Istanbul Sex Guide advises where to find sex, working girls, prostitution, street hookers, brothels, red-light districts, sex shops, prostitutes, erotic massage parlors, strip clubs and escorts in Istanbul, Turkey.
Istanbul (Turkish: İstanbul) is Turkey's most populous city, and its cultural and financial center. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul bridges Asia and Europe both physically and culturally. Istanbul's population is estimated to be between 12 and 19 million people, making it also one of the largest in Europe and the world. From the international Ataturk airport you can get to the city easily by subway. If you are traveling to the main touristic areas of Taksim or Sultan Ahmet (old city), swap to the tram or funicular line at Zeytinburnu or Aksaray. By taxi from Istanbul Ataturk airport to the Sultan Ahmet and Taksim districts are roughly 45 to 55 lira.
- 1 Sex and Prostitution in Istanbul
- 2 Female Escorts
- 3 Red Light Districts
- 4 Prostitutes and Sex Workers
- 5 Street Hookers
- 6 Live Sex Cams
- 7 Adult Locations
- 8 Escort Services and Agencies
- 9 Erotic Massage Parlors
- 10 Brothels and Sex Clubs
- 11 Strip Clubs and Striptease
- 12 Karaoke and KTVs
- 13 Swinger Clubs and BDSM
- 14 Sex Shops and Adult Stores
- 15 Love Hotels and Short Time Hotels
- 16 Nightclubs and Bars
- 17 Gay and Lesbian
- 18 Other Adult Services
- 19 Dating
- 20 Transsexuals and Shemales
- 21 Sexual Services for Women
- 22 Male Escorts
- 23 Sleeping and Girl Friendly Hotels
- 24 Stay Safe
- 25 See Also
Sex and Prostitution in Istanbul
Prostitution in Turkey is legal and regulated. Brothels are also legal. However, many local governments now have a policy of not issuing new registrations, and in some cities, such as Ankara and Bursa, brothels have been demolished by court order.
You might think that the street walkers and street hookers are the easiest to find after all. They are easy to find but remember that it's illegal and they are relatively anonymous you have to go elsewhere for quality.
Prostitution (Fuhuş) in Turkey is regulated under article 227 of the Turkish Penal Code (Law No. 5237). Promoting prostitution is punishable by two months to four years imprisonment. The passport law forbids entry to Turkey for the purposes of prostitution.
Illegal prostitution is classified as operating a brothels without being licensed, being a prostitute without having health checkups, being a prostitute without having a license, and being a sex worker without being registered. Operating of illegal prostitution is punishable with a maximum of one year imprisonment.
See also: Istanbul Escorts
There are hundreds or even thousands of escorts from different parts of the world working in Istanbul. Taksim you will find a few young black ebony and white female escorts that are decent for the upscale clients. You need to book appointments and they come to your hotel at a fee of 1hr 200$ upwards.
Red Light Districts
Istanbul Red-light districts have probably the most used prostitutes you will see in Europe. Some of these girls are old and you can really see they have been in the sex work for a long long time. If you pay them enough, they will do the kinkiest hardcore things you can imagine.
The general house, the brothels of Istanbul, are located in the KARAKOY near Galata Bridge, ZURAFA and KADEM street there are about 10-15 places and more than 200 prostitutes working there in these two Red-light districts. Red Light Area hooker streets are on your left and right hand side from Kemeralti Cd, 200 metre after you cross Galata Köprüsü Bridge if you are coming from Eminönü. It is the first tram stop right after the Galata Köprüsü Bridge! Zurafa is on your right hand side about 100 meter up the hill and it is the bigger red light area from the two, and Kadem Sk is on your right hand side (take a right turn to Leblebici Saban Sk and Kadem Sk is your first left.
When you enter the Red-light district area in Istanbul or in any other city in Turkey, you must show ID. So remember to keep your passport with you! Also leave your backpacks home because those are not allowed inside either. Once you show a foreign ID, the security will sometimes tell you that entrance fee is 50TL. This is a lie, so just tell them you are not going to pay. Incase there are other people nearby, just ask their help and security will get embarrass and let you go. Otherwise you just have to negotiate with them for a couple of minutes, until they allow you to enter.
In any occasion, do not try to take photos from the red light district, prostitutes or security can get really mad and you may have to pay a "fine" for them before they kick you out. Prostitutes may even try to take your camera or cellphone away and then demand a money.
