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

The Turkish Riviera city of Antalya has established itself as one of Turkey’s primary tourist destinations, but it’s also favoured 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 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 and 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, large supermarkets offering produce which is generally quite a lot 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 globalised, 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 centre 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 neighbourhoods, residents are happy to pay the price for a beach-side urban lifestyle.

How expensive is Antalya?

One person can live comfortably on $500 a month in Antalya including renting a 1-bed small 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.

Healthcare and infrastructure 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.

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.

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 be doing your living on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world – the incredible Turkish Riviera.

You might find useful

Deemah Hassoon

Thursday 30th of December 2021

Hi , any idea of schooling autistic children age 11 ? What are the opportunities as compared to the uk please.

Ola Degteva (Editor)

Thursday 30th of December 2021

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.

Kim Hewitt

Tuesday 30th of July 2019

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

Wednesday 31st of July 2019

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 - 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