How much does it cost to live in Turkey?
A cheap cost of living is a motivating factor for many who relocate to Turkey. The cost of living in Turkey for international students is surprisingly much less than elsewhere for everyday expenses.
For example, the average monthly cost for a student in the UK is around £900 to £1,300 (nearly $1,075 to $1,553) per month. The cost in Turkey is at least 35 percent lower, with an average of $689. For the average monthly cost of living for a working individual, excluding rent, Turkey is also 58.6 percent cheaper at $408 compared to $985 in the US.
The most expensive areas to reside in Turkey – as in any other country – are major commercial, tourism, and economic centers. Even those would cost you much less per month than similar cities in western nations.
Cost of Living in Turkey by City
The cost of living in Turkey 2023 is determined by which city or area you live in and your general lifestyle. To give a better idea of the costs, here is the average cost of living in Turkey by city:
Understandably, rural towns are much less expensive than metropolitan areas, yet living in a major metropolis like Ankara remains a dream for many expats relocating to Turkey.
In Ankara, a family of four’s estimated monthly cost is ₺28,696 ($1,519) without rent, and for a single person, the estimated monthly cost is ₺8,214 ($435) without rent.
Many tourists who visit Antalya are so impressed by its natural beauty that they end up wanting to live there permanently. And the lowest cost of living compared to similar cities around the world make it an even more desirable place to live.
In Antalya, a family of four’s estimated monthly cost is ₺27,921 ($1,478) without rent, and for a single person, the estimated monthly cost is ₺8,121 ($430) without rent.
Bursa fascinates everyone who visits it. Its historical significance as the first Greek settlement and capital of the Ottoman Empire is apparent throughout the city. While it is one of the smaller cities in Turkey, its population has been growing exponentially over the years, and that may be down to the fact that the cost of living there is just a fraction of the cost in the US and many EU countries.
Its proximity to Istanbul and much lower rental prices have made it a sought-after city to live in.
In Bursa, the estimated monthly cost for a family of four is ₺32,043 ($1,696) without rent, and for a single person, the estimated monthly cost is ₺9,273 ($491) without rent.
If we draw a comparison between the prices in Istanbul and western capitals like London, Washing DC, Dublin, and Paris, the difference may provoke a second glance. Although amongst the highest in living costs for a Turkish city, it’s still incredibly cheap compared to other major capital cities and travel hubs worldwide.
Being the largest metropolis in Europe, it has something to suit everyone’s preferences. People adore Istanbul because of its history, culture, food, and economic growth.
In Istanbul, the estimated monthly cost for a family of four is ₺36,190 ($1,916) without rent, and for one person, the estimated monthly cost is ₺10,236 ($542) without rent.
Travelers who visit Turkey either want to spend their time in huge cities like Istanbul, beach cities like Antalya, or sometimes smaller – yet what many would say are more pleasant – cities like Izmir. The climate in Izmir is mild and refreshing all year round, and the benefits of living there are abundant.
In Izmir, the estimated monthly cost for a family of four is ₺28,302 ($1,498) without rent, and for a single person, the estimated monthly cost is ₺8,220 ($435) without rent.
Despite inflation, food and drink prices in Turkey in 2023 are much lower than in the US or the UK. Dinner at a cheap or fast food restaurant may cost you as little as ₺80 ($4.24), whereas the food cost at a mid-range restaurant can be around ₺190 ($10.06).
Due to Turkey’s high alcohol taxes, frequent nights out drinking could dent your finances if you’re not careful. A single domestic beer at a Tekel – a Turkish liquor store – may cost ₺40 ($2.12), and could set you back upwards of ₺60 ($3.18) at a bar. The average price for a good bottle of wine is ₺243 ($12.86).
Food shopping in Turkey is much less expensive than in nearby European nations. Budget-conscious individuals and couples have many opportunities to save money.
Buying fruits, vegetables, and dairy products from small local markets instead of supermarkets is much more affordable in the long run. A good variety of items cost ₺500 ($26.47) per week per person. The average cost per kilogram of lamb or beef is ₺175 ($9.26). The most popular meat Turks consume is chicken, which costs about ₺75 ($3,97) per kilogram.
Transportation can be a significant expense if you plan to drive in a city like Istanbul. Using the public transportation system will cost you, on average, ₺400 ($21.18) every month. This is considerably cheaper than in capital cities like London where a monthly pass for public transport would cost £159.50 ($191).
On the other hand, gas hovers at around ₺22 ($1,16) per liter, and vehicle owners spend an average of ₺15,000 ($794) annually for car insurance, maintenance, and Ministry of Transport annual test of vehicle safety (MOTs).
Expats who receive a salary from their home country enjoy a luxurious lifestyle beyond what the average Turkish salary would permit. Rent is one of the most significant expenses, but prices remain low. You can expect to spend ₺6,250 ($331) monthly on a modest three-bedroom apartment on the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines.
