The 11 Best Places To Retire In Turkey

If you are looking for a cheap place to retire, have you thought of Turkey? Enjoy incredible beaches, delicious food, and vibrant culture while you live and discover this beautiful country that joins what is great from the west and east.

Where is the best place to retire in Turkey? They are in:

  • Istanbul
  • Fethiye
  • Antalya
  • Alanya
  • Ankara
  • Bodrum
  • Bursa
  • Izmir
  • Yalikavak
  • Mersin
  • Marmaris

Now that you know what some of the best cities are, let’s see which one suits you the best.

Is Turkey a good place to retire?

Turkey is a country that is characterized by having great cities with beautiful and natural landscapes, a vibrant culture that is both safe and with a great quality of life.  It has very cool winters with snow on the eastern side and warm to hot in the west.

The lifestyle in Turkey is very laid back with many outdoor activities. Enjoying sports, the beach, swimming pools, rivers, and hiking are some of the most common activities. Being the traditional joining of the east to west Turkey is overflowing with culture from many countries and the people are helpful and willing to include you in their daily lives.

The food in Turkey is varied due to its multicultural society but they do value fresh produce and the use of many herbs and spices.  Many of their meals are prepared with fresh ingredients from large local farmer’s markets which are very common throughout the country. Although they do not eat pork, most of their dishes are made up of vegetables, chicken, or beef.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before my first time there I was worried about what it would be like and how safe it would be.  Having been there a few times after the stern-looking security at the airport the locals are friendly and it is a safe place to visit.  While there was civil unrest when in 2016 the military tried to overthrow the government the local people lined the streets in protest and stopped it from happening and are passionate about it never happening again.  They see themselves as more European in outlook than eastern views.  I now would have not problem recommending it to anyone.

How much money do you need to retire in Turkey?

Life in Turkey is really cheap. It can be considered one of the cheapest countries in eastern Europe. To live comfortably you may need around 900 USD. This could vary depending on the city or area you want to live, and certain luxuries that you may want.

Monthly ExpenseUSD Cost
Rent – 1 bedroom unit$ 252 
Rent – 3 bedroom$ 442
Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Rates)$ 61
Internet$ 13 
Transportation$ 30
Food and Groceries$ 410

NOTE: This was at Istanbul center town and assumed two people in unit living. If you are single it will be a lot cheaper for a 2 or 1 bedroom unit or house.

Is Istanbul a good place to retire?

Temperature: 1 to 30 °C / 37 to 85 °F 
Population: 15 millions
Tourist Information:

Istanbul is one of the largest cities in Turkey and the most populous in the country. This city is considered the main tourist, economic and cultural center of Turkey. Temperatures range from 1 to 30 deg C. Summers tend to be somewhat humid while winter is usually cold, somewhat rainy, and with only a few days of snowfall.

The price of transport in Turkey is cheap with a combined transport network on a single travel card you can get at any local magazine kiosk near transport stops.  It is called an “Instanbul Kart” and is cheap to purchase and then you charge it with however much money you want.  Each trip is about 0.5 USD but if you change from the train to ferry or funicular (train up the hills) it will cost you another fair.

What To Do

If you want to know about general costs, food, healthcare, property prices, and more in Istanbul check: Retire To Istanbul Turkey: The Surprising Truth.

Is Fethiye a good place to live?

Temperature: 6 to 33 °C / 43 to 91 °F 
Population: 90 K

Fethiye is a city known for its works of art belonging to Persians, Lycians, Carians and Romans. The city is a common tourist area during peak season but can be really quiet outside of these times with a small local population.  This makes it attractive to expats that want a more small-town feel. Compared to big cities like Istanbul the cost of living in Fethiye is really cheap. Due to its extensive coastline it attracts those retirees into yachting.

Fethiye’s climate is known for being temperate with a very clear sky and having temperatures of 6 to 33 °C, normally the summers are perfect around 30 °C.  In the winter the temperatures do not exceed 5 to 20 °C which allows for a few extra blankets but still means you can get out and about every day.

What To Do

Is Antalya a good place to live?

Temperature: 1 to 39 °C / 47 to 91 °F 
Population: 1.3 million
Tourist Information:

Antalya is a city located on the Mediterranean coast in southwestern Turkey. This city surrounded by mountains and beaches has become an increasingly sought-after location for expats.  This city has one of the largest gulfs on the Turkish coast.  This is one of the reasons why it has become so desired by many foreigners.

The cost of living in Antalya is also really cheap. And with a budget of no more than $ 600 USD, you can enjoy great accommodation, eating out frequently and a lot of creature comforts.

What To Do

For more detailed information about living or retiring to Antalya Turkey check out the full article here:

ARTICLE: Retire To Antalya Turkey: The Hub Of The Turkish Mediterranean

Is Alanya a good place to live?

Temperature: 10°C to 33 °C / 50°F to 93 °F 
Population: 100k (can swell during tourist seasons)
Tourist Information:

Alanya is the Los Angeles of Turkey that is well known for being one of the biggest beach restorts on the Mederteranean coast of Turkey. With roughly 20km of beaches and multiple high rise appartments, shops, resturants and a thriving expat community it is defaintely somewhere you can get a cheap holiday home where you can eventually retire too.

Being a beach resort location with 8 months of the year having day time temeratures between 22°C to 33°C or 72°F to 93°F it is great retirement weather. The lowest night time temperature is 10°C or 50°F for the month of January and then it starts warming up again. You get 300 glorious sunny days there every year where you will be able to be outside and live the dream.

