Istanbul Expat Destination Guide – Turkey Country Information
Istanbul, the city that straddles both Europe and Asia, is a city full of contrasts. Deep-rooted traditionalism mixed with the exciting fruits of modern life. Exotic and colorful, Istanbul is considered one of the most exhilarating cities in the world and is home to a large ex-pat community who appreciate the history, the culture, the food and the warm hospitality of the Turkish people.
Istanbul, Where East Meets West
A city of more than 16 million people, Istanbul boasts many unique neighborhoods, each with its own identity and attractions. Head to Sultanahmet, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the historic heart of the city where reminders of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires are evident in the magnificent Blue Mosque, the impressive Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace. Here you will also find The Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world dating back to 1461.
In contrast, the district of Şişli boasts upscale hotels, fancy fashion boutiques, ultra-modern shopping plazas, chic restaurants and cocktail bars. Another popular district on the European side is Taksim, known for its thriving nightlife, spectacular dining and excellent shopping.
Expatriates who relocate to Istanbul will quickly discover that life in Istanbul is far from dull. A vibrant nightlife, amazing shopping, a chance to experience life in an Islamic country that isn’t too far removed from Europe and an exceptionally low cost of living, make Istanbul a top contender for anyone considering relocating.
Considering that there is already a thriving ex-pat community in Istanbul means that for the newbie, help getting settled is always at hand.
What’s the draw?
- An international appeal that leaves plenty of opportunity to make friends from all over the world.
- A centrally-based location that is ideal for exploring the rest of Europe during weekends and holidays.
- A fascinating city that reveals its charms slowly and always offers something new to be discovered.
Whilst Istanbul offers a unique and vibrant lifestyle, there are challenges that the ex-pat will not experience when relocating to a European city. For a start, Istanbul is almost 99% Muslim and that, in itself, brings many cultural differences. Life in an Islamic country is opposite to what most ex-pats would find familiar. A fair degree of adaptability and cultural sensitivity are imperative. That’s where the following guide can assist you in navigating the pitfalls whilst appreciating the differences.
- This Expat Info Desk Guide to Istanbul is an invaluable tool for anyone considering relocating to Istanbul and Turkey in general. Advice on visas, where to live, elements of culture and history, as well as how to connect with other expatriates in this bustling and colorful city.
- If you chose to relocate to Istanbul, this guide will assist you in discovering the most popular residential districts in the city. It will provide tips on finding suitable accommodation, what to look out for and how to negotiate a lease.
- This guide will also provide you with information on the cost of living, nightlife, sports facilities and most importantly the do’s and dont’s that can make or break your expatriate experience in Turkey.
- Furthermore, this guide is a must-read for anyone considering relocating to Turkey as well as the first time visitors. Packed with information, contact listings, and many other valuable resources.
- ‘Know before you go’ and make your Istanbul experience a positive one.