How Much Does It Cost to Live in Turkey?

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Turkey?

Living expenses in Turkey depend primarily on the area of residence. Prices in big cities are higher than in small towns. Also, when planning your budget, it is important to take into account how big your family is, how stable your income is and whether you have children. Read on to find out more about typical monthly expenses. 


Despite the allure of Turkey’s resort towns, most expats prefer Istanbul, the country’s main industrial, commercial, and cultural hub, with the most convenient and developed infrastructure. 

Rental prices in Istanbul depend on the area and location of the property.A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre costs between 10,000 and 25,000 TRY per month ($430-$1000).

Istanbul. Photo: Ibrahim Uzun (Unsplash)

A one-bedroom apartment in the uptown will cost between 7000 and 15,000 TRY ($300-$640).

A three-bedroom apartment in the city centre costs between 20,000 and 40,000 TRY per month ($850-$1700). In the uptown it will cost 12,000 to 28,000 TRY ($500-1,200).

Rental prices in other cities are slightly lower. 

For example, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the centre of resort city Alanya costs an average of 13,000 TRY per month ($550), 10,000 TRY ($420) in non-central areas.

A three-bedroom apartment in the centre of Alanya costs an average of 21,000 TRY ($900), and 17,000 TRY ($730) in other parts of the city.

A one-bedroom apartment will average 7,000 TRY per month ($300) in the centre of Ankara and 4000 TRY ($180) outside the centre.

A three-bedroom apartment costs 12,000 TRY ($510) in the city centre and 8000 TRY ($340) in other areas.

The law prohibits property owners from increasing rental prices in local currency more than once a year and by more than 25%. 

Rent for residential real estate in Turkey is most often set in TRY. For a tenant who receives their salary in another currency (USD, EUR, GBP), this may be an advantage, because inflation in Turkey is high. Foreign landlords often set prices for their properties in USD or EUR. On the one hand, it comes out pricier for the tenant, but on the other, Turkish laws prohibit raising rental prices for five years after signing lease agreements in foreign currency.

Rent levels depend on the season. It is cheaper to rent housing from the end of autumn to the beginning of spring. In summer, during the holiday season, rent goes up. 


In Turkey, utility bills are usually paid by the tenant.

Water supply. Water and electricity are paid according to your meter readings. The average price per cubic metre of water is 8 TRY ($0.30). A family of three will pay about $15-$25 per month for water. Aside from water consumption, you will be charged for wastewater and solid waste disposal, and combined with VAT, that can increase the bill by 40-50%.  

Electricity. The price of electricity depends on your usage. It is very hot in Turkey in summer, and people have A/C on almost constantly, so, predictably, electricity bills soar. For example, in a one-bedroom apartment with A/C on around the clock, the bill will be about $60 per month. In 2023, electricity per unit costs 1.37 TRY if your consumption does not exceed 150 kW-month, and 2.06 TRY if it does.

Elite Life 8 (Housearch)

Aidat. Aidat is a monthly maintenance fee spent on communal amenities (swimming pool, hammam, fitness room, elevators, CCTV cameras) and the salary of security guards, concierges and gardeners. The amount depends on the range of services offered by the residential complex. It can go as low as 50 TRY ($2) per month for a unit without any services or elevator, and as high as 2,000 TRY ($85) per month if it is a better equipped residential complex with a swimming pool, a gym, a playground, and other facilities. 

Rubbish collection. In big Turkish cities, the fee for rubbish collection is 0.68 TRY per cubic metre, in small cities it is about 0.5 TRY per cubic metre. Your bills will amount to approximately 200-790 TRY ($9-$30) per year.

Gas. In Turkey, only some regions are supplied with gas. Most residents use electricity for heating, and people buy gas cylinders for cooking. One cylinder of gas costs $15 to $30 and lasts you several months.

Prices for supplied gas have increased a lot. To illustrate, at the end of 2022, 89 cubic metres of gas consumption, VAT included, cost a total of 465.25 TRY. However, the price of gas is being subsidised by the government until the end of this year, with an average discount of 125-150 TRY ($5-$6).

