The Best Areas to Live in Istanbul 2024

| Created : 2024-06-20
| Updated : 2024-06-21
Created : 2024-06-20
Updated : 2024-06-21

Do you plan to move to Istanbul?

Are you curious about where to live?

Don’t worry; to assist you in making this important choice, we’ve put up a list of Istanbul’s most livable neighborhoods. Moving to a new place is usually difficult. And if this new place is a diverse global metropolis like Istanbul, it’s easy to feel bombarded by all the options.

You can use this guide to get the details you need before settling in a neighborhood in Istanbul. You’ll discover what to anticipate from these most livable areas in terms of the general atmosphere, family-friendliness, accessibility to family-friendly activities, housing alternatives, and rent costs.

The best areas to live in Istanbul are listed below:

1. Kadikoy

Kadikoy, with its lively atmosphere and city life, historical buildings, being an important transportation hub, market, largely young and student population, cultural events & arts, shopping centers, cafes, pubs and restaurants by the seaside and inland and lively nightlife especially along its famous “Bar Street” and the nearby residential suburb of beautiful Moda, is one of the most popular and colorful districts of Istanbul. In Kadikoy, you may experience and enjoy how the Istanbul locals live.

Kadikoy was once a separate settlement area while standing the Byzantium across the Bosphorus on the historical peninsula. The history of the Kadikoy dates back to the Chalcedon of the Megarians, 635 BC.

One of the busiest tourist destinations in the Kadikoy district is the Haydarpasa Train Station. When arriving at Kadikoy by boat from the European side, one of the first structures you will encounter is Haydarpasa Station. German engineers initially constructed Haydarpasa Station at the start of the 20th century for the Berlin-Baghdad train project.

Turkish architect Vedat Tek developed the embellishments on the ferry dock. The station, which first opened in the early 20th century, sustained significant damage in the 2011 fire. One of the most unique historical structures in the area, Haydarpasa Train Station, should be on your list of sites to visit in Kadikoy and must be viewed. Even though Haydarpasa Station is no longer used as a train station, it is nevertheless a popular destination in Kadikoy for tourists who want to see the city’s colorful past and snap tons of photos there.

The ferry services are still offered from Haydarpasa Pier. You will travel here by boat, and it is fun to observe the lovely birds along the breakwater while on the water and throwing bagels at the seagulls.

Kadıköy - Moda

Kadikoy, Moda. Photo: Amir Komaee (Unsplash)

2. Beyoglu

Beyoglu is a big district and famous for its cosmopolitan city life, and traces of the European architecture of 100 years. Beyoglu hosts one of the most iconic sights of Istanbul such as the Galata Tower, Istiklal Street, and Taksim Square. The Galata, Asmalimescit, and Cihangir neighborhoods are very lively and good to stay with their unique architecture, lively streets, and atmosphere.

Beyoglu is the heart of entertainment and culture on the European side. There are various public transportation options connecting Beyoglu to the city. It’s a multicultural neighborhood, popular among young people and expatriates. Most people working or living around can speak English. The Beyoglu neighborhood is active 24/7 with countless cafés, restaurants, bars, bookshops, shops and stores, movie theatres, cinemas, and concert halls.

Each neighborhood in Beyoglu offers something different, and you can find calmer places to live here. But the Beyoglu district is generally better suited for singles. Here you can mostly find small rental apartments in old buildings.

In Beyoglu, Galata Tower one of the most striking points of the province of Istanbul is a nine-story and 67 meters tall tower. Built-in the 14th century during the expansion of the Genoese colony in the province of Istanbul, the tower was the tallest building of the period. Galata Tower was renovated from time to time due to the earthquake that took place in the region in the 16th century and the fires and storms that followed; During the Ottoman period, it mostly served as a prison.

The tower offers a panoramic view of both the city of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. It is also a popular tourist attraction with its restaurant located on the upper floors. On the lowest floor of the Galata Tower, two elevators take the visitors up to the 7th floor. You have to use the stairs to reach the last TWO floors of the tower.

Also, the place Miniature park located in the Golden Horn of Beyoglu district is spread over an area of 60,000 square meters in total. The touristic park, which has the distinction of being one of the largest and most popular miniature Turkish parks in the world; is full of miniature figures of monuments, structures, buildings, and people that have become iconic in Turkey.

