What to Consider While Buying a Property in Turkey

Living in Istanbul: Tips for Foreigners

Any foreigner living in Istanbul can attest to the city’s incredible variety. Turkish traditions are combined with contemporary designs to attract tourists and expats worldwide. There’s also no shortage of accomondation, from old Ottoman structures to contemporary towers with city vistas. Istanbul is home to both the European and Asian continents. First, Sultanahmet in the Fatih area was the Ottoman sultans’ administrative center. It is near the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Turkey is also a popular tourist destination due to its various sightseeing excursions. The new city, which encompasses Taksim Square, is one of the most popular expat destinations, with a high cost of living compared to the rest of Istanbul. We arrive here after passing the Golden Horn and Galata.

How is Life in Istanbul?

Istanbul is a famous  city of cultures and civilizations. It was founded in 657 BCE as Byzantium and is a favorite expat destination. The city’s history is a mix of religions, cultures, and ethnicities, including periods of Islamic and Christian influence. Thousands of bilingual citizens speak English and other languages in Istanbul, Turkey’s cultural and tourism centre. If you’ve already chosen to relocate to Istanbul, here’s what life might be like. Because of its strategic location along the Bosphorus canal, Istanbul has a rich historical culture, as the Ottoman and Eastern Roman empires’ seat of authority, history, and customs permeate its structures and populace. The Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, and Blue Mosque attract foreign residents and tourists. While the Hippodrome in Constantinople is old, the Galata Tower in Istanbul is medieval.

Unique Weather: Istanbul offers special seasons and climates suited for residents from all over the world. Summers are humid, dry, warm, and clear, while winters are cloudy, windy, cold, and lengthy. Throughout the year, the average temperature ranges between 38o F and 85o F.

Ideal Living Areas: Istanbul features 39 distinct neighborhoods ranging from rich to hipster. Foreigners in Istanbul have several options based on their lifestyle and budget. A vibrant corporate and commercial zone like Levent attracts thousands of Turkish and international workers. To the north of Sariyer, however, are stunning natural scenery and coasts. In general, property near the Bosphorus is more costly, whether to rent and buy.

Getting Around in Istanbul: Public transportation in Istanbul is both inexpensive and effective. An Istanbul card allows individuals to access trains, buses, and ferries, and the fare payment mechanisms are pretty simple. Moreover, when it comes to air travel, Istanbul is at a prime location in Turkey. The city is booming with real estate developments and commercialization, is practically on the doorstep of three continents, covering many destinations in Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Why Should You Move to Istanbul?

A new start in a foreign country is common and people relocate due to various reasons like employment, marriage, etc. In a remote exotic location where they may readily meet natives and other expats, many aspire to travel overseas. Istanbul has recently been an expat hotspot. The history of Istanbul is extensive. Being at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, it has neighborhoods on both continents. Istanbul, offers a diverse business scene. If you work in your current country, see if your company has a presence there. Aside from its stunning beauty, Istanbul seamlessly combines the two. It’s also well-connected to key worldwide cities, making domestic and international travel easy. If moving to Istanbul appeals to you, keep reading.

Healthcare for All: Turkey provides universal healthcare, you can obtain several medical procedures for free if you are enrolled with Social Security (SGK). 

Living expenses: If you look around, you can locate apartments in the city center for as little as a couple of thousand lire (about 500 USD). Groceries are cheaper than elsewhere in Europe, and bazaars sell fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Weather: Stunning weather is a given in Istanbul. Summer is dry and hot, with temperatures ranging from 24 to 28 degrees Celcius. It stays about 19 degrees Celcius at night.

Is Moving to Istanbul Easy?

Yes, it is. As long as you learn about regulations and laws before leaving. your home country.

Contact the relevant embassy or consulate for expatriate information, such as:

  • Permits and visas
  • Insurance for family members’ vaccinations

Submit Passport, Visa, and Permit Applications: Do this as soon as possible because this process takes time to complete. Also, if any of these documents are about to expire, it is a good idea to renew them as soon as possible.

