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5 Best Cities of Turkey To Live in As a Foreigner

Last updated on September 5, 2022

Cities to Live in Turkey For Foreigners

There are many cities in Turkey that are excellent options for people who are considering moving to the country from another country. Naturally, the criteria that individuals from other countries use to determine whether or not a location is suitable for relocation from another country will vary.

However, some cities make it easier for people who were born and raised in another country to live a “comfortable” life there. When moving to a new country, it is impossible to ignore the local culture; this is also true for other international moves.

When moving to a new country, it is impossible not to bring with one some prior experiences, expectations, and standards with them. Consequently, considering one’s options is the activity that will save the most time.

Check out these fascinating facts about incredible Turkey that even most Turkish people don’t know.

Best Cities in Turkey To Live For Foreigners

I don’t care if your stay in Turkey is temporary or permanent; I’m going to tell you which cities are the best for foreigners to live in. Every city will be judged based on the following five criteria: the way of life, enjoyable activities, cultural offerings, and overall cost.


Because Istanbul has the highest percentage of people who were born outside of Turkey, this fact alone may be interpreted as a sign that it is a welcoming place for people from other countries to make their homes. Istanbul is typically the city of choice for people from other countries due to its vibrant culture and numerous opportunities.

As in any other region of the world, Istanbul is a place where one can find examples of both extremes of lifestyles. There are both wealthy and impoverished neighborhoods in Istanbul.

In spite of this, the way of life in Istanbul is often referred to as “busy,” regardless of the state of the economy. Many people are in a hurry to get things done due to the fact that the city is very crowded.

However, it is possible to locate anything you might need in any part of Istanbul. They were forced to wing it due to the fact that the city is extremely developed, with a population of over 16 million people. You can quickly find everything that you require (especially in the central areas).

The network of transportation is fairly well developed, and there is a wide variety of public transportation options to choose from. In spite of the fact that some locations in Istanbul have located a considerable distance from one another, there are modes of transportation in the city that do not involve heavy traffic, such as the metro, the metro bus, and the ferry.

One disadvantage that should be mentioned here is the traffic. Given that there are more than 16 million people, it is unavoidable that there will be an issue with traffic.

On the other hand, as people spend more time in Istanbul, they become better at adjusting themselves to the city’s traffic.

In terms of leisure and entertainment, Istanbul is famously known as a city that never stops moving. One can anticipate seeing people out and about in the streets at any time of the day.

In addition, Istanbul is a culturally rich city, which means that there is an abundance of things to do, concerts to attend, galleries to visit, landmarks to see, and restaurants to go to at any time.

The culture in Istanbul is receptive to new ideas and approaches. People are used to it because there has always been a diverse population in the area where they live. Although the culture of Turkey as a whole can be said to be present in Istanbul, it is important to keep in mind that Istanbul is home to the largest number of ethnic minorities in all of Turkey.

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One thing that can be said about the cost of living in Istanbul is that it is significantly higher than the cost of living in a typical city in Turkey. This is because of something called the law of demand, which states that if there is a greater demand for something, the price of that thing will go up.

You can see Americans living in Turkey because of their job, business or just because they love the culture and living style of Turkey. You need to get a Turkey visa for American citizens if you want to live in Turkey.


Bodrum is a district of the city of Mula in Turkey’s Aegean region, and it is a significant hub for the country’s tourism industry. Living and finding a place to live in Bodrum would be a completely different experience than doing either in Istanbul.

To such an extent that, while there are 16 million people living in Istanbul, there are only about 1 million people living in Mula (which drastically increases in tourism periods).

People from all over the world, including Turks, choose to make their home in Bodrum for a variety of reasons, including the laid-back way of life, the region’s stunning natural scenery, the city’s exquisite beaches, the availability of luxurious amenities, and the region’s significant historical sites.

In point of fact, Bodrum has a reputation for being a more “luxurious” part of Turkey. Naturally, the answers to these questions are not uniform across the country.

In terms of way of life, Bodrum’s way of life can be characterized as unhurried, full of entertaining activities, upbeat, and cozy. It is important to note that because Bodrum is a tourism center, the majority of the city’s industrial and economic features are reliant on the industry.

In other words, there would be a significantly greater number of opportunities for employment in other cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. However, Bodrum is still a very developed area, and you can find anything and everything you require in that region.

People move to Bodrum because of its reputation for being a pleasant and entertaining city, which is one of the primary reasons why people move there to enjoy themselves.

Both tourists and people who live in Bodrum agree that the city’s enjoyment stems from its natural setting, its wealth of things to do, its historical landmarks, and its proximity to other popular vacation spots.

One of the characteristics that define Bodrum’s culture is its status as one of the most contemporary in all of Turkey. People are very friendly, positive, and respectful toward one another, and they do not interfere in the affairs of others. Everyone in Bodrum is accustomed to tourists because the city is known as a tourist destination.

Concerning the price, it is common knowledge that the tourist areas of Bodrum are among the most expensive places to visit due to the city’s reputation as a luxurious and expensive destination.

The situation in the center of Bodrum city has, however, evolved quite a bit. The cost of living in the center is significantly lower than the cost of living in the touristy regions.


Because of its reputation as being more cosmopolitan, the western side of Turkey is the region that westerners gravitate toward the most. But if you want to get a taste of the real Turkey, a place like Burse is just what the doctor ordered.

It was the second capital of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century, and the city hasn’t completely severed its ties to that part of its history.

