Istanbul is undoubtedly far safer than most European or North American cities, and cases of mugging and assault against tourists are rare.

For the average visitor, pickpocketing is the main cause for concern: be particularly careful around Sirkeci station, the Eminönü waterfront, the Galata Bridge, and around Taksim (especially at night). Also avoid being on or around the Byzantine land walls at dusk/night. Be very careful, too, on public transport, particularly when it is crowded. If you feel anyone is harassing or attempting to pickpocket you, try calling out “imdat! (meaning “help!”) and contact the tourist police.

Visitors should also be aware that political demonstrations sometimes turn into violent confrontations between police and protestors, as in the Gezi Park (part of Taksim Square) riots of 2013. Galatasary Meydanı, on busy İstiklal Caddesi, is the starting point for many protests.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Turkey features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook