Tourism in Istanbul

Pros and Cons of Living in the Istanbul in 2024

Pros and Cons of Living in the Istanbul in 2024
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Living in a Commonwealth country like Turkey means having your needs met as part of a respectful lifestyle and more. Besides, the country's deep historical roots, a mix of different cultures and ongoing innovation. This interesting combination has made Istanbul a popular destination, as seen in the significant number of people, around 15.7 million inhabitants making it the most populous city in Turkey. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2023, 3.9 million people have chosen to migrate here, further demonstrating its intense attraction and suitability for living in. 

However, adapting to life in this unique Asian-European city poses challenges, especially for newcomers to the country. Deciding whether Istanbul is the right place to live can be compelling. Potential residents often wonder about the healthcare and education systems, the cost of living compared to other countries, and the available residential options in Istanbul

This article provides a candid look at these aspects and more. Let's begin by discussing the upsides and downsides of weather, health, school systems, and overall life in Istanbul.

1- Why Should I Choose Hospitals in Turkey For Treatment?? 


-High Quality and International standards

Turkey obtains highly-trained medical staff and excellent healthcare services, with Istanbul alone, home to 48 JCI medical facilities authorised by  JCI. All hospitals in Turkey maintain ISO 2001 certification, ensuring quality standards. 

- Almost Free Healthcare!

Recently, Turkey introduced state incentives to reduce healthcare costs for international patients, including VAT exemptions for non-residents receiving treatment at authorised health institutions. 

- Affordability for International Patients

This commitment to healthcare has made Turkey a global destination, attracting approximately 500,000 foreign patients annually. Not just that, but Turkey has always been a popular destination for medical tourism, actually in the top 10  in the world.

- Highly Trained Professionals and safety:

Furthermore, all doctors in Turkey are required to have occupational liability insurance, offering patients protection in case of medical errors.  

-Technological Advancements

All in all, Turkey is one of the advanced health bases of the world by its competitive prices, evidence-based service procurement at international standards, qualified human resources, and advanced technology, and some of them are named below:


3 Tesla MRI

Da Vinci Surgery – Robotic-Assisted Surgery



Robotic Surgery

Gamma knife

Nuclear medicine




- Language Barrier: 

While many healthcare professionals in Istanbul speak English, there may be instances where language fluency among staff members, particularly in less internationalised facilities, could be limited.

- Turkish healthcare system is in Turkish.

Each country around the world has its healthcare system, Turkey the same.

Understanding and navigating the Turkish healthcare system, including insurance coverage, referral processes, and administrative procedures, can be complex at the beginning but once you know it, it will be just procedures.


2-Is Turkey a good place for study? 


-Is Turkish Diploma recognized in Europe? 

Turkey ranks second globally for its high enrollment rate in higher education, reaching 94.2%. It actively participates in the European Higher Education Program and effectively implements the Bologna Process, achieving a top score of 5 out of 5 in the Bologna report. This means that degrees obtained from Turkish universities are recognized throughout Europe. Turkish universities use the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), allowing students to transfer credits easily within Europe, and provide all students with a Diploma Supplement detailing their academic accomplishments. Turkey is highly involved in international exchange programs like Erasmus+, as well as local initiatives such as Mevlana and Farabi, which promote mobility for students and faculty.

-What About Universities Here?

All universities across the country maintain high rankings and stringent entrance requirements, ensuring a strong commitment to academic excellence.

Besides, The Turkish government prioritises the development of advanced labs focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics. Universities and research centres throughout the country. Turkey's commitment to AI and Robotics underscores its ambition to lead in global technology advancements and contribute significantly to these rapidly growing fields.

There are 208 universities in Turkey with a population of 85 Million. The number of students is more than 7 million. With this number of students, Turkey is the first country with the most students in the European Higher Education Area. There are more than 45.000 different programs at 208 universities. No matter which one of the 208 universities you go to, you will experience a modern and convenient campus life, equipped with the latest technology.