Gather Crucial Documents: Request official copies of important personal documents and allow at least a few weeks for them to arrive. If necessary, arrange for official translations. Items to consider include:

  • Certificates of birth and marriage
  • Naturalization, passport, green card, citizenship proof, and so on.
  • Certificates of Social Security
  • Vaccination and medical records, as well as dental records
  • Policies of insurance
  • Diplomas and academic records
  • Employment history
  • Evidence of residence (utility bill, statement, etc.)
  • Testamentary will

Insurance: It is vital to learn the precise insurance needs and availability; limits vary significantly worldwide.

What are the Requirements for Moving Istanbul?

Most travelers need a visa to enter Istanbul, or Turkey. However, there are multiple visa categories, several means to obtain a permit, and various costs to pay. It all depends on the type of passport you have, your nation of origin, and the reason for your stay. 

What Kind of Passport Do You Have: There are various passports: diplomatic, special, service (together known as official passports), and ordinary visas.  Also, ensure that your passport is valid for at least 90 days beyond the visa period. As a result, if you are granted a 90-day visa, ensure that your passport is valid for at least 180 days.

Is a Visa Required? : You can visit the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website, select your country, and read what it says for regular passport holders. For example, if it says: Ordinary passport holders are exempt from visa requirements for a period of […] days. — You are among the fortunate because you do not require a visa. All you need is a passport that is up to date.

What is the Easiest Way to Move Istanbul?

Again, this varies by country. The online visa will inform you how much you need to spend each person before you pay the total. If you have a “many entrance visa” (müteaddit giriş), you will be awarded a “single entry visa” (tek giriş). What Can My Visa Do? These words are self-explanatory. You can enter and exit the country as long as your multiple entry visa is valid. If you depart with a visa that only allows one entrance, you need a new one. All of these visas are for tourists only. Work is forbidden in Turkey at all times.

Move to Istanbul with a Proper Visa: Turkey’s visa requirements are different from those in most other countries, so securing one before moving there is necessary. The sort of visa you may need depends on your purpose of travel and period of stay, whereas expats from several countries would not even require a permit for moving to Turkey. The Turkish visa system offers a variety of visa kinds. If you want to live in Turkey permanently, you’ll want to know these things before applying for a visa.

  • You can apply for a long-stay visa if you intend to stay for more than 90 days.
  • You can also obtain a tourist visa and apply for a resident permit in Turkey within 90 days after entering the country.

Buy Property before Moving to Istanbul: So you boarded a plane and flew to Istanbul. The next step is to choose a location to live. People with low and average earnings can live well in Turkey, so many opt to relocate there. Compared to most Western and European countries, Turkey’s overall cost of living, including property rates, is lower. There are several things you should know whether you buy or rent a property.

  • Although the rent varies depending on the location and size of the property, you can anticipate paying between $250 and $400 per month if you buy an apartment and rent an apartment flat. Remember that this is dependent on the property’s location and, of course, its size.

What is Daily Life in Istanbul Like?

Turkey’s Istanbul area is a renowned tourism destination. Istanbul’s superb climate makes it a year-round destination where tourists can enjoy historical sites, vibrant nightlife, and chic shopping. Autumn and winter are wonderful seasons for visiting historic places. One of the city’s most famous landmarks is the Hagia Sophia, a former church-turned mosque. This is now a museum and a work of art. The Blue Mosque, with its six minarets, is still used for worship. You can see the calm Uskudar region and the legend-laden Maiden Tower on an islet via boat. No matter where you go, there’s always something to view.

Istanbul is a shopping wonderland: From high-end shops to bustling markets you may buy dried fruits, nuts, spices, olives, Turkish delight, and oils at the Spice Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s largest covered markets, with approximately 3,000 businesses. Shopping, food and entertainment are all under one roof at the Mall of Istanbul, Forum and Istinye Shopping Park Centre. 

Eating out and nightlife: In terms of cuisine, Istanbul has it all. There’s something for every taste and budget, from sophisticated fusion restaurants to traditional food carts providing street cuisine. . 