Price for suck and fuck is 40TL in the both red light areas. Turkish people will usually pay less and foreigners more. Usually foreigners will pay the same 40TL to the brothel owner and then the girl will ask more money in the room. Usually paying 20-40TL more for the girl, will get you sex, otherwise they will just give you a blow-job or have fake sex, where they just direct your penis between their inner thighs instead of vagina.Sometime you do not even notice this and you will just cum and never end up putting your penis in her pussy.
There is also transsexual red-light district in the Taksim area, near Talrabasi Blv. You can read more about this red light area from below.
If you're afraid to visit red-light areas in Istanbul by yourself, you can also find legal Red-light district private tours from internet, for example www.istanbulbrothels.com.
Prostitutes and Sex Workers
Prostitution is entirely legal in the Turkey since Ataturk founded the modern republic in 1923. An estimated 3,000 women work in licensed, state-regulated brothels. The average Turkish prostitute still hides her profession from most friends and relatives.
Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution, often confined to special red-light districts in Istanbul. Other names for brothels include bordello, whorehouse, cathouse, knocking shop, and general houses (Turkish: "genel ev"). Prostitution also occurs in some Istanbul massage parlours and in some barber shops where sexual services may be offered as a secondary function of the premises. Street prostitution does also exist in Istanbul, mostly in Aksaray area which is not worth it. You will find great decent Black Ebony Female Escorts on online websites.
If you are interested in finding Russian women, you should visit Laleli area. Laleli is like a "little Russia" in Istanbul. You can find also Ukrainian, Romanian and many European girls from Laleli. Of course not all of them are working girls.
In 2008, activists and sex workers in Turkey announced they were working on a project to establish Turkey’s first sex workers union.
Troubles in communicating? Check out: Turkish Sex Phrasebook
You might think that the streetwalkers, street hookers are the easiest to find after all, they are easy to find but remember; that is illegal and they are relatively anonymous you have to go elsewhere for better quality.
How ever if you want to fuck street prostitutes in Istanbul. Then you can head to the Aksaray area.
Street Prostitution in Aksaray Area:
In Aksaray area, you can see street hookers at the day and night time walking on the Aksaray Caddesi Most of the street prostitutes in Aksaray come from Eastern-European and African countries. So if you see any black girls walking back an forth the streets or standing by the road, there is a very high chance she is a street whore. Price in Aksaray area differs a lot depending the time of the day. Sex will cost around 150-200TL at the evenings and night time, but early morning and day time you can usually make the best deals and drag the price lower. Most of these street hookers do have a room in nearby hotels and you can fuck them in their room or take them to your hotel. At the daytime, most of these girls are sleeping in their rooms, but front desk workers will direct you to their rooms if you ask for the girls at some of the hotels in the area.
Street Prostitution in Taksim Square Area:
In Taksim Square, you may find street whores near the expensive hotels at the night time. Price to have sex with these girls is something like 200-300TL depending how wealthy you look and how good your mongering skills are. Many of these girls have also ads online and they will search the clients from this area, while they also receive calls from possible clients. You can sometimes find Arabic prostitutes from this area.
Tarlabasi Blvd is also near the Taksim Square and you can find street prostitution activity from there too. Most prostitutes in that area are transgenders but there are some girls also, so be careful in the area and read: How to Spot a Ladyboy. Working Girls in Tarlabasi Blvd are much cheaper and usually you can get sex for 200TL. Most street whores are on Tarlabasi Blvd, between the Ekrem Tur Sok. and Atif Yilmaz Cad. Some can be also found from the Balo Sok, Büyük Bayram Sok, Kücük Bayram Sok and Halas Sok which are all next to the streets mentioned before.
Live Sex Cams
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You have many places where to find adult action in Istanbul.
Escort Services and Agencies
Escort Services in Istanbul, The difference between a brothel and an escort service (Call girls), is that the escort service doesn't always receive clients. Instead, a client can call them to have a girl sent to their home or hotel room. Typically, Istanbul call girls are accompanied by a driver who will be waiting outside during the sex. For the rest, most of the rules for brothels and clubs apply. Istanbul has quite a lot of escort bureaus. Some Istanbul escort girls also work freelance in Aksaray area, which is also known sex club, underground brothel and street prostitution area Istanbul.
Price to have sex with Istanbul escort is between 200-300 EUR for one hour. All night service can cost up to a 1000 EUR. Note that, girls' photos listed on web-sites of escort agencies (as well as their profiles with characteristics and customer reviews) are almost always fake. So don't be fooled with super angels looking at you from the web. You will receive much worse than advertised girl from east europe who will hardly talk in English.
