Depending on who you ask, Istanbul can be considered as one of the biggest cities in Europe. Regardless of your views on geography, there is no denying that it’s one of the oldest and most prominent cities in the region. The last few years weren’t great for the Turkish economy, or rather their currency, which makes the prices in Istanbul very affordable. Even more than a city like Sofia. Keep in mind that our list is from April 2020, and things in Turkey change fast.
Beykoz – 7 069 TL ($1 012)
Beykoz is a huge and largely rural area of and around Istanbul. The parts that are in the city are by the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü bridge. It’s a nice and green residential area, great for those that want to raise a kid but aren’t willing to spend a huge sum on an apartment in Istanbul. If you have a car and want to be away from the touristy and busy parts of town, do consider living here. It’s definitely nice to be so close to nature and the shore, while still breaking on the outskirt of the city.
Kadıköy – 7 094 TL ($1 016)
Kadıköy is on the Asian side of Istanbul and it’s easily the most important and prominent district there. It’s busy, bustling with people and businesses, and a lot of things to do. Despite it being in Asia, here you will find everything you would expect from a European city. There are a lot of students and foreigners living here and there is a certain hipster vibe about this neighborhood. If you want to be within walking distance to bars and restaurants, while not being in the historical center, this is the district for you.
Bakırköy – 8 407 TL ($1 204)
Bakırköy is likely the first area of Istanbul you’ll ever see, as it’s where the Istanbul Atatürk Airport is. However, it’s more than just that. Many of Istanbul’s upper-middle-class residents choose to live here. It’s well connected to the rest of the city, with ferries, public transport, and large roads. Here you won’t find many historic monuments, but everything is nice and new and there are more than enough shopping centers and restaurants and bars that you’ll ever need. If you want the local Istanbul life, do consider moving here.
Sarıyer – 9 195 TL ($1 316)
Sarıyer is in the north of the European part of Istanbul. It’s one of the most beautiful districts, with a mixture of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, but definitely more Byzantine. There are nice villas and houses in this area, and the views can often be picturesque. You are on the coast, so the vibe of the neighborhood is more relaxed than the rest of Istanbul, it almost feels like you’re in a smaller beach resort town. However, you are never more than 20 minutes away from the city center.
Beşiktaş – 10 632 TL ($1 522)
Beşiktaş is the most affluent area of Istanbul. Here you’ll find a mixture of old mosques and churches and modern glass skyscrapers. It’s both the most important financial district of all of Turkey, and at the same time, it’s a popular tourist destination. The truth is, however, that this area is better suited for working and visiting than it is for living. It’s better to save some money and picks a more residential-friendly area to live in.