Transportation & Getting Around: Istanbul is a crowded city, yet congestion relief efforts have a big influence. There’s also the multi-billion dollar Marmaray Tunnel Link project. This 2014 bridge connects Asia and Europe across the Bosphorus. The new train, underground, and metro that connects the center and Asia in about 30 minutes has also increased demand for property in Bahcesehir, Beylikduzu, and Halkali. Add to that the three Bosporus bridges connecting both continents, and the city is booming.

Living in Istanbul: Tips for Foreigners

The European side of Istanbul:  The modern and old areas of the city, Sultanahmet and Beyoglu, are all on the European side of Istanbul. The Bosphorus divides the European and Asian sides. Many visitors come to Sultanahmet, Turkey’s most famous tourist destination, to see the Byzantine and Ottoman ruins. Beyoglu, home to Taksim Independence Square and Istiklal Avenue, contains a few tourist attractions. Also popular are Besiktas and Ortakoy. Affluent neighborhoods with billionaire homes include Bakirkoy, Beylikduzu, Bahcesehir, Esenyurt, Kucukcekmece, Buyukcekmece, and Sariyer.

The Asian Area of Istanbul: Asiatic Istanbul was long disregarded by both Turks and foreigners until the internet advanced and travelers got intrigued. It is also a great place to reside and commute to the EU. However, Uskudar and Kadikoy are receiving the most interest. Uskudar is a vital traffic center due to its excellent ferry connections, while Kadikoy is noted for its nightlife and shopping. Some travel writers have compared Bagdat Avenue, the Asian area’s principal street, to America’s Rodeo Drive. This is a wealthy area with millionaire homes and high-end stores.

How do Turks behave towards Foreigners in Istanbul?

The attitude of Turkish people towards newcomers are welcoming. As Turkey is a country where many tourists frequent each year Turks are used to foreigners.  The most foreigners live in Antalya, Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. Visitors avoid rural areas in favor of well-developed cities. Turkey  is an essentially secular republic. Many Turkish individuals, especially those living in cities or tourist areas, have broader viewpoints and are open-minded. Religious traditions and secularism coexist in many neighborhoods. The Turkish people are kind and polite to foreigners. Foreigners are socialized in Turkish culture. Turkish people are always ready to help and meet newcomers. 

What is the Cost of Living in Istanbul?

Living in Istanbul is not expensive compared to other countries with similar, development, and urbanization aspects. It also depends on the person’s financial and lifestyle needs, but it’s usually approximately $1,000 each month. The fee includes food, drink, and hotel, so it’s not out of reach. If you are renting, budget 500 USD per month for living expenses. The present exchange rate makes the ordinary household’s income quite appealing. 

Here you can find more information, Cost of Living in Turkey.

What is the Prices of Houses in Istanbul?

Istanbul, one of the world’s fastest developing megacities, has no shortage of possibilities. Every year, up to 30 new streets emerge from the suburbs, and unused land pieces become home to residential complexes, shopping malls, and workplaces. Every year, ancient Constantinople needs up to 250 000 accommodation units (apartments or homes) for visitors. Immigrants are also a large part of the population, whether tenants or buyers.

Most sought-after districts to rent from or buy a house (not to be confused with the cost per square meter):


July 2021 (thousand USD/1 sq.m.)

The average price for 2021 (thousand USD/1 sq.m.)

Investment return period, years

Price change for a year,%




































































































































































































What is the Cost of Rental Apartments in Istanbul?

The most reasonably priced places in Istanbul to rent an apartment have been identified. Earthquakes have increased the demand for safe dwellings. This increased the city’s lease payments for new structures. Finding a cheap rental house in Istanbul is getting harder. We have produced a list of rental unit pricing to help you find the finest district. Recent data shows that rental home prices in Istanbul have grown dramatically. The increases are remarkable since they occur in newly built flats, thought to be the safest in the city. The desire to live in a safe place and in an earthquake-resistant home rises daily. Due to growing rental demand, many people are abandoning their old houses and moving into newer, safer buildings. 

    • The lowest rent in Basaksehir is 240 USD while the highest is 670 USD.
    • Esenyurt’s rent is 400 USD.
    • Zeytinburnu rent costs 550 USD. 

Living in Istanbul: Tips for Foreigners

The Anatolian side of Istanbul, which has a lower population density, demands flexible rental pricing.