Miniaturk tour promises a fun tour for both adults and children. As a cultural center, Beyoglu is at the top of the list of places to visit.

Beyoglu Galata Kulesi

Beyoglu, Galata Kulesi. Photo: Guney Akın (Unsplash)

3. Sariyer

Sariyer, a lovely neighborhood, is located near the westernmost point of the Bosphorus European shores. It is renowned for its vibrant city life, eateries along the Bosphorus coast, stunning natural scenery, numerous historic sites, and museums. Sariyer is home to the well-known Emirgan Grove, Sadberk Hanim Museum, and Rumeli Fortress.

Istanbul’s northernmost point, Sariyer, is where the European side of the Black Sea meets the Asian side. Here, the environment is calm and the air is clean. This area is ideal for families because it has museums, parks, beaches, and seaside eateries. In general, Sariyer’s neighborhoods are upscale. On the shoreline and in the woodland are private estates and mansions. However, less expensive choices are also available. Sariyer is a great spot to live in Istanbul if you don’t need to rush to the city for employment. Since you can rent luxury villas, there is a huge range in rent pricing based on the neighborhood.

Sariyer, Istanbul’s natural beauty spot, is incredibly amazing for tourist attractions. This is a spot to be by yourself with nature because there are so many amazing and beautiful locations here. The Emirgan Grove is one of the great locations to visit in this area, which is far away from the city. One of the most popular destinations in the area is Emirgan Grove, one of the most stunning spots to visit in the neighborhood. Tulip festivals are conducted in this area in the spring, making it the top tourist destination in the Sariyer district.

In Sariyer you can visit Sakip Sabanci Museum. The museum houses exhibitions of works by artists; therefore you should visit it after admiring the natural beauty. You should visit this museum, where the collections of many painters are shown. People who are interested in art visit this museum since it has many interesting pieces to see. This must-see museum charges a fee for admission. Anyone with a museum card is entitled to free admission.

Emirgan Korusu

Emirgan Koru. Photo: Soyoung Han (Unsplash)

4. Fatih

The majority of Istanbul’s historical sites from the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empire eras are located in Fatih, a very large area that spans the city’s ancient peninsula. The area is historic Istanbul inside the city walls with all the must-see mosques, museums, palaces, and other attractions crammed together. Top tourist destinations may be found in the neighborhoods of Sultanahmet, Eminonu, Fener, and Balat.

Most of Istanbul’s significant historical and cultural sites are located in the Fatih district’s Sultanahmet and Topkapi neighborhoods. Every year, thousands of tourists flock to the area, and as a result, practically everyone there knows English. It’s ideal for residing in a historically significant area.

In the area Gulhane Park has every green shade under the Sun; Even though you’re in the middle of the city, on a lovely spring day, it’s a good area to escape away from the crowds and take a breath.

Only the sultan’s family had access to the park, which served as Topkapi Palace’s outside garden in the past. When visiting Topkapi, you might see people having picnics under the shade of the trees with their families and sitting in the tea garden admiring the view of the Bosphorus. Istanbul’s oldest municipal park, Gulhane Park, has been a popular tourist destination since it first welcomed visitors in 1912.

In this magnificent park, which is still used as a city park and has hundred-year-old walnut and oak trees and is surrounded by the most significant museums and monuments of Istanbul, you can take a walk with plenty of oxygen, relax under a tree while reading a book, and sip your tea while taking in the view.

The Grand Bazaar, is one of the biggest and oldest covered bazaars in the world, with 4000 shops spread across a 30,700 square meter space and is connected to more than 60 streets. Istanbul, one of the biggest covered markets in the world is a must-see location in both Fatih and Istanbul due to the size of the market and the variety of goods available there.

One of Istanbul’s best places to shop for carpets, leather goods, textiles, and antiquities is the Grand Bazaar. It has been a commercial hub for both locals and traders since its founding in the 1950s.

Tourists find the Grand Bazaar to be highly atmospheric, and locals in Istanbul view it as the meeting point of the east and west. Although some of its historic ambiances have been lost, it is still one of the must-visit locations for an essential Istanbul experience.

