What It’s Like Living In Antalya, Turkey as An Expat

Is living in Antalya a good idea for expats? Read our guide to find out.

The Turkish Riviera city of Antalya has established itself as one of Turkey’s primary tourist destinations, but it’s also favored by expats as one of the nicest places to live in Turkey.

Let’s talk about what living in Antalya is like and whether you can find your perfect home abroad here.

Is Antalya a good place to live?

Steeped in history and with clean sandy beaches along the glorious Mediterranean coastline, the location boasts the unique combination of sun, sea, history, and culture that make it a holiday destination that many people fall in love with and vow to return to. Many even consider living in Antalya.

As a tourist destination, Antalya scores full points, but what about the practicalities of living in Antalya? Can this ever more dynamic tourist destination offer the same degree of satisfaction to the long-term visitor?

Living in Antalya, Turkey
The old town (Kaleici) in Antalya, Turkey

Let’s face it, some of the best holiday destinations may not always be the best destination in which to start a new life.

Holidays are different. In return for a unique experience, we’re willing to sacrifice certain luxuries.

When it comes to living permanently, many of us put on our ‘let’s be practical’ hats. We need a certain degree of familiarity and modern infrastructural comforts to best enjoy the practicalities of day-to-day living.

We take a look to see if Antalya is as good for the full-time living experience as it is for the holidays.

The Antalya region is Turkey’s second most popular place for foreign property buyers. You can find people from all over the world living there. It makes Antalya feel quite a global place, less Turkish and more European.

Living in Antalya, Turkey
Duden waterfall in the Lara residential area, Antalya, Turkey

You don’t have to live in the city itself. There are many smaller coastal towns and villages that have become expat hotspots.

If you are into an urban lifestyle, then Antalya itself is where you should live. You will like Antalya for its metropolitan feel and everything that comes with it.

Shopping and entertainment in Antalya

Shops and shopping! Yes, love it or hate it; we all need to do it.

While quaint shops might be great for our holidays, if you’re going to live anywhere for a long time, it won’t be too long before you yearn for the ease and choices offered by the big supermarkets and retailers.

Shopping in Antalya will not leave you feeling disappointed with a range of new malls offering all of the latest brand names and products and large supermarkets offering produce, which is generally much less costly than in the UK and other European destinations.

Living in Antalya, Turkey
Umbrella street in the evening, Antalya, Turkey

Of course, it’s not all become totally globalized. There’s also a very good selection of traditional shops in the city selling everything from incredibly beautiful traditional carpets that have been dyed from natural materials to the jams and fruit jellies that the area is famous for.

Being such a lively and dynamic tourist resort, Antalya is not short of entertainment. In addition to the more traditional summer activities, there are some excellent cinemas that often show new releases in the English language as well as Turkish.

There are also several theatres and additional activities, such as Dedeman Park bowling.

You can live in the center of Antalya and have easy access to one of the best beaches in Turkey and beyond. Lara Beach is one of the longest beaches in Turkey, stretching for about 12 km.

While property prices in the Lara residential area are higher than in other neighborhoods, residents are happy to pay the price for a beach-side urban lifestyle.

How expensive is Antalya?

One person can live comfortably on $1000 a month in Antalya, including renting a small 1-bedroom flat in a mid-range price area.

Living in Antalya, Turkey
Tunektepe Cableway in Antalya, Turkey

Once you have factored in your rent, a residency permit, and health insurance (obligatory if you are under 65), which for a couple might come up to about $1000 a year, day-to-day expenses such as utilities and grocery shopping will be very cheap.

If you are on a strict budget, use local food markets, low-cost supermarkets, and local public transport. It will keep your costs down. You can eat out cheaply in “lokantas” – local restaurants that serve fast, fresh home-style meals and mezes.

Best areas to live in Antalya for families

The best family-friendly neighborhoods in Antalya are known for their serene ambiance, proximity to parks, international and private schools, and various housing options, all tailored to meet family needs.

Lara Beach

  • Parks: Lara Beach Park, Karaalioglu Park
  • Schools: Al Fayez International School, Montessori Pre-School
  • Quietness: Residential and peaceful
  • Beach Distance: Within walking distance (approximately 1-2 km)
  • Housing: Wide range of options, including villas, detached homes with gardens, and apartments

Konyaalti Beach

  • Parks: Konyaalti Beach Park, Ataturk Park
  • Schools: Has College, International Russian School
  • Quietness: Relatively serene with a mix of residential and tourist areas
  • Beach Distance: Very close proximity (around 500 meters)
  • Housing: Diverse housing options, including apartments, modern complexes, and some villas


  • Parks: Sehir Park, Dosemealti City Forest
  • Schools: Antalya Toplum Coleji
  • Quietness: Highly tranquil and residential, away from city bustle
  • Beach Distance: About 20-25 minutes drive to Konyaalti Beach
  • Housing: Predominantly detached homes with gardens and some villa options

Best areas to live in Antalya for retirees

For retirement, Antalya offers an ideal living environment, especially in the following neighborhoods:


  • Easy access to amenities: Well-developed infrastructure with supermarkets, clinics, and services
  • Entertainment: Cafes, restaurants, and cultural events along the waterfront
  • Beach access: Proximity to Konyaalti Beach for leisure and relaxation
  • Quietness: A harmonious balance between urban conveniences and serenity
  • Housing: Varied options, including low-rise apartments, detached bungalows with gardens, and some villas


