Living expenses in Turkey

Turkey is a transcontinental country situated in the Mediterranean Basin, bridging the continents of Asia and Europe. With expansive borders, it shares land boundaries with eight neighbouring countries, including Bulgaria and Greece to the west, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to the northeast, and Syria, Iraq, and Iran to the southeast. 

The nation has garnered popularity among expatriates, retirees, and digital nomads seeking an affordable cost of living. Turkey offers diverse lifestyle options, from vibrant city living to idyllic beachfront experiences, all at notably budget-friendly rates compared to many other destinations. 

Consequently, it is a favoured choice for individuals seeking a second home base, with an increasing number of foreigners even pursuing Turkish citizenship. Turkish passport holders enjoy the privilege of visa-free access to 126 countries.

Turkey cost of living

Turkey Cost of Living

The allure of a cheap cost of living draws many individuals to relocate to Turkey. For international students, the expenses are notably lower in Turkey compared to other destinations for everyday necessities. In the UK, the average monthly cost for a student ranges from £900 to £1,300 (approximately $1,075 to $1,553). However, in Turkey, the expenses are at least 35 percent lower, with an average of $689 per month.

For working individuals, excluding rent, Turkey also proves to be highly cost-effective, being 58.6 percent cheaper at $408 per month compared to $985 in the US.

While major commercial, tourism, and economic centres in Turkey may be relatively more expensive than other regions in the country, they still offer significantly lower living costs than similar cities in Western nations. Overall, Turkey presents an attractive option for individuals seeking an affordable place to live and thrive.

Living expenses in Turkish Cities

The cost of living in Turkey varies depending on the city or area you reside in and your lifestyle. Here are some average costs of living in specific cities in Turkey:


As expected, rural towns are more budget-friendly compared to major metropolitan areas like Ankara, making it a desirable destination for many expats moving to Turkey. For a family of four living in Ankara, the estimated monthly cost is ₺28,696 ($1,519) without rent, while for a single person, it is ₺8,214 ($435) without rent.


Antalya's captivating natural beauty entices numerous tourists to consider making it their permanent home, especially due to its low cost of living compared to similar cities worldwide. For a family of four in Antalya, the estimated monthly cost is ₺27,921 ($1,478) without rent, and for a single person, it is ₺8,121 ($430) without rent.


Bursa's historical significance and affordable cost of living have contributed to its popularity and population growth. For a family of four in Bursa, the estimated monthly cost is ₺32,043 ($1,696) without rent, and for a single person, it is ₺9,273 ($491) without rent.


Despite being one of the highest in living costs among Turkish cities, Istanbul remains relatively inexpensive compared to major capital cities worldwide. Its rich history, culture, and economic growth make it appealing to various preferences. For a family of four in Istanbul, the estimated monthly cost is ₺36,190 ($1,916) without rent, while for a single person, it is ₺10,236 ($542) without rent.


Travellers often favour huge cities like Istanbul or beach cities like Antalya, but some find the charm of smaller cities like Izmir more pleasant. Its mild climate and abundant benefits make it an attractive choice. For a family of four in Izmir, the estimated monthly cost is ₺28,302 ($1,498) without rent, and for a single person, it is ₺8,220 ($435) without rent.

Turkey restaurants

Turkey Restaurants

Despite inflation, the cost of food and drinks in Turkey in 2023 remains significantly lower than in the US or the UK. You can enjoy dinner at a cheap or fast food restaurant for as little as ₺80 ($4.24), while opting for a mid-range restaurant may cost around ₺190 ($10.06).

However, it's essential to be cautious with alcohol expenses due to Turkey's high alcohol taxes. A single domestic beer at a Tekel, a Turkish liquor store, might be priced at ₺40 ($2.12), while the cost could rise to ₺60 ($3.18) at a bar. Additionally, a good bottle of wine would cost an average of ₺243 ($12.86).

Turkish markets

Turkish Markets

Food shopping in Turkey proves to be much more economical compared to nearby European countries, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious individuals and couples.

Opting for small local markets to purchase fruits, vegetables, and dairy products instead of supermarkets leads to substantial savings in the long run. On average, a good variety of items costs around ₺500 ($26.47) per week per person. For meat products, the average cost per kilogram of lamb or beef is ₺175 ($9.26), whole chicken, the most popular meat consumed by Turks, is priced at approximately ₺75 ($3.97) per kilogram.

Transportation in Turkey

Transportation expenses can add up, especially if you choose to drive in a city like Istanbul. However, utilising the public transportation system proves to be a much more cost-effective option, with an average monthly cost of around ₺400 ($21.18). This stands in stark contrast to capital cities like London, where a monthly pass for public transport could set you back £159.50 ($191).

For those opting to drive, gasoline prices are approximately ₺22 ($1.16) per litre, and vehicle owners typically spend around ₺15,000 ($794) annually on car insurance, maintenance, and the Ministry of Transport's annual test of vehicle safety (MOTs).

Monthly rent in Turkey

Expats who receive a salary from their home country often enjoy a luxurious lifestyle beyond what the average Turkish salary would permit. However, one of the most significant expenses for expats is monthly rent, although prices remain relatively low.

