Cost of Living & Prices in Istanbul: All of the Expenses

If you’re thinking about relocating to Istanbul soon, you’re curious about how much it will cost you to live there. The cost of living in Istanbul, a beautiful and ancient city, may be rather shocking to visitors. However, there are several methods to save money and have a good time here. There are also many hidden treasures where the rent is low yet the properties are of good quality. In this blog article, we will look at the many forms of accommodation available in Istanbul, ranging from hostels and flats to sublets and short-term leases for optimizing the cost of living in Istanbul.

From a cultural and geographical aspect, Istanbul is regarded as the bridge that connects Asia and Europe. Istanbul is a massive metropolitan metropolis with around 15 million citizens, so expect it to be crowded whenever you visit. Istanbul is also one of the world’s top 20 most visited cities and there are lots of things to know before you arrive in Istanbul.

1. Is it expensive to live in Istanbul?

living in Istanbul

Both yes and no. There are some expenditures that you will spend when living in Istanbul, but there are also methods to save money and live simply. Cost of living in Istanbul is unquestionably higher than in a smaller Turkish city like Ankara or Izmir. The city is Türkiye’s biggest metropolis and the most popular tourist and expat destination. This implies that here the housing, transportation, food, and other everyday expenditures are more than in other parts of Türkiye. However, being the country’s main metropolis, it also has high-paying employment, wonderful entertainment, and numerous amenities that make living here highly appealing.

In a worldwide framework, Istanbul might be considered a cheap city to live in comparison to several big cities throughout the world, especially in Europe. However, in comparison to other Turkish cities, Istanbul has a high cost of living. Aside from being the largest and most popular city in Turkiye, Istanbul is also the major cultural and financial center of Turkiye.

2. For the Expat: How much money do I need to live comfortably in Türkiye?

living in Istanbul houses

This is a challenging topic to answer since it relies entirely on your definition of “living comfortably.” You may live on a shoestring budget or you can go all out and spend a lot on a lavish lifestyle if you so wish. The pricing of common products and services in Türkiye is rather inexpensive, which is one of the factors that attracts expats to the nation. If you have a very limited budget, you may save money on regular costs such as public transportation, food, and utilities. If you have a mid-range budget, you may live in Istanbul without worrying about money. If you are an expat, one thing that might affect your expenditure is the exchange rate between turkish lira and other currencies. In any case, if you want to enjoy the city’s high-end lifestyle, be prepared to spend a lot of money. If you are thrifty, you may live comfortably in Istanbul for roughly $650 per month and $750 if you wish to live a more luxurious lifestyle.

3. How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Istanbul?

Apartments of Istanbul

The accommodation prices in Istanbul is determined by a variety of factors, including the location and quality of the property. In general, the most costly apartments are found in the city center, while the most inexpensive flats are found on the outskirts. Look at internet advertising, local newspapers, or real estate websites to get an idea of how much you may anticipate paying to rent an apartment in Istanbul. You may also look for folks in your area who are prepared to sublease their flat for a fraction of the cost of a new lease. Aside from monthly rent, you will need to consider heating, energy expenses, furnishings, and other start-up expenditures such as internet access.

Renting a house in central areas such as Beşiktaş, Şişli, Sarıyer and Kadıköy can cost more. You may need to look for areas that are less touristic such as Ataşehir and Bakırköy.

4. Taxi or Metro: How much money do you need in Istanbul per day?

Fatih, Istanbul

Depending on your budget, you may cut expenditures and live on less than $50 every day. You may reduce the cost of living in Istanbul by dining at home, utilizing public transport instead of driving (which makes more sense considering the traffic), buying at markets or thrift stores, and staying in inexpensive lodging or sharing a room or an apartment. If you are an expat, you can apply for a visa that allows you to earn up to $60 each week. This implies you may generate extra cash while staying in Istanbul on a daily budget of $40.

