Pros and Cons of Living in Istanbul

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 11, 2022

Summary: Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Istanbul, Turkey.

What do expats in Istanbul appreciate most about the local culture?

"Turks are very curious about foreigners and are very warm, kind-hearted people generally. They are, by and large, very sincere," remarked another expat in Istanbul.

"I think I reflected on it in the other entries. Public transportation goes everywhere and is often just as fast as driving yourself. I have found my limited Turkish to be enough to get help when traveling. The pharmacy I go to has a program to translate for them to explain what is available or not and why. Great medical and dental care and no where near as costly as the US. Many of the doctors trained in Europe and the US. The equipment is state of the art and many speak English. The hospitals paired with the US ones are the best," explained one expat living in Istanbul.

"Turkish people are very hospitable and really love and value children. I also like not being isolated in my car and being out walking and mixing with people every day. I also love seeing the history of Istanbul everyday; I've been here almost two years and haven't tired of it yet," said another expat in Istanbul.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What do expats find most challenging?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Istanbul, TurkeyGuide to Living in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Istanbul

Turkey Forum Turkey Forum
Meet other people living in Istanbul.

Healthcare in Istanbul, TurkeyHealthcare in Istanbul, Turkey

Expats and global nomads in Istanbul share their experiences with health insurance, healthcare in Turkey, local hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care and more.

Moving to Istanbul, TurkeyMoving to Istanbul, Turkey

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Istanbul: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Pros and Cons of Living in Istanbul, TurkeyPros and Cons of Living in Istanbul, Turkey

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Istanbul, Turkey.

Retiring in IstanbulRetiring in Istanbul

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Expats share their experiences living in Istanbul, Turkey and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Istanbul.

Expat Health Insurance and HealthcareExpat Report: Healthcare in Istanbul

An expat in Istanbul talks about health insurance, emergency medical care and non-emergency care in Istanbul. He has an operation at Baskent University Hospital and was very pleased with the quality of medical care.

Culture Shock in Fatih, IstanbulExpat Report: Culture Shock in Fatih, Istanbul

A serial expat describes his 51 years of experience as an expatriate and world traveler. While not the longest report, it provides some insight into what drives some people to embrace life as a globe trotter.

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