  • In Maltepe, the rent ranges from 250 USD to 600 USD.
  • A one-bedroom apartment in Kadikoy, the most costly district along the coast, will set you back 1,800 Turkish Liras. For example, in Uskudar, a one-bedroom apartment may cost 300 USD, whereas a two-bedroom apartment in Atasehir might cost 400 USD.

What is the Cost of Food in Istanbul?

Turkish cuisine is typically regarded as world-class. Turkey’s cuisine is famous for kebabs and baklava, but that’s only the beginning. Traveling across Turkey is the only way to appreciate Turkish cuisine’s diversity and complexity. Istanbul is a culinary melting pot. So eating out will be one of the highlights of your vacation to Istanbul. You may try kebabs, starters, vegetarian and meat dinners, seafood, pastries, desserts, and beverages.

Street Food Prices in Istanbul: Istanbul provides many choices of street meals to sample throughout your visit, within your budget. 

Prices at Casual Dining Restaurants in Istanbul: Casual dining is widespread in Istanbul’s malls and city centers. This is not your average kebab restaurant in Istanbul. The Turkish Lira’s low exchange rate and cheap meals allow travelers to save money. Entre 10 and  30 USD per person for a good lunch in an Istanbul casual dining restaurant A nicer restaurant may charge above 10  USD per person.

Living in Istanbul: Tips for Foreigners

Average Cost of Traditional Turkish Breakfast: Istanbul’s culinary scene is world-class. To feast like an Ottoman Sultan or savor world-class food prepared by famous chefs. The Bosphorus offers several fine dining options in Istanbul. Some restaurants even have roofs and patios for all seasons.

Prices at Seafood Restaurants in Istanbul: Because Turkey is bordered by sea on three sides, it offers a variety of fresh fish dishes. Turkey’s fishing season spans from September to April. For seafood lovers, this is the greatest time to dine in Turkey. Entre 20 and 50 USD per person throughout the fishing season. 

How is Public Transport in Istanbul?

Getting around Istanbul, one of the world’s most crowded cities may be difficult at times. Moreover, the region’s terrain makes public transit building challenging (Istanbul, like Rome, was built on seven hills). The city municipality is currently working hard to increase public transit choices for Istanbul residents. This project’s main goals are to build the Istanbul metro and connect the two continents. 

The Modern Tramway: One line connects Kabatas to Sultanahmet, while the T4 travels northwest through the city. Both lines are functioning throughout Europe. It’s open 6 a.m.-11 p.m. The Istanbul tram is clean and cool. The T1 line connects the city’s major attractions. We strongly recommend you to take it because it is the cheapest and quickest method to go to the old town. 

Living in Istanbul: Tips for Foreigners

Metro (Subway): It is open from 6:15 a.m. until midnight and currently has two lines on the European side. Unfortunately, these two lines are not yet linked. There is also a line on the Asian coast, but it is not relevant to you because it is not yet connected to Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

Bus: In Istanbul, there are 400 bus lines, the bulk of which operate till midnight every night. Except for Sultanahmet (which is accessible by tram), buses run throughout the city. On the sides of the buses, destinations and significant stops are written in yellow.

Metrobus: Buses that run in dedicated lanes to avoid gridlock. Most of the places covered are on the outskirts of town. As a result, if you are visiting the city, its use is irrelevant. Only Istanbul Kart and Mavi Kart (monthly subscriptions) are accepted. All stations sell or recharge Istanbul Kart.

Ferry: They allow movement from Europe to Asia. To bypass chronic traffic congestion on the two main Bosphorus crossings, Istanbul residents use public boats/ferries – “vapur” in Turkish. Taking a boat can help you understand the city’s size and is a cost-effective way to see it from the sea. There are four main piers on the European side (Eminonu), and two on the Asian side (Uskudar and Kadikoy).

Minibus: These are shared taxis that run 24/7. It’s fast, affordable, and commonly used in Turkey. They travel a defined path and leave when full (8 passengers). You may stop wherever you choose. Payment is simple: once seated, inform the driver of your location and provide cash (only cash is accepted).

How is Safety in Istanbul?

