Living in Izmir: Tips for Foreigners

Izmir, the third-largest city in Turkey, attracts everyone’s attention with its nature, cuisine, people, and cultural activities. There are many reasons for living in Izmir which promises a quiet life even though millions of people live there. In this article, we will present the beauties, advantages, districts, and costs of living in this unique city.

Living in Izmir, The pearl of the Aegean, not only gives people the privilege of living in a big city but also keeps them away from the crowds and noise that are typical of big cities. “Why should I live in Izmir?” There are many possible answers to the question. Let’s examine it together!

What are the Advantages of Living in Izmir?

Living in Izmir, Turkey provides several advantages to the people who want to study or reside there. Here are the main benefits that come to mind when the city is mentioned;

  • Easy transportation
  • Quiet towns and villages
  • Great climate and nature
  • Vibrant nightlife
  • Friendly local people
  • Cultural and art activities
  • The refined state of Mediterranean culture
  • Beyond a center
  • A constantly rising value
  • Meeting point of historical and modern architecture
  • A quiet but alive big city

What are the Cons of Living in Izmir?

When it comes to the disadvantages of Izmir, there is little to be said. This feature of Izmir, which is almost impossible to see in the winter season, especially in the summer seasons, is because it is in the Mediterranean climate zone, the summers are hot and dry, and the winters are warm and rainy.

What are the Best Places to Live in Izmir?

Izmir, located in the western part of Turkey, stands out as a paradise to live in with its beautiful districts and villages. The most beautiful districts of Izmir, with their different locations and features, invite those who want to have a quality life in Turkey. Here are some of these counties;

  • Karsiyaka
  • Guzelbahce
  • Urla
  • Cigli
  • Guzelyali
  • Bostanli
  • Balcova
  • Karatas
  • Alsancak
  • Bornova
  • Buca
  • Cesme

1. Buca

Buca located 9 km southwest of Izmir is one of the densely populated districts of Izmir. Since it is close to 9 Eylul University, the student population is high.

Buca which was famous for its olive groves and vineyards in the past is now famous for its hippodrome.

Due to Levantine mansions, natural beauties, and historical experiences, the city has gathered many elements that must be visited and seen in Izmir today. Buca Pond, Sirinyer Sevgi Street, Protestant Church, Aqueducts, Buca Hasan Aga Park, and Historical Greek Houses are among the must-see places in Buca.

2. Cesme

Cesme located 9 km west of Izmir is one of the best holiday towns in Turkey. It is one of the holiday paradises with its natural beauties, historical buildings, magnificent beaches, and enjoyable nightlife that allow you to have many unforgettable experiences in your lifetime.

When it comes to places to visit in Cesme, many places come to mind. If you have the opportunity and time, you’re suggested to visit almost every place. The town is located on the coast of the city.

The places you should see when you go to Cesme are Altinkum Beach, Aya Yorgi Bay, Cesme Castle, Ilica Beach, Erythrai Ancient City, Cesme Archeology Museum, Sigacik, Alacati Center, and many more.

3. Urla

Urla, one of the quiet, calm, and peaceful districts of Izmir, is one of the districts preferred by domestic and foreign tourists for holiday visits in the summer.

It is 40 minutes away from Izmir city center while presenting many destinations that must be visited because of blue flag beaches, clean sea, historical ancient ruins, and villages, each one more beautiful than the other with its untouched nature and atmosphere. Urla, which offers many different opportunities to its visitors, provides many alternatives for you to discover.

Cesmealti, Bademler and Barbaros Villages, Karantina Island, Art Street, Yassica Island, Klazomenai, Guvendik Hill, and Malgaca are the must-see places in Urla and its vicinity!

4. Cigli

Cigli county is 17 km from the Izmir city center. It has a limited number of regions in terms of natural and historical beauty. Moreover, it is a district where mostly construction, agriculture, and animal husbandry are developed.

Izmir Natural Life Park is one of the must-see places in Cigli, which is still in the conservation area. Another natural wealth, Izmir Bird Sanctuary, has around 500 thousand bird species. Camalti Saltworks, which is a natural formation, is among the largest salt seas in Turkey.

Cigli also has Leukai Ancient City as a historical heritage. Be sure to visit these places when you come here!

How is Life in Izmir?

The answer we can give to this is great. When people talk about Izmir, the first thing that comes to mind is holiday villages. As we mentioned above, Cesme, Urla, Foca, Alacati, and many other regions attract attention as places that most Turkish people would like to visit during the summer months. Those who love the sea, nature, and fun will also admire the holiday villages in Izmir.

When it comes to transportation, none of the big cities can beat Izmir. You can travel from one end of the city to the other by paying a very reasonable fee. IZBAN, ESHOT, and Izmir Metro are integrated and are a means of efficient transportation. It is possible to use the buses called Baykus (Owl in English) after a certain time at night.

Except for the most central points, it is quite possible to live in quiet and decent districts in Izmir such as Seferihisar. If you need tranquility, there are spots where you can relax in cittaslows (slow cities).

Nightlife in Izmir is quite outstanding. You can find places with all kinds of music on Gazi Kadinlar Street and Muzaffer Izgu Street in Alsancak.

Izmir is also the meeting point of art and artists. Artists who come to see this unique city talk about their admiration all the time while people of Izmir value and follow cultural and artistic activities.

Why Should You Move to Izmir?

Following Istanbul and Ankara, Izmir is one of the apples of Turkey’s eyes right now in terms of investment. There are also many home office projects in Izmir, which have affordable prices compared to other cities which means that you can start your business here. Your real estate investment will increase in value with prices that will increase day by day.