Erotic Massage Parlors
Massage parlors in Istanbul and Turkey are not as great as in other European countries. There used to be more good erotic massage salons in Istanbul about 10 years ago, which offered great Happy Ending service.
Asian side of Istanbul has only few massage salons where you can get extra services. Almost all erotic massage parlours are located with in the European side of the Istanbul especially around li-Mecidiyeköwhy-Etiler-Gayrettepe circle.
One hour massage will usually cost around 100-200TL depending which place you choose. You have to always tip the girl for extra services. Sex can be bought by paying maybe 100-150TL more and hand job should never cost more than 50-100TL.
Some of the hotels in Istanbul have health spa´s on their premises and sometimes you can get Thai massage and other massages at these places. Be discreet and find out politely if they have offer extras, because some of them do and some do not. You can not ask from the reception if you get sex or hand-job after the massage. You have to first pay the massage and then see the signs if any extras are offered.
Brothels and Sex Clubs
It is estimated that the bulk of Istanbul prostitutes work in sex clubs and indoor brothels - meaning that, unlike the window brothels which you can find from the Istanbul red-light district, you cannot look in to these whore houses from the streets. Indoor brothels usually have 3-6 girls working and sex clubs do have more, up to 20 prostitutes. The ladies who work in this sequence of brothels in Istanbul are considered the lucky ones comparing to street prostitutes.
- Legal window brothels can be found from Zurafa and Kadem streets in the red light areas. The infamous Zurafa (Giraffe) Road is located in the center downtown, a place away from the tower of Galata which and where hundreds of visitors come every day.
- There is a handful of brothels in Urgup area.
- Number of hostels/hotels in Laleli, Kumkapı and Aksaray are used as venues where you can hook up with prostitutes. Usually the girls are outside at the night time, but at the day time the workers at the reception will direct you to the girls rooms.
All the sex club brothels in Aksaray area are a big scam or under big risk for police raid. It is not worth to go inside! Most common scam is that they will lure you inside with cheap 5 lira drinks and after you have orderer a couple beers and try to leave the place you will get a big bill! It will then be something like couple hundred liras or even 1000 liras sometimes! and bouncers will tell you that 5 lira was only the price of the first welcome drink and other drinks cost something like 50 liras each. Clubs will also charge something like 50 liras for peanuts or if the girls just sit to your table you can get charged something like 100 liras! Do not go to these clubs and do not go to any other clubs either if Turkish men will approach you and recommend you the place to go. Most of time you will get scammed!
Istanbul has quite a few notorious sex clubs, but many people who visit them get RIPPED OFF. They often start you with overpriced alcohol and you buying expensive non-alcoholic champagne for a girl hoping to get your business. Even worse, on top of an hourly fee starting around 150 euros, you ll often have to pay a taxi commission for the guy who brought you there of around 75 euros, sometimes even if you didn't come in a taxi. These places often have bad reputations, although if you've got a lot of money and want a little fun with ladies in Istanbul they might be a good choice.
Strip Clubs and Striptease
If you will visit a strip club in Istanbul, be aware that there have been lots of tourist scams! They will over charge everything you order and sometimes bring you even a 10.000 euro bill!
Strips clubs are also present in Istanbul and other major cities in Turkey. Strip clubs must also be licensed and strippers must be registered and have regular health checkups. All persons entering strip clubs in Turkey must be at least 18 years old.
Strip clubs have existed sporadically in Istanbul with the exception of Regina Revue, which was open from 1986 to 2011 as the city's most reputable club in this category.
Many of the escorts who work in Istanbul can provide you a striptease as a foreplay or just come to do nude dancing if you are having a bachelor party or other parties.
Karaoke and KTVs
KTVs are popular in Asia but you cannot find them in Istanbul.
Swinger Clubs and BDSM
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There are lots of swinging options in Istanbul. Turkish government has blocked some swinger websites but anyway the swinger party scene is quite active if you will find the right people. Swinging is not a public discussion topic in most muslim countries as Turkey.
Sex Shops and Adult Stores
If you don’t feel like visiting or cannot find any local sex shops in Istanbul, you can easily order adult products from Online Sex Shop.
Love Hotels and Short Time Hotels
There are many short-time hotels in Istanbul where you can go to have sex but they are not real love hotels.
Nightclubs and Bars
You can find many nightclubs and discos in Istanbul where you can try your luck to find sex for free. Make sure that you won't get scammed with the drink prices.