- Language Barrier Again: 

While English-taught programs are available, international students may face challenges outside of the university environment where Turkish is predominantly spoken. 

- Great traffic in big city 

The traffic in Istanbul is no joke. And that causes a lot of time to be lost in reaching the university. You should look for housing close to the university or from the main transportation lines such as the metro ,metrobus and tramway. 

- Study Cost is high!

Studying in both private and public universities in Turkey involves considerable costs, including tuition fees that vary between institutions and programs. 

Additional expenses such as accommodation, textbooks, and living costs also contribute to the financial commitment. 


3- Is Weather in Istanbul Good?


- Mild Seasons: 

Spring and autumn offer comfortable temperatures and are ideal for outdoor activities, sightseeing, and enjoying the city's parks and gardens.

- The city adapts well to the weather! 

Istanbul's climate is moderate year-round, supported by good infrastructure and well-maintained roads. Additionally, houses and residences are equipped with facilities and services for all weather conditions; indoor and outdoor swimming pools, air conditioners, and heaters are standard amenities. Whether it's summer or winter, you can comfortably go about your daily life with no climate-related difficulties.

- Does it snow in Istanbul? 

The answer to this question is yes, but it is not very common, say once a year. Istanbul's climate is moderate, with winters generally being cold and humid with temperatures ranging between 2-4 degrees Celsius. It's just winter like any other season.


-Very Hot summers:

Summers are typically warm to hot, with average highs ranging from 28-30°C during July and August.  So you will be going to the beach each weekend eventually. 

- Mood-Swings!

turkish people have a very famous quote in regards the say: "Istanbul'un hava durumuna güvenilmez" which means "You can't trust Istanbul's weather" so it is so true you never trust the sunshine or the grey weather, because it can turn in just one second to the opposite. 

Keep yourself always ready!


4- What is Life Like in Istanbul? 


- Istanbul is The Place For All Styles.

As I mentioned earlier, Istanbul is a big, multicultural city that offers a wide range of options for its residents. Whatever your interests and preferences may be, you can find them here.

Want to have a fine dining experience in a Michelin-starred restaurant? accomplished. Interested in visiting ancient sites? Easy to do. Enjoy attending concerts, museums, or exhibitions? There are endless options available! Feel like spending the night clubbing or taking a weekend break from Istanbul? Choose from several venues and destinations. Perhaps you prefer to connect with nature and enjoy a relaxing Sunday morning? You can visit the Princes' Islands (Buyukada and Burgazada are the most famous), Belgrad Forest, or the Marmara coastline.

In short, Istanbul is a city where you can pursue whatever you desire. 


- Traffic Is Serious:

In Istanbul we can say: We are not stuck in traffic, we are the traffic.

Like all big cities the more you have streets the more you have traffic. Istanbul’s heavy traffic is no different, especially during rush hours, which can lead to long commute times and frustration.

- Crowded like a Hive

15 million people in one city, remembered the famous quote that says : “ the city is where you see 2500 people cross the street each time the lights change” and here is the case. 

Overall, the urban areas may evoke a New York City mood, while the seaside gives a Mediterranean charm nostalgic of Greece. However, Istanbul possesses a distinct and unique charm much different from everywhere else. 


5- Is Istanbul Safe for living?


- Istanbul is Full of Police 24H.

Istanbul generally is a safe place to live in,  with low crime rates. Besides, the state is really considering residents' safety as an important matter. And the reputation of the security level in the country is really respected. Especially at night, it's so normal to be stopped twice for ID check per in less than one hour.  

- Is Istanbul safe for Women? 

It is a BIG YES. Actually, people are so familiar with tourists and different cultures and civilisations and they feel proud by serving people and being friendly. In Istanbul, especially for  women, they can confidently walk through the city's shopping areas, vibrant markets, and scrolling neighbourhoods knowing it is a safe and welcoming destination. 