Istanbul is a safe city although it is a metropolis. Expats should take all regular precautions while living in a new and foreign place, such as being aware of pickpockets and not walking in dark alleys late at night. However, the locals are really kind, and there is even a police tourism squad.

Can You Work in Istanbul?

In Turkey, you cannot work in any job without a work permit, which must be approved. If you are detected working illegally in Turkey, you may be arrested or deported. Work permits are employer-specific, and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security oversees all cases. You must first establish an agreement with your future employer before filing for a work visa or permit. Unless you apply as a self-employed professional, your employer will collect your documents. Then you may apply for a work visa in Turkey or from home.

Applying for a work permit from Turkey: In Ankara, you can apply directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security if you have a valid residency permit*. You and your employee will fill out an online application and send it to the ministry with the relevant papers within six days. Your application will be responded to electronically and in writing within 30 days.

What are the Advantages of Living in Istanbul?

Istanbul combines the finest of history, modernism, and progress, with an abundance of natural beauty. For those interested in ownership, there are several possibilities, including luxury flats and homes, in the most prominent structures, with the most stunning luxury finishes. Many international universities and schools are located here. Prices are low compared to many European countries.

What are the Cons of Living in Istanbul?

For many, the best choice was to leave their own country, buy a house, and go to Turkey. People from all over the world are coming to this country to meet the expatriates who now name this country their second home. To everyone’s relief, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in their new residence. Check them out together with our how-to guide for starting a new life in Turkey.

Friends and family back home: When we move overseas, we take solace in the notion that we can hop on a plane whenever we choose. But, on the other hand, moving to Turkey causes some people to miss their friends and family more than they expected. The good news is that this is only a passing phase, and you can stay in touch daily with programs like What’s App, Messenger Video Call, and Skype.

Language Barriers: Living in a multi-cultural environment has several challenges. While learning Turkish is a wonderful experience, being multilingual may be difficult. The difficulty to communicate in Turkish is the most prevalent complaint from expats. Because most expats reside in tourist locations with natural English speakers, international living is easy. (Easy Turkish learning techniques)

Schools: Private tuition is expected to be costly at many prestigious institutions. On the other hand, Turkish public schools are free, allowing pupils to interact with and befriend local children.

Terrible Traffic: Istanbul’s traffic has been ranked as one of the worst in the world. Expats who dislike taking public transportation can take taxis, although, like in many big cities across the globe, drivers will frequently try to overcharge foreigners. Nevertheless, Bitaksi is a handy ridesharing service that accepts card payments, and Uber also operates in the city.

What are the Best Places to Live in Istanbul?

Millions of people visit Taksim Square and Istiklal Street every day. Tourists from all over the globe come to visit the magnificent Ottoman and Byzantine buildings left behind in the ancient Sultanahmet area. 

Elite and trendy Nisantasi: Go to modern Nisantasi for a stylish way of life. Nisantasi, located in the Sisli district, is the most fashionable neighborhood, with the Abdi Ipekci street running through it, which has the most expensive businesses in Turkey. In addition to boutique shopping, prepare to spend your days eating lunch with fellow expats at roadside cafés. Despite its trendy vibes, Nisantasi is also known for its Art Nouveau architecture, which can be seen in certain older buildings.

Living in Istanbul: Tips for Foreigners

Kadikoy from Asia: Head to Kadikoy for the best Asian side experience in Istanbul. Kadikoy, centrally placed and adjacent to Uskudar, also has excellent ferry connections to neighborhoods in European Istanbul. Many locals rely on them to go around. Apartment living is popular here, particularly among the student body of a local university, which makes it an educational powerhouse in Istanbul. You will be pleasantly surprised by the low housing expenses in Kadikoy.

Take pleasure in Attractive Basaksehir: Basaksehir, located 30 minutes south of Istanbul’s new airport, is one of the city’s emerging neighborhoods. Even though the local council has made significant investments in public transportation, it is also located close to the TEM highway, making it excellent for commuting and reaching the central districts of Istanbul. Furthermore, the younger generation is often well educated, and local projects by the Istanbul municipality have made it a hub for real estate speculators.

Here you can find more information on, Best Cities to Live in Turkey.

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