Check out most loved Istanbul attractions by HeyTripster readers:

5. How much is the cost of living in Istanbul for one month?

Istanbul attractions

You may live in Istanbul for less than $600 per month if you are a student or a young person on a budget. If you have a mid-range budget, you may anticipate paying roughly $1,000. If you have a solid salary, you can spend as much as you like in Istanbul and live a high-end lifestyle. Even if you are spending a lot, you may still ensure that you are living within your means and not overspending. There are also numerous ways to save money in Istanbul, such as shopping at thrift stores, cooking at home, taking the bus instead of cabs, and finding free or low-cost cultural events and activities.

6. How do I find cheap accommodation in Istanbul?

Istanbul view

Going online to sites like Sahibinden, Emlakjet and Hepsi Emlak to see who is subletting or offering short-term leases in Istanbul is the best way to find cheap flats. In a city like Istanbul, the biggest expense is usually the cost of accommodation if you want to live in a fancy part of town like Taksim, Beyoglu or Sisli. You might also ask your friends or coworkers if they know anyone who is renting out their home or if they know of any low cost of living in Istanbul options. Aside from these possibilities, you might check into lower-rent communities such as Eyup and Merter.

7. What is the cost of living in Istanbul?

Istanbul postcard

The cost of living in Istanbul varies according to your lifestyle, area, budget, and the city’s present economic state. If you are a student or have a limited income, you may find low-cost housing, food, and entertainment in the city. If you have a lot of money, you can live comfortably in Istanbul and have access to a lot of high-end goods and services. In general, the cost of living in Istanbul is slightly higher than in other Turkish cities, but a middle-range budget will allow you to live comfortably.

8. What are the basic costs of living in Istanbul?

Galata Tower view

When compared to other European countries, the cost of living in Istanbul is not too high. Nonetheless, the cost of living in Istanbul is high in comparison to other Turkish cities, and it is one of the most expensive in the country. Because of its cultural, historical, and economic development, Istanbul is a very popular city. As Europe’s largest metropolis, it must have something to suit everyone’s tastes.

  • Rental apartment – $300 – $1500, $45 for utility bills (electricity, internet, gas and water).
  • Food costs between $150 and $300. Imported booze and cosmopolitan cuisine are both more expensive than a conventional Turkish lunch. Alcohol taxes are so high that they have an impact on prices. If you don’t mind eating in a cheap restaurant, meals in Istanbul aren’t too pricey. “Lokanta”, which essentially translates to a mid-range restaurant, should be your destination if you are willing to eat local dishes both healthy and cheaper. Street food in Istanbul is notoriously good, and you can do your daily groceries from local markets for the optimum ratio of quality over price.
  • Public transportation – $10 – $80. Gasoline prices in Istanbul are exceptionally exorbitant, and driving in this massive metropolis is not recommended, especially if you are unfamiliar with it. Using public transportation, such as the tram, metro or dolmus, will save you both time and money because it is both economical and efficient.
  • Health insurance – $50
  • Cell phone charges range from $10 to $100
  • Subscriptions to the internet or television range from $20 to $70.
  • $1 – $3 for an excellent Turkish coffee.


When compared to other Western countries and big cities, cost of living in Istanbul is relatively inexpensive considering everyday groceries. Locals prefer to buy fresh vegetables and fruit at bazaars for lesser rates but of comparable quality to supermarkets. You can save money on this large monthly bill if you follow their spending patterns.

If you are new to the city and want to know what the basic cost of living in Istanbul is, the examples above might help. The following costs are based on the average cost of living in Istanbul for a single individual with no dependents. You may change the statistics to suit your needs and lifestyle. You can also check our latest blog on Galataport for discovering shopping and sightseeing in Istanbul!

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Zeynep Zati

Hello there! I'm Zeynep, a 27 year-old girl from Izmir. I love traveling, listening to music, hanging out with my friends and my dog, Sofi! Singing is my secret talent!
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