Istanbul. Photo: Alev Takil (Unsplash)

The Internet. Turkey has three Internet providers: TTNet (Turk Telekom), Superonline (Turkcell), Kablo (Turksat). An unlimited package costs 170-300 TRY ($7-$12) per month.

Phone bills. The tariffs offered by mobile operators are about the same in price, but those offered to tourists and to locals differ greatly. For citizens and residence permit holders, 750 minutes, the same amount of texts, and 15 GB of mobile data will cost about 200 TRY ($8).


Your eating habits and diet are a major factor in your food expenses. While some prefer to cook at home, others eat out. You can buy quality products at bazaars and in supermarkets, such as Migros, Bim, Carrefour, and others. 

Approximate prices for some basic foods: 

Bread — 6 TRY ($0.25).

Chicken fillet, 1 kg — 103 TRY ($4).

Milk, 1 litre — 25 TRY ($1).

Rice, 1 kg — 41 TRY ($1.75).

12 eggs — 44 TRY ($2).

Cheese, 1 kg — 177 TRY ($7.50).

Apples, 1 kg — 20 TRY ($0.80).

Bananas, 1 kg — 31 TRY ($1.30).

Tomatoes, 1 kg — 26 TRY ($1.10).

Water, 0.5-litre bottle — 5 TRY ($0.20).

Wine, 1 bottle — 200 TRY ($10).

Beer, 0.5-litre bottle — 42 TRY ($ 2.10).

A three-course lunch for two in an average restaurant will cost from 400 to 1,400 TRY ($17-$60).

Collet Avcılar (Housearch)


Doctors in Turkey will always provide a patient with high-quality medical care, regardless of whether they have insurance, but without it, medical services will cost more. There are three types of insurance policy: private obligatory, private voluntary, and state. During your first year of residency in Turkey, you must have a private policy. The price depends on the age of the insured and the coverage of insured events. A minimal-coverage policy will cost about 2-3000 TRY ($85-$130) per year.

State health insurance in Turkey is called SGK. It costs more than private insurance, about 600 TRY ($25) per month, but it has more benefits. This insurance is considered the best, it fully covers treatment in public medical institutions and most treatment in private clinics, and not only of the insured, but of their family members. Medication is also cheaper with SGK insurance.

Transportation and Petrol

One trip by public transport costs 10-17 TRY ($0.40-$0.70), a monthly pass, for example in Istanbul, is 777 TRY ($33).

Calling a taxi in Turkey costs 12-25 TRY ($0.50-$1). The price per kilometre is 7-11 TRY ($0.30-0.50). 

A litre of petrol in Turkey costs 20-25 TRY ($0.80-$1).

Istanbul. Photo: Raimond Klavins (Unsplash)

Kindergartens and Schools

Turkey has both public and private kindergartens. Public ones are available to both citizens and residents with a permit. They accept children from the age of three. Public kindergartens are not free, but the cost is much lower than in private ones — 100 TRY ($4) per month versus 2,000-7,000 TRY ($85-$300) per month. You may also need to pay for a transfer. The bus that takes children to kindergarten and back costs 500 TRY ($20) per month. 

Children are admitted to schools in Turkey from the age of six. Public education is free. To get into a public school, you need to have a residence permit. Lessons are given in Turkish. Foreign children can also attend private paid colleges. Fees range from 50,000 to 100,000 TRY ($2,100-4,200) per year.


Entertainment is quite affordable in Turkey. 

Two cinema tickets cost an average of 180 TRY ($7.70). Two theatre tickets come in at 730 TRY ($31). You can have a beer in the pub for 70 TRY ($3), and a cocktail in the club for 260 TRY ($11). A one-month gym membership can be purchased for 700 TRY ($30).

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In a Nutshell

Monthly expenses in Turkey depend on the area of residence. Living in large cities and popular tourist destinations is more expensive than living in the countryside. The size and needs of the family also play a role. Overall, the average cost of living in Turkey is not very high. It's a fairly affordable country, although prices for housing, food and entertainment have increased significantly over the past 12-18 months.

Cover photo: Meg Jerrard (Unsplash)

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