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’s 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.

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?

Is Antalya a good place to live?

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 the second most popular place in Turkey 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.

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.

Other facts about living in Antalya

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

Antalya has excellent transportation services, 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.

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