Also check:  Top 10 Places You Should Visit in Turkey That are Not Istanbul

Because of the high concentration of Ottoman architecture within the city, UNESCO has designated the entire city as a World Heritage Site. There are a great number of mausoleums, palaces, and mansions that are well worth visiting.

However, despite the fact that it is a city, there are a significant number of parks and other outdoor areas. Locals have given it the nickname “Green Bursa” because of the efforts made by the municipal government to protect natural areas, such as parks and forests.

Because of this, it doesn’t have the same urban vibe as other places, which makes it a good choice for vacationing families. Skiing is a sport that is not widely practiced in Turkey, so the fact that it is available here comes as something of a pleasant surprise.

The ski resort that is located on Uludag Mountain dominates the view of the city from a distance. Therefore, if you want to live in Turkey but don’t want to give up your favorite winter activities, this could be the perfect place for you to settle down.

Because of how late the city was in developing its housing market, it is especially beneficial for younger expats and those who have families to look into moving there. This indicates that house prices are still at historically low levels and are the perfect time for first-time buyers to enter the market.

In the summer, Bursa experiences highs of around 31 degrees Celsius, while winter lows average around 10 degrees Celsius.

One of the most significant advantages of having a mountain in such close proximity is the convenience of being able to take a quick drive up to a higher elevation whenever the temperature outside becomes intolerable.

Bursa is the primary hub for automotive production in Turkey, but it’s possible that you wouldn’t choose to work in this sector if you had a choice. Kia and Renault both have factories there, in addition to factories belonging to other companies such as Bosch and Coca-Cola. In a nutshell, it consistently offers a substantial number of job openings.

Bursa does not have any particular international schools of its own, which could be seen as a potential drawback. It is much more in touch with its traditional heritage than places further to the west, and virtually every school teaches classes in Turkish.

If, on the other hand, you already have some Turkish under your belt and are willing to learn more, Bursa provides a completely unique flavor of national culture in comparison to what you might be used to experiencing.


İzmir is another city in Turkey that is ideal for foreigners looking to make their home there. It is possible to say that İzmir is in the “middle” of Istanbul and Bodrum; the city offers a variety of career opportunities in addition to opportunities for coastal tourism.

People who value consistency and convenience are most likely to call the city their home. In terms of the way of life, the population of Izmir is contemporary, youthful, and active.

Because it is home to a number of educational institutions, the city has a population that is both younger and more culturally diverse. In Izmir, the population is open-minded, contemporary, and warm.

The possibility of Izmir being shaken up by earthquakes is a drawback of calling this city home. Numerous earthquakes take place all through the year in this city, which is situated in an area with a high seismic activity risk.

Even though not all of these earthquakes are of a significant magnitude, they are still enough to inspire fear. Nevertheless, this barrier can be overcome by implementing earthquake precautions and increasing housing resistance to earthquakes.

Residents of Izmir have access to a diverse range of entertainment options thanks to the city’s location. As was mentioned earlier, Izmir is a city that strikes a balance between economic and career development, as well as activities related to tourism. The city is home to a wide variety of popular vacation spots, including eşme and Alacat.

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The culture in Izmir is representative of that found throughout the Aegean region. The food, particularly dishes prepared with olive oil, is accorded a high level of significance. There are a wide variety of historical sites that can be explored in Izmir, contributing to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

When it comes to the cost of living in Izmir, it is fair to say that it falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. Izmir has a port so you can enjoy a lot of cruise tours in Izmir. For that, you need a Turkey visa for cruise visitors if you are a foreign tourist.

Obviously, there are areas in the world in which it is possible to lead a life that is the epitome of luxury, and there are also areas in which one can live at a cost that is significantly lower than the national average.


Antalya is another popular region in Turkey for expatriates to settle down permanently. Antalya is located in a part of Turkey known as the Mediterranean region, and the climate there is also the Mediterranean. Antalya’s climate is regarded as one of the city’s strongest selling points as a potential location for permanent residence.

In terms of lifestyle, Antalya is known to have a more Westernized way of life than other cities in Turkey. Antalya is home to a population that is relatively forward-thinking and receptive to new experiences; in fact, some people argue that Turkish culture does not play a significant role in the city.

These aspects of the local way of life are particularly relevant during the tourism seasons when millions of tourists come to Antalya. Naturally, there are areas of Antalya that are influenced by Turkish culture.

At this point, it is possible to mention one of the drawbacks of living in Antalya, which would be the intense crowds that occur during the tourism seasons.

When it comes to having fun, Antalya offers a wide variety of options, both in terms of activities to participate in and locations to explore. Opportunities typical of “regular cities” are available here, in addition to those that come with the status of being a tourism hub.

Both of these options can be experienced while still remaining in the same city. Because Antalya has an efficient public transportation system, it is possible to get from one location to another by a variety of methods.

In the section on lifestyle, it was mentioned that the culture in Antalya is contemporary and Westernized. It is important to point out that this does not hold true for all parts of Antalya.

In particular, the areas of the city that do not cater to tourists maintain a robust Turkish-Mediterranean culture that is exemplified by warm-hearted individuals, an inviting environment, and a constructive outlook.

Antalya’s cost of living varies greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood, making it difficult to generalize about overall costs. If, on the other hand, you select a location that is in close proximity to the city center but is not located in an area that is popular with tourists, the cost will be more in line with the national average.

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