Gay and Lesbian
Gay modeling in internet is getting more popular all the time and it's a big market alongside with gay porn. You can watch gay live sex also in Istanbul as long as you are connected to internet. Check it out: Gay Live Sex Video Chat
The gay activities have become more and more visible in Istanbul during the last 20 years. The number of the gay venues has increased rapidly especially during the last 10 years. Taksim district of Beyoglu town on the European side of Istanbul is the centre of almost all major gay venues. In fact, this district is the centre of local night life. There are many modern or traditional gay bars, clubs, saunas and hamams near the Taksim/Beyoglu area. This neighborhood is also frequented by many (mostly bi-sexual) rent-boys. Some of these boys can really be as sexy as film-stars indeed. There are also many bars and clubs for transvestites and transsexuals in Taksim district. Indeed, the gay life of Istanbul is very colourful and vibrant. The 1st gay and lesbian organization of Turkey called Lambda Istanbul is also located in Istanbul.
- On Tarlabasi road 100’s of transsexual women, and gays are waiting for their clientele without security or authorization.
Gay Friendly Saunas and Bathhouses
In recent years, there has been extra pressure over gay-action places including bath houses and saunas and since 2007 majority of the senior gay friendly bath houses have been closed down. These hamams had been popular meeting places for local gay-men for decades. But gay men has naturally discovered new places in place of them.
You can find many gay friendly bars and clubs in Istanbul. There are also few lesbian bars in Istanbul. Also LGBT bars and clubs are many in this city. You can also find numerous gay sex shops, cinemas, glory holes, bookstores etc.
Other Adult Services
Istanbul has lots of different adult services.
Dating in Istanbul can be a bit tricky due to cultural differences, so your best bet is to sign up for a dating site before your trip so you can meet a few locals ahead of time. AdultFriendFinder.com lets you meet local members in Istanbul and get to know them on a personal basis before you arrive. Take advantage of site features like live chat and member to member webcams so you can begin flirting before arranging a face-to-face meeting. Since your time in Istanbul may be limited, get to know each other’s desires beforehand, so that when you meet you can start having some real fun.
Transsexuals and Shemales
Finding someone for transsexual dating when you’re on the road can be a bit tricky, so your best bet is to sign up for a dating site before you go so you can find locals ahead of time. TSdates.com is a dating site designed to help you find exactly what you are looking for in your hookup in Istanbul. Take advantage of site features like live chat and member to member webcams so you can begin flirting before arranging a face-to-face meeting. With over 40 million members, and thousands of transsexual members around the world, TSdates.com is the world’s largest site of sex-minded friends for discreet encounters and will help you find your next transsexual play partner.
Where can I find shemales in Istanbul? You can watch transsexual live sex shows in Istanbul as long as you are connected to internet. Check Now: Tranny Live Sex Video Chat
Istanbul is one of the most T-girl friendly places. Heaven of shemale sex, there are lots of shemales advertising online. Most of them are Turkish, some Armenian, Arab and other nations. And they are not expensive comparing to Europe. Good place for making shemale porn. It is estimated there are about 5000 transgenders in Istanbul. Most transgirls came to Istanbul to escape intolerance in more rural areas. In Turkey, transsexuals and transgender are often categorized against, and for them, regular work is tough to stumble on. Some of tranny sex workers are enforced to roam on the roads of Istanbul.
You can try to hook up with Transgenders and transsexuals in many of the Istanbul´s gay friendly clubs or if you just want to have a good fuck with a sexy Shemale escort, you can just give a call to a Istanbul transexual escorts. Average cost for one hour sex with Shemale escort in Istanbul is 100TL-300TL. You can also find pre-op and post-op transexuals working in the Istanbul´s Transsexual Red-light district and they are much cheaper than the t-girl escorts who advertise online, but they are often not very attractive.
On Tarlabasi Blvd 100’s of transsexual women, and gays are working on the streets and brothels Tarlabaşı is one of few places in Istanbul where transsexuals have found a safe place. Turkish society is in many ways socially conservative, and transsexuals are met with discrimination, mockery and beatings. But in Tarlabaşı – often the only place in the city where they can find rooms to rent – the community feels relatively safe.
Transsexual Red-light District and Shemale Brothels
You can find trans-girl brothels very close to the Taksim near Talrabasi Blv. There are transexual brothels on Buyuk Bayram Sok and Kucuk Bayram Sok. There you will see many t-girls waving at you from the windows once you pass by. Also in the streets there are often line ups of Turkish men waiting for popular t-girls to become free, or just watching the trannies and chatting with them.
