Relocating to a new country comes with countless exciting opportunities and challenges, with one of the most crucial decisions being where to live. For expats moving to Turkey or looking to change their living arrangements within the country, finding the perfect place to call home can greatly impact their overall satisfaction and experience. In this comprehensive guide, we aim to assist expats in exploring their options when it comes to cities, lifestyle preferences, budgets, and more, enabling them to make well-informed decisions and find a living situation that best suits their individual needs and desires.

We begin by presenting an overview of the most popular cities for expats living in Turkey, including bustling metropolises like Istanbul and Ankara and more laidback coastal destinations like Antalya and Fethiye. Each city offers a unique set of attractions, amenities, and lifestyle options that can cater to varying preferences and priorities, and we will delve into these features to help expats determine which destination aligns best with their vision of expat life in Turkey.

Furthermore, we will discuss the various lifestyle factors to consider when choosing a place to live, such as the appeal of urban versus rural settings, proximity to the coast or cultural hubs, and the availability of resources and support for expats. By taking these factors into account, expats can ensure they find a living situation that supports their distinct interests and ambitions.

A primary concern when relocating to a new country is budgeting for housing and living expenses. In this guide, we will assess the costs of living in different parts of Turkey and provide tips for finding affordable accommodation that meets the needs and expectations of expats.

Creating a safe and secure living environment is another critical consideration for expats. We will evaluate the safety aspects of various regions in Turkey, taking into account expat-friendly communities and available resources and support. Moreover, we will explore work and job opportunities as well as educational options and international schools for expat families in different regions of the country.

Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the best living options for expats in Turkey, grounded in a comprehensive understanding of the country's diverse cities, lifestyle choices, and budgetary considerations. Allow Ikamet to be your trusted guide in the quest to find the perfect home in Turkey, making your expat experience all the more rewarding and memorable.

Top Cities for Expats in Turkey

Turkey offers a broad range of cities for expats, each with its unique characteristics and attractions. In this section, we will explore the top cities expats should consider when relocating to Turkey and the distinctive features that make each of them appealing.

  1. Istanbul: As Turkey's largest city and economic hub, Istanbul is a popular choice for expats seeking a vibrant, cosmopolitan lifestyle. The city provides a rich blend of history, culture, and modern amenities, with countless historical sites, shopping centers, and nightlife opportunities. Expats living in Istanbul enjoy easy access to international schools, top-notch healthcare facilities, and a diverse job market.
  2. Ankara: As the capital city of Turkey and the country's political center, Ankara boasts a more relaxed pace of life compared to Istanbul. Expats living in Ankara can experience historic sites, such as Atatürk's Mausoleum, and plenty of parks and green spaces. The city is also home to numerous embassies, making it easier for expats to access consular services.
  3. Izmir: Situated on the Aegean coast, Izmir is Turkey's third-largest city and a popular option for expats seeking a coastal lifestyle. The city features a stunning waterfront, beautiful beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere, in addition to a diverse culinary scene and numerous cultural events. Izmir is also home to a growing technology sector, offering potential job opportunities for expats.
  4. Antalya: Known for its Mediterranean climate, beautiful beaches, and ancient ruins, Antalya is the perfect destination for expats who are looking for a mix of relaxation and adventure. Expats in Antalya can enjoy outdoor activities, golf courses, and a bustling tourism industry full of job opportunities.

Turkish Lifestyle Preferences

When deciding on the perfect place to live in Turkey, expats should also consider various lifestyle factors that can impact their overall satisfaction and well-being. Some of these factors include:

  1. Urban vs. Rural Settings: Expats should consider whether they prefer the excitement and convenience of city life or the tranquility and charm of living in a rural area. Urban areas usually offer better job opportunities, housing options, and access to amenities, while rural areas can provide a more traditional and intimate experience of Turkish culture and hospitality.
  2. Proximity to the Coast: Expats who enjoy sun, sand, and sea should contemplate living near the coast, where they can take advantage of Turkey's beautiful beaches and warm climate. Coastal cities like Izmir and Antalya can offer an excellent balance of natural beauty and modern conveniences.
  3. Cultural Opportunities: Turkey is a melting pot of cultures, history, and traditions. Expats seeking a rich cultural atmosphere should look to cities like Istanbul and Ankara, where they can encounter numerous historical sites, museums, galleries, and cultural events.

Budget Considerations

The cost of living in different parts of Turkey can vary greatly, with factors such as location, housing type, and lifestyle preferences influencing living expenses. When evaluating the budget for their new life in Turkey, expats should consider:

  1. Housing: Housing costs can widely differ based on living preferences, location, and property type. Expats in major cities should expect to pay higher rent or purchase prices for apartments compared to those in rural areas or smaller towns.
  2. Living Expenses: Utilities, transportation, groceries, and dining out can also vary based on location and lifestyle choices. Larger cities like Istanbul and Ankara may come with a higher cost of living, but they also offer a wider variety of amenities and services.
  3. Education: If expats have children, schooling options and costs will be an essential consideration. International schools can be found in major cities, but it is crucial to research tuition fees and additional expenses required.

Safety and Security

Finding a safe and secure living environment is essential for expats' peace of mind in Turkey. We recommend considering the following factors:

  1. Crime Rates: Research crime rates and safety rankings for various locations to ensure a comfortable living situation.
  2. Neighborhood Safety: Visit potential neighborhoods and speak with local residents to get a feel for the safety and security of the area.


Choosing the ideal place to live in Turkey is an important decision that can shape an expat's entire experience in the country. By thoughtfully considering the various factors outlined in this guide, including location, lifestyle preferences, and budget, expats can make informed decisions that will lead to a more enjoyable and fulfilling life in Turkey. Whether seeking the excitement of city life or the tranquility of a rural retreat, expats can find the perfect home in Turkey with the help of Ikamet's resources and guidance. Embrace the adventure of life in Turkey, confident that the right place to call home is waiting to be discovered.

Ikamet is a comprehensive online platform for expatriates residing in Turkey. We provide assistance to expats in Turkey in various areas, including citizenship, residency, real estate, insurance, and other elements of living as an expat in Turkey. If you are looking for a residency advisor in Turkey to help you settle, reach out to us today!