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Living in Izmir: Your Ultimate Guide to Moving and Settling in Turkey

Posted by BlogEditor on 6 July 2024
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Ah, so you are thinking of living in Izmir – Turkey. Congratulations on your choice of destination. We adore Izmir for more reasons than one. Additionally, many of our clients have purchased homes in Izmir for either use as a holiday home, year-round living, or a long-term real estate investment, therefore proving the addictive lure among foreign nationalities from around the globe.

The Izmir region in Turkey, a sophisticated area with a vibrant and historical ambience, sits in the Aegean province, on Turkey’s west coast. Stunning landscapes, bays, coves, and sandy beaches attract foreigners eager to see Mother Nature’s beautiful natural sites. Reached by Adnan Menderes Airport, roughly 20 minutes away, the Izmir region includes the city centre and other smaller towns and villages like Cesme, Alacati, Urla, and Selcuk.

About Living in Izmir

What is the Weather Like in Winter?

Izmir enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures drop in October, and nights become cooler; however, days are still great for getting active and exploring. The rainy season generally arrives around January and lasts through to February. Many expats in Izmir view winter as a time to relax and recharge their batteries after a summer spent on the beach, around the pool, on boats, and alfresco dining. They use portable heaters and air-conditioned units to heat their homes, or in newer, luxury properties, they switch on the underfloor heating.

About Tourism in Izmir

Izmir mainly relies on tourism for income, which is seen in bars, restaurants, hotels, travel agents, and boating industries. The primary tourism season runs from May to October. Outside these months, some places in quiet areas might close for winter, but Izmir city centre, in particular, carries on as nothing has changed, and residents still have access to a wide range of social amenities. Daily life in Izmir is just a pace slower.

Exploring and Making Friends

We always advise clients who purchase a house through us to explore neighbouring areas of Izmir. Whether you hire a car or join day trip excursions, learning about your surroundings will make you feel more at home. Prominent landmark sights to get to know in Izmir include Ephesus, the ancient city of Pergamon, Kadifekale, Asansör, and Kordonboyu. Otherwise, many social groups in Izmir give you the chance to make new friends and join people with like-minded interests.

Izmir’s football team has many fans, including foreign expats. In addition, the International Women’s Association (IWA) organises various events and fundraises for community projects. Joining local Izmir Facebook groups will also keep you informed of upcoming social activities to attend. Other groups include the Izmir International Group (IIG) and the Izmir Hash House Harriers, who often organise runs and social gatherings. Everyone finds it easy to settle in and make friends in Izmir because Turkish communities ensure every stranger becomes a friend.

To Rent or Buy Property in Izmir

This is a personal preference, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Consider making a list of pros and cons for your lifestyle expectations. Some expats decide to rent first to see if they like living here, while others know that Izmir will permanently be their home. If renting, ask for a contract lasting more than one year. If you want to buy property, see our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale in many areas of Izmir. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, location, home features, photos and contact details to find out more or arrange a viewing. Alternatively, if you are already in Izmir, drop by our office on Cumhuriyet Boulevard in the Konak district and chat with one of our local agents.

Now is the perfect time to own your dream property in Izmir! Combining Izmir’s unique nature, historical and cultural richness with modern living spaces, we offer attractive opportunities for foreigners. If you are looking to invest or find a home in this enchanting city, meet our professional team to explore the best options. Don’t miss out on real estate opportunities in Izmir. Click now for more information and to be directed to our sales page.

Cost of Living

Naturally, living costs vary depending on your lifestyle, but as a general guide, a couple with a monthly budget of 10,000 Turkish lira will have a good lifestyle. Significant factors that eat into your budget include smoking, drinking, and running a car. Household bills are relatively cheap, and when eating out, budget to luxury restaurants feature every international cuisine. Do not forget to factor in additional costs like residency, healthcare, flights to see family back home, and a rainy-day fund—more about the cost of living in Turkey.

Bringing Pets into Izmir

Turkey has set procedures to bring pets into the country but always check for updates because they can change. Foreigners can bring two dogs or cats into Turkey, which must be microchipped. You also need a health certificate from a government vet in your home country that shows your pet is vaccinated. Do not forget a pet passport, rabies vaccination certificate, and titer blood test. When your pet arrives, a Turkish government vet will inspect them. Please note, Turkey has banned the following breeds; American Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, certain breeds of Mastiff, Pitbull Terriers, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasilein. Many people bring their pets in by road because it is a gentler journey than flying. Check Google for pet transportation services if you would like professional help.

Can I Bring My Car to Turkey Permanently?

Yes, but many foreign residents buy a car in Turkey because there are fewer restrictions. For example, you cannot have spent more than 180 days in Turkey within the last 365 days. If you ask someone to bring the car, they will need power of attorney. You must pre-declare that you will be bringing your vehicle in via a lengthy screening process. Next, you need to get a Foreign Vehicles Temporary Entry Certificate. Specific paperwork needs to be translated and notarised. Lastly, you can only use your car in Turkey for two years and then will need to take the car out again. Therefore, many expats buy cars in Turkey or use local transport systems instead.

Are there Private Schools in Izmir?

Yes, they are. Two examples include the American Collegiate Institute and MEF International School, both of which offer education from kindergarten to high school. People are generally divided over whether state schools or private schools are better. Some expats choose to put their kids in state schools and then pay for a tutor to come to the house rather than pay expensive private school fees. When choosing education for your child, one thing to consider is whether they will permanently stay in Turkey. If not, select a private school but make sure they issue internationally recognised qualifications.

Where to Live in Izmir

  • Alsancak: As one of the most vibrant areas in Izmir, Alsancak is known for its lively nightlife, beautiful waterfront, and numerous cafes and restaurants. It is also home to many expats who enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere. Alsancak is centrally located, making it easy to access other parts of the city.
  • Karşıyaka: Located on the northern shore of the Gulf of Izmir, Karşıyaka is a popular residential area with a strong community feel. It offers excellent shopping, dining, and recreational facilities. The area is well-connected by ferry and public transport, making it convenient for commuting to the city centre.
  • Güzelbahçe: If you prefer a quieter, more suburban lifestyle, Güzelbahçe is an excellent choice. Located to the west of Izmir, this area offers a peaceful environment with beautiful sea views and a slower pace of life. It is ideal for families and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Urla: Known for its vineyards and olive groves, Urla is a charming town that offers a blend of rural and coastal living. It is a popular choice for those who appreciate nature and want a more relaxed lifestyle. Urla is also home to several expat communities and has a growing number of amenities.
  • Çeşme: This upscale resort town is located on the western tip of the Izmir peninsula and is famous for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. Çeşme is a popular holiday destination but also attracts those looking for luxury living. The town has many high-end properties and excellent facilities.
  • Alacati: Just a short drive from Çeşme, Alacati is known for its well-preserved stone houses, narrow streets, and boutique hotels. The town is a hub for windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts and offers a unique blend of traditional and modern lifestyles. Alacati is a trendy destination with a lively atmosphere.
  • Bornova: Home to Ege University, Bornova is a bustling district with a youthful vibe. It offers a range of amenities, including shopping malls, parks, and cultural centres. Bornova is well-connected to the city centre and other parts of Izmir, making it a convenient place to live.
  • Narlidere: Located to the west of the city centre, Narlidere is a rapidly developing area known for its modern housing developments and beautiful sea views. It offers a mix of urban and suburban living and is popular among families and professionals.

By considering these diverse neighbourhoods, you can find the perfect place to live in Izmir that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Whether you seek a bustling urban environment or a tranquil coastal retreat, Izmir has something to offer everyone.

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