like the Sulemaniye mosque and the Rustam Pasa mosque closeby. A standard double room with free breakfast comes for a really affordable price point.

The stable wifi and the friendly staff make the stay memorable.

If you’re someone who wants to stay away from the touristy buzz, in a nice, connected neighbourhood, this hotel’s should be an ideal choice for you.

😍 Check Prices and Availability


Taksim is the most vibrant area in Istanbul for solo travelers – particularly party lovers, night owls, and those interested in hanging out at bars, and clubs and meeting new people.

Why is Taksim a good area for solo travelers to Istanbul?

Taksim Square is one of the central areas for tourists in Istanbul. Even though it is not home to the historically significant palaces and mosques in Istanbul, its contemporary vibe makes it a formidable place for young solo travelers.

Taksim is also ideal for visiting various tourist places in Istanbul like

  • Taksim Square (obviously!)
  • Istiklal street
  • Galata Tower
  • Church of Saint Anthony of Padua
  • Dolmabahce Palace

On top of these places, Taksim and the surrounding area is a foodie’s paradise. It is lined with hundreds of restaurants, cafes, clubs, eateries, Meyhanes (local bars), and ice cream vendors. The area – especially around Galata comes to life post-sunset and the places stay open until way past midnight.

So if you want lively nightlife – you must opt for Taksim or the nearby area. But if you want peace, Taksim may not be the right choice for you.

Istiklal Street which connects Taksim Square with Galata is also the best street in Istanbul for retail shopping. All the leading lifestyle brands have a store on this street making it a top choice for those who want to shop in Istanbul.

But you should know that the stores here lack the exquisite and authentic touch of the products sold in Istanbul.

Accommodation in Taksim is usually cheaper than that in Sultanahmet. Budget hostels and Airbnb are found in plenty. But the quality of many of these hostels may be disappointing – especially for female travelers or travelers with high hygiene standards.

Read my full post on Sultanahmet vs Taksim to get a complete idea of what the two areas offer and which one’s right for you.

Where is Taksim?

  • is located on the European side of Istanbul
  • in the Beyoglu district
  • and is connected by Metro M2 and the funicular lines F1 and F2 (from Tunel)

The area from Taksim right up to Galata Tower is excellent for solo travelers.

Safety note: The small interior lanes around Taksim Square and Istiklal Street can get quite deserted at night and may feel unsafe for female travelers. Incidents of women being followed in these inner lanes have often been reported on travel forums.

I only recommend staying in Taksim if you need proximity to Istanbul’s best nightlife scene and retail shopping.

Where to stay in Taksim?

Windrose Hostel

Single Room with balcony at Windrose Hostel
  • Price: $
  • ❤️ Location, Staff, Affordability
  • ⭐️ 9+ on Hostelworld (150+ reviews)
  • ✅ See availability

Windrose Hostel sits on a quiet street on the backside of Istiklal Street, not too far away from Taksim.

The location of this hostel is excellent as it gives you quick access to the most buzzing parts of Istanbul. But when you come back to this lane, you get some restful sleep.

You can also reach other major tourist attractions in Istanbul by taking a funicular or a tram from Taksim.

The hostel offers dorm beds as well as private single rooms with shared bathrooms at a very affordable price point given its central location.

The rooms do not have an AC but if you’re on a budget, traveling in the non-summer months that shouldn’t be a problem. There is an in-house kitchen and the staff is kind and co-operative.

So if you want a quiet, peaceful hostel close to the contemporary heart of Istanbul, Windrose is perfect for you.

😍 Check Prices and Availability

Vardar Palace Hotel

If you want to stay right next to Taksim Square, just a few minutes away from the famous Istiklal Street – but want to escape shoddy hostels – Vardar Palace Hotel is your best bet.

The hotel has a cozy single room with a private bathroom. Even though the room is small and offers no view, you enjoy the comfort of staying in a hotel with all the typical facilities at your disposal. You get a hairdryer, toiletries, clean towels, and 24*7 room service of beverages at your disposal.

Plus the location means you can hop to one of the many eateries, restaurants and cafés surrounding the hotel.

This hotel is perfect for those traveling solo in Istanbul and looking for comfort, convenience and connectivity.

😍 Check Prices and Availability


Umbrella Street Kadikoy

Solo travelers visiting Istanbul are typically on a budget when it comes to their accommodation. If you are someone who wants to save money on your stay, Kadikoy is the best neighborhood for your solo trip to Istanbul.

Why is Kadikoy a good area for solo travelers to Istanbul?

Kadikoy is a lively, youthful neighborhood on the Asian side of Istanbul. But it is also one that retains its natural beauty due to the lack of touristy influx in this area. Its value-for-money accommodation, its innate local charm, and the availability of many wonderful restaurants and cafes make it one of the best areas to stay in Istanbul for solo travelers.

The area is also extremely safe and female-travel friendly. It also enjoys great connectivity with the rest of Istanbul.

