Best Places to Live in Turkey | 10 Beautiful Cities for Expats + Families

Turkey is an intercontinental country in Asia and Europe with a unique mix of natural beauty, beautiful beaches, historical and cultural sites, and fantastic food. It’s no wonder Turkey tourist destinations are some of of the most popular in the world.

Famous for its welcoming locals, warm Mediterranean climate, and low cost of living, a move to Turkey will be worth it.

Whether you are planning on climbing the corporate ladder or looking for a quiet place to retire, Turkey has various options to suit your needs and your pocket. So keep reading to find the best places to live in delightful Turkey.

Best Places to Live in Turkey for…

  1. Expats: Istanbul
  2. English Speakers: Altinkum
  3. Digital Nomads: Ankara
  4. Solo Travelers: Izmir
  5. Couples: Bursa
  6. Groups: Fethiye

Top 10 Places to Live in Turkey

1. Istanbul

  Best Place for Expats

ATTACHMEView of Galata Tower from bay

Cost of Living: $$$

Istanbul is one of the major cities in Turkey, and thanks to the Bosphorus Strait forming a dividing line between Asia and Europe, it is one of the only cities in the world that spreads across two continents. This vibrant metropolitan city offers lively nightlife, delectable cuisine, historic landmarks, and a world-class shopping experience. You will never run out of fun things to do in Istanbul.

Tip: Be sure to get a traditional hammam or Turkish bath while in the city.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, digital nomads, and English speakers


  • Safe and welcoming to foreigners
  • Numerous international schools
  • Vibrant nightlife scene


  • Terrible traffic
  • State restrictions on the hiring of foreigners
  • Most expensive city in Turkey

2. Ankara

Best Place for Digital Nomads

People walking to Anitkabir Mausoleum in Ankara

Cost of Living: $$

Ankara is the capital city of Turkey and the second-largest city after Istanbul. This modern city has a rich history and culture and is also home to some of the country’s best universities. Many government agencies, including embassies in the city, make it convenient for those who need to travel often. The city also has many coworking spaces that are centrally located.

Tip: eOfis Ankara Next Level is one of the best coworking spaces in Ankara and is conveniently located in the city center.

Who Would Like to Live There: Digital nomads, young professionals, and English speakers


  • Safe city to live in
  • Low cost of living
  • A variety of coworking spaces are available


  • Traffic congestion
  • Inland city with no beach
  • Crowded city

3. Antalya

Best Place for History Enthusiasts

View of coast of Antalya

Cost of Living: $$

The beautiful seaside city of Antalya is located in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Antalya offers a unique combination of sandy beaches, great weather, culture, and history, making it a popular tourist destination. This laid-back town also provides magnificent views of the Beydaglar Mountains. A variety of restaurants offer both local and international cuisine.

Tip: The Duden falls is a must-see natural attraction in the city.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, retirees


  • Best beaches in Turkey
  • Good healthcare system
  • Excellent transportation services


  • Tourist hotspot
  • Due to tourism, many of the jobs are seasonal
  • Risk of earthquakes

4. Izmir

Best Place for Solo Travelers

Yacht at harbor in Izmir

Cost of Living: $$

Izmir is located on Turkey’s Aegean Coast and is home to one of the most critical export seaports in the country. As the third-largest city in the country, Izmir is perfect for those wanting to live in a big city without the noise and congestion typically found in big cities. Izmir is known for being one of the most westernized cities in Turkey and offers plenty of outdoor activities ranging from watersports to skiing.

Tip: Kemeralti Bazaar is one of the oldest bazaars in the country and is perfect for all your shopping needs.

Who Would Like to Live There: Solo travelers, retirees


  • Quiet but big city
  • Plenty of outdoor activities
  • Friendly local people


  • Locals don’t speak English well
  • Very humid weather
  • Public transport is expensive

5. Fethiye

Best Place for Groups

Aerial view of Oludeniz beach Fethiye

Cost of Living: $

Fethiye is a beautiful marina and seaside town on the southwestern Turquoise Coast. The city boasts a beautiful natural harbor, turquoise waters, and various rock tombs, including the famous tomb of Amyntas. This town is surprisingly one of the cheapest cities to live in Turkey—perfect for groups.