On the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines, a modest three-bedroom apartment may cost around ₺6,250 ($331) per month.

In Istanbul, the cost of a modern studio apartment on the outskirts may also be ₺6,250 ($331) per month, but prices increase for residences closer to the city centre. For example, similar accommodation in affluent neighbourhoods like Taksim could have an average monthly cost of ₺14,500 ($767).

Monthly bills in Turkey

Monthly utility and household expenses in Turkey contribute to its low cost of living. These expenses typically include electricity, internet, sewerage, gas, water, telephone, and satellite packages, all combined in the monthly utility costs.

Additionally, residents living in apartment complexes with six or more units are required to pay apartment aidat, which covers community maintenance and essential services. On average, you can budget around ₺1,270 ($67.23) per month for these utilities and household expenses.

Leisure and Sports in Turkey

Leisure and Sports in Turkey

In Turkey, entertainment is quite affordable,especially formovie enthusiasts. The cost of tickets for the latest blockbuster releases is approximately ₺56.66 ($3), which is significantly lower compared to the $12 charged in the US. Additionally, expats with foreign currency find it easy to afford memberships to tennis courts and fitness centres.

Shoes and Clothing in Turkey

Shoes and clothing in Turkey

While clothing prices in Turkey are not as exorbitant as in certain European countries, branded apparel can still be considered pricey by western standards. For individuals earning the average Turkish salary, luxury clothing items may not be within their budget.

Having foreign purchasing power can indeed make branded clothing more affordable, although it's worth noting that such items are generally cheaper in countries like the US and the UK. However, if one's interest lies in gold or silver, Turkey offers an advantage as jewellery prices are lower due to the absence of sales tax on precious metals, a contrast to the high taxes applied in most western nations.

Cost of living in Turkey

Here is a table of the average cost of living in Turkey for some of the most significant expenses:


Average price (in Turkish Lira)

Monthly rent

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre: ₺4,453

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre


Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre


Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre: 








Eating out




Food prices in Turkey

Here is a list of the average prices of some common food items in Turkey:


Price (in Turkish Lira)

Milk (regular), (1 litre)


White Bread


Eggs (12)


Cheese (1kg)


Chicken Fillets (1kg)


Water (1.5 litre bottle)


Restaurant prices in Turkey

Here is a list of the average prices of some common food items at restaurants in Turkey:


Price (in Turkish Lira)

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant


McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)


Cappuccino (regular)


Water (0.33 litre bottle)


Transportation in Turkey

Transportation in Turkey

Here is a list of the average prices of some common transportation options in Turkey:


Price (in Turkish Lira)

One-way Ticket (Local Transport)


Monthly Pass (Regular Price)


Gasoline (1 litre)


Utilities in Turkey

Here is a list of the average prices of some common utilities in Turkey:


Price (in Turkish Lira)

Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment


1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)


Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)


Sports and leisure in Turkey

Here is a list of the average prices of some common sports and leisure activities in Turkey:


Price (in Turkish Lira)

Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult


Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat


Museum, Adult Ticket


Theme Park, 1-Day Pass


Bowling, 1 Game


Tennis, Court Rental

₺30.00 per hour

The cost of an average person in Turkey

The amount an average person spends in Turkey is influenced by their lifestyle and location of residence. Major cities tend to be more expensive, where individuals may incur higher costs for rent, food, transportation, and daily expenses, particularly when living alone. On the other hand, families without rent find it more affordable to live in Turkey, enabling them to live comfortably and save over 1 percent compared to the average individual.

For foreigners arriving in the country, expenses can vary depending on their country of origin. Those from the EU, UK, or US typically experience a lower cost of living in Turkey, whether they are international students or regular individuals. The average monthly cost of living for foreigners in Turkey ranges from around $500 to $1,500 USD, depending on their chosen lifestyle and spending habits.

Average cost of living in Turkey

Let's delve into the estimated average cost of living in Turkey, and the proportion of income that each category would potentially consume, based on an approximate monthly earning of ₺28,000 ($1500):

  • Rent: 16.2 percent
  • Grocery Shopping: 35.6 percent
  • Transportation: 19.6 percent
  • Dining at Restaurants: 11.3 percent
  • Monthly Utilities: 7 percent
  • Leisure and Sports: 6.8 percent
  • Clothing and Shoes: 3.4 percent

Cost of living of an average person

The average person's expenses in Turkey vary depending on their lifestyle and the area of residence. As is the case anywhere in the world, living in big cities tends to be more costly, with higher expenses for rent, food, transportation, and leisure activities.

Individuals living alone typically experience a higher cost of living. However, for families without rent, the Turkish cost of living allows for an average saving of 15 percent per individual.

For foreigners moving to Turkey, the cost of living can be either low or high, depending on their country of origin. International students or regular individuals hailing from Western European countries such as the UK, France, or the US usually find the cost of living in Turkey much lower.

The average cost of living in Turkey for foreigners is approximately $600 per month for a modest lifestyle, while those who prefer more luxuries and entertainment may spend around $1,500 per month.