The city embraces diverse clothing styles without judgement, from traditional reflecting cultural heritage to modern, cosmopolitan fashion trends found in shopping districts. Istanbul's inclusive atmosphere ensures that women can feel comfortable expressing themselves freely and safely.


- Consult Real Estate Agency!

Istanbul, like any other major city, has both safe and less safe areas where some issues can be faced. Therefore, making an informed choice about where you live is crucial. 

Consider places like Bebek, Nishantashi, Levent, Bakirkoy, Atasehir .. are safe to live and to enjoy life without any hesitations. 

consulting with local real estate professionals can help ensure a suitable and secure living environment in this dynamic city.


6- Jobs in Istanbul For Foreigners


- Various Job Opportunities

Istanbul presents different job opportunities going-on finance, tourism, technology, and education, considerate various skill sets and backgrounds. As a busy market for international business, the city offers full networking prospects, allowing professionals to connect with a global community of peers and industry leaders. This lively environment not only serves career growth but also develops cultural and professional experiences. 

- Salaries in Dollar:

If you get your salary in dollars you would be like a king!


- Machine life!

It is a fast-moving city where time flies by quickly. You hardly notice the passing of the 12 hours out of 24. Whether you are an employer or an employee, you are constantly busy and in a rush. You never know when you will receive an email about a new deal. You may feel like a robot from Monday to Friday, only to find freedom on weekends. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a home that offers all necessary services and amenities, such as gyms, pools, gardens, and more.


7-Yummy, Turkish Food!


- Nothing like Turkish breakfast. 

Begin your day with a classical Turkish breakfast. Picture a set of freshly baked bread, still warm from the oven, alongside velvety kaymak, a very delicious clotted cream that melts on your tongue. Assorted cheeses, ranging from tangy beyaz peynir to salty kaşar, complement the ensemble perfectly. Accompanying them are a variety of homemade jams bursting with the flavours of sun-ripened fruits, from sweet fig to tart sour cherry.

-“Sorry I wasn't hearing I was thinking about Kebab”

This famous saying can resume how Turkish kebab is beyond perfection. 

As you wander around and pass by the street, the scent of kebabs baking over open flames turns on your senses. Whether it's Adana kebab full with spicy flavours or the mild koftas wrapped in warm bread, each bite feels delightful more than the previous. 

-Fresh and large Vegetables

One cannot talk about Turkish cuisine without mentioning the iconics of ezme (spicy tomato salad), dolma (stuffed grape leaves), and cacik (yogurt with cucumber and garlic). These appetisers are proof of how vegetables are purely fresh and well held. 

- Seafood straight from the Sea!

For those with a penchant for seafood, enjoy the freshest catches from the Mediterranean or the Black Sea. Grilled fish, served simply with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of herbs.

- baklava is an addiction!

 Save room for the pièce de résistance:baklava. Layers of thin pastry, filled with nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup, offer a conclusion to any meal.

- Sorry British, But Turkish çay is the best.

Even if you are not a fan of black tea, Turks are very talented when it comes to bringing the cup of tea at the right time. You will know that there are specific times of the day that you can't skip your dose of tea.


- Enjoy the food but be healthy!

Turkish cuisine offers diverse and flavorful dishes but comes with considerations. Many traditional foods are high in fats and calories from butter, oils, and dairy like yogurt and cheese, not ideal for low-fat diets. Bread, pastries, and rice dishes contribute to high carbohydrate intake, which may not suit those managing diabetes. Some dishes are also high in sodium, concerning those with hypertension. 


8-Cost of living in Istanbul


- Affordable Bills.

Generally, utilities such as electricity, heating, cooling, and water are reasonably priced compared to many Western European cities.

- No taxis needed in Istanbul.

Istanbul has an extensive and relatively inexpensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, metros, and ferries, which can be all accessible with the Istanbul Card.

- Good Housing options.

Istanbul offers a diverse range of housing options that cater to every taste and budget.  