Bulgarian St Stephen Church in Balat

Bulgarian St. Stephen Church in Balat, Fatih. Photo: Tolga Ahmetler (Unsplash)

5. Atasehir

Atasehir is located on Istanbul’s Anatolian side. The recently constructed housing and residential projects, well-built road system, amenities for a high level of living, and recreational places offer it a significant advantage over other Istanbul neighborhoods. Atasehir now attracts a lot of people and visitors who want to live in a city with a high standard of living.

Atasehir is home to corporate headquarters and offices of corporations, and it only has skyscrapers, multi-story apartment complexes, and opulent houses available as living and working spaces. There are sizable retail centers nearby that have theaters, bars, tennis courts, and gyms. Even though the majority of people in Atasehir own cars, there are several bus lines that you can use. There are plenty of roomy parking spots nearby.

Atasehir Water Garden is among the sights to see in Atasehir. It is one of the newest commercial areas on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. Here, there are chances for shopping, food, amusement, and cultural art. One of the things that the water garden’s visitors love the most is the pool show, which is presented hourly throughout the day. The pool show features a stunning water show together with fun music, laser, and light show.

Additionally, there are entertainment spaces including bowling alleys, movie theaters, show venues, child amusement parks, and a neighborhood named the city park in the water garden retail complex. Additionally, numerous cafes and restaurants combine the flavors of Turkish cuisine, international cuisine, and fast-food chains.

The Kadikoy – Tavsantepe metro connection, as well as buses and minibusses leaving from Kadikoy and Uskudar, will all take you to the water garden Shopping Center, which is situated in west Atasehir. Additionally, there is a mall with free customer service.

You can look at the selection of hotels in Istanbul where you can take part in enjoyable activities in grand hotels near the sea. There are still areas where you can be entwined with nature, such as the Nezahat Gokyigit Botanical Garden in Atasehir, a neighborhood among the rising structures.

For those who want to observe the variety of flora, Nezahat Gokyigit Botanical Garden is one of the must-see locations in the district that can be visited by both individuals and families. The Central Island, Ertugrul Island, Recreation Island, Istanbul Island, Arboretum Island, Oak Island, Anatolian Island, and Thrace Islands make up the botanical garden, which was made public in 2002.

The Ali Nihat Gokyigit Foundation’s Nezahat Gokyigit Botanical Garden is a charitable facility that is open all year long, including on holidays. The botanical garden is open to everyone without a fee. The garden opens at 09:30 and closes at 18:00 in the winter and 19:00 in the summer. It has two entrances: the Atasehir and Umraniye entrances. Both the Science Department, where you can learn about plants, and the Education Department, where educational research is conducted, are located in the Nezahat Gokyigit Botanical Garden.

6. Uskudar

Uskudar is another coastal transportation hub on the Asian side.  The majority of people who work on the European side also choose to live here because they can commute by ferry, avoid traffic, and take in the scenery. Uskudar is authentic, traditional, and old, but it’s also incredibly busy and crowded. There are lots of charming cafes and eateries, but there isn’t much nightlife.

Moving further from the city center, you’ll find nicer apartment complexes with a great sea view in a more tranquil neighborhood, but the rents also increase. Uskudar is renowned for its stunning coastline, the Maiden’s Tower, Camlica Hill, Fethi Pasha Grove, historical sites such as mosques built in the 16th century, fountains, and many more attractions.

Unquestionably one of Istanbul’s most stunning and fascinating locations is the Maiden’s Tower. One of Istanbul’s most significant and well-known landmarks is the Maiden’s Tower, also known as Leandros. It is located on a rock near the Bosphorus’s entrance, 150–200 meters off the Uskudar Salacak coast. Previously serving as a watchtower, customs station, and lighthouse, Maiden’s Tower is now a museum, cafe, and restaurant that transforms into a private dining establishment at night.

One of the most beautiful groves and parks in Istanbul is Fethi Pasha Grove, which is located in a very magnificent and lovely position on a hill overlooking the Bosphorus, between Uskudar and Beylerbeyi.

Fethi Pasha Grove is the perfect destination for individuals looking to enjoy a delicious breakfast, dine, drink, and relax in a place with a view, especially on the weekends. It spans an area beginning from Sultantepe hills to Kuzguncuk and has a unique Bosphorus view across it from Sarayburnu to Ortakoy.