Tip: English is not widely spoken in Fethiye, so it’s best to learn some basic Turkish phrases.

Who Would Like to Live There: Groups, budget travelers


  • Low cost of living
  • Stunning views and landscapes
  • No traffic congestion


  • Locals don’t speak English well
  • Getting a work visa can be very difficult
  • Humid weather in summer

6. Altinkum

Best Place for English Speakers

Temple of Apollo Altinkum Didim

Cost of Living: $

The small coastal town of Altinkum is located on the Aegean coast in western Turkey. The city has a large expat community and has been nicknamed  “Little Britain” due to many people from the UK settling in the area. With the beach, plenty of shops, and restaurants nearby, coupled with low housing prices, it is no wonder this town is famous amongst expats.

Tip: If you’re looking for family-friendly entertainment, Dolphine Square and 2nd beach are the best places to go.

Who Would Like to Live There: English speakers, budget travelers


  • Low cost of living
  • Large English-speaking community
  • A small and quiet town


  • Petty crime is on the rise
  • The heavy British influence may put some off
  • Too many stray dogs

7. Bursa

Best Place for Couples

Bursa teleferik

Cost of Living: $$

Bursa is a large city located at the foothills of the Uludag Mountain in the Marmara region of Turkey. It is popularly known as “Green Bursa” due to the government’s effort to preserve its parks, forests, and family-friendly areas. The city is a UNESCO heritage site due to its many monuments and mosques dating back to the Ottoman Empire. The lower housing prices and skiing opportunities have made it popular amongst expats.

Tip: Bursa is a conservative city, so prepare to cover up if you’re a female

Who Would Like to Live There: Couples, young expats


  • Low cost of living
  • Skiing destination
  • Scenic views


  • No international schools
  • English is not widely spoken
  • Not LGBTQ+ friendly city

8. Bodrum

Best Place for Families

White buildings overlooking sea in Bodrum

Cost of Living: $$

Located on the southwest of Turkey’s Aegean coast is the port city of Bodrum. The city is home to the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It also boasts a castle, sailing, and pristine turquoise beaches. The warm weather, historical sites, and luxury lifestyle of Bodrum have made it a popular tourist destination, especially among celebrities.

Tip: The Gumusluk International Classical Music Festival is a must-see for classical and jazz music lovers.

Who Would Like to Live There: Couples, families


  • Vibrant nightlife
  • Cheap local transportation
  • Great beaches in proximity


  • Scorching summers
  • The cost of living can get expensive
  • Slow internet speeds

9. Alanya

Best Place for Young Expats

Alanya Castle

Cost of Living: $$

The small coastal city of Alanya is located in the center of the Turkish Riviera. The city’s warm Mediterranean climate, laid-back atmosphere, and cheap housing prices have attracted thousands of expats from different countries. Alanya is perfect for those looking for a more active lifestyle.

Tip: For the city’s best views, take the Teleferik cable car up to Alanya Castle. It operates from 11 am to 9 pm daily.

Who Would Like to Live There: Retirees, young expats


  • Affordable city to live in
  • Growing expat community
  • Away from the noise and busyness of big cities


  • Tourist hotspot
  • It may be too laid-back for some
  • Not many job opportunities for foreigners

10. Dalaman

Best Place for Retirees

Dalyan rock tombs

Cost of living:  $$

Dalaman is a central town on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast in the Mugla Province. This inland city is ideal for those looking for a quieter area with a more authentic Turkish feel. The proximity of Dalaman International Airport also makes it a perfect base to explore other more popular parts of Turkey like Fethiye and Marmaris.

Tip: Take a day trip to the city of Pamukkale to discover why it is so popular with tourists

Who Would Like to Live There: Retired expats, couples


  • Close to airport
  • A quiet and small city
  • Not a tourist hotspot


  • English is not widely spoken
  • Need a car to get to the nearest beach
  • Far from popular tourist attractions

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