From the busy city centre with its livelihoods like Beşiktaş and Kadıköy, to quiet residential areas like Maslak, Arnaotkoy .. offering more space and greenery plus to overwhelming views, there is something to suit everyone. The city's architectural diversity is striking, encompassing Ottoman-era houses, contemporary apartments, and luxurious waterfront properties along the Bosphorus. Istanbul real estate provides special amenities and facilities and gives you choices that redefine the concept of the perfect home.


-The Istanbulian dream.

Houses are beyond dreams, yes but renting a flat in Istanbul can be an American dream for some.  That's because Rental prices in central areas have been increasing, making it more challenging to buy your own house and you can live in it or rent it and get a fortune. 


9- Living in Istanbul: Top areas to reside

Check our blog :


FAQs About Living in Istanbul

Is living in Istanbul safe?

While it's important to exercise normal precautions as in any major city, Istanbul maintains a sturdy security infrastructure and a visible police presence, especially in popular luxurious areas and neighbourhoods. Instances of crime are relatively low compared to many other major cities in Europe. 

Is there a bad place in Istanbul not to live in?

In Istanbul, like in any large city, there are areas that may be considered less desirable for residential purposes due to factors such as distance from the city centre, inadequate infrastructure, or limited amenities. However, it's essential to note that perceptions of what constitutes a "bad" place can vary widely based on individual preferences, safety concerns, and lifestyle requirements. 

It is always better to check with a local realtor to guide you through your way to choose the best area for you to live in according to my standards.

Is European Istanbul a good place to live?

Yes, European Istanbul is generally considered a desirable place to live for many reasons. This part of the city offers a uniquely designed architecture, modern amenities, and a jet set lifestyle. Residents of European Istanbul enjoy easy access to cultural attractions, restaurants, shopping districts, and entertainment spots. The area is well-connected by public transportation. Additionally, neighbourhoods in European Istanbul often boast well-maintained parks, waterfront walks, and a vibrant community atmosphere. 

Reasons to Move to Istanbul?

Choosing to live in Istanbul over a European country offers several distinct advantages. Istanbul mixes the vibe of historical heritage with modern amenities, providing a unique cultural experience. The city's vibrant economy and strategic location as a bridge between Europe and Asia create ample opportunities for business and trade all over the world. Additionally, Istanbul's lower cost of living compared to many European cities makes it an attractive option for those seeking affordability without compromising on quality of life.

Is Asian Istanbul a nice place to live?

Yes, Asian Istanbul is generally considered a pleasant and desirable place to live for several reasons. This part of the city offers a more tranquil and residential atmosphere compared to the noisy crowded European side. It features green spaces, calmer neighbourhoods, and a slower pace of life, which can appeal to families and individuals seeking a quiet environment. Asian Istanbul also boasts beautiful coastal areas along the Bosphorus, providing dream-like views and recreational opportunities. 


What is it like to live in Istanbul?

Living in Istanbul is an experience defined by its unique blend of East-meets-West charm and worldwide flair. Residents enjoy a diverse range of delicious dishes that range from traditional Turkish cuisine to international flavours, all within easy reach due to the city's spready markets and trendy restaurants. The city's vibrant arts and cultural scene includes galleries, theatres, and music events, offering opportunities for cultural exploration. Istanbul's different neighbourhoods spoil various lifestyles, from the historic and crowded streets of Sultanahmet to the trendy cafes and boutiques of Beyoğlu. Moreover, The Bosphorus Strait not only divides the city but also offers stunning views, waterfront promenades, and fun activities, making Istanbul a city where living is both inspiring and uplifting.

Is Istanbul a good place to settle?

Istanbul is a popular destination for immigrants and refugees to settle. It has a long history of welcoming people worldwide, and its diverse population is one of its greatest strengths.

There are many reasons why Istanbul is a good place to settle, including its strong economy, high quality of life, and excellent educational and employment opportunities.

Closing Thoughts

So, is Istanbul a good place to live? 
















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