Maiden Tower

Maiden Tower, Uskudar. Photo: Meric Dagli (Unsplash)

7. Besiktas

Istanbul’s center of culture, the arts, and education are located in Besiktas, which also boasts the Ortakoy, Arnavutkoy, Kurucesme, and Bebek areas, making it the most valuable area of the Bosphorus. Along with being one of the most significant transportation hubs, Besiktas is a fantastic location to see Istanbul’s vibrant urban life.

Beyoglu’s neighbor, Besiktas, is another central neighborhood. From the docks, you may either take a boat to the Asian/Anatolian side of the city or a variety of buses to get around.

A well-liked destination for foreigners is Besiktas. It is great for both families and single people because each area offers something unique, such as a sea view, green parks, traditional markets and restaurants, historical landmarks, entertainment, luxury homes, business offices, or retail centers.

On Istanbul’s European side is a city called Besiktas, which is well-known for its lively and colorful neighborhood life, bazaar, fish market, student population, cultural and artistic pursuits, nightlife, shopping malls, historic structures, football team, seaside entertainment and dining options, and ferry piers. At the mouth of the Bosphorus, it is one of the most populated and valuable neighborhoods.

With its Dolmabahce, Ciragan, and Yildiz Palaces, Besiktas also preserves the cultural, artistic, and historical legacy of the Ottoman Empire. Dolmabahce Palace, along with Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, is one of the sites you must see when you visit Istanbul. It was built in the most picturesque location along the Bosphorus between Kabatas and Besiktas and captivated visitors with its magnificent European baroque style architecture, oriental texture, and exhibition halls. Ataturk, the first president of the Turkish Republic, lived in Dolmabahce Palace along with the final six sultans of the Ottoman Empire.

The Mâbeyn-i Humâyûn (Salamlik), where state business is conducted, the Muâyede Hall (Ceremonial Hall), where the Sultan and his family conduct their private affairs, and the Harem-i Humâyûn, where the Sultan hosts events for state dignitaries and holds official ceremonies. Once again, Besiktas is ranked first among the tourist destinations.

The Naval Museum, which is near the Besiktas shoreline, is still operational as Turkey’s largest marine museum and one of the few institutions in the world with such a diverse collection. The Sultan boat section, which features decorated boats on display, and the Ataturk Room are the areas of the museum that attract the most visitors.

Dolmabahce Palace River Side

Dolmabalce palace river side, Besiktas. Photo: Ricky LK (Unsplash)

What are the Cheapest Areas of Istanbul?

With the increase of transportation projects in Istanbul metro and railway lines are coming to almost every district, housing prices are also rising at the same rate. Therefore the demand for this city, which is developing and becoming more and more crowded, is also increasing. Compared to the homes that people who choose education, work, and more comfortable life are looking for, the annual increase in homes for sale in Istanbul is rising by 10% annually.

According to the research conducted on the existing housing prices according to districts, Esenyurt is primarily among the cheapest districts in Istanbul.

According to endeksaya, the top 15 districts in the ranking of the cheapest districts of Istanbul and housing prices per square meter are as follows:

  • Esenyurt 18.369 TL / 467,34 USD per square meter
  • Arnavutkoy 27.013 TL / 828,45 USD per square meter
  • Silivri 26.931 TL / 825,94 USD per square meter
  • Beylikduzu 28.027 TL / 859,55 USD per square meter
  • Sancaktepe 29.012 TL / 889,76 USD per square meter
  • Sultan Gazi 25.519 TL / 782,61 USD per square meter
  • Avcilar 30.219 TL / 926,78 USD per square meter
  • Sultan Beyli 28.215 TL / 865,32 USD per square meter
  • Catalca 32.305 TL / 990,75 USD per square meter
  • Esenler 31.818 TL / 975,81 USD per square meter
  • Pendik 33.452 TL / 1025,93 USD  per square meter
  • Cekmekoy 36.075 TL / 1106,37 USD per square meter
  • Gungoren 26.277 TL / 805,88 USD per square meter
  • Tuzla 35.790 TL / 1097,63 USD per square meter
  • Gazi Osman Pasha 32.371 TL / 992,77 USD per square meter

To easily find the home that fits your budget, you can contact us now to help you choose the perfect property for you.

What are the Safest Areas of Istanbul?

