Istanbul is one of the most unique and valuable cities in the world, which combines the continents of Europe and Asia, and is a land where world rulers have ruled for centuries. With this uniqueness, it can offer a life like nowhere else with its rich history and today’s modernity. Istanbul province has the most developed infrastructure of the city with the innovation and establishment of the region and is one of the places that attract the most attention of investors with its social, cultural, health, and educational opportunities. To facilitate transportation, the municipality serves you with many highways, metro, and Metrobus lines. As a city that blends both the human and natural beauty of the country with its shopping malls, palaces, strait, and thousands of magnificent buildings, it gives you an incredible experience.
Being the fifth largest city in Europe and hosting approximately 20 million people today, Istanbul has dozens of places to explore. Seen as a cultural mosaic, traces of thousands of years of history can be seen in almost every street of this precious city. Life in Istanbul is a special experience in itself. Described as a walking history paradise, this place was called Augusta Antononia by the Romans and Constantinople by the French. After the Turks conquered the city, it started to be called Istanbul. In this article, let’s examine the life advantages of Istanbul together.
1. Historical Monuments
The historical peninsula of Istanbul, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1986 and has a very important place in world history, was ruled by four great empires. Therefore, it is a city that hosts a lot of historical and cultural heritage. The historical places are listed below:
- Hagia Sophia was built as a cathedral in 537 and was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. It was secularized in 1935 and reopened as a museum. Today, it has started to serve as a mosque again.
- The Church of the Holy Savior is an old Byzantine church and can be metaphorically thought of as the younger sister of Hagia Sophia. This work was converted into an Ottoman mosque in the later period, namely in the 16th century, and later secularized as a museum.
- The world-famous underground cistern was built in the 6th century and is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns still under the city. It measures 143 x 65 meters and has a water holding capacity of 80,000 cubic meters. It also has a very authentic atmosphere with its sculptures.
- Rumelihisari is a castle that was built on an area of approximately 6.5 hectares, covering high walls, towers, and green surroundings. Located on the European side of Istanbul, at the narrowest part of the Bosphorus, this structure was built in 1452 by the Ottoman Sultan II in preparation for a final attack on Constantinople and the eventual collapse of the Byzantine Empire.
- Built by the Ottoman empire in the 1470s, Topkapi Palace was one of the principal residences of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years of their 624-year reign (1465-1856). The Ottoman Empire was ruled by Topkapi Palace for 380 years.
- The Suleymaniye Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul. It is the city’s largest mosque and one of Istanbul’s most famous tourist attractions.
- Galata Tower, or Christea Turris, as it was then known, has been located in the Karakoy neighborhood for centuries and was built in 1348 as part of the expansion of the Genoese colony. It is one of the most important symbols of the city. This structure served as the tallest structure in Istanbul for hundreds of years. Today, as a very touristic place, it offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the historical peninsula to its visitors.
- Dolmabahce Palace is an Ottoman palace built in the mid-1800s, located on an area of 50.000 m². Dolmabahçe Palace, which was built by the sultan of the period, Abdülmecit I, and whose construction continued until 1853, was used by Abdülmecit both for living and official business. Today, it is used for both hotels, restaurants, and events with its magnificent Bosphorus view.
2. Natural Beauties
As a city that combines two continents and also experiences all four seasons during the year, Istanbul contains areas with a lot of natural beauty, tulip gardens, and Bosphorus air. Natural places are listed below:
- You can travel along the border between Europe and Asia with a boat ride on the Bosphorus Strait, where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the city, and experience the culture with natural beauties in the best way with the clean sea air.
- Emirgan Grove is a grove located in the Sariyer district of Istanbul. It is located on the shores of the Bosphorus, between Emirgan and Istinye districts. It is spread over ridges and slopes on an area of 47.2 hectares on the shores of the Bosphorus. It offers a magnificent visual with many tulips and flowers.