  • Easy access to amenities: Shopping centers, medical facilities, and daily necessities
  • Entertainment: Trendy cafes, upscale restaurants, and local attractions
  • Beach access: Immediate access to the famous Lara Beach for sun and sea
  • Quietness: A blend of tranquility and an urban lifestyle
  • Housing: Diverse housing choices such as apartments, detached bungalows with gardens, and some villas

City Center (Kaleici)

  • All amenities you need: Historic streets lined with shops, markets, and services
  • Entertainment: Cultural sites, museums, theaters, and charming cafes
  • Beach access: Close to Mermerli Beach and picturesque coastal views
  • Quietness: A unique blend of historical charm and serene living
  • Housing: Primarily low-rise apartments, some detached homes with gardens, and restored historic properties

In these areas of Antalya, retirees can enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle surrounded by conveniences, entertainment options, and a peaceful atmosphere.

Healthcare in Antalya

Healthcare is good in Antalya. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the standard of medical care available throughout the whole of Turkey, with more and more foreigners visiting every year to take advantage of the latest healthcare services at considerably less expensive prices than in their home nation.

The main hospitals in the city include:

  • Antalya Private Life Hospital
  • Anatolia Hospital Antalya
  • Medstar Hospital Group
  • Lara Anatolya Private Hospital

You will find health clinics, dentists, opticians, and other services all over the city.

Private health insurance is necessary. You can either find local providers or opt for international health insurance. To make sure you get the best value for money, compare international health insurance options from various providers to find the best deal. 

You can read more about insurance and healthcare in our guide, Health Insurance For Expats In Turkey.

Travel and connectivity

Antalya has excellent transportation services, and flights to and from Europe are easy to find. Prices have become very competitive, making it possible for bargain hunters to get some extremely well-priced flights to and from Europe.

Traveling to and from Antalya offers a range of quantitative options for both domestic and international travel:


Antalya Airport connects to major cities within Turkey, offering over 600 weekly domestic flights.

The airport serves as a hub for international travelers, with direct flights to over 120 destinations worldwide.


Antalya’s Intercity Bus Terminal provides extensive connectivity, with around 250 daily departures to various cities across the country. More than 50 bus companies operate from the terminal, ensuring a diverse range of travel options.


Antalya is linked to the high-speed rail network via the Konya-Karaman line, providing swift access to central regions of Turkey.

Cruise Port

Antalya is a prominent cruise destination, hosting around 250 cruise ship arrivals annually.

Local transportation

  • Trams: Antalya’s modern tram system covers around 22 kilometers, offering efficient transportation within the city.
  • Public buses: The extensive bus network offers over 80 lines serving central and suburban areas.
  • Taxi fleet: You will find many registered taxis in Antalya, making it a very convenient transport option for locals and tourists.

Final thoughts on living in Antalya

In summary, Antalya is definitely one of the best places to live in Turkey. You most definitely will not feel like you’ve gone bush.

With its modern and well-developed infrastructure, Turkey as a nation is going from strength to strength.

You’ll find just about everything you could possibly need for day-to-day practical living, and you’ll live on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world – the incredible Turkish Riviera.

You might find useful:


    • Hi Deemah,
      It’s difficult to assess the level of support state schools in Turkey can offer. The state policy sounds positive and inclusive. You can apply to have your child needs to be assessed by the local Guidance Study Centre (applications are done through schools). The Centre then will provide the recommendations to the school and the parents. However, the best way is first to speak to your chosen school/schools to understand what they can offer.

      Have you considered private schooling in Antalya? Many private schools have it in their policy to offer a more individualised approach to every student. Here are a few options in Antalya:

      Al Fayez International School, Antalya Branch- Arabic and British curricula (Cambridge programme), from kindergarten to A levels.
      Has School in Antalya – follows the national curriculum with a big focus on foreign languages.
      AKANT School – all ages, national curriculum.
      Bahçeşehir School – all ages, national curriculum, big emphasis on personalised teaching and personalized learning styles.
      The ICCA (International Community College of Antalya) offers education in English and Turkish, ages 3 – 14.
      TED Antalya College – teaching in Turkish, English and German.

      Hope this helps.

  1. Hi what sort of savings are we saying we would need to go live in bodrum turkey?
    Once over there I would like to maybe open a business over there, could you please advise me.
    Kind regards
    Kim Hewitt

    • Hi Kim,
      On average it will cost you 50% less to live in Bodrum and maintain the same lifestyle you have in the UK. Look at numbeo.com – they can give you a very good idea of what it might cost you to live in Bodrum.
      You can register a private limited company in Turkey. It requires 1 shareholder, 1 director, and minimum share capital of 10,000 TL (just under £1,500). It will be wise to do your research properly, speak to other expats with businesses in your area and get their advice. Make sure you know all your tax liabilities and possible outgoings. As an example, you will need an accountant to run your business, you might find that accountancy fees are higher in Turkey than in the UK.
      It’s worth keeping in mind that you can apply for Turkish citizenship when you invest in a property worth at least $250,000 (just over £205,000). Being a citizen can cut down the red tape for business owners and provide them with cheaper healthcare and other types of insurance.
      A solid business plan, deep research and advice from professionals and other business owners are the essential first steps if you plan to set up a business abroad.
      We wish you all the best,
      Expat Retirement Abroad team

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