A modern studio apartment on the outskirts of Istanbul may cost ₺6,250 ($331), although prices climb for residences closer to the city center. Similar accommodation in Taksim or other affluent neighborhoods has an average monthly cost of ₺14,500 ($767).
Monthly utility and other household expenses also contribute to Turkey’s low living cost. Electricity, internet, sewerage, gas, water, telephone, and satellite packages are all included in monthly utility costs.
Apartment aidat – a charge for community maintenance essential services – is required of residents living in apartment complexes with six or more units. You can expect to budget ₺1,270 ($67.23) monthly for utilities.
Sports and Leisure
Entertainment is reasonably priced in Turkey, particularly for cinemagoers. Tickets for new blockbuster releases cost about ₺56.66 ($3) compared to $12 in the US. Many expats with foreign money can easily afford tennis courts and fitness center memberships.
Clothing and Shoes
Although prices are not as high as in some European countries, branded clothing can be pricey by western standards. If you live on the average Turkish salary, luxury clothing items may not be affordable.
Foreign purchasing power does provide affordability, but branded clothing items are generally cheaper in countries like the US and the UK. If you’re interested in gold or silver, however, jewelry is less expensive in Turkey due to the absence of sales tax on precious metals, which is high in most western nations.
Turkey Cost of Living Averages Table
Here is a short overview of the most significant expenses in Turkey, with the average cost for each:
|Rent per month||Average price (in Turkish Lira)|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre||₺4,453|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre||₺2,740|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre||₺8,009|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre||₺4,991|
|Food||Average price (in Turkish Lira)|
|Milk (regular), (1 liter)||₺13.71|
|Chicken Fillets (1kg)||₺66.63|
|Water (1.5 liter bottle)||₺4.61|
|Restaurants||Average price (in Turkish Lira)|
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||₺60|
|McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)||₺60|
|Water (0.33 liter bottle)||₺3,78|
|Transport||Average price (in Turkish Lira)|
|One-way Ticket (Local Transport)||₺7.00|
|Monthly Pass (Regular Price)||₺450.00|
|Gasoline (1 liter)||₺23.78|
|Utilities||Average price (in Turkish Lira)|
|Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment||₺1,076|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)||₺1.45|
|Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||₺148.69|
Sports and leisure
|Sports and leisure||Average price (in Turkish Lira)|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||₺321.74|
|Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat||₺45.00|
What Are the Average Person’s Expenses in Turkey?
Your lifestyle and the area in which you live will determine how much money you spend every day. The big cities are usually the most costly, where you should expect to pay more for everything – from rent, food, transportation, to everyday expenses. This is especially noticeable when living alone. However, the living cost in Turkey for family without rent lets them live comfortably and save more than 1 percent than the average individual.
Talking about foreigners coming to the country, prices may vary individually, depending on the country from which a foreigner came. For instance, the cost of living in Turkey for international students or regular individuals is much lower if they are originally from the EU, UK, or US. The average cost of living in Turkey in USD for foreigners may be around $500 or $1,500 per month, depending on their lifestyle and spending habits.
Average Costs Breakdown
Here’s a closer look at the breakdown of the estimated average cost of living in Turkey, and how much of your income each of the categories would possibly take. The numbers are based on approximate earnings of ₺28,000 ($1500):
- Monthly rent: 16.2 percent;
- Markets: 35.6 percent;
- Transportation: 19.6 percent;
- Restaurants: 11.3 percent;
- Monthly utilities: 7 percent;
- Leisure and sports: 6.8 percent;
- Clothes and shoes: 3.4 percent.
What are the average person’s expenses in Turkey?
Your lifestyle and the area in which you live will determine how much money you spend every day. Like anywhere in the world, big cities are usually the most costly, where you should expect to pay more for everything – from rent and food to transportation and leisure activities.
This is especially noticeable when living alone. However, the Turkish cost of living for a family without rent enables an average saving of 15 percent per individual.
Speaking of foreigners relocating to the country, how low or high the prices depend on the country from which a foreigner came. For instance, the cost of living in Turkey for international students or regular individuals is much lower if they are originally from Western European countries like the UK, France, or the US.
The average cost of living in Turkey in USD for foreigners is $600 per month for a cheap lifestyle or $1,500 per month for someone who prefers more luxuries and entertainment.
Turkish health insurance is extremely cheap for foreigners. The average annual health insurance premium costs ₺450.00 ($24) for 51 to 60-year-olds and ₺2,200 ($116.) for 61 to 70.
