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BLOG Where Should I Live In Istanbul?

7 August 2021 / Lifestyle


Where to Live In Istanbul

If you are wondering where should I live in Istanbul, get ready for a healthy choice of neighbourhoods. Beautiful Istanbul, a fantastic city with an intriguing cultural heritage, is the beating heart of Turkey. While Istanbul has a few popular areas with travellers, many spots also make the perfect place to live.

Rather than think of Istanbul as a single city, it is helpful to know it separates into 39 districts, and each offers something unique. Furthermore, these 39 districts spread into the European and Asian continents, and deciding which side you want to live will help narrow down your choices.

Generally, European Istanbul is the stronghold of tourism, economy, and business. Places like Taksim Square and Istiklal Street see millions of pedestrians every day. Additionally, the historical Sultanahmet district is the number one spot in Istanbul for tourism as visitors worldwide flock to see the landmark buildings left by the Ottoman and Byzantine empires.

Many people in the Asian region commute daily to European Istanbul for work. Still, this part rose in popularity with expats in recent years as the transport network and shopping choices improved, and it was marketed as family-friendly. Two factors will ultimately impact your decision. They are your lifestyle preference and your budget to buy property. So, let's look at districts that stand out for any foreigner relocating to Istanbul.

Where to Live in Istanbul

1: Living in Popular Cihangir in Beyoglu

By far, a popular place for expats is Cihangir in the Beyoglu district, the heart of what many call "New Istanbul." Even though expats pay higher prices for rent and to buy property, they are in the heart of the action with a great restaurant scene, fantastic nightlife, transport connections to anywhere in Istanbul, and of course, shops and stalls galore. Although given the large number of foreigners, the culture is not so much Turkish but international, still traditional vibes are on the backstreets.

2: Trendy and Elite Nisantasi

For the good life on the fashionable side, go to modern Nisantasi. Sitting in the Sisli district, vibrant Nisantasi is the trendiest neighbourhood, with the Abdi Ipekci street running through it, that holds the most expensive shops in Turkey. As well as boutique shopping, expect to spend your days in roadside cafés doing lunch with other expats. Despite Nisantasi's trendy vibes, it also earns fame for Art Nouveau architecture, as seen in some older buildings.

3: Cosmopolitan Bebek in Besiktas

For a place to call a home from home, Bebek steps up as an ideal contender. Bebek is a perfect part of Istanbul to live, simply because it offers a more residential feeling rather than urban landscapes. Belonging to the famed Besiktas district, local restaurants serving fish sit near the Bosphorus shores giving off the ideal view. Bebek is one of Istanbul’s more affluent neighbourhoods, but everything you need is within easy reach, from the dining scene to shopping to banking and transport.

4: Asian Kadikoy

For the best Asian side experience in Istanbul, head to Kadikoy. Centrally located and sitting next to Uskudar, Kadikoy also has excellent ferry transport links to districts in European Istanbul. Many locals use them to get about. Apartment living is popular here, especially for the student community of a nearby university that makes it an educational stronghold in Istanbul. Despite the prominence of Kadikoy, you will be pleasantly surprised at the affordable housing costs.

5: Authentic Tarabya

Living in Istanbul often throws out surprises, and Tarabya is no exception. Think villa seaside living for this neighbourhood. Sitting in the Sariyer district, Tarabya earns fame for its nightclubs and fish restaurants and is home to two Yali houses, which count as Turkey's most expensive housing market. Combining old with new, the charm of Tarabya never fails to surprise. The subway takes residents to Taksim centre within 20 minutes, should they want to step things up a notch.

6: Enjoy Attractive Basaksehir

Sitting 30 minutes' drive south of the new Istanbul airport, Basaksehir is one of Istanbul's developing areas gaining prominence. Although the local council has invested lots into public transport, it also sits near the TEM highway hence is ideal for commuting and reaching the main parts of Istanbul. In addition, the younger generation population is generally highly educated, and local developments by the Istanbul council have also made it a hotbed for real estate investors.

7: Green Bahcelievler Near Istanbul Airport

For a good walk around green spaces, choose Bahcelievler; hence its name translates to garden city. The community parks and gardens make it a great place to raise a family, but the area also attracts business people because of its excellent transport links. Large shopping malls provide everything you need, and the district is also known for several health centres with excellent reputations. Ideally placed, Bahcelievler is just a 35-minute drive from the new Istanbul airport and 20 minutes to the Atakoy marina.

8: Affordable Kagithane in European Istanbul

Kagithane receives much interest from both Turkish and foreign house buyers. Offering excellent value for money, as seen in prices per square meter than at nearly half of neighbouring Maslak. Do not think you have to compromise on the quality of life, though, because mass development has taken place in Kagithane to make it a desirable place to live. Once a former hunting ground for Ottoman royalty and an industry hub, Kagithane is transforming into an ideal place to live in Istanbul.

9: Opportunities in Bomonti

Belonging to the Sisli district, Bomonti takes its name after the beer because a former factory was located here. It is also home to Mimar Sinan fine arts University. As another Istanbul district with millions pumped into development and infrastructure, this rose its prominence on the Istanbul housing market. The significant aspect about Bomonti is it is just a 5-minute drive to Taksim, 3 minutes to Istanbul's Bosphorus shores, and 15 minutes to Sultanahmet. The trend in Bomonti is apartment living in tall towers, but house buyers can expect the best in quality and architecture.

Find Out More

Istanbul Area Guides: We hope we have given some helpful suggestions about where to live in Istanbul. If you are undecided about whether the Asian side, European side or city centre will suit you best, then our area guides will be of use.

For more information on which housing markets dominate Istanbul, browse our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, location details and home features. Just use the contact details to find out more, or arrange a viewing.

You might also like to read our blog about buying property or living in Turkey as a foreigner. It discusses all daily matters from the cost of living to expat matters to destinations that stand out in the housing market of Turkey.

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