What To Do

Is it good to live in Ankara?

Temperature: -1 to 32 °C / 32 to 89 °F 
Population: 5.7 million
Tourist Information:

Ankara city has been the capital of Turkey and with its distinct European influences in design and lifestyle. Located in the central part of the Anatolia region, this city is surrounded by little satellite cities with easy quick access on the metro into town. Ankara is a safe city for people of all ages both day and night.

The cost of living in Ankara is also really cheap. And with a budget of no more than $ 500 USD, you can enjoy great accommodation, eating out frequently, and a lot of creature comforts. In Ankara, you can have a really nice traditional Turkish breakfast for two people for $5 USD. There are many great options for meals around the city for traditional Turkish dishes and from places all over the world.

The medical care in Ankara in the hospitals is first class and comparable to the UK and USA with brand new hospitals and special multi-lingual staff on hand to help. Having used these facilities multiple times I can personally attest to their quality.

If you are thinking of retiring to Ankara and want to know more about its food, breakdown of costs, quality of life and medical providers check out the article below.

ARTICLE: Retire in Ankara Turkey: The Stunning Modern Capital

What To Do

Is Bodrum a good place to live?

Temperature: 9 to 32 °C / 48 to 89 °F 
Population: 45 K
Tourist Information: 

Bodrum is a port city with crystal clear waters that is surrounded by mountains and also has a vibrant nightlife and good Turkish cuisine. This city has become an important tourist center in the country for its attractive coastline and its vibrant nightlife. This generally leads to higher prices than other smaller towns but still less than in Istanbul itself.

This is a very busy city so if you are looking for a place with good beaches and vibrant cultural life, Bodrum is the right city for you.  The summers are  humid but the temperature never gets too high and the winters are just cold enough for an extra blanket at night.  This makes it great all round yearly weather..

If you like a smaller town with great weather than this is the town for you.

What To Do

Is Bursa a good place to live?

Temperature: 1 to 30 °C / 33 to 87 °F 
Population: 3 million

Bursa is the fourth largest city in Turkey and is located in the northwest of the country which is a working town that thrives as an industrial hub.

If you like a larger city with a smaller town feel with a higher percentage of Turkish people than Bursa could be for you.   Summers in this city are generally hot and not very humid, while the winters can be quite cold and overcast.

Bursa does not have a local airport due to how close it is to Istanbul and you would fly there and get a ferry out to the city.  This will take about 2 hours after your bus ride from the international airport to the city and a light rail to the ferry terminal.  In the future there will be a train connector to the new airport.

What to Do

Is Izmir a good place to live?

Temperature: 6 to 33 °C / 43 to 93 °F 
Population: 5 million
Tourist Information:

Izmir is located in the southwest of Turkey on the shores of the Mediterranean sea. It is known for its culture and art which you can see in the links below.  

Izmir’s climate is characterized by clear skies and having very livable temperatures of 6 to 33 C.  Like with most of Turkey the summers are great temperatures without getting too hot and winters just need a light jacket during the day. 

What To Do

Is Yalikavak a good place to live?

Temperature: 6 to 34 °C / 43 to 95 °F
Population: 10k 

Yalikavak is a small city located in the west of Turkey on the Bodrum peninsula. There are small shops, and boutiques, and traditional Turkish tea shops reaching down to the port filled with large yachts and a beautiful traditional seaside town in Turkey.  The growing tourist season can see the population of the city grow substantially between May and October.  

What To Do

Is Mersin a good place to live?

Temperature: 8 to 34°C / 46 to 95°F
Population: Approx 1 Million

Mersin is a large port town with a thriving comercial centre as well as a typical mediterranean ocean relaxed shore front and is a great place to live. The costs for being on the ocean are way cheaper than other places along the Mediteranean which is why more and more people are going to have a look at the town as a potential place to live and retire.

What To Do

If you want to learn more about Mersin including a breakdown of the cost of living check out this in-depth article below.

ARTICLE: Retire to Mersin Turkey: The Undiscovered Mediterranean Location

Is Marmaris a good place to live?

Population: 28k
Temperature:76°C to 35°C / 45°F to 95°C

Marmaris is a coastal resort town and is a great place to live for those early in their retirement or for those that have retired early. It has a very active night life and swells with tourists during the summer months that will allow you to make a lot more friends that regularly visit. In the

What To Do

Can foreigners buy property in Turkey?

Buying a house for an expat is quite easy since you do not need citizenship or residency to buy a house in Turkey. Although the process may be a bit longer due to the processing time.

These are the top real estates to look at In Turkey:

TIP: Whether you are buying or renting, if you are looking for some cheaper options you can go to the facebook marketplace. Change your filter to the city you want in Turkey and then click on Property Rentals or House Sales. 

Do they speak English in Turkey?

Turkish is the official language. In large cities and in highly touristy areas you usually find people who speak English, but in the interior of the country, the only language of communication is Turkish.

To practice and learn the language you can download the DuoLingo App on your phone or you can use it on your computer with the web browser. Use this for a few months and get a couple of levels up doing at least 2 to 3 lessons a day or more. This will help you with basic manners, buying food, shopping and buying transport tickets when you get there.

Health Care

The public and private health care system in Turkey is very similar to the United States. This leaves Turkey with a slightly better health care system than the United States with only a small gap between their rankings globally as per the world health rankings below.

LINK: World Health Care Rankings

Do not miss the opportunity to live in Turkey and check out what are the pros and cons to retire here: Retire In Turkey: 9 Pros And Cons.

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