Average costs breakdown
Here’s a closer look at the breakdown of Turkey’s estimated average living costs, according to Numbeo, and how much of your income each category could use. The numbers are based on approximate earnings of ₺28,000 ($1,482) per month:
- Monthly rent: 20 percent
- Markets: 32.6 percent
- Transportation: 20.4 percent
- Restaurants: 11.9 percent
- Monthly utilities: 5.7 percent
- Leisure and sports: 5.6 percent
- Clothes and shoes: 3.7 percent
Average Salary, Minimum Wage, and Mortgages in Turkey
Previously, the average monthly salary in Turkey after taxes was ₺7,585 ($525). The minimum wage was ₺7,603.43 [₺5,500.35 ($402) after tax]. As of 2023, the minimum Turkish salary pre-taxation is ₺10,008 ($530) per month, according to data from the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security. After tax deductions, employees are left with around ₺8,506.80 ($450). The tax rate applies to single employees and those whose spouses have a job.
In 2023, Turkish mortgage rates are estimated at 1.79 percent monthly, according to Statista, which is relatively high if you calculate it to 21.5 percent annually. This results from recent economic instability and fluctuation in the local currency. Some Turkish banks provide discounted mortgage options with rates as low as 1.2 percent per month or 15.85 percent annually. Rates do, however, change frequently along with the national currency rate.
Remember that if you plan on buying property in Turkey, you will have to pay additional taxes to the country. It works this way: When purchasing property, you are required to pay Turkish property taxes after receiving a title deed – known as a “TAPU” in Turkey. This is usually charged at a rate of 4 percent of the purchase price. In most circumstances, it is split in half so that the buyer and seller each pay 2 percent.
Is it safe to travel to Turkey?
According to the CBI Index, Turkey is generally a stable country to travel to and live in. Many foreigners have little to no trouble relocating there, except for perhaps encountering a language barrier, as most Turks do not speak English. But as a popular holiday destination, particularly for British holidaymakers, you’ll come across many English-speaking Turks daily.
While the country tends to be politically and socially stable, there have been several terrorist attacks over the last few decades on well-known tourist destinations. There was also an earthquake in early 2023 that rocked eastern regions. However, this was far from popular holiday and expat destinations in the west, which were largely unaffected.
Despite Turkey’s considerably low crime rate, tourists must remain cautious of street theft and pickpocketing in the country’s most famous tourist spots. Another thing you might want to consider while traveling there is driving safety, as driving on Turkish roads can be a little more chaotic than in western countries.
Although Turkey has no clothing restrictions, it’s still a Muslim nation, so foreign women should avoid wearing revealing clothes in certain areas of the country.
Additionally, it is illegal to openly criticize Turkey, the Turkish people, its government, or Mustafa Kemal Atatürk–the country’s founding father. This law carries fines and jail time of up to three years as a penalty for violations.
Turkey safety overview
Overall risk: High
If you stay away from certain areas, mainly those close to the Syrian border, Turkey is a safe country to visit. The majority of thefts and pickpocketing take place in tourist destinations, restaurants, stores, and on public transport.
Transport risk: Low
Turkey’s public transportation is generally safe. If you plan to drive, be aware that local drivers in the country can be careless and frequently ignore traffic laws and signs.
Risk of natural disaster: Low
Turkey experienced an earthquake in February 2023, and the risk of future earthquakes remains. Severe droughts in the south and central regions can affect the water supply during the summer.
Risk of pickpockets: Medium
In Turkey, especially in Istanbul, pickpocketing is a frequent occurrence. It’s advisable to be vigilant of your belongings. In Istanbul, the places to look out for pickpocketers are Taksim Square, the Grand Bazaar, Sultanahmet, and the Spice Bazaar.
Risk of mugging: Medium
Violent crime in Turkey is more likely to happen near the Syrian border, where muggings, kidnappings, and assaults have been recorded. It’s a region where terrorist organizations frequently target those working in the media or the humanitarian sector. The risk in western areas and tourist destinations is significantly lower.
Risk of getting scammed: Medium
In Turkey, it is a frequent scam for locals to befriend tourists, take them out for drinks or dinner, and then demand payment from them. Taxi drivers may try to fool you about the cost of the ride to get you to pay more.
Risk for women to travel alone: Low
Women traveling alone in Turkey are generally safe, particularly in larger cities, but store owners may harass women on the street occasionally.
Risk of terrorism: High
The biggest concern in Turkey is terrorist activity. The majority of these incidents are related to terrorist actions carried out by Kurdish separatists in southeast Turkey. The most recent terrorist incident occurred in November 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Costs of Living in Turkey
Is Turkey expensive to live in?
According to data provided by Numbeo, the cost of living in Turkey in USD based on the current exchange rate for a family of four is $1,417 (₺26,768.9) without monthly rent. One person’s projected monthly expenses, excluding rent, is $411 (₺7,771.4).
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Turkey?
If your monthly income exceeds the estimated monthly costs for a family of four of ₺26,768.9 ($1,417) or ₺7,771.4 ($411) for an individual, you can live comfortably in Turkey.
Is living in Turkey cheap?
Turkey’s cost of living is far below most European nations. Rent, high-quality food from a mid-range restaurant, and transportation are less expensive here. Foreign purchasing power in Turkey for individuals from the UK, Sweden, Germany, or other European countries is very high and conducive to a luxurious lifestyle.