Currency / Language


BLOG How Much Does It Cost to Live in Turkey?

18 October 2020 / Lifestyle

There are many important considerations when planning a move to another country, and key among them is how much it costs to live there. Whether you will be working, plan to live off private savings or are relying on a pension, it’s likely you’ll need to stick to a budget.

Most people who dream of living in Antalya are looking for a more relaxed lifestyle than the one they leave behind. While they don’t intend to live as though they are on a year-round holiday, they want to enjoy the many advantages of the Mediterranean climate and Turkish culture. That means having a handle on how much everything costs.

Current exchange rates strongly favour those whose income is in foreign currency rather than Turkish lira; your money will go further than even a few months ago. So, if you’re are looking to buy property in Antalya and make the move, here’s what you need to think about when it comes to the cost of living in this part of Turkey.

Where will you live?

As with anywhere in the world, real estate prices in Antalya depend on location. A luxury sea-view villa in Kalkan will naturally attract a higher premium than a penthouse apartment in Alanya.

There are plenty of excellent homes to suit every price range, so once you have worked out your budget you can start searching in earnest. If you’re not sure exactly where you want to be, you might prefer to rent at first to get a feel for potential areas.

Factor in annual costs

There are some regular expenses that will come round every year or two. You will need to apply for your residence permit and, if you are aged under 65, you’ll need mandatory health insurance as well. After a year, you can switch to the government scheme, SGK, which is paid monthly. Premiums rise annually; in 2020, it costs 706.32tl per month to cover a single person or a married couple, and includes any dependents aged under 18.

If you own property, you will need to buy DASK, the compulsory earthquake insurance, and pay the equivalent of annual council tax. It also makes sense to invest in contents insurance to protect your furniture and other belongings in your new home in Antalya.

What about transport?

If you plan to buy a car in Turkey, that is of course a substantial one-off cost. Prices are high compared to many other countries, even for second-hand vehicles; the good news is, they do hold their value. There are also some costs involved in registering the vehicle and obtaining ‘foreigner’ plates.

Annual costs such as insurance premiums and tax vary depending on the size, age and category of your vehicle, but the official online tax office has some useful calculators to help you work out roughly how much they might be. (Simply right-click and select ‘Translate to English’ if you need to.)

You’ll also need to plan for a regular vehicle inspection, which will be needed annually or every two years, depending on the vehicle you buy. And don’t forget fuel, of course. Currently, prices per litre for diesel and unleaded are comparable with other countries such as the UK.

Utility bills

Everyone has different needs, so it’s impossible to estimate your bills based on those of other people you might know.

You’re likely to use more electricity in summer due to the need for air-conditioning units or fans to combat the heat. But you’ll also need to consider how you’ll heat your home in the cooler months – inverter air-con units or electric heaters, for example. If you prefer a wood-burning stove, you’ll need to buy fuel and kindling. Where you live is also relevant – a new apartment in Antalya city will be better insulated than a traditional stone house in the mountains.

Mains gas is not available in the Antalya area, but bottled gas comes in a variety of sizes. Most people only use it for cooking; a realistic estimate is around 250tl per year. Water prices also vary according to where you live as some areas benefit from a lower ‘agricultural’ rate; a pool will increase your usage and push bills higher.

Allow between 300tl to 500tl per month as a generous estimate for standard utilities, plus around 70tl per month for internet access. A mobile phone package including calls, texts and data can cost as little as 20tl per month. If you buy an apartment or villa on a complex, you’ll also have a monthly service charge to cover maintenance of communal areas.

Groceries and home essentials

Numbeo, the crowd-sourced database of global consumer prices, recently published its 2020 guide to the cost of living in Turkey. The prices shown are a national average and are generally a little lower in Antalya province. However, it will help you work out roughly what you might spend.

The price of a standard daily loaf of bread is currently fixed at 1.25tl, while a half-litre of milk locally will cost around 3.5tl and a 19-litre water bottle will set you back roughly 13tl. A 500g pack of pasta is approximately 3tl, and a whole chicken 13tl.

Fruit and vegetables are best bought at the market, for both quality and choice. Prices will vary according to the time of year but buying seasonally means it’s easy to come away with as much as you can carry for 30tl!

Soft drinks are reasonably priced, but alcohol is expensive as it is heavily taxed. A bottle of wine starts from around 40tl, while a 500ml bottle of Efes beer is around 12tl. An eight-pack of toilet paper is approximately 10tl, with a two-litre bottle of laundry detergent costing about 12tl.


Whether a meal out is a regular indulgence or an occasional treat, you’ll find you can spend as little or as much as you wish. Turkish lokantas offer excellent value for money and a meal for two people with soft drinks can cost as little as 30tl; at the other end of the scale, a three-course meal with wine at a fine-dining establishment will set you back several hundred lira.

Membership of a gym or sports club will vary according to location and type, but 35tl a month is a realistic estimate. If you’re a keen cinema-goer, you’ll be delighted to learn that a ticket to the latest blockbuster is typically under 10tl per person.

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