Some things to see and do in Kadikoy are

  • Visit the Bull Statue
  • Visit the Kadikoy local market – a gem with heaps of stores selling fresh produce, spices, and fish all for a super affordable price point (I recommend this walking tour of Kadikoy)
  • Hang out at one of the many vibey cafes in this area
  • Take a tour to the Moda area – a fun beach area connected by a classic historical tram
  • Soak in the relaxed non-touristy vibe, interact with locals
  • Shop for books, trendy clothes, and jewelry, or buy shawls and spices – for a fraction of the price you’d pay at Grand Bazaar or Taksim
  • Sit on the banks of the Kadikoy pier and admire the European skyline of Istanbul

Where is Kadikoy?

Kadikoy is located

  • on the Asian side of Istanbul
  • in Kadikoy district itself
  • Connected to the European side of Istanbul by ferries (Sehir Hatlari – check the full timetable here), the underground train ‘Marmaray’ connects Istanbul’s European side with its Asian side and of course by road. The most scenic and preferred way is to take a ferry from Kabatas or Eminonu to Kadikoy which runs almost every 15 minutes.

Where to stay in Kadikoy

If you are staying in Kadikoy, you should ideally stay in an apartment. You would get a full-fledged apartment in Kadikoy for the price of a dorm bed in Sultanahmet. But if you prefer to stay in hotels, you’ll also find impressive hotels across various price points delivering a quality experience.

Cemre Suit

As I said before, you can get a lot more value for money when you stay in Kadikoy versus staying in Sultanahmet or Taksim.

The Cemre Suit is a great example of that. At a price point not too higher than a dorm bed at Cheers Hostel, you enjoy a proper double room with an extra large bed, a desk, a couch, a private bathroom (a jacuzzi if you pay a bit more), and all the amenities, comfort and cleanliness of a mid-range hotel.

Plus, everything you need from transportation to restuarant to supermarket is a stone’s throw away. You can head to the busy end of Istanbul whenever you feel like it or enjoy the calm, local vibe of Kadikoy.

The staff here is also very warm and hospitable and goes above and beyond to make your stay comfortable. They respond to Whatsapp messages quickly and upgrade you to better rooms whenever possible.

😍 Check Prices and Availability

Yolo Hostel Kadikoy

Yolo Hostels is one of the best hostels in Istanbul for solo travelers. You get to stay in a cool, youthful area of Istanbul full of cafés, art studios and restaurants yet away from the touristy buzz in other areas of Istanbul like Sultanahmet.

The location is just 5 minutes away from the ferry station that takes you to the European side of Istanbul. So you can easily complete your Istanbul sightseeing while staying here.

The hostel’s quality will also impress you. The bunk beds are the best bunk beds you’ll find in hostels. They are large, comfortable, and don’t squeak when you move. The rooms and the bathrooms are also very clean.

The staff is kind and hospitable and helps you with your touristy doubts. The overall vibe isn’t as loud as a party hostel but the place still offers excellent opportunities to socialize and connect with other solo travelers in Istanbul.

Overall, if you are on a budget and don’t mind staying in a cool, trendy area away from the touristy hub of Istanbul but still conveniently connected, the Yolo Hostel is an excellent choice.

😍 Check Prices and Availability

Which areas to avoid Staying in Istanbul?

This list is fairly short only because it’s intended to serve as a caution for solo travelers only.


Balat and Fener are easily the most Instagrammable places in Istanbul. They attract hordes of tourists during the day (particularly since their popularity exploded thanks to Instagram). They are full of some of the most tastefully done cafés and historic buildings.

But I wouldn’t recommend staying in Balat and Fener as a solo traveler – especially a female solo traveler.

The area becomes quiet post-sunset. The lanes are fairly deserted. Some lanes even exude a shady vibe and exploring the area by yourself, or roaming around here as a female traveler may not feel safe.

Plus, there are no direct trams that connect Balat/Fener to Istanbul’s city center. All the primary tourist attractions require you to
– take a cab which is not economical if you’re traveling alone. Cabs are also notoriously infamous for scamming tourists.
– taking a bus to Eminonu – that could involve quite a bit of walking to the bus stop depending on where your accommodation is in Balat and Fener.


Adding Aksaray to this list was purely based on my gut feel. Many solo travelers find excellent, super cheap accommodation in and around this area. The area’s proximity to prime places like Sultanahmet and its easy connectivity to the airport using the Havaist shuttle bus makes it an even more enticing option.

While the central areas are bustling with people – both locals and tourists during the day, the bylanes can feel quite shady. Some areas are also infamous for pickpocketing.

If you are a solo male traveler not too worried about deserted streets and shady lanes, you can stay here and save accommodation costs. But if you are someone of color or a female solo traveler – the unfriendly local behavior towards tourists, and the constant need to be mindful of your surroundings especially post-sunset would ruin your Istanbul solo trip experience.

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