Cost of living in Istanbul 2022

  • Created At: February 28, 2022
  • Updated At: February 28, 2022
  • Category: General
  • Views: 1327

Turkey ..the link between the modern and ancient worlds, and the bride of the East and the West. The country, which has prospered wonderfully over the past decades through its unique real estate and financial market and the facilities provided by the government there, has therefore attracted a large number of tourists and investors who were going for a short-term stay, but got stuck in the unique Turkish charm.

But is living possible? What is the right amount for me?

Here, we will try to give you an idea of ​​the cost of living in Turkey, including “how much you should pay to have a happy life”, “inflation and minimum wages in Turkey”, “average prices for basic services and goods”, and “Cost of Accommodation, Household Bills, Public Transportation”, “Useful Tips on Living in Istanbul” and more for newcomers and expats.

Practical information

As for the cost of living in Turkey for expats or locals:

If you earn more than 40,000 TL per month, you might be happy to live in Istanbul for example

If you earn between 20,000-40,000 TL per month, you may be living in an average state

If you earn less than 20,000 TL per month, you may live in a state of unhappiness and stress.

According to some academic and field research, the minimum wage for living in Turkey on the brink of poverty is around 13,000 TL for an average family with two children, and the hunger threshold is 3,900 TL.

Istanbul can be considered a cheap city to live in, connected to many major cities in the world and in Europe in a global context. But on the contrary, the cost of living in Istanbul is high compared to other Turkish cities. Aside from being Turkey's largest and most famous city, Istanbul is also Turkey's largest cultural and financial center.

Istanbul is a special case

From a cultural and geographical perspective, Istanbul is the bridge that connects Asia with Europe. Istanbul is a huge metropolitan city with a population of about 15 million people and you can usually expect it to be crowded when you travel there. Istanbul is also one of the top 20 most visited cities in the world.

Istanbul was ranked 173 out of 206 cities in the world in the 2021 Mercer Cost of Living Survey (it was 156 in 2020). The Cost of Living Survey is a survey that measures the costs of more than 200 items by comparison such as the costs of housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, entertainment, and more. So it gives an idea for you to make a comparison among other major cities in the world.

Besiktas, Bakirkoy, Kadikoy, Beykoz, Sariyer, Adala, Uskudar, Sisli, Zeytinburnu and Beyoglu (in order) are the most expensive areas of Istanbul.

The areas on the outskirts of Istanbul such as Beylikdüzü, Avcilar, Sancaktepe, Silivri, Catalca, Sultangazi and Basaksehir (in order) are the cheapest.

For example.. Besiktas and Sariyer are the most expensive areas by house rents with an average house rent price of 7500 TL. Next comes Bakirkoy with an average house rent price of 6500 TL, and around 5500 TL for Kadikoy and Beykoz.

volatile exchange rate

As there is an excellent exchange rate between the Turkish lira and other major currencies such as the US dollar, the euro and the British pound, it is very easy for many newcomers to Istanbul from rich countries to experience a cheap, easy and possibly luxurious lifestyle in Istanbul. Before we start looking at the average cost of living in Istanbul, we should focus on a few factors.

inflation in Turkey

Turkish consumer price inflation is around 19% for 2021. Food prices have risen faster while housing and transportation inflation has declined. Also note that banks are giving interest between 14 and 17% on the Turkish lira as of 2021.

What is the "Minimum Wage" in Turkey?

The minimum wage in Turkey has increased to 4,250 TL per month as of 2022.

If we compare Turkey with other western countries, we can say that Turkey is a cheap country for daily groceries, supermarkets, medical care, local clothes, home help, local food, fresh vegetables and fruits in the weekly street markets.

But on the contrary. The expenses below are quite high:



Imported alcohol.

Imported goods such as electronics, cell phones, cameras, computers...

Accommodation cost As expats and newcomers to Turkey will see that accommodation will be their biggest expense.

housing prices

The average house rent price in all of Turkey is about 35-45 TL per square meter, which means that the price of renting an apartment of 100 square meters ranges between 3000-4000 TL.

House rental prices for cheap areas and neighborhoods range between 20-25 TL per square meter, which means that the price of renting an apartment of 100 square meters ranges between 2000-2500 TL.

It rises to 7500-10000 TL in the main cities and downtown Istanbul and in the areas with universities.

Furnished apartments are more expensive by 25-30%. Also note that the average house rent prices are rising by 30% annually in Turkey.

Average household bills in Turkey

If we compare Turkey with other western countries, we can say that family bills in Turkey are exceptionally cheap. Below you may see average monthly household prices in Turkey.

Electricity: 200-300 TL per month.

Water and sanitation: 100-150 TL per month

Natural gas to heat your apartment locally: 1250-1500 TL per month (in the winter months).

Telephone, Internet, Digital TV and GSM: As there is competition among the major telecommunication and entertainment companies in Turkey, you can buy the whole “Phone + Internet + Digital TV” packages for 150-200 TL per month and GSM for 60-90 TL per month.

Community maintenance: 300-2000 TL per month depending on services such as shared heating, concierge, security, utilities, etc…

Cost of food and drink

You can have a good Turkish breakfast for one person from 5 euros to 8 euros between a sandwich/tea and a full brunch in a fancy setting. But we assume that you will have a free breakfast at your hostel or hotel and should eat it.

The average price for a three course meal for one person in a mid range restaurant for lunch and dinner is around 9 euros. You can have lunch and have a famous Turkish simit (sesame crusted bread, similar to bread) with tea or buy a sandwich at the markets for short breaks and you can spend as little as 1 euro.

As a summary we can say that you will spend about 25 euros per day for one person on food and drink on average. But we recommend planning the extra cash to pamper yourself with some inspiring local tastes or street food.

Public transportation cost

Using public transportation is the cheapest way to get around in Turkey. It is also safe and convenient. Public transportation in Turkey includes buses, metro, metrobus, tram, funicular, cable cars, shared taxis (dolmus), ferries and sea buses.

In Istanbul especially, you can get an IstanbulKart for 13 Turkish lira and add features to it and you can use it in all public transport networks. The one way pass is 5,47 TL.

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