You will never get bored in Izmir, where you can enjoy various tourist attractions. You can always go to many holiday villages located 45 minutes away from the city center.

If you want to study in Izmir, this is the city just for you because budget-friendly prices are available in Izmir. Houses and dormitories suitable for students are found almost everywhere in the city.

Is Moving Izmir Easy?

Yes, it’s pretty easy. You can learn about your legal obligations and responsibilities by getting Realty Group consultancy. You must first apply for a residence permit. This application can be made as a family residence permit or as a short-term residence permit issued for touristic purposes. After completing the necessary permits and the process, you can negotiate with the shipping companies and get a quotation. Pack your luggage and move to Izmir.

What are the Requirements for Moving to Izmir?

Get a visa according to your purpose. Prepare required permits. If you are a student, you need to get a student permit, for instance.

What is the Easiest Way to Move Izmir?

The easiest way to move to Izmir is to buy a property with a minimum value of $400,000 in Turkey. Thus, you can acquire Turkish citizenship shortly. Since the enactment of the law on this subject, foreigners have been buying and investing in houses, especially in Istanbul and Izmir.

What is Living in Izmir Like?

Izmir, also known as Smyrna, has various living standards due to the immigration it has received over time.

While a more lively life is observed in the parts of the city close to the sea, quiet streets take the place of crowds as you move away from the coastal area.

However, the historical Kemeralti Bazaar, where the highest density of tourists is observed, is lively at every hour of the day. Thousands of tradesmen in the bazaar, which have contributed significantly to the commercial life of the city for nearly 350 years, offer services to visitors and tourists all around the world.

In a city where the Mediterranean climate is dominant, students and locals spend their free time mostly outside or by the sea.

How do Turks Behave Towards Foreigners in Izmir?

Turks have gained a reputation in the world for their hospitality for centuries. Turkish people who rush to help those who need support at every opportunity, do not hesitate to do more than they can when it comes to assisting foreign citizens. Turks are more than happy to help, especially those who ask for directions.

What is the Cost of Living in Izmir?

The living cost in Izmir for a single employee is recorded as 415 USD per month. For those who lead a family life, this amount can be considered 1000 USD. You can also make further reading about the cost of living in Turkey here.

What are the Prices of Houses in Izmir?

Izmir properties and prices vary between 49,000 USD and 190,000 USD in 2021, for further information you can check our page for buying a house in Izmir.

What is the Cost of Rental Apartments in Izmir?

Currently, house rents in Izmir Bornova vary between approximately 100 – 500 USD and 200 – 800 USD in Karsiyaka. These are the 2 popular counties of Izmir. As you get closer to the seaside, rents can go up to 1000 USD.

What is the Cost of Food in Izmir?

As in other cities of Turkey, everyone can find food suitable for their budget in Izmir. After having breakfast with boyoz in the morning, you can eat the famous bomba in Alsancak for 10 TL. In Cesme, you can consume kumru for about 30 TL. Your daily food cost will be approximately 100 TL (7.1$)

How is Public Transport in Izmir?

Transportation can be provided easily and cheaply everywhere, including the seaside towns and villages.

2021 Izmirim Card fees for public transport are as follows; a full ticket is 3,56 TL and a student ticket is 1,64 TL. Unlike other large cities, Izmir is not expensive, especially for students with its rent and transportation. They can live their student life freely without spending much money.

How is Safety in Izmir?

Due to its location, Izmir can be counted as one of the safest cities in Turkey and the world. Number company, known for its research on cities, announced the safest cities in the world in 2020. Izmir was ranked 77th on the list.

Can You Work in Izmir?

Yes. If you are a foreign citizen, you need a work permit to work in Izmir, as in every city in Turkey.

How is Living in Turkey as a Foreigner?

With its magnificent nature, rich cultural history, and incredible opportunities, Turkey is a great destination for foreigners who want to live in an affordable Mediterranean country for the long term. First, one of the reasons why many foreigners prefer to live in this country is that Turkey offers a better quality of life at cheaper prices than many European countries. In addition, the fact that it is a unique country that connects two continents makes it a very attractive place in the eyes of foreigners. It is not difficult for foreigners who move here to communicate with the locals. Although the younger Turkish generation can speak English almost entirely, it may be rarer to communicate with the elderly in English, but thanks to the hospitality principle of this nation, the people in the country will always want to help foreigners.

With the spread of the opportunity to work from home recently, foreigners in this country can easily work from home and thus get to know the country by traveling. Living in this country is also easy for foreigners because there is very little racism in Turkey compared to other European countries. As health services are covered by the state, they can benefit from free health services. In other words, considering all these items, living in Turkey will be a very advantageous choice for foreigners.

Is Izmir Good for Ex-pats?

Since Izmir is an old Greek region, it is home to many churches and synagogues, and the Virgin Mary’s House, which is an important place for Christians. In addition, the fact that Izmir is the 3rd largest city in Turkey has a fun nightlife, unique nature and a high young population makes it a good option for travel.

Alacati, Cesme, Foca, and Dikili, whose fame spreads among Turks and foreigners, are also magnificent summer resorts within the borders of this province. The unique features of all of its 30 districts accommodate many guests, young and old.

Is Izmir Better than Istanbul?

Izmir is an easier city to live in than Istanbul. Since Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city, it has a high population density, which inevitably affects your life in terms of transportation, service, and many other aspects. Izmir is a city that is less in size and population than Istanbul and you can live more comfortably in economic terms. In this sense, if you are comfortable and want to spend less economically, Izmir is a better option for you compared to Istanbul.

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