Price in this red light district brothels is mostly 40TL for 15 minutes. Girls will show the price from the windows with their hands, meaning 4 fingers up is 40TL.
After finding a good looking transvestite or transsexual, all you need to do, is open the hallway door of the building and walk up to the brothel. Once you enter to the brothel, you can pick the girl you chose or look them more closely. This is recommended because many of the trannies look much better from the street, but once you enter to the brothel and see them in the bright room, you can spot scars or other things you may not like.
If you decide to stay, you pay to the owner (Mamasan) or the tranny (if there are no owner in premise), and then the tranny will direct you to her room. They will usually ask right away for a tip like 20 or 40TL. 10 to 20 liras should be fine, but make sure you negotiate first, that she allows you to penetrate her or she will fuck you if that is what you want. Other wise you will be fucking only the upper groin area of her, without never putting it in to her ass.
Beyoğlu Bayram Sokak is a famous area for transsexuals and it is located in Beyoglu across from the police department. The three story apartments are filled with shemales and transsexuals waiting at the windows for customers. The visiting fee is the same with the brothel, 40 TL (15 euros). With a reputation as the Transgender neighborhood, it is located on the opposite side of Beyoğlu District Police Department. Place is open from 10:00-18:00.
Transsexual Street Prostitution
Tarlabasi Blvd, especially between the Ekrem Tur Sok. and Atif Yilmaz Cad is a popular transsexual prostitution area. Nearby streets like Balo Sok, Büyük Bayram Sok, Kücük Bayram Sok and Halas Sok have transgender and transsexual street prostitutes at any time of the day.
Some trans street prostitutes in Istanbul can also be found on Turgut Özal (Millet Cd.) somewhere down the road near Hasekí tram stops on the right side (if you are coming from Aksaray). Most of these transexual hookers hang out in side street corners and there are some real girls as well. You can get a blowjob or sex for 30-60TL. Just remember to negotiate, because these transvestites tend to ask more money from foreigners. They have a rooms nearby, which are not clean at all. Be careful in the area, because some transgirls may try to pickpocket you.
Transexual and Shemale Clubs and Parties
Club 17, Istiklal Caddesi, Zambak Sokak No:17, Istanbul
- This t-girl friendly club is located very close to Taksim square, on the left of small alley called Zambak Sokak if you walk in from Istiklal Avenue . Club 17 is known as a gay-club by the owners but it is actually a fairly mix place hosting gay guys, rent-boys and sexy trannies. The big difference of the venue is that the t-girls also comes here as clients. Be a careful of the boys and “trans-girls” you pick up from here. It is a typical reflection of Istanbul´s underground night life. Open 23:00-05:00.
- No Name Club, Tarlabasi Avenue/Taksim/Istanbul.
- No Name Club is located right across the street from flower shops at Taksim Square. This place is the most popular transgender club in Istanbul and can also be visited by gay-guys comfortably to see the colourful life of Turkish crossdress men and transsexuals. Administration of this club is combined with a Club Prive, located just a few meters away, and it welcomes a mixture of gay and trans-crowd there now. Open 24:00-04:00.
- Pub Marilyn 1001, Siraselviler Caddesi, Taksim, Istanbul.
- Place is located along Siraselviler Caddesi, on the left when you walk from Taksim square just before reaching Romanian Consulate. It is best known as 1001, ‘bin-bir‘) which is the most senior and well-known transgender club in Istanbul. Besides typical DJ music, there is often live Turkish music performance also in Club Binbir. Open 23:00-02:00.
- Sahra Club, Istiklal Cad. Sadri Alisik Sokak NO:40 Beyoglu Istanbul.
- Sahra Club is located on the right hand side of Sadri Alisik, across the small mosque (Huseyin Aga Camii) on Istiklal Avenue. It is much cheaper than other transvestite clubs and mostly packed by young ghetto-guys who like trannies and shemales, as well as some gay guys and queers on weekend nights who like this type of boys. Besides regular trans-girls, this is where you can see drag-queens and cross-dressers usually on Saturday nights. Be a careful at this place because there are lots of scammer and pickpocketing also is common. Open 24:00-04:00.