Turkish health insurance is notably affordable for foreigners, with an average annual premium costing ₺450.00 ($24) for individuals aged 51 to 60, and ₺2,200 ($116) for those between 61 to 70 years old.

Average cost of living in Turkey

Taking a closer look at the estimated average living costs in Turkey, based on Numbeo data, and the corresponding percentage of income allocated to each category with approximate earnings of ₺28,000 ($1,482) per month:

  • Monthly Rent: 20 percent
  • Grocery Shopping: 32.6 percent
  • Transportation: 20.4 percent
  • Dining at Restaurants: 11.9 percent
  • Monthly Utilities: 5.7 percent
  • Leisure and Sports: 5.6 percent
  • Clothing and Shoes: 3.7 percent.

What are the Average Salary, minimum wage and mortgages

As of 2023, the average monthly salary in Turkey after taxes stands at ₺7,585 ($525). The minimum wage, on the other hand, was ₺7,603.43 [₺5,500.35 ($402) after tax]. However, recent data from the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security indicates that the minimum wage has increased to ₺10,008 ($530) per month before taxation, leaving employees with around ₺8,506.80 ($450) after tax deductions. It's important to note that the tax rate applies to both single employees and those whose spouses are employed.

In 2023, Turkish mortgage rates are estimated to be at 1.79 percent monthly, which translates to a relatively high 21.5 percent annually due to economic instability and fluctuations in the local currency. However, some Turkish banks offer discounted mortgage options with rates as low as 1.2 percent per month or 15.85 percent annually. These rates, though, are subject to frequent changes based on the national currency rate.

For individuals planning to buy property in Turkey, additional taxes must be paid to the country. After receiving the title deed, known as "TAPU" in Turkey, property buyers are required to pay Turkish property taxes. This tax is usually charged at a rate of 4 percent of the purchase price and is typically split equally between the buyer and seller, with each party paying 2 percent.

How safe is it to travel to Turkey?

How- Safe is it to Travel to Turkey

Turkey is generally considered a safe and stable country for travel and living. Many foreigners face no significant issues when relocating there, except for potential language barriers, as English is not widely spoken by most Turks. However, in popular holiday destinations, English-speaking locals are often encountered, especially due to the influx of British holidaymakers.

While Turkey remains politically and socially stable, it has experienced some terrorist attacks on well-known tourist spots over the past few decades. Additionally, there was an earthquake in early 2023 that affected eastern regions, but popular holiday and expat destinations in the west were largely unaffected.

The country boasts a relatively low crime rate, but tourists should exercise caution against street theft and pickpocketing in major tourist areas. Driving on Turkish roads can be more chaotic compared to western countries, so driving safety should be considered while travelling.

Although Turkey does not impose clothing restrictions, it is a Muslim-majority nation, and foreign women are advised to avoid wearing revealing clothes in certain areas.

It's essential to be aware that openly criticising Turkey, its people, government, or Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – the country's founding father – is illegal. Violating this law can lead to fines and up to three years of imprisonment as penalties.

General analysis of Turkey’s security

Turkey's safety overview indicates a high overall risk, but with proper precautions, it can be a safe country to visit. It is essential to avoid certain areas, particularly those near the Syrian border, where the risk is higher.

Regarding transport, public transportation in Turkey is generally safe, but if you plan to drive, be cautious as local drivers can be careless and ignore traffic laws and signs.

The risk of natural disasters is relatively low, with occasional earthquakes and droughts in certain regions during the summer.

Pickpocketing is a moderate risk in tourist destinations, restaurants, stores, and public transport, especially in Istanbul. Vigilance with personal belongings is advised, particularly in areas like Taksim Square, the Grand Bazaar, Sultanahmet, and the Spice Bazaar.

The risk of mugging is also moderate, primarily near the Syrian border, where violent crimes like muggings, kidnappings, and assaults have been reported. In western areas and tourist destinations, the risk is significantly lower.

Scams targeting tourists are moderately common, with locals befriending tourists and then demanding payment for drinks or dinner. Taxi drivers may also try to overcharge for rides.

Women travelling alone in Turkey generally experience a low risk, especially in larger cities. However, occasional harassment by store owners on the street may occur.

Terrorism is a significant concern in Turkey, primarily related to Kurdish separatists in southeast Turkey. The most recent terrorist incident occurred in November 2022.


Is the living standards in Turkey expensive?

According to data provided by Numbeo, the cost of living in Turkey for a family of four is estimated to be $1,417 (₺26,768.9) per month, excluding rent. For an individual, the projected monthly expenses, excluding rent, come to $411 (₺7,771.4).

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Turkey?

If your monthly income exceeds the estimated monthly costs of ₺26,768.9 ($1,417) for a family of four or ₺7,771.4 ($411) for an individual, you can live comfortably in Turkey.

Is Turkey cheap to live in?

Compared to most European nations, Turkey has a lower cost of living. Rent, dining at mid-range restaurants, and transportation expenses are notably more affordable. Foreign purchasing power for individuals from countries like the UK, Sweden, Germany, and other European nations is relatively high in Turkey, making it conducive to a luxurious lifestyle.


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