- Yildiz Park is a historical park located in the Besiktas district of Istanbul. It offers breakfast and eating and drinking opportunities with Malta and Tent Kiosks located within. One of the most beautiful parks in Istanbul, the park consists of beautiful pools, waterfalls, and ponds, as well as fascinating gardens and trees.
- Belgrad Forest is a naturally formed wooded area located on the European side of Istanbul, at the easternmost tip of the Çatalca Peninsula. This place, which is far from all the chaos of the city but close in terms of location, is a very peaceful and very important historical region. You will be amazed by its clean air and greenery every time you visit.
3. Cultural Life
Istanbul is a city that has served as the heart of very important empires with its rich history. This region, which started to westernize with the tulip era of the Ottoman Empire, is a very cosmopolitan city today, hosting people from quite different origins and languages. that is, it contains many colors. Living in this city, which has a very fast life and is about consumption, is just as fun.
4. Entertainment Life
Istanbul nightlife has become as famous as the city’s deep-rooted history. Istanbul can appeal to all kinds of styles thanks to the various entertainment options it offers. Whether it’s a quiet evening with jazz music, an exciting dance night at an Istanbul nightclub, or a romantic dinner at one of the city’s best rooftop restaurants, you can find whatever you want in this city. In this city, which is colorful and lively during the day and at night, there are entertainment venues that appeal to every budget, from the Bosphorus view to its famous streets.
When Turkey and especially Istanbul are mentioned, shopping comes to mind. Turks are one of the states that have been tradesmen and traders throughout history. The historical grand bazaar and corn bazaar in Istanbul are proof of this. Of course, there are dozens of big shopping malls and shopping streets in the city.
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar has been operating since the mid-15th century. It is a medieval version of a modern mall. In addition to Turkish handicrafts, all handicrafts and arts from Central Asia and the Middle East are available here. It has a wide variety of products, from antique hand-woven Turkish carpets and handmade gold jewelry to cheap, plastic Istanbul fridge magnets. The building where the Spice Bazaar is located is special work from the 17th century and was built with tax revenues from Egypt under Ottoman rule, and it houses more than 80 shops, spices, dried fruits, nuts, and special Turkish food products, dried flowers, and herbal teas. It still trades local sweets such as halva and Turkish delight today.
6. Job Opportunities
According to the Foreign Work Permit Statistics Report published by the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services of the Republic of Turkey, it is seen that approximately 150 thousand foreigners received valid work permits in 2019. When we look at these data, we see that thousands of people in Turkey can find a job here even though they are foreign nationals.
Foreigners in Turkey have the legal right to work in many business sectors. These sectors have job opportunities for foreign nationals who speak more than one language, especially in fields such as international companies, management, marketing, sales, technical information, and translation.
What is the Cost of Living in Istanbul?
The currency in Turkey is the Turkish lira, which is much cheaper than many European cities that you think can offer the same standards. According to the data obtained as a result of research and analysis, the estimated monthly cost of a family of four is $1,470 (24,721TL) without rent. However, keep in mind that this fee will increase as your standards rise. Cost of living in Turkey, for a single person as an employee is around 8,300 TL. That is why Istanbul is 68.00% cheaper than New York.
In Which Districts Should You Live In Istanbul?
The answer to this question will vary considerably depending on what you expect from your life in Istanbul. Beyoglu is located on the European side and is exactly the heart of entertainment and culture. There are various public transportation options connecting Beyoglu to the city. Beyoglu’s neighbor, Besiktas, is another central district. From the piers, you can take the ferry to the Asian/Anatolian side of the city or use various buses. Sisli district, on the other hand, is a central district full of plazas, offices, banks, shops, and shopping centers. The back streets are residential and the various neighborhoods of Sisli are home to many people from different socioeconomic classes. Kadikoy is a bustling central district and a transportation hub on the Asian side of Istanbul. The center of Kadıkoy is by the sea and has many shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Uskudar is another coastal transportation hub on the Asian side. Since each region has its unique atmosphere and ethnic structure, it is very important to examine the districts before deciding.