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Cost of living in Istanbul

If you're thinking of moving to Istanbul, you’re in for the adventure of a lifetime! This vibrant city has something for everyone, from incredible food and nightlife to stunning historic sites and cultural activities. Plus, with its unique mix of both European and Asian influences, it truly is a melting pot of cultures.

But with any big move comes the important question of “how much will it cost?” In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about the cost of living in Istanbul. From rent and utilities to food, transportation and entertainment - we’ve got all the details you need to budget your move (and life) in Istanbul.

Ready to discover the true cost of living in Istanbul? Keep reading – your guide to budgeting your move awaits!

Cost of Rental Accommodation in Istanbul

Finding rental accommodation in Istanbul is a bit of a challenge – not only because of the density of the city, but also due to the high cost of living. If you’re considering living in Istanbul, you should plan your budget around these key expenses.

Monthly Rent: Rental rates in Istanbul vary depending on location and size. Generally, a one-bedroom apartment in a popular district that is furnished as well is a good idea for you as a foreign resident and Cabriole has the ideal ones for you.

Utilities: Utilities can be quite expensive in Istanbul and include water, electricity and gas. Your monthly bill will depend on your usage.

Overall, rent is the single biggest expense when it comes to living in Istanbul – so make sure you plan accordingly!

All in all, living in Istanbul can be as expensive or as affordable as you make it – it just depends on your budget and the type of accommodation that suits you best! Istanbul has a high cost of living but if you manage smartly then anything is possible.

Grocery Costs and Fresh Produce Availability in Istanbul

Grocery shopping in Istanbul is an experience that shouldn't be missed! Not only is there an abundance of fresh produce options and incredibly affordable prices, but it's also a great way to experience the local culture.

Cost of Groceries

One of the great things about living in Istanbul is that groceries tend to be quite affordable, with a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables available. You'll find anything from apples, potatoes and carrots to persimmons, lemons and oranges. What's more, dairy products tend to be quite inexpensive too so your daily groceries can be well within budget. 

Local Markets

Local markets offer another great way to save on groceries in Istanbul. Prices are often lower than supermarkets at these markets, plus you get the benefit of really experiencing local life - seeing other shoppers haggle with vendors, selecting fresh produce (including some local varieties) and enjoying the sights and sounds of street sellers hawking their wares.

Variety of Cuisine

Apart from its affordability, another great thing about grocery shopping in Istanbul is that there's a wide variety of cuisine available due to the city's melting pot culture. From traditional Turkish cuisine to Georgian dishes and Middle Eastern flavors, there's something for everyone here! Living in Istanbul may be better than western countries but only if you manage your monthly expenses wisely. Going to mid range restaurants throughout the month will keep you within the spending limit you set.

Cost of Utilities in Istanbul

What about the cost of utilities in Istanbul? You may be wondering how much you'll need to budget for that. Here's what you should know:

Electricity, Gas and Water

Electricity and gas bills will usually vary depending on your usage, while water rates are generally fixed. Prices are calculated based on the number of rooms or occupants in a building, so make sure to double-check that information with your landlord before signing a lease.

Internet and Mobile Phones

Internet connection prices will depend on the plan you choose, although there are plenty of providers offering competitive deals. As for mobile phones, there are multiple providers like Vodafone and Turkcell that offer different packages and plans with varying prices.

Overall, utilities in Istanbul tend to be more affordable than other cities around the world - so living here doesn't have to break your bank!

Other Costs to Consider When Living in Istanbul

You might be wondering—what are the other costs I should consider when living in Istanbul? Well, there are quite a few. Even though Istanbul is known for its low cost of living, there are still some expenses that you should be aware of before you make the move.


Transportation can be pricey in Istanbul, as it is a big city. Not only do you have to pay for metro cards, but taxis and even Uber rides can add up quickly. Plus, parking can also be pricey if you plan on bringing your car over with you. Compared to other Turkish cities, it can be higher as the prices in Istanbul make it expensive to live in. 

Heating and Cooling Costs

The summer months in Istanbul can get quite hot, so air conditioning costs can be high if you aren’t careful with your energy usage. Likewise, winter months tend to require more heating needs, so it’s important to factor these costs into your budget. Anywhere in the city center will be a luxurious lifestyle option close to the public transport as well. 


Grocery shopping can also add up in Istanbul—especially if you’re stocking up on specialty items or items imported from abroad. One way to save money is to take advantage of local markets and shops where prices tend to be cheaper than supermarkets or convenience stores.

Clearly, even though living in Istanbul is relatively inexpensive compared to some cities, it still pays off to plan ahead when thinking about basic expenses such as transportation and groceries!

So if your goal is to save money while living in Istanbul, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Invest in a İstanbul Kart for public transport - it’ll save you lots of money!

Take advantage of all the free events available in Istanbul - live entertainment doesn't have to break your budget!

Try local street cuisine instead of paying top-dollar at restaurants - you're bound to fall in love with Turkish food anyway!

Take advantage of free courts and common spaces like tennis courts in parks or public spaces!

All in all, living in Istanbul is an amazing opportunity, but it certainly isn't without it's challenges. You'll need to do your research, consider your budget, and make a plan before committing to a move to Istanbul. You also have to prepare yourself for a range of prices—whether it be for fresh fruits and vegetables or utility costs—but with a little bit of work and patience, you can find reasonable options. As a single person, it can be higher to budget here.

Living in Istanbul may be slightly more expensive than some other Turkish cities, but the diversity of culture, the vibrant art and music scene, the endless historical sites, and the amazing food are all worth it. For those brave enough to take the plunge, Istanbul offers an unparalleled adventure.