Living in İzmir as an Expat: Your Home on the Aegean Coast

Created03.07.2024, 15.13
Updated12.07.2024, 15.48

İzmir is among the best cities in Turkey to live as a foreigner. If you are looking for a laid-back lifestyle in a bustling city, İzmir is your dream coming true.

With a population of 4.5 million people, İzmir is Turkey’s third-largest city. What attracts such a population is the city's colorful daily life, breathtaking natural vistas, and the sun-soaked Aegean beaches.

If İzmir has already charmed you, let’s delve deeper and explore the expat life in İzmir.

Living in İzmir as an Expat: An Overview

Here is an overview of living in İzmir as a foreigner, covering every aspect of daily life:

Living in İzmir Turkey as a Foreigner: Life in an Aegean HubHoliday Ambiance: The daily life in İzmir is like an ongoing holiday. The city boasts a Mediterranean climate, offering a nearly 8-month beach season. There are no beaches in İzmir city center. But, you can swim on the sandy beaches in Alaçatı, Karaburun, Foça, or Şirince, all within a 1-hour drive.

Stunning Nature: İzmir is home to stunning natural landscapes. These include Gölcük Lake, İnciraltı Kent Forest, and Bird Paradise National Park.

Welcoming Locals: The locals in İzmir are friendly people, welcoming newcomers. This helps the city to create a cosmopolitan environment.

Local Cuisine: The local dishes in İzmir are both healthy and tasty. While living in İzmir, you will find lots of seafood, Mediterranean vegetables, herbs, and olive oil.

Health Services: The healthcare system in Turkey stands out with its qualified staff and services, and so does İzmir. You can find public and private hospitals and clinics in every district.

Active Lifestyle: In İzmir, staying active and healthy is simple. You can rise early, run on the coastline, and try out surfing, camping, hiking, and diving. If you miss the snow-white winter, you can visit the Bozdağ Ski Resort. The Balçova region features numerous thermal hotels for your wellness as well.

Leisure Options: You can find numerous things to do in İzmir, ranging from shopping to watching concerts, operas, and plays. You can spend your time in interesting museums and attend famous festivals. Some historical places like Ephesus and Smyrna ancient cities are worth visiting.

Education: İzmir caters to education needs of all levels, from kindergarten to university. You can opt for a public or private school for your children. The international schools in İzmir allow your child to have a comprehensive education and adapt to Turkey.

Carrier Opportunities: The job market in İzmir spans agriculture, tourism, retail, furnishing, and manufacturing sectors. Speaking foreign languages is very helpful when finding a job in İzmir. In addition, if you are a Digital Nomad in Turkey, you will love the shared offices in İzmir.

Low Expenses: The cost of living in İzmir is below the EU average. Grocery prices, public services, and housing are affordable in İzmir. If you have foreign currency-based income, you can enjoy financial ease.

Public Transportation: Public transportation in İzmir includes the bus, tram, ferry, and metro (or “İZBAN” in the local language). They offer easy access to all districts around the city.

Where to Stay in İzmir, Turkey?

Here are the best places to stay in İzmir:


Living in İzmir Turkey as a Foreigner: Life in an Aegean HubIf you are looking for a cheerful ambiance, Bornova could be the best area to stay in İzmir for you. Home to Ege University, Bornova has a dynamic atmosphere with a high student population. The region offers all kinds of social and cultural activities. Also, luxurious apartments are available in Bornova.


Konak, the historical center of İzmir, features important landmarks. These include Asansör (elevator), the clock tower, and Kemeraltı Bazaar.

The Alsancak neighborhood in Konak is famous for its Kordon Coastal Park. Here, you can have enjoyable picnics and walks. You can also explore the seafront cafes and restaurants nearby.


Located in the northern part of İzmir Bay, Karşıyaka boasts amazing sea and city views. This upright region offers luxurious apartment options.

You can get here by bus, metro, and ferryboat. If you want to go local, we suggest you take the ferry. Don’t forget to feed the seagulls and take pictures during the ride.


Living in İzmir Turkey as a Foreigner: Life in an Aegean HubÇeşme is around 90 kilometers west of the city center. It has sandy beaches, coves, 5-star hotels, and luxurious amenities. Çeşme may be perfect for holidays, but it is also an excellent place to live. What’s more, the famous Ilıca and Alaçatı beaches will be at your doorstep.


If you seek a tranquil lifestyle, Urla may be the best place to stay in İzmir for you. The district is around 60 kilometers away from the city center of İzmir. Here you can find all the daily amenities, sandy beaches, ports, and hills. If you want a stylish sea-view villa, Urla is a perfect place.

How to Get to İzmir?

Flying to İzmir is the most convenient option. The Adnan Menderes International Airport receives direct flights from over 70 worldwide destinations. The airport is 15 kilometers from the city center.

If you seek an alternative transportation to İzmir, you can drive or take a bus to İzmir. The buses are available hourly from almost all cities in Turkey.

Embrace Aegean Lifestyle in İzmir

Whether you're looking for a permanent home or a holiday retreat, İzmir is perfect for you. It welcomes foreigners with its natural marvels, modern amenities, and historical charm.

If you are ready for an Aegean lifestyle, take a look at our listings. The properties for sale in İzmir include luxurious villas and stylish apartments. Our professionals are here to help you find your dream home in this beautiful Aegean paradise.


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