Are you thinking about relocating to Istanbul? Millions of individuals around the world are actively thinking about migrating with their families to Istanbul and settling there since it has the top colleges and universities, a very contemporary health care system, and most of its districts are wealthy and elite locations. The fact that Turkey is simultaneously a financial, touristic, agricultural, and industrial nation draws and motivates investors to set up shop here and benefit from the country’s expanding economy. The safest areas of Istanbul are listed below:

  • Beyoglu/Cihangir: The most central area you can find is Cihangir, a vibrant, cosmopolitan section of Beyoglu. Although this area is quieter than the well-known Istiklal Street, it is nonetheless bustling with tea houses and specialty coffee shops.
  • Kadikoy/Moda: On the Asian side, next to Kadikoy, is the tranquil and artistic neighborhood of Moda. Every kind of person is welcome in this area. The apartments here are larger.
  • Kadikoy/Bahariye: For individuals who wish to experience city life, this vibrant area is ideal. This is a neighborhood that is appropriate for both singles and families.
  • Kadikoy/Bagdat Caddesi: There are wonderful parks nearby, and the shoreline is ideal for strolls. If you move a little further into the neighborhood, you can also locate more affordable rental units.
  • Sisli/Nisantasi: This area is appropriate for both singles and families. Walking through the area’s winding lanes of charming old buildings is fascinating, although parking is a constant issue.
  • Besiktas/Ortakoy: Ortakoy has long been a multicultural region. Here, you can take a public bus. Ortakoy has larger apartments for families, some of which include common gardens.
  • Besiktas/Bebek: There are few ferries and just buses available for public transportation. Additionally nearby are FARIT, the Friends of the American Research Institute in Turkey, and the Istanbul International Community School.
  • Besiktas/Etiler: It is a prestigious, high-end neighborhood featuring upscale stores, nightclubs, mansions, and apartments. Etiler is a peaceful area ideal for both families and individuals.
  • Uskudar/Kuzguncuk: Here, you may live in peace while taking in the view of the Bosporus and the charming, little bakeries and cafes. Both apartments and three-story houses are available for rent here.
  • Bakirkoy/Florya: Florya is the ideal place for you if you want to enjoy the coast and live close to the city yet away from its commotion. The Metrobus service allows you to get to any location in Istanbul.

Is Istanbul Good Place to Live?

Istanbul, one of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations, serves as the nation’s cultural hub. So you may be certain that there are plenty of employment prospects in this city. In addition, Istanbul has a very inexpensive cost of living when compared to other significant European cities. One of the most crucial factors when purchasing a home in Istanbul is the cost of affordable apartments. There is everything in this lovely city with four distinct seasons, all of its conveniences, and all of its social amenities. Along with having a low cost of living in comparison to other large cities. Your aspirations might be easily met by the many employment and educational opportunities. Even if you don’t plan to stay, purchasing a house and then renting it out can bring in money. Not to mention that it has been declared in writing that anyone from outside Turkey who purchases real estate would be granted citizenship, providing the purchase price of the property is $400,000 or more.

Is Istanbul Good Place for Foreigners?

Yes, Istanbul is good place for foreigners. Istanbul is a very attractive city of Türkiye hence with its unique natural beauty. In addition, various nationalities live in the city across the world. Also as a tourist place, it’s visited by millions of people every year. Istanbul is not only for living but also as a touristic place, drawing people into the city. At the end of the day, Istanbul is good place for foreigners.

How many Expats Live in Istanbul?

Turkey is a dream destination for millions worldwide, and Istanbul remains the most sought-after city for expats. There are numerous reasons why Istanbul is a top choice for living.

As of the most recent figures in 2024, Istanbul is home to approximately 1.3 million foreign nationals. This includes legal residents and those under temporary protection, such as Syrians. The exact distribution of these demographics continues to evolve due to various geopolitical and social factors.

The updated numbers were announced by the Governor of Istanbul, reflecting the city's ongoing role as a major hub for international migration. Recent efforts to manage irregular migration have led to significant administrative actions. For example, thousands of foreigners have been processed, with many either repatriated or relocated to designated facilities, depending on their legal status.

Governor Gul emphasized the importance of basing discussions about Istanbul's demographic makeup on accurate and official statistics. This approach ensures a clear understanding of the scale and nature of expat communities in Istanbul.