Transvestite and Shemale Escorts
Secil +90 535 974 90 80, TS Balimnaz +90 536 674 57 58, TS-Zehra Turkeyo, Baby Caglia, Sibel, Hazen 23, Riita and Mehtab are probably the most well known transgirl escorts in Istanbul. They all offer one hour and all night services. Usually one hour mutual sex costs around 200$ to 400$ and all night often costs 1000 $. Some of the TG/TS/TV or CD escort who have ads online, will also work on the streets and sex clubs. These trans-girls will search clients from the street prostitution areas and sex clubs, while they have cellphone on their pocket incase a possible client calls. This way they can make get more customers and make more money. In-call is always cheaper than out-call and usually there is around 100TL extra fee on out-call services.
Sexual Services for Women
Istanbul is a great place for women who are looking for sexy young men. Turkish men are very horny and they do not care much if you are old or young, overweight or skinny. Most Turkish men will be more than happy to have a romance or sex with tourist women. Single women will be approached quite a lot if they walk alone, so all they have to do is go for a walk and wait until the attractive man finds them.
There are also male escorts and rent boys in Istanbul. Price is usually around 100-200TL per hour.
Sleeping and Girl Friendly Hotels
In general, it is possible to find some kind of accommodation in any district of Istanbul. Here is a quick list of the districts where they are concentrated most:
- Harbiye is a popular place to stay, as in the main center of the new city on the European side, and contains a variety of international standard apartments, hotels, and moderate hotels for budget travelers. Nişantaşı and Taksim are 5 minutes from Harbiye so you can stay in Harbiye and benefit from all activities in Nişantaşı and Taksim.
- Taksim is the main center of the new city on the European side. Locals and tourists go to Taksim for shopping and entertainment, as well as moderate hotels for budget travelers. There are also two hostels in this area.
Cheap studio with terrace at 100tl per night 5395462606 in the heart of Taksim.
- Sultanahmet the main center for the old city on the European side. It has a selection of quality, reasonably priced hotels, many with terraces overlooking the Golden Horn, or with views of the Marmara Sea and the Blue Mosque. Most hostel-type accommodation frequented by independent travellers are located in this district, although it is possible to find a few upmarket hotels.
- Quite pricey hotels can be found in western suburbs, especially around the airport, as well as on/overlooking the banks of Bosphorus.
- With the closure of relatively central Ataköy caravan park, the place where you can tow your caravan nearest to the city is now located in Selimpaşa, a far outer western suburb of the city, though it is still a good 40 km away from central parts of the city.
Girl Friendly Hotels
A number of hostels / hotels in Laleli, Kumkapı and Aksaray areas are used as venues where you can hook up with prostitutes.
- Ciragan Palace Kempinski
- Four seasons at the Bosphorus
- Sangrila Bosphorus
- Radisson Blu Ortakoy
- Dedeman Hotel
- Conrad Hotel
- W Hotel
- Grand Hyatt
- Park Hyatt
- The Marmara taksim
- Divan Hotel
- Hilton Istabul
- Ceylan Intercontinental
- Point hotel Barbaros
- Sheraton Hotel
- Le meridien
- Edition hotel
If you are staying close to airport we can recommend a few airport hotels which does not make any problem to escort girls:
- Polat renaissance airport hotel
- WOW hotels
- Radisson airport
- Holiday Inn airport north hotel
- Sheraton Atakoy hotel
- Marriot Courtard hotel
Just do not go to Grand Cevahir hotel - they don't allow female escorts.
See also: Global list of girl friendly hotels
As with most European cities, but especially in crowded areas of Istanbul, watch your pockets and travel documents as pickpockets have devised all sorts of strategies to obtain them from you. Do not rely too much on the 'safe' feeling you get from the omnipresence of policemen. Taksim Square, Sultanahmet Square, Istiklal Avenue, Kadikoy Square etc. are observed by security cameras monitored by police 24/7 non-stop.
Also be wary of men in Taksim who splash water on the backs of your neck. When you turn around, they will try to start a fight with you as another man comes in and robs you. These men tend to carry knives and can be very dangerous.
Istanbul is home to three of the biggest clubs in Turkey and arguably European football: Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, and Galatasaray. It is advisable not to wear colours associating yourself with any of the clubs--black and white, blue and yellow, and red and yellow, respectively--particularly on the days of matches between the sides due to the fearsome rivalry they share.
Be respectful of the Turkish flag. Don't put it on places where people sit or stand, don't drag it, don't wrinkle it, don't contaminate it, don't use it as a dress or uniform. Not only will Turks be very offended, furthermore the desecration of the Turkish flag is a punishable offence. The flag is extremely important and well respected in Turkey.
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